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Odds stacked against me? I say I'm going to see the world.

Rick

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 7
Joined: May 8th, 2001

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  • Added on: May 9th, 2001
Me 30, spent the last 15 yrs working my guts out for security and fortune, so I can travel. At 23, life was turned upside down. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, miracle they even picked it up … Dr.’s said “life was over”, take it easy, that lasted 3 months, I left secure employment etc.

Nobody tells me life’s over, I defied them and started my own business. Dr.’s and Family told me I’m mad. Guess I am. Me was more determined. Created a monster, the business grew quickly. The past 6 yrs I have worked harder, longer and more stressful, than before I was diagnosed, the biz now employs 11 people. My colleges don’t know I have MS, only I do, they say Iv got it made. Me I don’t want to join Lions or Rotary, I want to travel.

The interesting part starts here. Sorry for the long opener. I’m selling up the business, house etc and taking off to travel the world. To start I’m going to backpack Africa and the Mid East at least 6 mths – yr. or 2. You would not know I had MS if I did not tell you. So why shouldn’t I see the world while I can? I’m physically fit, & yes I’ve got a silent “what if” looming. Presently I work 24/7 & don’t take weekends. What’s the point of future security, if you can’t enjoy it? Dr.’s, family etc will think I’m mad again. Me thinking what if a bus strikes them? Wait till I tell them I’m off to backpack Syria and Israel!

Has anyone else had the same sort of odds backed against them? And defied it? Tell all. I “Dare to Dream”, - get a life. If you think I’m mad, tell me so, so I can prove you wrong, the more the better and the stronger and more determined I’d be. See you on the road somewhere starting August.

big grin

Sean

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World Citizen
 
Posts: 1353
Joined: December 13th, 2000
Location: Snowden, WA

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  • Added on: May 9th, 2001
Rick,

Nice one. I don't think I have a story like that one, or as compelling as. But I have said "fuck it" many a time and gone for it, no matter what the odds. It feels great to do it and it is a lot of hard work (which you already know about from your business)

Either way, sound great and I am excited for you.

Hey, do you wanna do a travelogue on BootsnAll? I would love to follow your story and your travels. I think it is inspiring to listen to you and would make for great reading/inspiration.

Even if you don't (no worries either way), let us know what you are up to while you are gone.

Cheers
Sean
sean@BootsnAll.co

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Director of Boots
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Raquel

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 2
Joined: May 9th, 2001

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  • Added on: May 10th, 2001
GO FOT IT!!!! See the world!!! If it's your dream and it's strong enough doesn't matter what happened to you.....GO!!
Your story gave me the chills...your determination is beautiful...people react that way when you say you want the world...it's normal because they will get used to it....they will be very proud when they receive a postcard from Thailand or India or where ever in this amazing
world you would like to go....

GOOD LUCK:) big grin


Chris

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Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
 
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Joined: December 18th, 2000

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  • Added on: May 11th, 2001
This was an email response we received after we featured Rick's post in our newsletter:

Hi!
Just read the notice about a colleague's world travel plan after a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I applaud his spirit, but I happen to have some experience with this ailment and know the limitations it can place upon the "patient". The #1 way this fellow can improve his chances of regaining health is to have his amalgam fillings removed by a special kind of wholistic dentist. (MS is a disease of the nerves and the mercury in the fillings is disintegrating the nerve sheath.) I have witnessed several MS cases reverse themselves with this procedure. 60 Minutes did a special show revealing the ADA's (American Dental Association's) antiquated position on amalgam. A few European countries now ban amalgam. MS, untreated, can be very quick to disable a person - many end up in a wheelchair. I urge your friend to seek help through the Holistic Dental Association (based in Colorado Springs, CO) and through the particular MS Association mentioned on the 60 Minutes piece. He needs to detoxify his body of heavy metals. If he postpones his trip just a little and takes care of himself this way, he then will improve his chances of a carefree adventure. Feel free to e-mail me if there is any other way I can help.

