I was a civil engineer with the RMS (RTA) in Tamworth, NSW.
One morning in April 2011, I woke up, swung my legs out of bed, when I attempted to stand, I thought I drunk, although I hadn’t touched a drop the previous night!
After consulting Dr. Google, I summated that I was suffering from an ear infection. Knowing how to cure all ailments, I proceeded to the service station, bought ear drops and job done, problem solved! However…………………………………………………… nothing changed. Perhaps I’m not that brilliant at self-diagnosis after all.
I tolerated the deficiency in stability and lethargy for 8 months until I sought QUALIFIED medical assistance! After consulting my GP, I was referred to a neurologist in Newcastle, who I saw in January 2012. After monthly reviews and tests, I was diagnosed with MS in March of that year. Three months later, the form of MS was determined to be Primary Progressive.
In September, I was told I was no longer fit to work and my career and driving of vehicles ceased immediately. Consequently, I sold my house in Tamworth and moved in with my parents in Lemon Tree Passage, and continued treatment.
The next month, I commenced Tysabri infusions which I still have today every 28 days.
In June of 2014, my life sort of turned on its ear! My best mate Pat turned up at Mum and Dad’s place after tracking me down. I hadn’t seen him for 21 years! At the time, I was walking with a cane when but came up with a proposal. He asked me, “Do you want to go to Queensland?”
“Oh yeah, when do you want to go?” I replied.
So the next morning, we headed off to the Gold Coast, where 2 other mates were, one who lived there and another from Melbourne. This trip, which was the catalyst for many others, including Las Vegas for my 50th birthday, changed my life.
I bought and moved into my townhouse on Newcastle Harbour in November 2017. This place has enabled me to remain independent, within better proximity to John Hunter Hospital for my infusions, access the community and meet many people and develop solid friendships.
The progression of my MS now requires me to leave the apartment in wheelchair as I am only capable of standing for 5 minutes and negotiating myself around my apartment. However, I don’t view this negatively, only as a positive because it enables me to remain actively involved in the things I enjoy, see friend and family and maintain my independence within my limitation. My chair has also enable me to develop another recreational hobby; cruisin’ in these limos commonly referred to as maxi-taxis!
I’m philosophical about my MS. It doesn’t control me, I control it. I can’t do anything about it, so I meet the challenge head on and my though processes are such that I have a disABILITY!