On June 7, 1979, I graduated high school. Two days later I entered college. During my college years, I started having
symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed with possible MS in 1981 and confirmed in 1991 when I had
a type of stroke on my left side which interferred with my walking ability. Many doctor's diagnosed Lyme's disease
but I did not respond with treatment. In 1994, after Shelby (my second daughter) was born, I became ill after eating at
a restaurant. A local neurologist diagnosed me with "Beaver fever" a giardia parasite infection. I became blind and paralyzed
from the neck down. Multiple Sclerosis ravaged my body and I was left an invalid. Most doctors refused my case. But there was
one, Patrick J. Hogan, III, that took me in and the journey of healing began.
In 2008, I forced myself to get on an elliptical machine. I could barely stand (let alone move the pedals) but I did three revolutions
and got off the machine. People thought I was insane to attempt such a ridiculous feat. Day after day, through pain and leg
spasms, I got on that elliptical machine and stood and tried to move the pedals. Pretty soon, 30 seconds turned into 1 minute. It
was very lonely and very painful but I am determined to walk again. Now I stay on the elliptical for 30 minutes and I stand and walk
when I can. I still have to use a motorized scooter and a walk aide but I'm determined to walk independently and freely one day.
I think each of us deserves complete health and I will continue to do my best until I regain my health.
Please continue to fight for your health if you are sick. Help someone around you if they need it so they can get well.
Encourage everyone and anyone. Independence is a privilege worth fighting for.
UPDATE: In January 2014, I had a lifting accident that put me in bed for 6 months. I no longer can do 30 minutes on an elliptical machine. In fact, I need help with my daily life more now than ever before. I must find the courage once again to face insurmountable odds to regain my strength. This will make the 10th time I have been completely wiped out and had to face and conquer this journey. I'm stating that this is the last time I'm allowing myself this journey. I will always remain as healthy as I can possibly be from here on out for the rest of my life. I don't understand why things like this happen to people who try to help others and show stewardship to their fellow man. But that seems to be the story for many of us.
UPDATE: In June 2018, I bought my first treadmill after enduring 6 months of physical therapy. The therapist said that if I want to walk again I must walk, not exercise on an elliptical. I have found a new chiropractor that gently adjusts the spine from a standing position. It's working. Also, my massage therapist now uses restructure therapy to help my legs re align. I have started a nutrition program where I avoid dairy, citrus and grains (known to exacerbate MS). Slowly I feel my legs getting stronger. I am trying to heal from a bladder condition called "prolapse" but I might need surgery (which is dangerous for me because of the anesthetic) so we will see in 2019.
UPDATE: In February 2019, I had an outpatient reconstructive surgery for my bladder, it snowed 2 feet after I returned home that afternoon. Although the pain was mainly from swelling, I was in some discomfort for 24 hours then slowly started to heal. Full recovery in about 8 weeks and I hoped for the best but fell short. The injury to my bladder was just too much so I do still experience some incontinence, mostly in the afternoon and evening hours. I still do most of my pre-op pelvic floor exercises but my pelvis remains weakened. While I continue to fight to survive every day, I joined NOOM diet plan and so far lost 40 pounds. I am still on a strict keto diet and am struggling to lose more weight. In the meantime, my chiropractor, found a stretch manipulation help MS, at first it worked and I walked 3 minutes on the treadmill unassisted. Shortly after a hot spell )summer heat) I lost my balance again, In July 2019, I tried a home sauna with mixed results. My goal is to sweat out toxins that may be interfering with balance and weight loss. I am visiting a ND (I know I am an ND but need fresh eyes), anyway this ND is testing mr for heavy metals, hopefully the results will be treatable. Also, I am getting "comprehensive visits" from my chiropractor in which he treats my whole body energetically. Progress is slow but still progress, Its a struggle to keep positive after 40 years with this disease and all the trauma and emotional turmoil MS has a tendency to attract. I'll take it one day at a time. That's all any of us can do. Of course, there is so much more to surviving MS, diet and exercise alone take an extreme amount of energy )that I don't have) and when you add doctors visits, treatments, expensive lab tests and supplements, I can barely keep up financially. In a different light, if I quit all the treatments and supplements, I will become more disabled and the cost of in home care at $20,000.00 per month is completely out of the question. So I will continue as best as I can. I'm hoping for technology to provide an affordable balance device soon. We will see in 2020.