Roxanne Yahner

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Ant

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Joined: December 17th, 2000

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  • Added on: May 16th, 2001
Rick,

Man, that is amazing! Whatever happens (or, like Roxanne suggested, with those fillings reversing the disease), I applaud you for taking life by the nuts - I hope you have a great trip!

LIke Sean, I've got nothing in my past or present to compare... only, like he and you, moments here and there where I just had to do what I felt I had to do, no matter who told me I was crazy - hell, even when I was telling myself that I was crazy!

I've got to iterate, too, since we haven't yet heard from you, Rick, but if you'd be interested in doing a travelogue for BootsnAll, the guys and I would love it. I think you'd have a lot to say to people, a lot to share. Hope to keep talking to you!

Ant
ant@bootsnall.com

Cheers,

Anthony St. Clair
Writer & Editor / Traveler / Cook / Brewer
http://www.antsaint.com
twitter / antsaint

ginger

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Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 262
Joined: May 14th, 2001

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  • Added on: June 26th, 2001
Like many i cannot relate to the story,but good luck in what u do.Im sure if ur attitude is positive that u can acheive a lot.Try not let it run ur life.
Go out and enjoy
sweet as kiwi

Rick

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 7
Joined: May 8th, 2001

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  • Added on: July 21st, 2001
Thanks Sean, Ant, Roxanne, Caitlin & Ginger I have appreciated your encouragement. MS is not the end of the world for me its only the start… in a good way.

Roxanne I really appreciated your post and had the fillings removed a few years ago ALL 18 of them. That’s probably why I can plan to travel the world. However after my original post I feel your giving my alias away…. Everyone who has read the above will know I’m the guy with MS in the Middle East. (I’ll be the one who looks like a camel!) Funnily enough …without seeing a camel, I have been to a few remote towns in Aust where it takes the entire township folk to make up a whole set of teeth. LOL Kidding aside you are right and for anyone who is thinking of visiting a holistic dentist NO you don’t end up looking like a camel.

As soon as the business is fully settled I’m taking off can’t wait. Been in what I call training for the past 2 months… getting total fit walking 20 miles a day etc, nothings going to stop me.

My philosophy is don’t dare to dream……. Have the balls to make it reality, take it to the edge, which is what I love about the BootsnAll site.

Thanks again for your reply's, BootsnAll will definitely here more of me.

Rick

[EMAIL]realitydream@bootsnall.net [/EMAIL]

Mr_Ginger

Lost in Place
 
Posts: 79
Joined: June 9th, 2001

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  • Added on: July 21st, 2001
We live in a world full of people who give up or are afraid to even try.

Thank you for that inspiration.

I hope that you enjoy you travels.

Mr_Ginger

Lost in Place
 
Posts: 79
Joined: June 9th, 2001

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  • Added on: July 21st, 2001
Rick's courageous trip reminded me of an incident long forgotten - which I would like to share.

I was travelling in Afghanistan (years ago)and met an American girl in a 'chaikana' (teahouse)
who told me that she and her husband and her two kids had been travelling for six months. They had a limited budget just like the rest of us. Her
two kids were aged 2 and 4. Her husband had calipers on both legs and used sticks to get around (the kind with elbow supports). Back home, I used to have people saying to me "aren't you lucky to be able to travel", or "if it wasn't
for the mortgage and the kids education, etc etc. I would like to travel". Even after telling them of the American couple and their kids, I knew that they never would go anywhere. You either have the travel bug or you don't.

wgexplorer

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Posts: 26
Joined: June 4th, 2001

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  • Added on: July 23rd, 2001
I can relate to what you're saying. I'm 26 and I've got Wegener's Granulomatosis, a rare autoimmune system disease. I've travelled quite a bit and for long stretches (longest = 1 year) and it's possible - you just need to take some precautions. Get yourself a medicalert necklace, be aware of any medications you may need and take some along if you might not be able to get them, have a backup source of funds to cover medical costs, flight home, etc, and be aware that travel insurance doesn't usually cover "pre-existing conditions" - I got around that because my condition returned in a way it hadn't manifested previously, so you probably could, too.

