How it all started….My right shoulder had been hurting me for several months especially when I slept. I started to notice that my hand was becoming weak to the point that I could not touch my thumb to my pinky finger. My hand and finger strengh was getting weaker and I didnt know why.
Realizing that this was not normal I decided to go to the first of what was to be one of many doctor appointments.
Following is an account of the doctors, procedures, and surgeries that I have experienced and have gone through.
8 January 2008
I had my shoulder examined by a orthopedic shoulder doctor to determine what was going on with my arm and to see why I was losing strength in what I believed was a perfectly healthy arm. He tested my strength and determined that he would need to do a MRI to see what was causing the discomfort and loss of strength. The MRI was scheduled for January 15.
15 January, 2008
I went to my MRI appontment as planned. Now all I had to do was wait for the results.
17 January, 2008
I went back to the orthopedic shoulder doctor with Diann to get the results of the MRI. The doctor told me that I had “torn rotator cuff.” I thought that it was from a golf outing that I had with some of the guys several months ago. At that time we still needed to know whether the loss of strength was caused by my shoulder. More testing to follow…
22 January, 2008
The orthopedic doctor gave me a cortisone shot in my right shoulder to determine whether the the hand was part of the shoulder problem. I was told to go home and see how the hand responded.
29 January, 2008
I woke up in the morning and my muscle between my thumb and index finger had atrophied. Visually it sunk into my hand in that location. Knowing that was not a good sign I called the doctor and set up a follow up appoinment to get his opinion.
31 January, 2008
The orthopedic hand doctor examined my right hand where it had atrophied. With no explanation to follow he ordered a EMG which is a nerve test. I was told that I needed to now and go see a neurologist.
1 February, 2008
I saw a Neurologist to get the EMG test results. They faxed the results back to my ortheopedic hand doctor.
5 February, 2008
Upon my next appointment with the orthopedic hand doctor he scheduled an MRI of my neck and shoulder to see if I had a pinched nerve. The MRI was scheduled for February 7.
7 February, 2008
I had a MRI done of my neck and shoulder.
12 February, 2008
During this visit to my orthopedic hand doctor he suggested that I go and see a neurosurgeon. I was luckily able to get an appoinment the following day . At this point I felt like a ping pong ball bouncing from doctors office to office.
13 February, 2008
I went to see a world renoun neurosurgeon to review the finding of the EMG (nerve test) and the MRI. After reviewing the documents he stated that it was not in my spine. What a relief! Then you guessed it I was referred to a vascular surgeon.
13-29 February, 2008
During the wait time to get into the vascular surgeon both of my arms starting to cramp. The cramping continued throughout my arms below my elbow.
29 February, 2008
Finally I was in to see the vascular Surgeon. After examining and reviewing my MRI, EMG, and orthopedic hand and shoulder doctor reports he suggested that I get x-rays of my chest and spine. I was able to get the x-ray done during that visit. It was the doctors suspicion that I had “Upper Ext. Arterial w/TOS Maneuvers” but he wouldnt know exactly until he had reviewed the x-rays to be certain.
7 March, 2008
I went back to the vascular surgeon to review the x-rays & Upper Ext. Arterial w/TOS maneuvers. He told me that I had TOS and needed surgery. TOS stands for theratic outlet syndrom which compresses the nerves in your arm not allowing the neurological information to flow from the arm to the hand. In other words my hand was not getting the information it needed to stay alive and was beginning to die.
13 March, 2008
I went to a physical therapist to get a baseline.
9 April, 2008
I had surgery for TOS on this day and they removed scar tissue from my nerve bundle. The vascular surgeon was very pleased that the nerve bundle looked “beefy and healthy”. He also removed an extra muscle, a Roos’ band, and my top cervical rib. In fact at that time he asked for permission to put my successesful surgery as a case study in his book. Being the business guy that I am I asked him for proceeds. He laughed and said that I was still high on drugs. Little did he know that I was always thinking about making money.
