A Hair in a Biscuit!
by Robert Jonathan Thompson
(Huntsville Alabama, USA!)
Hello, my name is Jonathan Thompson and I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in 2008. I had a wife that I worshiped, 2 beautiful daughters,2 beautiful step-kids,a home,and a dog named Sadie that was so in love with me that everyone could see it when she looked at me.
I've had symptoms of MS for 15 years but as they were so subtle, I gave little thought to them, only attributing them to regular things in my everyday life like work and a young rednecks lifestyle of "I'll sleep when I'm dead" mentality. I guess we all think were immortal until life bitch-slaps us back to reality with problems that won't go away or be ignored.
I've had some vision problems for 10 years but they grew by 10-fold when I woke one fall day in I think '05-it was the week Catrina made landfall in New Orleans. My right eye which had had perfect-x-ray vision for a young, newly single, man-vision was now blurred in the center field, colorblind to red, and center of a throbbing headache that would not go away for a month.
I had United Healthcare insurance which did not pay for a neurologist. My father had just died and my mother was my focus. I had just taken a new job (here come pre-existing insurance rules) so beware. Traveling, working in a different town everyday, and making good pay. Again, I did not put myself first and toughed it out.
A new love helped ease the pain and the future was bright. I remarried to my soulmate, a term which is overused in today's media, but she was ! We didn't know what the eye problem was but trudged on.
I got a new job at a local hospital where new symptoms soon developed. A vibrating sensation, like a cell phone on vibrate in my pocket, and fatigue. I had always been compared to the energizer bunny; he keeps going and going, but for the first times in my life, I was tired. My Dr. prescribed muscle relaxers which didn't help and I soon stopped taking them.
Then came numbness, stagger, and foot-drop. Patches of numbness all over my body that really changed who I was and it scared me. My physician who I respect and trust, referred me to a neurologist who ordered
head, neck, and spine, MRI's and a spinal tap. On my next visit, he diagnosed me with MS.
He also referred me to a neurologist who treats only MS. And that is an example of a good neurologist!! He did not attempt to treat what he did not specialize in. Now if you have a seizure or stroke out in Huntsville, AL; he is the man. And he is a great man.
He referred me to Dr. Chris LeGanke at North Central Neurology in Cullman, Al. He diagnosed me with Relapsing-Remitting MS and started me on Betaseron injections. While I got used to the medication, along came the Swine flu to the south.
I woke up everyday with a low grade fever and other flu symptoms. I didn't know if it was the medication or the flu! The symptoms would go away by 10 o'clock and I would go to work. After titrating for about three months, I was on the full dose of Beta. No new lesions or active ones to date, but existing symptoms have gotten worse. They were some-better but then came the drama of 2010.
My wife left me in March 2011 and my world fell apart. Like "My Ms Monkey" rant says, I don't give MS full credit, but I know it played a part. so here I am, now living in a one room apartment alone, one mile from work so I don't have to drive so far.
We had lived 29 miles one way from my job at the hospital. It is a job that I do love although, it tests me daily. It has sustained me through all of this peril and has been a blessing. My coworkers are my family now and if it weren't for them, I would have surely died.
So that's it in a nutshell minus all the subdramas. I had my most recent M.R.I.s a month ago and Dr. Chris said I had no active scars. My blood work was fine. I will call tomorrow to ask if he has compared my latest scans to my scans a year ago to see if any new scars developed with the year past. There has to be.
Oh well, it's me right, still alive and livin' the dream!!! HANGIN TOUGH and Hangin in there, Like a hair in a biscuit!!!