Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Welcome to the My Becker's Story blog!

Welcome to the My Becker's Story blog!

Join me as I share my Becker Muscular Dystrophy Story.

My name is Brad Miller and I was diagnosed with Becker Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 10, a condition which limits my ability to walk and gets progressively worse over time. I created the My Becker's Story blog in 2010 to share my story and to help raise awareness about Muscular Dystrophy. Along with sharing my story I also raise awareness about accessibility and the issues people with disabilities face. When it comes to the My Becker's Story blog even though the focus is on Becker's Muscular Dystrophy I also want to encourage those affected by other conditions even other forms of Muscular Dystrophy to join in as well. I truly believe when we join "Together" we can make a difference in our communities and raise even more awareness about Muscular Dystrophy and the issues people with disabilities face. The main focus behind the My Becker’s Story blog is to tell my story in hopes that it will somehow help those living with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy, as well as their families and friends.

What people are saying about the My Becker's Story blog:

"Hi there, I also suffer from BMD. Just read the blog and the first half is like reading my personal history!!"

"I ran across your spot today, you sure have a lot on here I will have to check in a lot. I also have BMD and everything you say resonates deeply."

"I am also in my mid-30's with Becker's from the UK so thought i'd join and say hello! Struggling with all the same things as mentioned in the blog!"

"I am new to this group. Just want to say it is nice to meet people who understand."

 "I love your blog and it is nice to know there are others out there facing the same challenges as I do each and every day."

If you would like to read my personal story about growing up with Becker Muscular Dystrophy please click on the image below.

When it comes to living with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy I intend to take what I have been through in my life and some how use it to help those going through a similar situation. When it comes down to it the main idea behind My Becker’s Story is to help those like me who are living with Muscular Dystrophy, by creating a place for us to connect. I truly believe that we are in this "Together". And I believe that with every one’s help that together we can help raise awareness about Muscular Dystrophy around the world.

Laps for Muscular Dystrophy

Laps 4 MD Making a difference - One lap at a time.
 Along with sharing my story I also aim to make a difference in my community. The goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of others affected by Muscular Dystrophy. As a long time Motorsports fan in 2014 I founded Laps 4 MD - a network of professional racers who donate $1 from every lap they lead in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. I am truly thankful for everyone supporting the cause helping to make a difference in the lives of those affected by Muscular Dystrophy. To learn more please (Click Here)

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

We must keep fighting, no matter what comes our way!

They say life wasn't meant to be easy, after all at times in life it might feel like we go from one challenge to another. But we all know that this is just a part of life and many of us have no choice but to keep fighting through all the challenges of life, hoping somehow it will make us stronger. So we just keep fighting through. I have had to do this at many points in my life, a few which I have listed below to help show you that if I can make it through, that you can to.

#1 Being diagnosed with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy:

Well like every story, it’s always best to start at the beginning, when my life was changed forever in the mid 80’s when I was just 10 years old and diagnosed with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy. The years before my diagnosis my parents had me join the local soccer team, and it didn’t take long for them to notice that I was having some issues . . To continue reading please (Click Here)

Throughout my childhood I was picked on and teased, as other children would single me out, pushing me around and calling me names. This would happen during recess and sometimes when walking home from school. Maybe this was a result of not being able to participate in gym class at school as during most physical activities I would be sitting on the sidelines. At times they would
 make fun of the way I walked which resulted in me becoming . . To continue reading please (Click Here)

#3 Suffering a work related injury which was blamed on Muscular Dystrophy:

Things were great at work then one day everything changed when in my second year of employment I suffered a work related injury known as tendinitis. A condition that is caused by repetitive use which resulted in me feeling excruciating pain in both shoulders. Many people don't understand how painful having tendinitis is and how it can ruin your life and limit your ability to work. This is when my life changed forever . . 
To continue reading please (Click Here)

When it comes to the loss of a loved one or a child there is nothing in life can prepare you for such a loss. Sadly I have faced this kind of a loss twice; the first happened in January of 2009 when my wife and I were a few weeks from welcoming our new baby girl into the world when we lost her to stillbirth. It is a life altering experience 
when you find yourself surrounded by nurses who are desperately trying to find your babies heartbeat . . To continue reading please (Click Here)

After I stopped working due to my injury I had no other choice but to return back to receiving income support from ODSP. A flawed system that provides me with basic income support, sadly it ends up punishing me for being married. 
The major issue today is their treatment of spousal earnings and the negative affect it is currently having on . . To continue reading please (Click Here

#6 New neighbors who recently moved in above ruining my life:

Imagine every day and night having some one in the room above you stomping and pounding on the floor repeatedly, even while you are trying to sleep. That is what I am now dealing with on a regular basis, resulting in many headaches and sleepless nights. I am beyond frustrated as most days I am left feeling weak & extremely fatigued. Which puts me at a higher risk for . . To continue reading please (Click Here)

As you can see life can throw more than a few challenges our way. But even if things never end up going our way we must keep fighting. That's just a part of life. But I sure do hope that something changes very soon!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Oh the joys of stress related Headaches & Sleepless Nights!

