Steven Langley - 1998

I was diagnosed in August of 1998, after over five years of seeing many doctors, having many tests, and being treated for every symptom imaginable. For most people, the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis would be devastating; to me it was a relief!

I had been tested and treated for every thing from Arthritis to Zester (shingles) viruses. It all started in 1993 when I developed duplopia (double vision) and the ophthalmologist started sending me to others, and so the cycle began. I was given the newest drugs and physical therapies available to treat my illnesses, but no one could ever explain what the root cause was.

 

 

 

I had lumbar punctures, CT scans, X-rays, and MRI’s frequently, but no one saw anything. I was sent to Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Gastroenterology, Ophthalmology, Optometry, Neurology, Urology, Proctology, and even homeopathic medicine clinics. It wasn’t until I was given an MRI during one of my attacks that it was determined that the accumulation of lesions was increasing suggesting MS.

The doctor was quite disturbing in his diagnosis, and his bedside manner was poor to say the least. He proceeded to tell me that I would probably be an invalid in 5 years if I continued living like I was. I weighed over 290 lbs, smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, and had a heavy drinking habit. I had to get things straight, it was get my health in check, or get a good nurse maid!

It was easy to identify where the changes needed to occur, it was not so easy to make them. I had very weak muscles in my legs and had to increase the strength in them by using a cyclometer at home to offset the atrophy and muscle loss due to my inactivity. I started riding a $79.00 bike I got from the local Wal-mart around the apartment complex where I lived. I then ventured out into the neighborhood after a few weeks.

After that I moved into Houston and started riding on the hiking trails of Braeswood. After I conquered the entire length of the Braeswood trails, I registered in a few local charity rides. I had dropped a lot of weight, quit smoking, and even ceased my drinking to excess, I was a new person. I attempted my first MS150 from Houston to Austin in April of 2000, and was doing quite well until I became over-zealous in the hills before La Grange and tore my IT band in my left leg just three miles from La Grange and finished the journey using just one leg, I was going to make it! Since then I have ridden over 1.000 miles a year, and have ridden from New York, NY to Houston, Texas. I have completed ten MS150’s, and countless other charity rides each year. For me, life did not end with the diagnosis of MS, it simply began! I have since gotten married, had a child, and learned to live life to its fullest. MS was not a diagnosis for me, it was an awakening.