TOGETHER WITH DEMENTIA AND RA WE CAN FACE THE JOURNEY
The date was August 16, 1970, forty-six years ago. Judy Kathrine Shaver and Robert Cornelius Bowles, Jr. were married at Thomaston First Baptist Church.
Ohhh, what a happy day.
Has it been easy, NO. My graduation from pharmacy school was one week later. Then it was off to work. Judy was in the process of completing her college education. Hint - she is 3 years YOUNGER than me.
God never promised us a rose garden, but He did promise that he would never leave us nor forsake us. Three years after being married, our first child was born. Four years later our second child was born. Three years later our son was born. Now the Bowles name could continue.
Within months after our son was born, Judy began having health issues. First no one could determine what could be happening. Then one day, the physician ordered a new test, and a diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erathemtosus (SLE) was given. She was only 31 years old. With three children, we had no idea what was before us.
Beginning three years after diagnosis Judy was in the hospital one hour away from home, 3 to 4 times each year, receiving 1,000mg of steroids IV daily for 3 days. During those years which lasted about 10 years, she was able to do very little.
At the time of diagnosis, our oldest daughter was 8 years old. This sweet girl helped her father take care of the other two children. I am eternally thankful for what she did. My outlet was to play racket ball almost every night for 2 hours after getting the children to sleep.
Life moved on and ultimately Judy began doing some better.
Fast forward, age 64, I was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), 18 months after selling my pharmacy. Two years later, Judy's SLE was in remission; however, she was then diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
Now she gets infusions every 8 weeks to treat the RA.
What do you do when this happens? You take the strong faith you have
and make it stronger. Faith can never be too strong. God's word tells Judy and me that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will supply all of our needs, even in the valleys and the mountains, He is there. This is what sustains us.
Is it easy NO? I do however have a peace that passes all possible understanding. I do not fear anything. The journey which we have been on since we got married has only made us stronger. We have resources now, not financial, but others that make life worth living and living it to the fullest.
YES, WE BELONG TOGETHER
Fight like a tiger - Be LBD Strong
©June 8, 2016 Robert Bowles
Robert Bowles, Jr.