September 2011

It has been awhile since I posted anything here so I figured I’d better communicate the happenings in my life. This Summer has been a hot, uneventful season. I am still unable to procure a job that will take into account my disability or experience. There is no demand for someone who has intimate knowledge in running a coal-fired power plant. The closet plant is 80 miles away and owned by a company different than the one I’d worked 33 years for. I spend my mornings surfing the Internet looking for and applying for jobs posted there. Thank God most of the job applications are being done on-line now instead of having to go from business to business applying in person. Technology has definitely benefitted those of us who are disabled and have trouble getting from place to place. I finally volunteered at the State of Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife, doing whatever type of office work they needed done. The ironic thing is, even the State couldn’t find enough work to keep me busy on a daily basis. This was a real eye-opener in this era of budjet shortfalls and cutbacks. You’d think they would have tons of work needing done because of them being short of personnel and money. But, in my case they can’t utilize what few talents I possess. If it doesn’t pick-up once hunting season arrives (in October & November) I’ll have to find some thing else to do.

Speaking of hunting season, I did fill my male mule deer permit with my muzzle loader a couple of weekends ago. It was great to get out and get some meat to make into sausage and have some steaks for the Winter. I still have a cow elk permit to fill, but have until the end of January 2012 to hunt so it shouldn’t be a problem getting it done. Kathy and I have been fishing several times up on the Grand Mesa (local mtn) and had good times everytime we got out, catching trout on each trip. The Fall colors are just starting to change in the high country, so it is just going to get more beautiful in the mountains over the next several weeks. We have already gotten some snow in the high mountains, so Winter isn’t that far away. I’m glad it has colled off as it is too hot in the Summer to get outside and do much, especially in a wheelchair.

As far as my body is concerned, I haven’t felt well for the past 4-5 months. it’s like I have no energy and I keep having these intermittent fevers that come on out of nowhere. The fevers only last 2-3 hours, but some times they are severe enough that I shake like a dog in my upper body. I haven’t had a UTI since February when my urologist put me on a use-once-then-throw way catheter program. Before then, I was getting UTI’s one after another. So, at least I’m not having to deal with that. My pain doctor ran some tests, but couldn’t find anything wrong. He then referred me to an infectious diseases’ doctor, who I just went to last week. This new doctor is running a battery of blood tests to see if there is spome thing in my blood. He is focusing on the possibility of me picking some thing up in our travels to India, namely malaria, HIV, and TB. He said I wasn’t tested for TB in the past and India is a place where TB is prevelant in the population. In some regards I hope they find some thing so that I can start felling better, but I am also concerned that they might find some thing too. It’s a catch-22 type of thing. We’ll just have to see what happens.

In the past couple of months my body seems to have awaken even more. It is tough to sleep at night as my body is experiencing a great deal of increased spasticity, especially at night. I also am “feeling” my feet, legs, ankles, thighs buttocks, and groin on a more continual basis. It’s so wierd to “feel” body parts lying there in bed when before there was no sensation or feelings in them previously. I was experimenting in bed one night and I could bend my right knee as I focused all of my attention on doing so. 3 straight times I bent my knee, then I couldn’t get it to happen again. When I continued trying, my left knee started bending when I tried to bend the right one. Strange, huh? I could never get the left knee to bend on command. Unfortunately, it seems like it was a one-time-deal. I haven’t been able to replacant it again, no matter how hard I tried. I will continue to try and see what develops, if any thing.

People continue to write and contact me about our experiences in India, asking if it would be the right thing for them to pursue too. This is the hardest thing to deal with as everyone is unique in their injury or disease. What’s right for some may not be right for others. It is a tough decision to advise others. I try to be honest, telling them no one can make these decisions for them and to do what they feel is right for themselves, not for others. I know in my heart that we will not be going back to India for further treatments. When stem cell reserachers learn to program stem cells to become the specific types of cells their patients need, then the real progrees in the treatment of injuries and diseases will skyrocket and the world will will see the true potential of stem cells. Until that time, I will wait and watch to see what develops. Deciding then, when I feel the time is right, to further pursue stem cell therapy.

Well, that’s about it from my corner of the world. I will continue to update this blog periodically, when I see further developments in my body or just to say hi. Peace be with all of you. Never give-up hope, for without hope we are but empty shells without life.

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5 Responses to September 2011

  1. Bill Bradford says:

    I am still checking in with you, keep well. Keep in tough.

  2. Laurie says:

    Me too Rusty, still checking on your healing process and all. It sounds like you are still experienceing some positive strides. Good luck on the work force. Have you ever considered publicly speaking about your experience? And how important it is to continue living ones life irregardless to the hardships. Anyhow, take care. Stay healthy.

    Your old friend from class and Shelton Wa

  3. Andrew Karnowski says:

    Hi Rusty,

    My wife and I planning to visit India for stem cell therapy for MS. Any thoughts or comments.


    • rustyleech57 says:

      Hi Andrew,
      I really don’t think I have much to add. If you’ve already decided on and are planning to go to India for treatments, then you’ve gotten past the hard part, making the decision. If you have done any travelling outside of the US, especially to any third world countries, then you know that these countries do not operate like we do in the US. As long as you don’t have any preconcieved ideas on what to expect in India, prepare for ther worst and everything should be OK, after all it is a third world country with 1.2 billion people. The people of India are very gracious and kind, but everyone of them will look for ways to take advantage of you and take whatever money they can from you. Everyone is out to make a buck from you. Be ultra careful when out shopping and sightseeing as there are pick-pockets and thieves everywhere, and since you are a foreigner, you will be targeted. Have a positive atitude in regards to the treatments and work hard in rehab. Enjoy your stay and do as much as you are physically able to do. Be perpared, the food sucks unless you like Indian cuisine . Take care and good luck. Reading my blog will prepare you as much as me telling you stuff.

      Rusty Leech

  4. Bill Bradford says:

    Haven’t heard from you in a while.

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