MY ALS JOURNEY
On April 29, 2016, my life took a dramatic turn. That was the day I was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS affects the motor neurons in a person’s brain and spinal cord. When the motor neurons die, the muscles waste away. Gradually, a person is robbed of the ability to walk, speak, eat, and eventually breathe. All the while, the mind remains sharp and aware of the total paralysis that is quickly setting in. There is no known cause or treatment for this fatal disease.
My problems began in April 2015, a year prior to the diagnosis. Numerous visits to medical practitioners did not provide satisfactory results.
In December 2015, I decided that I needed to see a neurologist. The first neurologist diagnosed a possible issue at lumbar vertebrae L4. I decided to get a second opinion when the doctor’s treatment and explanations proved unsatisfactory.
I went to Duke University Medical Center, got retested, and was diagnosed with ALS (a/k/a Lou Gehrig’s disease). The diagnosis of a life span of two to five years was devastating.
This is the story of my journey with ALS, fighting for rights for the disabled, and staying alive.