Thursday, August 2, 2012

Recap and Update

I thought that it was about time I did a recap of the blog, and an update on what has been going on with me and my activities.

Overcoming Life’s Pitfalls

Everyone has a certain amount of stress in their life. How it affects them and how they deal with it, is different for every person. When it affects your health it can mean total disability or a change in life style.

 This is a little about what stress did to me and how I decided to fight back against two diagnoses that could have made me give up and apply for disability.

 The First, back in 1997 being told that I had Fibromyalgia, and there was not much they could do for it except exercise and learn to deal with the pain. Get lots of rest etc.

The depression set in, at the realization of what this would mean in my life. I couldn’t watch movies that dealt with all the sports and social activities that I loved to do.

 BUT, I’m a fighter and would not lie down and accept this. LIFE CHANGE….  Start hunting for a doctor who knew about fibro and could do something.  In comes Dr. James Craine, Chiropractor.  Massage therapy, trigger point injections, and I’m back in the game, with knowledge and understanding of what I can do or NOT do, to stay active.  

Life continues along with limitations, but not too many.   Stressors are again an issue and more health issues are arising, but everything is dismissed to the Fibro.

BAMMMMM. July 2002. “You have abnormalities in your brain.”  Could be cancer, tumors, or MS.  November 2002 finally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  NOW WHAT…
I’m seeing the top neurologist at the University of Penn. He should know what he is talking about.  

Drug study. Lots of time in the MRI tube.  Trips down to Penn, and I’m getting worse. Could hardly walk. Could hardly see out of my right eye, Sleep was almost impossible. And the list goes on and on.  Kicked out of study after 3 months, since I was only getting worse.  Start new injection drug. Needles Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights.  Steroids and just deal with it. 

Again the fighter wanted to fight, but not quite as able to get anything done to change the outcome. This is my BRAIN.

Adapting to the situation, - I Don’t go anywhere that I don’t have a walker/Shopping cart. Don’t accept any invitations for things that would require walking, or a great amount of energy.  KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS AND ACT ACCORDINGLY.  Just like diving….

Life continues along sitting on the sidelines, watching everything go by.  Get up in the morning, go to work, come home and go to bed. Trying to control a headache that would not stop. At times the headache would put me to bed for days at a time. Conserving my energy for the small things I need to do for the family.  Traveling a small amount to see family in Canada.

Thanksgiving 2009 Canada, I hear about a Dr. from Italy who had done some research and found that MS patients have constricted veins in their necks and by opening them via angioplasty, it helped their symptoms.  This is a treatment not a cure.

OK, now I had something to investigate, get information and take action on.  As soon as I got back into the state, I started calling doctors, reading everything I could about the procedure and how to get it.  It was then that I logged onto Face Book and found hundreds of other MS patients that were all out there to share our information with and help each other. People were going to Poland and other areas in Europe. I did not want to go that far from home.

So to make a very long story short, I found a Dr. here in the Philadelphia area that was interested in seeing me and then in doing the procedure.    I had my first Angioplasty April 2, 2010.  I was one of the first 200 patients World Wide to get the procedure. We are now around 35,000 in just over two years.  The Dr. found that I had constriction in the interior and exterior Jugular veins on the right and the interior Jugular on the left. I also had an obstruction in the Azygus vein. All these areas were ballooned and opened up.  By the time I got back to recovery, my headache was gone and I felt wonderful. 

 Now it was time to start living again. That, and helping any other MS patients with information and support.  As well as the whole movement in getting CCSVI recognized in the United States.

Last January I found that things were creeping back. A few headaches, some fatigue and then in the middle of January, I woke up and my legs were no longer working. I couldn't walk like I did the morning before.  What has caused this. Was it the stress of the holidays? 

It was time to get hold of a doctor and have things looked at and corrected if I could.  I contacted Dr. Sal Sclafani in Brooklyn and was able to see him the next day.  A few days later I was right as rain yet again, after having 7 areas ballooned.   


In the past year I have taken up Scuba Diving, and thus a part time job in a dive shop. I have met some incredable people with a passion for life and diving. This enables me to travel to dive and meet with MS patients when I can. The best of both worlds.

Scuba Diving was just one more way for me to enjoy my love for the water.  So Why NOT.   To move forward in life you have to be willing to get out there and take the Giant Step.  “Behold the Turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.” James Bryant Conant

My daughters think that I only took up Diving so I would have another excuse to travel….

Good health and Big Hugs to all...

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