I'm 62 years old... I loved fly fishing the North Fork of the Tuolumne River and camping with my daughter and granddaughters, at one time. However, due to my unstable walk and the unsteadiness on my feet, while on the forset floors, camping is a part of my past . My daughter has the fear that if I get around water (specially a river) she'll see me floating by, face down. She and my granddaughters tend to worry a lot about me at times. [See More]
The only other thing that I do, that may be of interest to some, is I collect working Police badges (they are called "working", because they were once worn or used by a Police Officer). I have some displayed in my posts and they can be seen in the following series of sets: Set 1, Set 2, Set 3, Set 4, Set 5, Set 6, Set 7, Set 8 and Set 9, Set 10 and Set 11. I now have more than 60 badges. They range from some current issue American Townships, to Old Communist era Soviet law enforcement badges.
This hobby started when The Chief Of Police retired my badge and gave it to me when I left the Police Department. The reason for my departure was due to my IDD (Insulin Dependant Diabetes) and personal problems I was having with the now ex-wife, The ex-Mrs Ern (see my jokes if you are a member).
Prior to being placed on my current status of disabled, (thinking back now), I sometimes wonder if I had not been showing subtle signs of MS when I worked as a Police Officer. At that time I didn't recognize them as a medical problem.
That tightness in my neck and shoulders, the feeling of having a girdle around my chest and the occasional tingling and numbness in my arms and leg, I attributed to sitting in my patrol car for hours on end.
Being a Law Enforcement Officer was the only job, I can truthfully say, I loved! A deep hollow feeling develops, in the pit of my stomach, every time a black and white with a red and blue emergency light bar cruises by. In my mind I picture myself behind the wheel and taking charge of a mundane or urgent situation, like I used to do.
After my Law Enforcement career, I worked for a while as a Hospital Duty Engineer, responsible for maintaining and repairing the life support systems and fire alarm system of the hospital.
After a couple of years of that, I took up my second favorite job, as a Journeyman Union Carpenter/ Bridge Builder (better money). My problems slowly grew worse, as I worked on the bridges.
My bridge building and carpentry career ended 5 years after I started. The foreman had to let me go, after bringing me home from the job, because of the constant tripping, falling and the sever pain I was experiencing on the job.
He had became fearful for my safety, because I sometimes had to work within a couple of feet of fast rushing Auto and truck traffic on the freeway; or high up, if I pursued other carpentry tasks on the decks of a bridge. (UH! Boss, Ern just fell through the deck beams and..... OH MY GOD!!!!!! He just replaced the bulldog hood orament on that 18 wheeler, that just flew by!)
My problems came to a head (no pun intended) when I remember tripping and falling at home one evening. I apparently hit my head on the bumper of my truck, the last thing I recall seeing, while trying to catch myself on the way down. I don't know, I was turning around in the driveway and all of a sudden my leg wasn't there.(I still say the ex-Mrs Ern was in the shadows somewhere and tripped me!)
I guess I was able to crawl back inside my house, (been that way a few times, in the past, with some good Tequilla ), where I collapsed inside my front door. That's where a neighbor found me, semi-conscious, while investigating why I had left my truck out in the driveway over night (I usually parked my truck in the garage.) In addition he had not seen me for a couple of days and this fact caused him to become concerned.
I was Medi-Flighted to the Hospital. (I'm demanding another flight because I don't recall a single thing about it, but Mediflite says: "Blow it up your a**").
While hospitalized an MRI, for my fall injury, unexpectedly picked up lesions, on my spinal cord and a Hemorrhage on the brain. I had been seeing a Dr. on earlier visits, for the pain and other symptoms I had been experiencing, but a definitive conclusion had yet to be confirmed. PPMS was confirmed about 8 mo. later, after being thoroughly examined by a MS specialist over in the bay area.
Further testing was put off, because I had been scheduled for a prostectomy prior to the accident, for a cancerous prostate. That surgery was delayed, while I was being treated for my head injury, spending weeks in a trauma ward and another month in a nursing home, relearning how to walk and regaining some of my strength.
I have often been accused of being brain dead and I guess the subsequent MRI's and other tests confirmed it.
Me back in 1978........ I had just made Sgt.
My Duty Badge (Retired)