Welcome to my blog. I have had ALS for 10 years now.

Since I started this blog in June 2008 I've had amazing feedback. Family, friends, people from all over North America, Australia, Scotland, England, and places I can't recall, have commented, encouraged and corresponded. I had no idea when Cynthia taught me how to set this up, how much I would love posting and how many people would read it. I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has helped propel this therapeutic exercise into a daily routine. All of you, both friends and visitors, are now part of my blog family. Welcome.

From Go Pro

From Go Pro
View from my living room

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jimmy's Story

Jimmy's Story

Journey of 1,000 struggles began with a single misstep


Times Staff Writer, steved@htimes.com
Huntsville Times

Up at 5:30 a.m. and out the door. Hardly a soul on the streets at that hour. He'd hoof from his home in Huntsville's Blossomwood neighborhood to Big Spring International Park and back - three miles.

One morning, Jimmy's right foot slapped the pavement out of rhythm.

That's weird, he thought, and kept going.

It hardly seemed worth mentioning to his wife, Bonnie.

Something's wrong

The end of your life is supposed to announce itself rudely: a suspicious lump, or a throbbing pain in your left arm that sends you scurrying to the doctor.

But this thing festering in Jimmy's foot was as subtle as a paper cut. He shrugged it off when Bonnie said he should go get the limp checked out.

The disease came out of hiding on a steamy Saturday night in July 2001.

On his way to the backyard grill with a plate of ba-con-wrapped fillet mignons, Jimmy's foot crumpled. The steaks went flying, landing with a splat on the garage floor. He tumbled into Bonnie's Lexus, denting the back fender.

He cracked three ribs and hyperextended an index finger.

At his family doctor's office two days later, Jimmy was surprised to find out he couldn't raise up on his toes or rock back on his heels.

Bonnie's heart raced when the doctor referred Jimmy, the healthiest 57-year-old she knew, to a neurologist.

Is he trying to tell us it might be a brain tumor? she wondered.

The next day, Jimmy had to lie stiffly while an MRI machine's powerful magnets scanned his body, creating a three-dimensional image of his brain and spinal cord. But that was pleasant compared to the electromyography test that measures electrical signals coming from the muscles. Dr. Tejanand Mulpur jabbed a long needle into Jimmy's elbows, knees, calves, thighs, biceps and back.

Good news, Mulpur said afterward. It's not a tumor.

For the first time since Jimmy's fall, Bonnie exhaled.

On his way out of the exam room, Mulpur casually pointed to a black-and-white picture on the wall. A baseball player in pinstripes.

"Bonnie, do you know who Lou Gehrig was?"

1 comment:

Alice said...

karyn, i like how you use your blog as an educational tool for the rest of us. thanks for giving us glimpses.

and, i love Garfield! always have! i get his daily cartoon strip in my email each day :O)