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Truck Driver

I am 51 and was diagnosed with RRMS at age 50.

My experience is not unlike many others. I am skilled in two fields that i love over the road: truck driver and network tech (POS and communications). I have been in almost all the lower 48 states and most of the major cities. I climbed telephone poles, strung wire and installed equipment. Drove 18 wheel trucks starting at age 23 until last year. I raised 2 children and have a handful of grandchildren.

I was on a truck asleep in my sleeper after recovering from bronchitis and a bout with strep at 50! I woke up from my sleeper berth and my hole right side was nub and tingling. I am a big strong proud American Norseman, I did not let any thing stand in my way- I would find away around or I would muscle my way through. Thinking nothing of it I continued to work. It was not long before the other symptoms came into play. Next was my eyes then a pain cross my shoulders through my chest. The pain scared me into the doc’s office. Checked me out found nothing. Went back to work, taking my now ex with me for fear of another attack I started having really bad pains in my feet and legs. Went back to the doctors where they sent me back to work, they found nothing. Now as I said, I was in disbelief that any thing could be wrong with me, I was strong and healthy. Then on a hot day i was walking across the parking lot of a truck stop. I found that I could not move my legs just as if they decided to go on strike or something. My peripheral vision failed me and I almost pulled in front of another on coming truck. After that the ex pleaded with me please go back to the doctor something is wrong. I was having trouble thinking and now keeping my balance.

This time the doctor sent me for an MRI. Then to confirm I went through a gamut of tests. The finale result MS R&R.

I was told that i would not be able to drive and should find another profession. I told them hell you say….but they were right. I soon found it hard to stay awake and climb stairs, put on my underclothes with out falling over. Started taking BetaSeron injection and a very large dose of steroids to bring the swelling down in my head. This worked, I am still taking the injection every other day I still deal with the symptoms good days and bad.

The most difficult pill to swallow was that I will not ever be the man I use to be. Still with the gung-ho spirit that is me, I am now trying to reinvent myself, have as much fun as possible. I now live each day by day and thank my almighty God for it.

Blessings to you all thanks for reading my story.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • VC
    6 years ago

    Hey Truckdriver! It sounds like you have a petty good attitude. In my experience, that is the single most important factor in the prognosis of your disease. I was diagnosed at 39 and am about to turn 50. I did have to completely re-evaluate my plans for my future, and yes, sort of re-identify myself in the process. But now I am doing fairly well…slow progression of symptoms, but leading a full life.
    The most important thing is to realize that an MS diagnosis is not the end of the world. Good luck!

  • Laura Kolaczkowski
    6 years ago

    TD , your words echo with so many because we are all taught to just muscle through the tough times. Its hard to do when there is no muscle left …

    Your body is not the same, but inside, what truly makes you unique and special is still there. Don’t let this disease change that person – MS already steals way too much. ~Laura

  • Tonia
    6 years ago

    I completely understand. I had been in the Financial Services since I was 17. My symptoms really became evident when I was about 43. I started falling unexpectedly. I had always been a little on the clumsy side, so at first I didn’t really think too much about it, but then I noticed i could only walk about two blocks and then I’d have to stop and rest. Well I worked in Downtown Chicago, not a lot of places to Rest. This went on until my 44th birthday when I wenyt to my primary care doctor and couldn’t lift my left leg off of the examining table. He immediately stated I needed to be in the Hospital. I went the next day. I was there for 5 days. After several blood test, a MRI and spinal tap it was concluded I had MS. That was back in September of 2008. It is now 2013, I don’t work anymore, and I now walk with a cane, but I try my best to make the best out of everyday, because some body somewhere has it so much worst. A life change such as a chronic illness is a challenge, but we are still the same as always on the inside.

  • Mandyrose
    6 years ago

    You have the right idea. Keep thinking that way, Tonia. Don’t ever let anyone else evaluate your worth or progress. Thank you for the encouragement your blog inspires.

  • dedeye
    6 years ago

    Just read your story.. I like your sentence about reinventing yourself.. I must try to do that also… Thanks for sharing..

  • Mandyrose
    6 years ago

    Dear Truck Driver- Good attitude. I have slipped from the fighting stage to neutral right now. I read your entry and just saw a pic of a Wounded Warrior who lost both legs doing push ups! Time to regroup and “reinvent myself” too. Thanks.

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