April 19, 2011

You may have heard by now that I have been suffering from a neurological disorder for several months now. It started in the fall with fatique and general tiredness. I thought it was my age (57 next month). 

We decided to sell our home this winter (double house with my parents and 1 acre of property). My parents moved this Friday and we get our new home on April 29th (two weeks). We are moving to a 2 bedroom bungalow with all the living space on one level.

In the winter I noticed a tingling in my toes, especially at night. I tried wearing woolen socks to bed, but it didn't help. Gradually this tingling grew stronger and then there was some numbness in the balls of my feet as well. I noticed weakness in my right arm and a gradual loss of some fine motor ability (trouble with buttons, zippers and keys). Stairs are becoming a bit of a challenge for me.

We decided to go to the family doctor and he noticed hyper-reflexive responses in my joints and listened to what I was feeling. I was referred to a neuro-muscular specialist at McMaster. The specialist did all kinds of tests on me: blood tests, EMG, muscle tests, and an MRI in my neck area. The results of these tests showed normal blood work, normal MRI, but reduced nerve transmission in my lower right arm and lower legs. I am now being referred to a neurologist this Thursday, at McMaster, who specializes in ALS. If I read the symptoms associated with ALS, I have them all, but I have not been diagnosed yet.

Needless to say, my wife and I and our family have had a difficult few weeks processing all this. Our school and church community is praying for us and the support has been overwhelming.

Mostly, we have been at peace with this cross put into our lives. There have been a few nights where sleep was difficult, but we are leaning hard on the Lord and His providential care for us one day at a time.

Meanwhile, I continue with my teaching and administrative work on a daily basis. Time will tell how fast this develops and how long I will be able to function as Principal. I will keep you posted.


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