It is also close to four years that my MS difficulties were becoming my new reality. Work was becoming very difficult on me leading to some very negative issues and I unwittingly found myself in my doctor’s office explaining my work problems and left with orders to take a week off. Things moved fast from here once the MS clinic was informed and my neurologist got involved recommending that I should be on disability. I didn’t even know if this was possible given that I had a preexisting condition and as it turned out I had just made it past the 2 year employment requirement to qualify, perfect timing again! Even though my income was reduced, with the income generated with the investment of the money from the sale of our house I was financially alright. Again the Lord hath provided all that I need!
I was now getting used to being on my own and living the life of a bachelor, albeit relatively tame. I had some negative experiences with women that led me to believe that I would not find a woman able to look past the MS and enter a serious relationship. Although this was disappointing and discouraging I was okay and kind of prepared for it since MS was the reason my wife left me in the first place. Life was good and I was enjoying my new found sense of freedom. This is when I began researching stem cell treatment and became determined to travel to China for the therapy. I had no idea how I was going to come up with over forty thousand dollars to do this but again relied upon my faith, prayers and guidance from God. In just over four months I had raised all the money and was on my way across the world on a journey of hope to alleviate some of the devastating effects of this terrible disease. It was a very successful trip even though I didn’t maintain any significant and lasting improvements. I lived through the ups and downs of this disease and always maintained a positive attitude and lived a happy life actually feeling blessed with all that I had (multiple sclerosis excluded).
Then came the best news that has ever hit the world of MS, the “Liberation Procedure” was discovered which offered great hope! Being a devoted and diligent researcher into anything MS, I learned of this advancement early on and quickly had a new goal! To undergo this new treatment was like winning a lottery but again I was determined to do everything I could to get the treatment. My goal was to make this happen within 6 months of learning about it which was extremely ambitious but I am a very strong-minded and optimistic person. I did get accepted for the procedure by a doctor in New York but he was shut down shortly after that. Not to be deterred, I was able to find another doctor to do the treatment however I would have to travel to Egypt! This was becoming a crazy time in my life but it was all good and positive changes were happening all around me. The fact that my children lived so far away was one situation that I was not happy with and the cause of much frustration. I had coped with this for close to three years until finally the opportunity came around to move closer. I would still live with my roommate but my monthly expenses would actually decrease, I had a great house on a beautiful piece of land located only 10 km from my kids! It was so much more convenient and I was able to spend a lot more time with my kids. This was turning into a pretty crazy spring full of unexpected but glorious opportunities! Then the best development I could have ever hoped for occurred, I met a beautiful woman who was sincerely interested in me! We seemed like a perfect match right from the start which solved another looming problem for me…I now had someone to travel with me to Egypt. We had an awesome trip together and I underwent the “Liberation Procedure”, one month sooner than my original goal of 6 months. It was amazing to me how God was working in my life and even though I didn’t experience the remarkable improvements that some MS patients had, I did see benefits and who knows what the future holds.
It took over 3 years for my life to turn around from the disastrous day that I had to leave my home, my children and life as I knew it. Now at the four year mark things are happening that I never dreamed possible. I never thought I would marry again but I’m now engaged to a fabulous woman and I’ve truly found love again! I never thought I would buy another house yet in one week I’ll be moving into our beautiful home! I had given up on the idea of ever having my children live with me again but now I will have shared custody and enjoy a loving home with my kids again. Things have completely turned around from that day of hopelessness and anguish and through it all I never lost my faith or trust in God, I have always been thankful for the blessings I have received. All I can say is, God is great! So life as I have known it for the last four years is about to change again, hence the end of an era and a new one begins!
Now for my health update…I’ve been holding my own throughout the summer but there have definitely been ups and downs. There have been times that I have endured much grief because of the neurological pain in my chest/arm that I have described before. This has been a different experience though, it had changed from the temporary sharp stabbing feeling to a more dull but constant soreness. At times this would be with me for well over a week but it would still come and go. It is uncommon for me to live with this type of continual pain due to MS but fortunately it is on and off and it hasn’t bothered me for a long time now. I have been working out but not the way I want. I’ve had a nagging injury with my right arm and shoulder that has bothered me for several months now and has put severe limits on what exercises I can do. It hurts too much to even do a push up so my upper body exercises have really suffered. I have been using massage and just hoping that it will eventually heal but this isn’t happening so I’ve decided to start physiotherapy. If it doesn’t start to get better soon my doctor will send me for an MRI.
