Many Thanks Montel!!!

by Luke
(Macon, GA)

Montel:

Thank you for the inspiration that you are (not only to me) but to so many around the United States and around the world. As I approach my 26th Birthday (May 30th), my prayer would be to begin to get some long awaited answers (or diagnosis) with regards to my symptoms which seem to point blatantly to MS.

I have so many thoughts to share and I really do not know where to begin. In the beginning of last year as we pondered on hopes/dreams of the dawning of another year , my wife (Racara) and I began the year with her losing her job (and health insurance) at Walgreen's and still (to this day) we do not have medical insurance. Seeing as how I am originally from Canada, this was and has been an exponential blow to me.

My wife grew up in a middle to upper middle class family, so for both of us this was a terrifying circumstance. God has supplied and met every need and we are grateful for all of His provisions! Looking back into my early childhood, I could see some issues that match up with my symptoms now.

Before moving to Macon, GA, I went to a neurologist who said that I might be experiencing minor seizures, but our family doctor referred me to have a sleep study conducted. Because of the up and coming move, the sleep study was not performed until late spring of 2009(?). I was diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea. My oxygen levels are supposed to be at 97% but they informed me that they go to about 73%.

When I was about 14, I would have the odd flutter (twitch) but I didn’t think much of it. One Sunday when my grandmother and I were visiting a church my right (hand/arm) all of a sudden twitched and knocked the money from the offering plate into the pews. I was so embarrassed by the turning of everyone in my direction. For so long I was labeled as either clumsy or stupid, and this only made me feel exponentially worse then I already did.

Ever since I have had the ability to think for myself, my memory (especially short-term) has always been horrendous. Not only is it embarrassing and upsets others, but it also frustrates me. My wife who is a nursing student at Macon State College/nurse extern at the Medical Center (among her already full plate), is certain that I have MS. My memory loss affects EVERYTHING as I know you understand. I’ve recently lost a part-time job over not being able to memorize a script. I just want to provide for our family and have the best quality of life as much as my wife and I possibly can!!

There have been countless nights where I have cried myself to sleep, not only about my condition, but the overwhelming sense of hopelessness to be providing for our home!! The shocks of pain/burning sensations/pricking/stabbing sensations/weakness/fatigue/pain in my feet/intolerance to heat/ etc., are just some of the symptoms that I’m dealing with. Most people, by looking at me (on the outside) think I’m a perfectly healthy young man, but they don’t realize the excruciating pain that I’m dealing with inside.

There are times where the symptoms seem to go away, but then come back with a vengeance. I thought that my fatigue was just from sleep apnea, but there are many times that I will wear my mask several nights in a row and there will be no difference. Last year, I was diagnosed because of my cognitive (memory/not able to stay focused etc) as being ADHD. At first, the meds seemed to work, but now it is almost as if it is the same as before.

Trying to express my thoughts in a few words on paper is a real challenge for me, but this is my last attempt to get insight and help in our situation. My wife and I aren’t looking for a hand-out, but we need your help Montel!!! A couple of the dreams that my wife and I have is to be able to afford to make a couple of Southern Gospel recordings and use the sales to keep us financially afloat.

Even though I feel very inadequate about this next thing, I have expressed to my wife my desire to write a book about our story (life’s journey) to help those facing MS and those who need an encouraging word! I was physically and emotionally abused as a child on top of having these health problems that we are still trying to get answers from. Currently, I am filling in as a minister of music at a church not too terribly far from where we live. My wife also is a nanny on the side and I am so grateful for her giving heart!!! I just want her plate to be lightened, and for me to be able to provide for us in a way where I can excel and thrive!

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated. Understanding my age, my wife and I know that an official diagnosis may not be able to be determined, but we need all the help we can!! Before our family doctor (in Canada) left his practice, he mentioned MS as a possibility. I cannot remember all the tests that were done, but I know that at that point it tested negative. Our doctor explained that would probably be the case, even if I had MS. It’s our desire to help others and rally alongside other people and we look forward to hearing from you Montel!

Thank you again for all that you do and for dedicating your life to helping others!!
Gratefully Yours:

Luke & Racara

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Mar 03, 2011
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Sad and Inspirational
by: Akrista

Hi Luke and Racara,

First of all, please realize that Cir isn't Montel and we don't know him personally.

Second of all, we feel for your situation, but we admire how you continue to work together in spite of everything that happens. Hopefully you will get your diagnosis soon and be able to take advantage of SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance).

Have you looked into SSI? This is for people who haven't worked long enough to qualify for SSDI. If you don't have it, you may want to look into it and see if you are eligible to receive something until you know your definite diagnosis.

One of the reasons we started this website was because we hoped it would eventually help us make ends meet. Now it has begun to make a little difference. And we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.

If you have a passion, and you know how to write (we can see that from your letter to Montel), you can build a website that can also make the difference in whether your dreams become reality. And it's perfect for those of us who live with a disability and can't work "normal" jobs.

Also, hopefully you will get your wish and Montel will see this letter. Whatever you do, continue to stick together. That is where your strength lies. Your love for one another will see you through all the bad and most certainly, all the good.

Take care,

Cir and Akrista

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