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Desire and Faith

Inspiration comes at strange times. To get to the inspiration sometimes we have to get through some hard times. I was 39 years old working on a construction project in Fort Worth, Texas. My home was in Houston about 4 hours away by car. It was July and very hot. My wife was expecting and the baby was due in September. Getting home each weekend in a hurry to be the daddy in waiting was important. The year was 2001.

I was two years into the diganosis of MS and I had already been through two exacerbations which each of left me unable to walk and other mobility problems. I was in denial as it was getting difficult to walk again for the third time. The oncoming exacerbation was more painful than the others and was very different from the other two. It was more intense and more irratic with the symptoms. Everytime the symptoms subsided, I thought I had won. Each time it the symptoms reappeared, I renewed my vow to beat it. My denial was strong. Denial is not believing, it is just hiding from the truth.

I had flown home for the Fourth of July holiday and had just gotten back on the project. The Safety Director was visiting our project and we went to lunch together. During lunch, the pain had gotten so bad that I could not hold back the tears. My right arm was drawn up under my chin and I was unable to feed myself. The Safety Director repeatedly tried to persuade me to let him take me to the hospital. I told him that I would be ok. I hobbled out of the restaurant and as I returned to the project about two blocks away, I fell to the ground. Both arms were drawn up under my chin and I was curled up, shaking, in the fetal position. My denial had failed.

They put me back on an airplane to Houston. Hurricane Allison had flooded a lot of Houston. There was no room at any hospital available. My neurologist decided to have the steroid treatments administered at my home. The owner of the company that I worked for offered my a job in Atlanta in the corporate office. I was afraid to take the offer. I wasn’t use to anything good happening so I was very apprehensive which added to the stress and helped exacerbate the MS even more.

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