12 April, 2008
After a couple of days in the hospital and plenty of pain medicine I was released from the hospital to go home and recover from surgery.
1 May, 2008
After several weeks of healing time I went to my follow up appointment with the vascular Surgeon. He was happy with the progress of my arm and felt that I was on my way to a healthy recovery.
19 & 30 May, 2008
I started physical therapy.
12 June, 2008
I was released to do physical therapy at home at this point and was happy to not have to go into any more doctor offices for a while.
23 October, 2008
I went to my follow up appointment with the vascular surgeon. I was told that I needed to go to a hand specialist to work on the movement and recovery of my fingers.
27 October, 2008
I went to the hand specialist and was shown several different excercises to do in order to regain movement of my fingers.
14 November, 2008
I went back to the hand specialist and recieved a hand splint to wear to help strengthen and stretch the muscles in my hand and fingers so that they wouldnt curl under. The splint allowed them to stay in the straighten position to help strengthen them.
18 November, 2008
I went back to the orthopedic shoulder and he re-examined my right shoulder and scheduled yet another surgery for my rotator cuff.
1 December, 2008
I had rotator cuff surgery.
2,8,10,15 December, 2008
I started my physical therapy for rotator cuff.
16 December, 2008
I went to my follow up appointment with my orthopedic shoulder doctor.
7 & 12 January, 2009
I had more physical therapy for my rotator cuff.
13 January, 2009
I had a 6-week checkup following my surgery with my othopedic shoulder doctor.
14,21, & 27 January, 2009
More physical therapy for my rotator cuff.
4, & 23 February, 2009
More physical therapy for rotator cuff.
24 February, 2009
I had my 12-week checkup following surgery with my orthopedic shoulder doctor.
2 & 25 March, 2009
More physical therapy for rotator cuff.
1 & 6 April, 2009
You guessed it still more therapy to come.
7 April, 2009
I had my 18-week checkup following surgery with orthopedic shoulder doctor. The doctor told me that I had regained full range of motion back from surgery, but he still did not know why I did not have the muscle strength to lift my arm on my own without help. He suggested that I go back to the vascular surgeon that preformed the TOS surgery to inquire.
9 April, 2009
I went in to meet with my vascular surgeon. He was suprised to see the loss of strength in my arm and the fact that my fingers had started to curl. He ordered a second EMG with the neurologist.
22 April, 2009
I went to get the second EMG with neurologist. At this point I asked the neurologist what she thought was going on and to see what the results from the test were. The neurologist told me that I had ALS “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. I was floored and it literally took my breath away. I knew all about the story of Lou Gehrig being a baseball player back in the day and a huge sports lover. I asked her if she was sure that this was in fact what it was. She stated that it was her diagnoses and suggested for me to get a second opinion.
22 April, 2009
I wasnt prepared to accept this at this time and immediatley called my vascular surgeon with the diagnosis. He wanted yet another MRI to recheck my neck.
24 April, 2009
I had another MRI
27 April, 2009
I wanted a second opinion and met with another neurosurgeon. The docotor read the MRI and said that there was nothing showing that would cause the weakness and atrophy in my hand and arm and concurred with my first neuro surgeon that I had ALS.
28 April, 2009
Hoping for the best and doing my due diligence I met with another neurologist for a third opinion. Acceptance starts to sit in.
8 May, 2009
I went to see my vascular surgeon.
9 May, 2009
I called the neurologist who gave me the EMG tests for an appointment to start treatment. I was told I would not be able to get in until the 23rd of June. (Over 6 weeks!)
26 May, 2009
I went back to the second neruologist to get my blood drawn to test for B12 deficiency and metal toxins.