Know the medication side effects, make sure you get plenty of rest and if you're body tells you to take it easy for a bit, listen! And I would recommend going to the less developed countries first because in your case, it sounds like you're healthy now, so get while the going's good! Take along some antibiotics, too, because colds etc tend to trigger flares - Zithromax is a good one. Wash your hands lots to avoid germs and take along an antibacterial handwash, although those don't really do too much. (That's definitely not advice for healthy people because antibacterial stuff promotes virulent strains of bacteria!)

And sometimes it helps to be open with people - I don't drink while I'm on meds, and sometimes I really need to get to bed early, so people are more understanding if they know. You can't tell I'm sick, either, so it can be frustrating when I'm not feeling 100% because they have no idea.

You know, MS has so many different degrees of severity, you might have no problems at all! But just be prepared, and if you do have problems, it's not the end of the world (just a slight modification!)

Trust me - I was supposedly in remission when I went off to Australia (I'm Canadian) and I had a big flare 3 months into the trip. I went back onto the chemo (immunosuppressants) plus prednisone and some other nasties. I didn't lose my hair, didn't get too nauseous so I was pretty lucky, but I had lots of trips to the doctor and med costs. And one of the side effects of my meds is that I need to drink lots and lost of water so I had to be quite creative with toilet breaks! It was a wee bit stressful, too, but I ended up staying a year and I had a great time, so it didn't stop me!

I'm off to school in London, England in the fall, so I'll be away for another year and while there, I plan to do more travelling on the continent as well as Turkey and the Middle East, so I haven't let it get in the way of my plans. Sometimes the disease feels a bit overwhelming, but if it wasn't this, it would probably be something else.

And the "what if's" will always be there - for me, it's what if the disease wrecks my lungs and kidneys, what if I need another throat operation, what if I wind up with leukemia or bladder cancer... Conquering the "what if's" is a mind game - none of that's happened yet, so I just try and take one day at a time, with a few precautions thrown in.

So good luck, take care of yourself and have a fantastic time!!

Rick

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 7
Joined: May 8th, 2001

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  • Added on: July 24th, 2001
Wgexplorer

Thanks for that you have just answered alot of things I have secretly been pondering but a little affraid to ask the meds incase they try to destroy what I plan to set out and do.

Your message was really inspirational to me, thanks.

Good Luck to you! Your an inspiration.

Mr Ginger your message was also an inspiration
just shows you everything can be achieved.

Rick

realitydream@bootsnAll.net

Ant

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  • Added on: July 24th, 2001
wgexplorer, thanks for all those tips. I thought I'd just throw in one more... keeping in mind that you'll probably be taking a fair amount of meds with you, be sure to have legible prescriptions and/or written medical reasonings for why you have everything. That should hopefully spare you confiscation, interrogation and outright arrest in some places.

Rick, got your email by the way - I'll replying properly soon. Thanks for getting back to us. It's good to hear that you're getting everything sorted - especially with the fitness. Makes me feel pretty guilty, actually; here I am always making excuses not to exercise! Time to get my foot out of my mouth and on the road...

Cheers,

Anthony St. Clair
Writer & Editor / Traveler / Cook / Brewer
http://www.antsaint.com
twitter / antsaint

klinck

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Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 120
Joined: March 6th, 2006

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  • Added on: May 29th, 2006
Hi Rick

How is your trip going?

Tortuga_traveller

Extra Pages in Passport
 
Posts: 3454
Joined: November 19th, 2004

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  • Added on: June 20th, 2006
Rick, enjoy the world while you can. I had a cousin with MS and I do´'t think removing his fillings would have helped. He was fine and healthy until he went into the progression of the disease, and from then on, he was wheelchair bound and tied to the medical system.

Dont want to depress you, because I know you've been told this before. Heres a thought for you.

When you get old and weak, all you have left are your memories. Its the same for MS, you just KNOW its coming with a finality that motivates you to make new memories and experiences for yourself day by day!!!

I congratulate you.


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