So here’s how I got where I’m at

Back in October 2012 I started experiencing muscle twitches in my left bicep. I didn’t think much of it. By December the twitches had moved into my abdominals also and were a little more noticeable. At the end of January Lita and I joined 14 other family members on a cruise to celebrate my father-in-law’s 80th birthday. Upon returning I went to see my physician to talk to him about what I was experiencing. He did a few tests and showed a bit of concern and recommended I see a neurologist. It took a few weeks to get an appointment but I finally got in. After two visits and several tests that Dr. recommended I go to Shands in Gainesville for a second opinion. Luckily I have a family member that is doing his residency there and with his help got into see the head of the neurology department. On April 18 I received my diagnosis. I had ALS. The following week I went to USF to the ALS clinic. The third neurologist concured. So since February I progressed from muscle twitches or fasciculations to difficulty with mobility, and breathing. I am on a drug called Rilutek which hopefully will slow the disease down. For the past month I’ve been using a ventilator at night to help me sleep as it was difficult to breathe while laying down. While standing or sitting up my diaphragm is working at about 78%. While lying down it’s only working at about 36%. I travel around the house using a roll later walker but when I go out I sit in a wheelchair and Lita pushes me around. Yesterday we started shopping for a power chair. So that’s where I’m at. I will try to blog each day with my thoughts and an update with what’s going on with me. the purpose for this blog is to let me vent along with letting others comment. So if you have something to say let’s hear it. I want everyone to know that I have good days and bad days so I make no promises as to what I might have to offer. I’m sure as time goes by you may learn something about me you didn’t know. I may learn something also.

10 thoughts on “So here’s how I got where I’m at

  1. I love you brother! And I’m sure whatever you share (positive, negative, or otherwise) will be an insight into the wealth of information, love, caring, and passion that you have for others and the career that got you to where you are today.

  2. Thank you Bruce. We don’t know each other very well but you had a lot of influence on me. You were our group leader at my first competition ever, we worked together at a couple of subsequent comps, in many ways you became the standard by which I judge myself.
    I heard about your diagnosis but felt it was inappropriate to ask. Thank you again for creating this blog.
    I’ll be following.

  3. Bruce,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I wish I were closer to you geographically, but know that I am there in spirit. You are one of the toughest men I know. Thanks for your friendship these past few years.

  4. Bruce I was just told about your health situation and I want you to know that I am thinking of you and Lita. You have always been a respected leader in our industry and I have the greatest admiration for you. I will stay close to your blog but please know that I am thinking if you and sending strength your way. Love, Mary

    • You are one of the most toughest and inspiring person I know! I hope the best for your family and yourself and if ya need anything, let me know! :)… Rob

  5. Bruce, I have been at a loss of words since I 1st heard. Not sure what I could possibly say. I do know that there will always be something in my “Arbor Tool Box” that I learned from you.

  6. Hey “Tater” Brother Bruce- as I’ve read in some of your other FB posts ” God never gives you more than you can handle”, and yes you are one tough SOB! But I think more than that, you are a man full of passion, and you have touched and inspired Tree brothers and sisters far beyond than what you can imagine. And, I can only imagine, that through your blog, you will continue to touch and inspire us every day with your passion for life, no matter what way it turns.

    I Love you, an look forward to that Big Bruce bear hug the next time I see you!


  7. Hi Bruce.
    Just read about you and wanted you to know that I will keep you in my prayers. Thinking about the good times with you – football, Lou Key, school days…Would love to get together sometime.

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