A Terrible Story

I'd like to think that's odd. In 1989 I had optic neuritis but didn't see a doctor and the effects went away in about 7 days.

In 1990 a friend at work and I participated in the MS bike ride 'The Best Dam Bike Get Together' in AZ. I went the following year also but died going up the last 3 miles of uphill to the Dam. Then I moved to Long Beach CA and in 1993 while working on the F-18E/F at Northrop my toes were tingling. By Friday I could not feel anything below my waist. After about 5 months the feelings returned to normal except the balls of my feet felt like they were swollen and hurt to walk on. Naturally I still did what I loved doing playing basketball but now I stumbled and my legs felt like lead weight strapped to them. They got heavier and heavier the more I played. Soon I realized that playing 8 or 9 games was out. I would be lucky if I could stand after 4 games.

Finally in 2000 I got optic neuritis and went to a doctor this time. He sent me to a neurologist and the discovered I had MS. Thank God I thought now I know. But I was wrong, now I realize what a curse. I am screwed. No more basketball, I'm fortunate if I can even play one game and worst of all I now suck at it. I can't work up a sweat in anything I do because I can't run and do it. I hit a wall and I am spent. I am going on my 12 MS bike ride this year. I rode last year and made an all time low of 47 miles. I found out before leaving Oklahoma that my riding made volunteers and other riders want to participate, I was so pathetic I guess. I figured if that's what it takes to get MS noticed then so be it. I have a walking stick attached to my bike so when I get off my bike I have help holding myself up at the rest stops. One thing is good about bike riding when one foot goes around the other follows. That helps since one foot goes dead before the other I just never know which one is first. I just need a recumbent trike so I won't fall anymore.

I did find out one thing about exercising, when you are in shape your muscles don’t give out as easily. It’s always best to be in shape and continue to stay that way because it’s almost impossible to get back in shape when you can’t get there anymore to start with. One reason I left C-17 maintenance was because I fell getting dress in the morning and later that day I was on the wing looking at leading edge and I was remembering falling and I was actually scared. So I got on my hands and knees and crawled to the edge. Everyone was standing around wondering what was I doing? Well it was 27 feet off the ground I guess.

I know I said that last year was it but you'd be surprised what a wife can make you do without making an effort to do so. SO here I go again is it the last, I have no idea.

My son helped me off my bike at every stop. I am working diligently at not being disabled but without a good way to exercise it's bound to happen sooner. Next year both girls are going to college so my 401K is doomed.

I tried a Bioness Muscle Stimulator which worked pretty good. I need two though one for each leg and they are $6,500.00 each. Blue Cross in California decided that the cure for MS is therapy. The day after I was turned down I tripped in the garage and broke my rib. My foot drop is getting worse. I tripped once in the hanger and my head hit the hand rail on the stairs. If I fall again I should charge Blue Cross the difference in my disability and my current pay. I don't believe the company I work for will let me out in the hanger if I trip and fall again.

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