- Sex: M
- Data Quality: 0 stars
- ALS: 7 yrs
- Bi-Pap Wheelchair Feeding tube
- Bulbar: mild
- Arms: moderate
- Chest: moderate
- Legs: severe
- Male, 67 years
- W. Richland, WA
- Primary Condition
- First symptom
I started teaching in 1970. I retired in 2001 for a month and taught 6 more years in alternative programs before retiring in 2007. I enjoy music: I play the guitar and like to sing and entertain. I enjoy traveling with my wife and family. I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served a mission in France many years ago. My wife and I have been to Europe and Hawaii, and have traveled extensively in the US. I may walk slower...but I'm still walking...and enjoying life.
As I said above: I love to travel. My wife and I have gone to New York for the past six years to see our youngest son (29). We both work in schools, so we go there during our spring break. (We did go the New York one summer and traveled from NYC to Niagara Falls.) Anyway, last spring, I noticed I was having difficulty walking. (No one else noticed; but I did.) I could tell there was something wrong, so when I returned home, I scheduled a doctor appointment.
He did a blood test and found that my thyroid was WAY out of whack. He put me on medication for my thyroid, but after several months, nothing was improving. I suggested that I go to a physical therapist. It was there that I found I could not lift my left heel off the floor, and he suggested I see a neurologist. I did that and she did muscle tests and found that I had a problem, so she referred me to a specialist in Spokane.
It took a while to get an appointment, but he first diagnosed my condition as lower motor neuron syndrome and asked for me to return in three months. Not knowing what I should be doing for those three months, I started doing research. I asked friends and family for advice...and got lots of it. I started getting acupuncture and massage therapy, and found a holistic chiropractor who does some unusual treatments. (Thank goodness I have good insurance!)
I also found another neurologist (Dr. Ravitts) at Virginia Mason in Seattle. He said he suspected I had ALS and wanted me to get some more test. I already had done more blood test, and MRI and spinal tap. After still more tests, he confirmed ALS.
I went with my wife to New York again this year. We saw 6 plays in 6 days and had lots of great food and fun. I used a wheel chair at the botanical gardens, (I told my son, "When you were young I pushed you in a stroller...now it's your turn.) and at the Museum of Modern Art.
Life is good.
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