I Turned 50...

2011 was my best year professionally. My good and excellent sales goals were exceeded. My staff was getting the job done and working like a well-oiled machine.

Life was great and only getting better

I turned 50 in November. Wife was happy, son and his wife were off to a great start in their new life together. All in all, life was great at that point, and only getting better.

Come March 2012, the company moves me to another location that has been underperforming. I immediately turn my new staff loose as they were burdened with crazy rules from earlier regimes. Month of March, beat our goals. Month of April, beat our goals. Month of May, I don’t know how May ended for the company. I can only tell you about what May did to me.

Groggy head and tingling right foot

It was the Sunday before Memorial Day. My son and I put together a new grill I had received for Father’s Day the year before. That Sunday, the temperature hovered around 100 degrees. My wife made sure we both stayed hydrated and that we wore wet towels around our necks to keep cool. It seemed to work as we finished putting the grill together. Then, I barbecued steaks and corn on the cob. Great day!

Then Monday came. Even though it was Memorial Day, I had to work. Alarm went off at 6:30 as usual. As I sat up in bed, I realized that my head was ‘groggy’ and my right foot was tingly. I chalked it up to a little too much sun the day before and headed for the shower.

Hoping to pull myself out of this crazy funk

I got to work ok, but my head was so foggy that day. One of my staff came up to me and asked if I was ok, that I just didn’t seem like myself. I blamed it on the sun from the day before. Thanked him for his concern and assured him that tomorrow would be a better day.

When I got home that night, I took another shower hoping to pull myself out of this crazy funk I found myself in. Didn’t work.

Went to bed early, certain that things would be much better Tuesday.

They weren’t!

They thought I had had a heart attack

Tuesday morning the problems are worse. My right foot and calf are completely numb and my knee in tingly. Head is more messed up than the day before. Still, I soldier on. Off to work I go. I have a meeting at 10am. I get to work at 9am. I quickly realize that I need to cancel/reschedule the meeting as I am in no shape to effectively deal with business at this point. I make a few calls canceling with my apologies. With that done, I fell asleep. At work. Just dozed off. At work! And I wasn’t just catnapping. No, I was in a deep ass sleep. One of my staff was able to wake me. They tell me the first two who tried to wake me, came to the conclusion that I had a heart attack and was going to die.

After somewhat regaining my senses, I took the rest of the day off. Little did I know that I wouldn’t go back to work for 3 months.

Numbness, cog fog, walking and vision issues

Over the next 2 weeks, my entire right leg went numb and made walking a new adventure. My entire right side went numb, as a matter of fact.

Went to the doctor that same Tuesday. He thought I had a stroke. Ct-scan proved it wasn’t a stroke. Had an MRI. First neurologist wanted to treat it like the flu. (his words)

My primary doctor sent me to Rush in Chicago. Two hospital stays, deafness in my left ear, double vision, an inability to swallow correctly, extreme head fog, inability to balance, et al.

Finally diagnosed with MS

Finally diagnosed with MS on July 17, 2012.

Double vision went away, only showing up occasionally. Hearing came back to my left ear after about three weeks. Learned to swallow again without choking. Right side is still numb. Balance is worse. Head fog still with me. Short term memory is fading fast.

Moving on through the changes

I know those must come across as complaints but that’s not what I’m about. I’m still kicking. I still work full time at the same company. I’m slower than I was back in 2012, but still moving. At least for now. I feel the changes in me. The pain is taking its toll. But I still move on.

Waiting to see what tomorrow brings.

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