When my life changed

 Everything was good till...

February 2007. 5 months earlier I was hired by Estes Xpress as a line haul driver. One of the best driving jobs I ever had. One that I thought I could eventually retire from. I would leave on Monday nights and return home Saturday mornings. Bouncing from terminal to terminal pulling double 28' trailers mostly all over the states.
Jump ahead to January 2007. One Monday morning I wake up early, so as to fall asleep in the afternoon to get rested for the drive that night. When I awoke I was extremely dizzy. I first thought maybe I over exerted myself shoveling snow the night before, so I went back to bed to sleep it off and felt better a couple hours later.
That night I had a run to Chicopee Massachusetts. A nice 10 hour drive. DOT only allows you 11 hours so they put me on my break and sent me to the motel. I awake at 6pm but this time dizzier then the morning before. This time it made me get sick. My load wouldn't be ready until midnight so I went back to sleep again. This time when I awoke I didn't feel 100% but was able to drive still.
I made it through the rest of the week with no further incidents.
The following week started off good. By Wednesday I come off break in Chicago and didn't feel myself at all. A call to my dispatcher was made requesting to be sent home so I can go see my doctor. They obliged and I drove the 300 miles back home.
Thursday I went to see the family doctor and explained how I was feeling. He told me I may have a virus, prescribed oral steroids and gave me time off for the rest of the week.
Saturday, February 10th, I said I need to go to the ER. I need a shot or a pill to get me to feel better so I can return to work that Monday. While in the ER the symptoms I described they took it as a possible stroke and admitted me right away. Of course I was pissed because the hospital didn't have the SPEED channel and I was going to miss the ARCA race at Daytona.
My balance was off, and I went through a series of tests only to show a stroke was negative. It was then I noticed I had double vision. That Sunday the neurologist said he was ordering a MRI for Monday and wanted to keep me there another day.
That morning I was sent down for my MRI. Surprisingly the technician was a fellow classmate whom I haven't seen in 20 years. Anyhow after the MRI, that evening the doctor came in and said they found a spot on the film. That it shows signs of MS, but they think its not. FINALLY..I had a reason why I felt so shitty the couple weeks earlier. It was so frustrating not knowing why I was feeling the way I was, at least now I had a possible cause. The spinal tap on March 1, 2007 confirmed the diagnosis was for sure MS.
After a month off of work, I finally felt better to return. My vision worsened and the eye doctor prescribed me a set of prism glass's. In the two weeks it took to get them, I still drove, but with an eye patch. Totally against DOT regulations..shh don't tell anyone.
In the time I was back to work, the more I walked, the more my knees weakened up. I tried to do as little walking as possible.
In the spring of 2009 I took myself off the road and took a scheduled run. Thinking I wouldn't need to do the amount of walking as is required at other terminals. Leaving my terminal and meeting another driver from Chicago, changing trailers and heading to Toledo Ohio, dropping one, picking up another then heading home. It was one morning in Toledo, while hooking up a trailer I didn't feel the weeds that wrapped around my ankle and I went over like a fallen tree. Luckily I wasn't seriously hurt. I was able to hook up and head home. It was only a few months later in November, I worked that Monday night. Went to bed that afternoon, woke up had dinner, outside to have a smoke and thats when the dizzy spell hit. Little did I know, the previous night would be my last night in a truck. My career as a truck driver was over.
Im feel fortunate for the time I did drive. I seen alot of the states, more then many people will ever get to. Met alot of people while on the road also. Its all over now, unless a miracle happens and I can be a relief driver for someone.

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