I've been married to my wife Tammy for 18 years and we have two wonderful girls. We live in a small town just outside Williamsport, PA (the home of the little league baseball world series). I am a Navy Gulf War veteran.I served 8 1/2 years in the Navy from '92 - 2000. The last 4 1/2 years aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) as a nuclear electronics technician. My blog: http://alsvet.blogspot.com I've also recently began with the help of others in the ALS community a site dedicated to helping spread awareness of ALS: http://www.ALSMatters.org
I was married 2 months before I went to boot camp for the Navy in 1992. I was trained as a nuclear electronics technician in Orlando, FL directly following boot camp until mid 1993. At that point I was selected as a lab assistant and helped teach communications theory. I then went to nuclear power school to learn nuclear theory until early 1994. 8 weeks before we left my first daughter was born. Just a note, driving from Orlando to NY with two adults a baby seat and a dog in a pickup is not a good idea. From Orlando we were moved to Ballston Spa, NY in winter of course. Where I was trained on an operating reactor prototype. While there I was selected as a staff pickup and continued training new people until mid 1996. In 1995 daughter number two came along and now out of a family of 4 none of us were born in the same state. From 1996 until I seperated in 2000 I served aboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). While onboard we participated in Operation Southern Watch, Operation Deliberate Force, Operation Allied Force and Operation Noble Anvil.
Since leaving the Navy I have worked for and as of today continue to work for the same company initially as a field service engineer installing condition monitoring and protection equipment then as a salesman and now as a manager. My company is well aware of my diagnosis and has been very supportive.
I can remember twitching and cramping in my hands as early as 1999 but because I thought it was unimportant I never saw a doctor. This continued through the years until in 2005 I noticed the first signs of weakness. We were doing an installation on the Crawler (the vehicle that moves the space shuttle) at Kennedy Space Center and I had problems threading a nut on to a bolt. Again I simply thought I had slept wrong and it would get better. Late in 2006 we had a business meeting and during the buffet lunch my thumb was too weak to hold the plate. At that point I knew something wasn't right. I saw my family doctor in February 2007 after doing my own research online. He did the basic neurological exam and noted atrophy in the thenar muscle of my left hand and asked me if I had an ideas. Based on what I had read online I said it could be ALS and he agreed. From there I had a neuro appointment in March which confirmed MND and sent me to Hershey Medical Center where in May 2007 I got the confirmation of ALS. And here we are....
Jun 17, 2007
Mar 05, 2011
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