Disabled, fibromyalgia, severe degenerative disc disease, restless leg syndrome and seizures.
I'm a gay man. I hope this perspective on life lowers others perceived "machismo" from me when they see a man commenting on an illness that predominantly affects women. I'm in the trenches with everyone else, living with these conditions on a day to day basis.
I share my home with a "family" of long time friends, most much younger than myself. We all look out for each other as a family does. I try to resemble the "Family Elder" that I'm supposed to be, and they tolerate my attempts.
Most of my medical issues can be traced back to two key points in my life.
The first was a near death experience (NDE) when I was 2 years old (1958). I was swarmed by a colony of fire ants and bitten so many times that the toxins killed me. When they got me to the rural hospital in Louisiana I was already "dead". CPR had only been demonstrated to the medical profession in 1954, I guess my doctor had been paying attention. He got my heart restarted and saved my life. My second life event was a tragic car accident in 1978 when I was 19 years old. 3 cars in total, both other drivers were DUI. I lost my mom, and my 9 month pregnant sister in law. Ask me why I hate drunk drivers....
I found out about PLM from a good friend of mine named Jay Levitt. I'd known him for many years back when we worked together at America Online (AOL). He suggested I check out the site and the new company he worked for, and I've been a grateful member ever since. I only wish I'd known about the site earlier, for I might have noticed the signs of depression from my long distance friend. Any good I can do for others from my relationship with PLM I dedicate in Jay Levitt's honor.