In 2007, after procrastinating for years about resuming a regular fitness and exercise routine, I shamed myself into finally dragging my carcass onto a treadmill. Several minutes, something strange happened that changed my life: my leg temporarily stopped working. I ignored it at first because the symptoms left as quickly as they came, but they reared its ugly head so many times in the ensuing months that I could no longer pretend everything was hunky dory.
So, after my period of denial, and visits to several physicians of various specialties, the verdict came in. I had multiple sclerosis, and not the typical kind that comes and goes (relapsing-remitting) and sometimes never comes back. I hit the jackpot by getting the kind that comes and stays and gradually gets worse: primary progressive MS.
At first I looked at all the message boards and web sites and a variety of sources to see if I could figure out what my future would hold, but soon learned that there was no owner’s manual, there was no template I would neatly fit into, and that I would have to chart my own course.
In the ten years that have passed, I have tried a number of different meds and have had more MRIs than I care to count. If I tried to guess the number of times I have been stuck with a needle to draw blood, exchange blood, test blood, draw spinal fluid or infuse medicine, I am sure it would exceed one thousand. And to think I was a kid who was scared to death of the damn things!
Why start a blog? Well, I like to write. I have been doing a lot more it lately and hope to be able to turn into a second career should the symptoms that have been slowly devouring my leg make it impossible for me to continue a thirty-plus year healthcare career. But more than that, I thought about how I felt when I was first confronted with an alien disease, an uncertain future and no roadmap to follow. I also thought how much that would have benefitted not only myself, but my wife and parents.
My intent is to share my past experiences, my current journey, and the knowledge I have gained along the with anyone who is afflicted with MS or cares for someone who is, and to do this with candor, humor and brutal honesty, but with a light touch.
I hope you enjoy the ride.