My Own Disease

Multiple Sclerosis_1

Those who know me know I have a disease. It is called Multiple Sclerosis (ms). MS is a disease of the central nervous system. It is never contagious, you can not catch it from anyone. This is a disease that may be different for each person. Thus, it truly is “my own disease”.

MS does different things to different people. It is one of those diseases that is very difficult to diagnose, since it can mimic many known diseases. One of the best sources for information about ms is The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and its counterparts around the world.

I was diagnosed with ms in 2000. It was the millennium, and a few days before the 4th of July, I woke up at midnight with a severe headache. I had a whistle in my head, I was dizzy, everything in the room was spinning in different directions (that’s called vertigo), my stomach wanted to vomit, I could not stand up. I lived alone in an apartment. I struggled with these symptoms until 6 am, when I drove myself in a crooked line to the emergency room. I was dying!

We all have challenges. The worst symptoms I have that are visible are weak muscles. I have spent years building my muscles up again. I have had 18 months without the use of the right arm. I have had months of numbness in the left hand. I have walked like a drunk for weeks at a time. I can no longer ride a bicycle. I have advanced from walking, to walking with a walker, to walking with a cane, to walking without assistive devices today. How long my disease will allow that no one knows. I could be in a wheelchair tomorrow. Those with my disease go to bed at night, not knowing if they will be able to get out of bed in the morning. Some days, my speech is slurred so bad no one can understand me. Some days, my vision fails.

I know everyone knows someone that has or has had ms. I know you all want to help. Sometimes, the best help is telling someone with ms to call another person. We each experience different things with this disease. I call it “my own disease” because my symptoms are not any other persons symptoms. I can not always relate to someone else with ms because they have symptoms I do not have. However, talking to others with ms allows me to know I am not alone with my own disease. Others have their own disease, and can understand the pain, frustration, and battles. When my own disease was diagnosed, there were under 350,000 people diagnosed in the United States. Today, thanks to the advances in MRI technology, there are thousands more.

Please do not give a bunch of references for cures for my own disease. I have found that while there are many things tried, the best reference there is for valid information if The National MS Society. If you tell me your friend knows of a friend that knows someone that had ms and tried ??? and it cured them, I will check that website. MS symptoms come and go. They are different for each of us with my disease. Some people will have severe symptoms for years. Some people will have severe symptoms for days. We are all different. What works for one may or may not work for anyone else with my disease.

I can tell you one fact about my own disease. It is the most frustrating challenge I have had in 60 years. It is also the reason I walk today. Yes, I am frustrated much of the time. Yes, I am extremely grateful that all I have is multiple sclerosis. Remind me to expand on that later.

Links to information:
What Is MS?

Interesting facts about ms

2006 Walk – The Second Year

2006 Walk

This page is used to provide information to the team. Bookmark this page if you want. I will try to keep the information up to date. Photos may be published as soon as I have enough time. You already know, I don’t do very good with the pictures.

Anyone got any ideas on how to raise money? Pass them along if you can. We need all the ideas we can get. Send an email to me. You can also use the Contact button above. Thanks for all the work.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is going to use email as much as possible. It does save them a lot of postage, which results in more money available for research. If they don’t have an email address, they will have the Team Captain forward the information to you.

Shirts for 2006 were worn for the walk. We had Shadows Embroidery and Screen Printing and Moody’s Plumbing Service as sponsors on them. Team members can wear the shirts year round, which helps those businesses with advertising.

The 2006 MS WALK in Boise, Idaho was held on April 22. Due to flooding along the river, we had a change in the route at the last minute. We started in Veterans Park and walked towards the Glenwood bridge. Many thanks to all of the TeamCharliesAngels walkers. Five miles doesn’t sound very far until you are walking it, then it becomes an extremely long way.

We had 20 people on our team this year, and had a great time. Corey Barton Homes had golf cars on the route to assist those of us that needed a ride partway. I was able to walk half way this year, which was a big improvement over last year. After the walk, there were food and drinks available for the 600 walkers.

Totals raised will not be available until after May 22, which is the cutoff to get the donations turned in this year. We do know that 600 walkers raised $85,000 in Boise. Way to go!!!

Even if we have completed the MS Walk for 2006, we are keeping notes and thinking about next year. Since we learn each year, there are a few ideas for improvements.

This web site will be here year round, so stop by and check it out. It is in a constant state of change, much like multiple sclerosis itself. When information is available, it will be posted on the website.