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About Me

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These are some of the things I can no longer do: run, drive, feed myself, bathe myself, dress myself, answer the telephone, type with my hands, hold a fork or a pen, speak coherently, scratch an itch on my face, climb stairs, walk.
 
These are some of the things I can do with difficulty: speak a few words, get out of bed .
 
These are some of the things I can do with no difficulty: laugh, cry, enjoy the company of my friends, love the people close to me, meet new friends in person and on the internet, enjoy good movies, enjoy good music, watch the birds, enjoy the sights and smells of nature.

I was born in the small town of Maysville, Kentucky. But I grew up in the town of Bucyrus, Ohio. Home of the Bucyrus High School Redman, the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival, and bratwurst capital of America.

I graduated from Bucyrus High School at the age of 17, in 1983. Two weeks after my 18th birthday, I joined the US Army. I traveled to Fort McClellan, Alabama for 16 weeks of intense military training. Then off to Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, for 18 months. Where I met Melissa D. Berry, and married her on March 17, 1985.

One month after the wedding, I was off to South Korea. If you have never been there, but have seen the TV Show M*A*S*H*, then you have seen S. Korea. I spent 1 year and 1 day there. While there, Melissa had our 1st daughter, on October 21, 1985.

I had to out-process from the army in Oakland, CA. I stopped at a fast-food restaurant, saw the prices, and didn't eat for 3 days. In Korea, an egg sandwich cost 25 cents, compared to a burger for $1.50, in Oakland.

When I got back home, my daughter was 6 months old. On March 17, 1987, my youngest daughter was born. I stayed in Bucyrus for 11 months and 13 days, when I decided to reenlist in the army again.

This time in Fort Carson, CO. We were together a month there when Melissa left me, taking our youngest with her.

After my short army career, I moved to Vanceburg, Kentucky. As much as I enjoy Kentucky, Vanceburg was to small for me.

After that I moved to Portsmouth, Ohio, where I worked in lawn care till 1994. In other words, I mowed yards for a living.

I moved my dad in with me, in 1992, at which time he was told he needed a heart bypass. Which ended up as a 6-way bypass.

In 1994 dad moved in with my brother Mike in Bucyrus. I moved to Mt. Vernon, Ohio where I helped make brake and fuel lines for the Honda Accord and Honda Civic. And yes I own a Honda Accord.

I moved back to Portsmouth, Ohio in 1996 and asked Jesus Christ into my heart. In the spring of 1997, I mowed yards for half the summer. Then I was hired as a hardware clerk. I enjoyed my job and had my dad move in with me again.

While working in hardware, I noticed a weakness in my right arm. The doctor said it was tendentious. So I continued working.

The store I worked went out of business, so I started working for an Ace Hardware store. On one of my days off, I took dad to the hospital emergency room. Just as he was having his tenth heart attack. Yes I said tenth.

Dad eventually ended up back at Cincinnatis University Hospital where the doctors didnt think he would last the night. Two weeks later, dad had a defibulater placed in his chest. Now one dr. gave dad 6 months. That was in August of 1999. On September 14, 1999, I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, better known as Lou Gehrigs Disease. On September 15, 1999, I quit working.

I had to move dad in with my brother Bud since I was having a hard time caring for him and myself. On February 7, 2000, my brother heard dad go to the bathroom before he went to work at 6:00 AM. I found dad at peace and rest about 1:30PM. I called 911 and the paramedic/EMT pronounced him dead shortly after their arrival. His estimated time of death was 11:00AM.

I had a feeding tube placed in June of 2000. I quit driving in October of 2000. I have help with shaving and showering. I have my meals fixed for me. Some of them are put in a blender. I have difficulty swallowing thin liquids like milk or water, so I have Thick It added to them.

My breathing has gotten worse, also. Normal is between 80 and 100%. I am at 54%. My PT (Physical Therapist) said I should not walk alone, because
I could fall easily. It is hard giving up your independency, I know. I am loosing mine slowly.

At my last doctors appointment, my PT and OT told me that I should not walk alone. YEAH RIGHT. I am very careful when I walk, but I still want my independence.
I don't go to many places while it's cold out. Can't wait for spring.

I have been searching out people in my past. So hi goes out to all of you I have found so far. And I'm still looking.

My typing is getting harder each day, but I keep on going anyway, just takes longer. I will eventually have someone do it for me, but not yet.

I don't like giving updates that well, Kind of makes me feel like I'm complaining. If you know me at all, you know I don't like to complain.

According to experts, there is no pain with ALS. Hope theyre right. Hope the pain in my arm quits soon. Going to OSU Hospital for my 3-month checkup next month. Will let you know.

Went to my checkup at OSU Hospital's ALS Clinic. My weight is now 115.2 lbs. My breathing is the same, no worse. Everything else is the same.

My church family raised most of the money needed to build a handicap room onto my mom and step-dad's trailer. On October 27, 2000 I moved into my new room, 20 foot by 24 foot. Plenty of room now.

I also have a Rascal Power Chair, which I got from the VA. I can still walk, but I have to be very careful if I do.

I also see a VA dr. and my last visit there, early august 2001, my weight was 107.9. On my scales I have weighed 108 for the past few months.

On Friday morning, august 17, 2001, I am going to the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival.

I had fun at the bratwurst festival. Saw family and friends. Also saw my ex-sister-in-law. Found out that she has Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy.

[EXCERT FROM MDAUSA.ORG]
{Myotonic muscular dystrophy (MMD) is a form of muscular dystrophy that affects muscles and many other organs in the body. Unlike some forms of muscular dystrophy, MMD often doesn't become a problem until adulthood and usually allows people to walk and be pretty independent throughout their lives.

The infant form of MMD is more severe. Unfortunately, it can occur in babies born to parents who have the adult form, even if they have very mild cases.

The word myotonic is the adjective for the word myotonia, an inability to relax muscles at will. In MMD, the myotonia is usually mild. In fact, many people attribute it to "stiffness" or think they have arthritis. If anything is noticeable, it's usually difficulty with one's grip, for example when using a tool or writing instrument.

Myotonia isn't a feature of any other form of muscular dystrophy (although it occurs in other kinds of muscle diseases, where it can be severe). When a person suspected of having muscular dystrophy has myotonia, the diagnosis is likely to be MMD.

The term muscular dystrophy means slowly progressive muscle degeneration, with increasing weakness and wasting (loss of bulk) of muscles. The weakness and wasting of muscles generally present much more of a problem to people with MMD than does the myotonia. However, they usually aren't as severe as in some other types of muscular dystrophy.

Progression is slow, sometimes spanning 50 to 60 years.

MMD is certainly a disease that runs in families. It's inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, meaning it takes only one flawed gene to cause symptoms of the disease. So, if one parent has the disorder, every child of that person has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the gene that causes it.

If the gene is passed on, the child will almost certainly develop the disease, and it will very often be more severe in the child than in the parent.}

So my neice has a chance of having it.

10-09-2001
Doing PT now, don't like it. nuff said.
At my last visit to OSU Hospital, my overall statis hasn't changed.....much. My hands are dropping a bit more. I lost 4 lbs, but my breathing has improved. Yes, I said improved. Just remember this though, my last visit was in May. 5 months ago.

I haven't updated here in a long time. But I thought I would say that there is little change, health wise. But I want to let everyone know that my daughter Jessica and I have been emailing each other since the 4th of November.

More to follow...