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I was born November 17th, 1951 in Saskatchewan, Canada.
When I was 44, in 1995, I was experiencing strange difficulties with my gait +.
So I went to a Neurologist and had a Myelogram (a very bad idea) which gave a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, Secondary Progressive, September 8, 1995. An MRI sometime later confirmed the diagnosis.
At the time, I was living in Richmond, British Columbia with my wife and two young children. I was working 3 12hr shifts per week, 8pm - 8am Friday / Saturday / Sunday as a Senior Computer Operator at the University of British Columbia, Computing Center. My first day was December 8th, 1980 ... the day Beatles star John Lennon was shot down in New York.
Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
In those early years, I worked 5 8 hour rotational shifts per week between days / evenings / nights. It was always very busy and great fun. As my wife worked days, I swapped my dayshifts for evenings if possible ... else nights, and looked after our children in my off time ... we played school.
They learned the alphabet, numbers / mathematics and some higher forms of symbolic reasoning. I took them swimming three times a week and skating twice. Chess interested them watching me play in 2001 at 12, so I taught them how to play on an electronic gameboard.
By the early 90's, technological advances had transformed the work into not much more than a babysitting job and shifts were re-organized to accommodate a 3 day 12 hour position. I knew the weekend shift would be available as nobody would be wanting it. It suited me fine for managing my failing health ... going into work only 3 days a week instead of 5, was the prime motivator.
During the summer of 1995, I took my children on a vacation to visit Grandpa in Saskatchewan
(I wanted to have them experience the prairie while they were still young .
you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy).
We visited my grandparents homesteads and paid respects to our elders.
I had difficulty with the cactus embedded pasture.
On our return, we stopped in Calgary to visit my sister as well as the Calgary Stampede. Leaving the Stampede Grounds for the parking lot, I could walk no further than 10 feet before needing to rest a short while.
I was in great shape, 5'7" 180 lbs and strong. I was at a loss as to what the problem was ... perhaps a pinched nerve I thought. I was learning springboard diving at UBC's pool ... 2 3 and 5 meter height ... I must have pinched a nerve. So when the Neurologist suggested a Myelogram, great, my difficulties would be discovered. Having this examination caused severe trauma.
The evening of the Myelogram was an ordeal. I needed to keep an ice pack on my head continually. Shortly after midnight, three bolts (shocks) entered dead center of the crown of my skull
C R A C K C R A C K C R A C K
They flashed down the inside core of my spine and out my tailbone. I had no idea what was happening and pondered what I was dealing with.
I imagined being commandeered to do battle against a Horrendous Beast called Multiple Sclerosis. My life was about to be turned upside down and shaken ... for years and years. I resolved to do the best I can in confronting this challenge and got back to work after 3 days rest. I spent the next few years looking for a way out and back to health with supplements, etc. etc. ad nauseum to escape the grip of MS.
May 26, 1996, my balance was so bad, I could not responsibly perform my duties and resigned to long-term disability. Over the next 10 years, my children grew to teenagers while my condition progressed (deteriorated) from needing a Cane to Walker to Scooter to Wheelchair. I was at the end in 2005 when I was having such difficulty the stress was too great on our marriage and we separated with a great deal of anxiety (unfortunately).
With Coastal Health Home Care Support, I remained living at home with my children until the spring of 2007, when I ended up in the Emergency Room of Richmond General Hospital. Dr. T, my General doctor at the time, advised me that I was not likely going to be able to continue living on my own any longer. I was dismayed.
September 6, 2007 I moved into Minoru Extended Care facility in Richmond, British Columbia while my children rented a place on their own... that was very hard to do... options did not present themselves.
I lived there for 15 fifteen months until December 4, 2008 when I had the good fortune to move into care at Residences for Independent Living Society (RILS) in Steveston, Richmond, B.C.
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This page was last updated August 7th, 2020 by Kim.S
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