First, I am not a medical professional. These are my stories, my theories and my opinions. Please seek additional medical help if needed. This is just my story of how I dealt with MS in my life. I just want to share my story and to give hope to the hopeless.
HI, my name is Ramon Hyron Garcia. I'm a 36 year old (at the time of writing this book) divorced father of 1 boy, Christian Garcia. I was adopted at 2 days old by an African American family and was raised as a pastor's kid in a loving, large family of 9.
I also deal with RRMS and was diagnosed in 2003 at Loma Linda Medical Center in beautiful southern California.
This is my story of how I took grim news 7 years after my diagnosis and made it work in my favor! I hope and pray you all can take from my weakness and strength to forge your own armor to fight through the depression and negative thoughts that this HORRIBLE disease brings!
I also want to share how I went from 275+ lbs to 202 lbs in 7 months or less and from NOT being able to do 10 pushups to being able to do 120+ a day. Feeling the loneliness that NO ONE understands and going on to helping others cope with the same issues; my mail box and phone does NOT stop with positive messages’….
Sunday Morning, (December 2009) like the 4 others before it, I walked out my front door on the way to church. ALL of a sudden I fell backwards to the ground and could NOT move. I had to lie on the ground 3 hours before my next door neighbor finally helped me back in the house. A short time later he also took me to the ER where they just wrote me off as having Bells Palsy. OK, I had denied MS since 2003 and it is now December 2009. So, not taking care of myself, smoking, a horrible diet, and STRESS did a number on me. I was struck down.
Three months later I was sent home from the ER with medicine to treat Bells Palsy NOT MS. I was steadily getting worse. I became so weak I could not sit up without help and I lost vision in my left eye. After 2 months of ER trips I just gave up!
March 1st 2010 I wanted to get out of my bed; remember 2+ months earlier I needed help to even move and I tried to go to the rest room. I fell out of my bed and my cell phone was still on my bed. I tried for the next 4 to 5 hours to do everything I could to get to it.
As a lot of you know when you use energy in MS you DO NOT GET IT BACK right away. Once I finally reached my phone I dialed 911. THEN it took me 2 hours to arm crawl across the floor to the door to let in the EMT’s. All this time I was on my cell phone BEGGING the 911 dispatcher NOT to let the EMT's break my door in!
NOW in the emergency room they, of course, ran every test in the book. I swear I was a pin cushion. The Doctor ordered an MRI for the next morning. I still denied I dealt with MS and they had NO clue to even look for it. After a night of incontinence and blood draws, being asked to wake up every 2 hrs for blood pressure and NEW pills to take there were still no clues. By the time 8 am rolled around I was off to take the MRI. After 1 ½ hours of being in that coffin (the MRI machine) they confirmed MS almost immediately. I had 27 brain lesions. This was consistent with my diagnosis in 2003 where an MRI scan showed 26 lesions. By the way, a little over a year ago (2012) my last MRI only showed 15 lesions!
So now I'm in my hospital bed, unable to move, blind in 1 eye and cannot use my voice. The Neurologist ordered rehab to see if I could regain my old self. I'll tell you now; being trapped in your own thoughts is the scariest movie you can ever imagine and the worst nightmare you'll ever have.
OK, now I am transferred to the rehab floor. I had probably 6 doctors come in and tell me I have to see this other doctor and do these other tests...... I did not know any better, NOR did I have any family there to help.
So starts my new life after 30 yrs of being “normal”. I have to relearn to walk, relearn minor motor skills, relearn to talk, even things like dressing myself to brushing my teeth, to even relearning how to use the restroom…. Bathing me was so complicated, it came much later.
Had to visit a mock apartment to see if it was safe for me to transfer to the toilet, to the tub, to the sink WHILE in a wheel chair…
In Psychiatric care, I was made to keep a journal on EVERYTHING, i.e.: my goals, how to become what I was, how to regain a normal life. I honestly believe there is almost MORE stress being there and trying to get help.
Well, 8 months pass and I can now WALK with a walker for a short period of time, but mostly my life at the time is in a wheel chair. For some reason unknown to me I was told I was being transferred to a hospice…
The hospice. I had no idea what this was ……. They told me it was a “nursing care facility to continue my rehab” ya right! I was the youngest person ever to go there, even the nurses were over 42 years if age, the next youngest patient was 63 years of age and I was 31……
AT this point I told myself I was NOT going to stop.
This brings me to the motivation and instruction contained in this book, MS101 and then the advanced lessons that I will be illustrating in the subsequent books.