Outside of that I’ve just experienced the usual MS issues that I’ve dealt with for years but no attacks or serious progression. Just recently I have gone through some severe agony however this is not solely related to MS. I have a kidney stone; well it’s in my bladder now so I’ll call it a bladder stone. It is common for this to be associated with a lot of pain; they say it’s the closest comparison for a man to understand the pain involved with child birth. My agony has not actually been related to the passing of the stone but rather the associated complications. The stone is 1.1 cm in diameter so definitely too large to pass. My doctor wasn’t sure how long it would take to get me into a urologist so she said if it gets bad go to emergency and they will have to deal with it. Well trouble began the next day so I found myself in emergency but fortunately they brought me in right away. I was having difficulty urinating, getting any kind of stream going which is not totally uncommon with my MS bladder issues but this was unlike any MS problems that I have had in the past. After consulting with the MS clinic the doctor concluded that my problem was more likely related to MS than the stone so he sent me away to just live with it until I saw the urologist and I already had an appointment scheduled with my neurologist in September. So I went home but found myself sitting on the toilet for over one and a half hours trying to urinate but I could not get anything out, not even dribbles! This was becoming very painful so I rushed back to emergency expecting to get back in right away considering I still had the hospital bracelet on from earlier…no such luck! It was quite busy now so I was sent to the waiting room rocking back and forth on my scooter in pain. This was becoming more than discomfort, I was reeling in pain and after close to two hours of this I couldn’t take it any longer! I went back to the admitting desk to ask if I could just get a catheter kit and I would do it myself, I was in so much agony that I was totally serious. My distress was now obvious so she made a call and told me to wait down the hall and a nurse would be out in 5 or 10 minutes. It was going on about 5 hours that I just couldn’t go so you can imagine how much I was hurting so when the nurses finally had me in a room I wasn’t interested in their explanations of what was going to happen or any attempt to alleviate the tension or nervousness that any guy would naturally feel about the traumatic procedure that was about to occur…I didn’t care, just stick it in was my attitude! Finally some relief, it was torture! Actually this was a means of torture used by Caligula one of Rome’s most tyrannical emperors, now I can directly understand how terrible that dude really was!
After I finally found relief I wasn’t allowed to leave until the doctor came around, frustrating because this took almost 2 hours! I had informed them that my urologist appointment was set for August 25th and when the doctor finally came he told me that I would have to leave the catheter in until I saw the urologist. You’ve got to be kidding me, that was 8 days away!!! This all happened the day before my 43rd birthday…what a happy birthday this was going to be. I now have two days of suffering left, and suffering is an accurate description. The irritation and pain caused by a tube inserted into what is an extremely delicate and tender part of the male anatomy is real and has not left me since day one! I spoke with the MS clinic for a second opinion and because I was worried that having a catheter in for so long might negatively impact my already dysfunctional bladder muscles but the consensus was that it would be alright and was the best plan of action if I could handle the pain and discomfort. This urologist better have some relief for me! Hopefully the stone is the major factor rather than an MS issue and it can be taken care of quickly.
So having explained some of my newer health problems, some of which are not even MS issues, it would be natural to assume that I would be upset, frustrated and even mad. However by now you must know that my belief system categorizes those feelings as counterproductive, negative and even harmful. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not superhuman and I am choked, disappointed and fed up! I have enough problems to deal with as it is. It’s already difficult enough to exercise and workout, why must I endure additional problems that make it even harder? I have enough pain issues, why pile even more on me? I’ve coped with bladder and bowel issues for years, why not just add some more to it? Seriously, I have enough problems, why must God continue testing me and pushing my breaking limits? Of course I don’t have that answer but things keep happening that force me to ask the question again and again! I suppose it builds my resolve and reinforces and builds my faith even stronger. This has been my situation for many years; shit happens now deal with it!
Going back to the first part of my blog is what gets me through it. I realize how God is working in my life and how blessed I am. Look at how He has turned things around in my life, taken me from a state of complete brokenness and hopelessness to a state of happiness where I can feel grateful and find joy and peace. It’s a lot to go through and a lot that I just can’t understand but fortunately my belief is solid that it’s all in God’s plan and He most assuredly does understand and to that I must say: PRAISE GOD!