29 May, 2009
I went back to the neurologist who gave me the second opinion and was told that there was no cure for ALS and the only medicine that was available and FDA approved was Rilutek. I was also told that by taking this medicine that it may only extend my life by 2-3 months. The medicine costs approximately $1,200 per month. With only one option I decided to take the medicine and see how my body reacted to it. I set my next appointment for 28 July, 2009
23 June, 2009
I have always been an out of the box thinker and have been introduced to a lot of different medical and spiritual practices by my daughter Angela and decided that I would go see a homeopathic practitioner during my visit in LasVegas. I recieved acupuncture treatments from the same doctor to get the chi in my body flowing and open up in blockage that was not allowing my body to communicate properly to itself. The practitioner told me that my neck was out of alignment and suggested that I see his partner that specialized in upper cervical procedures. Angela bought me the “Better brain book” and “Eric is winning” which are two books about ALS that tell me healthy ways to eat, what herbs to take to fight the ALS and a story about a survivor of ALS.
25 June, 2009
I got one more acupuncture treatment from the homeopathic practitioner in Las Vegas and then went to see a NUCCA Chiropractor in Las Vegas who specializes in upper cervical spine procedure.The practice of NUCCA is a gentle movement rather than an abrupt one of the spine and neck. They believe that if the Atlas (your brain) is not centered correctly on the Axle (your spine) the brain cannot give the nerves the correct information to heal the body. The chiropractor took X-rays of my neck and found that my head was 5/16″ off center of my spine. I could only move my head about one-fourth of the way to the right.
The chiropractor gave me an adjustment thankfully after I was able to move my head all the way to the right without pain. The chiropractor recommended that I continue treatment in Knoxville when I returned home and gave me information on chiropractors who specialized in upper cervical procedure practice. The closest one is 3 hours away in Nashville. He also found one in Athens (which is only about 1 hr from our house) who practices Gaostic, which is a method just below NUCCA. Im looking into setting up an appointment with him.
8 July, 2009
At the doctors request I sent in a specimen to the data lab to determine if my body cells had stored toxins. The homeopathic practitioner in Las Vegas is going to phone us with the results when he gets them.
11 July, 2009
Based on a close family friend, Michelle Montgomerys recomendation, I called her cousin who was receiving treatments from an energy specialist who treated people with all types of terminal diseases with a process called contact reflex analysis. To say the least this man has a very inspirational story and was nice enough to spend time with me on the phone sharing his cancer survivor story and sent me brochures on several of the things that he is doing. I am also looking into this path as well.
14 July, 2009
NAET Treatment for: Brain Body Balance Formula… In effort to be proactive and aggressive to beat this. I set up an appointment with a N.A.E.T. (Nambrudapad Allergy Elimination Technician) practitioner based on a good friends recommendation, Sally Wagner. This practictioner muscle tests me to see what my body is sensitive to. She now will start de-sensitizing me so that what she finds out I am sensitive to will be beneficial to his body instead of just passing through and not being absorbed. At this moment I am taking 30 different herbs.
20 July, 2009
NAET Treatment for: Egg Mix I went back to the N.A.E.T. Practitioner to have her start the second of 12 appointments to follow to figure out what my body reacts postively to.
July 23, 2009
NAET Treatment for: Calcium Mix
July 29, 2009
NAET Treatment for: Vitamin C Mix
August 3, 2009
NAET Treatment for: B Complex
August 5, 2009
NAET Treatment for: Sugar Mix
August 9, 2009
INAET Treatment for: Iron Mix I have been to six treatments so far and am now taking B vitamins and am looking into getting B12 shots. Michelle Montgomerys cousin Dennis is also helping me find different herbs that have given him energy and success in his own fight with cancer.
August 10, 2009
Grostic Treatment with Chiropractor
I am going to Upper Cervical appointment with a doctor here in TN that was referred from the doctor in Vegas to review my x-rays and begin the up keep of my procedure to keep my neck , brain, and body in alignment and working together to keep the neurological messages flowing throughout my body in order to help stimulate my nerves and muscles.
August 12, 2009
NAET Treatment for: Vitamin A Mix
August 18, 2009
I am going to a Dr. this week to get some B 12 shots to help increase my energy!