Through the eyes of a chronic illness warrior.
My name is Gary La Buda, and I have been battling multiple sclerosis and the problems it brings for over five years now. I have always been an active guy who enjoys life, music, and making people laugh. I am a dedicated husband to a beautiful soul and my hearts mate for 15 years now. I also love healthy lifestyle of eating clean, working out, and walking or running.
Everything was going fine and my health couldn't be better even after my diagnosis. I remember toasting my father on my 40th birthday, and telling him that I felt better at 40 than I did in my 20s.
Then about six months later my MS spun out of control. It caused severe nausea and debilitating vertigo in my place of work. My manager found me on the ground barely able to move and brought me home to my wife. I tried to go back to work the next day, only to have the same effects, and my wife coming to take me home.
This lead me to loosing the job I loved and took pride in.
I spiraled downward quickly, getting blinding migraines, double vision, blurry vision, light sensitive, sound sensitivity, touch sensitive, numbness on my whole left side, muscle spasms, muscle, joint, and bone pain, chronic depression and anxiety, paranoia, chronic fatigue, heat sensitivity, and sensitivity to the cold as well, bladder issues, incontinence, stuttering and slurring, forgetting my own thoughts, and not even being able to remember my name at times.
I fell in deep darkness. and all I could do was sit in the dark and in silence, absolutely still to calm my pain just a little.
My wife, doing extensive research daily, found a stem cell Dr. and we ultimately went to have a total of five treatments done by him.
The treatments helped me a lot, but I still wasn't able to do very much, the little I now could do was also done in little time slots that would take me weeks of doing nothing just to be able to have a hour or two of decent time on a certain date.
We never gave up, I was doing all I could to get healthy and try not to lose my strength. My wife took me to physical therapy twice a week, to the chiropractor weekly, and still worked her full time job to support us.
Debbie saw I was not progressing and needed even more help, so again doing exhausting research she found a Dr. who was doing inactive treatments called h30 or ozone therapy. After consulting the Dr. we decided to move forward with a ten week twice-a-week treatment program for h30 therapy. After the therapies were done I truly was a new man, I was getting back use of my body that I thought I had lost forever.
I am still working hard every day to recoup my muscle loss and coordination, while controlling the immense pain I'm still in.
We have had a great fundraiser that got me a lot of well needed treatments, and are getting by with my expensive up-keep on getting treatments to maintain my health in its present state.
It saddens me to see my wife working six days a week, sometimes 10 hour days to pay our bills and be able to get this medical treatment that insurance does not recognize and will not pay for.
Stemcells are over $4,000 each time, and we do this every three months. Then ozone is $5,000, for each ten week period, and around $800 per visit, for maintenance which is at least three times a week.
Today is always a reminder of how fast life can change in the blink of an eye.
It has been six years since multiple sclerosis decided to attack me so hard it would take me away from the workforce.
It would force me out of my job and trade that I had grown so proud of.
Replacing that pride with the darkest times and hardest battles of my life.
Today I look back with a saddened heart, but strong mind. I still miss the old me and feeling the rewards of a hard days work.
While also being grateful for getting back so much this last year that I had thought was permanently lost.
The main thing is my emotions. I am grateful to be able to feel again and grateful to be able to feel not only my wife's love for me, but also to see her smile from me giving all of my heart to her.
To celebrate your love and appreciate your family's support and understanding through the deepest darkest ugliest times, is priceless and nothing I will ever take in the least bit for granted.
Even though I may have had multiple sclerosis for years now. I still don't know what each day will bring to me. Of course I pray for the best and try my hardest to help better my health, but this disease can disguise itself, not to show a symptom, and then bam! set your body into a frenzy!
I consider myself a strong and courageous man. I have overcome many obstacles and have gotten much of my life that was once gone, completely back.
I think even the strongest of individuals living with invisible illnesses of any kind also live in fear, fear of the unknown and fear of losing so much.
Invisible diseases play havoc on the mind of the holder. You have high anxiety, trying to know how you feel, what you feel, when you feel, 24 hours a day. Then the unknowing of if, when, how, of what our diseases next destroying move will be.
No matter how strong or positive we may be on the outside, please know on the inside is a war zone of pain discomfort, and unknown. Although we smile, doesn't mean our mind isn't running through hell with worst case scenarios of our future.
Our sadness, disbelief, depression and anxiety aren't a pitty party at all.
They are all simply part of a soul being a trapped in a sickened body.
This video was the excitement of finding a stem cell treatment in Ohio.
My wife and I plead our case to the Dr. and he took us in open heartedly and eager to help cure me.