Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On a Slippery Slope to . . . .

Between my neurological visits, my body took a huge turn downhill. Walking become more
and more of a problem. I had to use the handrails to pull myself upstairs. While I hurt and ached some all over my body, the majority of the problem was in my legs. I still was insensitive to pinpricks.

On Monday, June 15, 2009, I noticed a lot of twitching in both legs and was having even more trouble walking. Twitching is called fasciculations and is often a sign of ALS (Lou Gherigs disease). My return appointment with the neurologist was Tuesday, June 16, 2009.

Tuesday morning, June 16, 2009, I had been at church and worked on several items. I left late morning for my second neurological appointment. I had gathered a lot of medical records from previous doctors over the last few years to provide any needed background information to the neurologist. In November 2005, I was diagnosed with a tenth cranial nerve palsy. Since I did not know if there was any connection between then and what I was experiencing now, I wanted the doctor to have the medical report from 2005.


Here is what happened back then. In the summer of 2005, I was eating a Frosty from Wendy's. I noticed that I could feel the cold on the right, interior of my throat, but not on the left interior. I did not think much more about it. On a ENT checkup in October, 2005, I mentioned the loss of sensation to my doctor. He began a series of studies that eventually diagnosed a tenth cranial nerve palsy. From all the tests I had back then, the most probable cause was a viral or bacterial infection had slightly damaged the nerve in my throat.


When I arrived for my appointment on June 16, 2009, I was in a lot of physical distress. It is a very long walk from the Erlanger parking lot to the doctors office in the medical complex. My heart was racing, I was feeling faint, my legs and arms would barely move, I was having trouble catching my breath, and greatly fatigued.

The receptionist said that she "was sorry, but the doctor was not in today and I would have to reschedule my appointment." I explained my situation to her and that I needed to see someone now! She, very politely said that, "there was no way they could help me today--all of the other doctors were very busy." WHAT! I pleaded with her to find a doctor. I was in great distress. She finally went to check and see if the other doctor would see me. No! I was angry, upset, mad, and very sick at this point.

I began to make my way back to the car. I was walking like an old man who had lost his cane. My balance was out of sync with my body--I probably looked like I was drunk. I had to stop and rest several times before I got to the car. I called Cathy and told her what had happened and that I was heading home. She could not believe what the neurologist group had said and done.

By the time I got home, I was in even greater distress and tears were running down my cheeks. I could not walk up the three steps from the garage into the house. Cathy and Kerrell (my daughter) finally got me to the bed. After a few minutes of resting, we went for medical help. We stopped by the doctor's office, and he said go to the Emergency Room at Erlanger. Erlanger is a teaching hospital and major trauma center. Since the neurologist I was seeing was connected with them, that would probably be the best place to go for the quickest help.

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