Currently I am dealing with the stress of living under neighbors who continually make excessive noise and it is ruining my quality of life. Imagine every day and night having some one in the room above you stomping and pounding on the floor repeatedly, even while you are trying to sleep. That is what I am now dealing with on a regular basis, resulting in many headaches and sleepless nights. I am beyond frustrated as most days I am left feeling weak & extremely fatigued. Which puts me at a higher risk for slips and falls. Not a good thing for anyone living with a Muscular Dystrophy. It also doesn't help that the building I currently live in is in-accessible, then you add in these noisy neighbors and ends up not being an ideal situation. I guess at this point in my progression of muscle weakness, I would really benefit from moving into a new apartment building that is fully accessible. A modern place where I can take a shower without worrying if someone else in the building uses water that I am going to get burned. One with an elevator so I can once again help out doing the laundry. The only thing currently holding me back is the costs involved in making the move.

So currently I guess my only option is to simply make due and just accept the fact that I will have to continue putting up with the loud and inconsiderate neighbors above. Then having to continue dealing with all the headaches and sleepless nights that come along with it. With funds being tight I am hoping for a quick win in the lottery to enable me to move, but the likelihood of that happening is slim to none. So today I am actually going to try my luck at launching a crowd funding campaign. With nothing to lose why not give it try right? So I invite everyone to (Click Here) to visit my funding page. As I am hopeful that some one out there is willing to make a contribution. It would really help to change my life.

Related Posts:
Living with Muscular Dystrophy & dealing with fatigue,
Living with Muscular Dystrophy and dealing with "Weak Days",
When stairs become you worst enemy,
A look at the most challenging part of my day &
Living with a disability & suffering a work related injury

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Living with Muscular Dystrophy & dealing with fatigue

Over the last few years I have been struggling with low energy and it has been affecting my life in negatives ways. Lately I have been feeling a lot of muscle pain which tends to make me a little anxious, especially when I am having pains in my chest. I guess that these muscle pains are just a part of living with Muscular Dystrophy. Most times when I am having these chest pains I jump to the conclusion there's something wrong. But I have already had an in-depth heart check up which included an echo-cardiogram. At my follow up appointment I was told everything looks great so I really have no reason to be concerned. But most days I feel sluggish and tired and even off balance at times. Sometime when I am standing I wish I could sit down, sometimes I feel so tired I even wish I could lay down and take a nap. Maybe part of the problem is that I am not getting a proper nights sleep. Now I do have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine every night but I shouldn't feel this way. Maybe it's due to the fact that I am unable to stretch out as much as I would like. 

Being married I am sure other couples who sleep in a queen size bed understands that space is limited. That is why I would prefer a King size bed but unfortunately I live in a very old apartment building with very small bedrooms. So I make due but it does seem to play a role in me feeling tired most of the time. It also doesn't help that the people in the apartment above our keep us up all night moving furniture along with stomping and dropping things on the floor above at night long. It is sad that some people are that inconsiderate. I guess there are a lot of things that could be causing all the tiredness. After all it is important for those of us with Muscular Dystrophy to get a good night sleep as it allows our muscles to recuperate. As we all know that is the whole point in sleep - for us to rest our bodies so we have the energy to face another day. 

Now I have been to the doctor many times had blood work completed and everything comes back just fine. I have come to the conclusion that maybe I have low testosterone. The one thing that is holding me back from getting it checked is the $40 fee I would to pay for this blood test. A real waste of money if they come back and say that it's perfectly fine as well. So is this a part of living with Muscular Dystrophy? After all fatigue is a major part of Muscular Dystrophy. I really want to find out what the problem is. So I have started taking vitamins but they are only good for maintaining health. Then you have those out there selling a cure for Muscular Dystrophy, but it seems they are more interested in selling you products in order to create a source of income for them selves. Sure there are many things out there that can make you feel better but I wouldn't call them cures. If feeling tired all the time is a part of living with Muscular Dystrophy then I guess I just have to accept it. Now if you are living with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy and a lot of this sounds familiar, please feel free to share some tips as I believe that others living with the same condition can always provide each other with the best advice.    

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

A fun & interesting day at Canada's Wonderland

When I was growing up in my teens I would often join my friends at a local amusement park known as Canada's Wonderland. I have many great memories of hanging out with my friends riding roller coasters and various other rides. But that was over 20 years ago now. Recently though my wife and I ventured out to Canada's Wonderland with another couple, a place we both hadn't been to in about 10 years. To be completely honest I really was't that enthusiastic about spending the day there, but sometimes you sacrifice for the ones you love. Now the one reason I was a little apprehensive about going, was due to all the physical challenges I faced the last time we went to Canada's Wonderland. But I kept a positive attitude about thing's, and went with the goal of having a good time and even planned to go on a few rides.

Thankfully our day didn't start that early in the morning and I was happy that I didn't have to drive. We arrived at Canada's Wonderland around 12 PM and after paying $20 for parking we found an accessible parking space and made our way into the park. It is a pretty impressive place and when you first arrive inside you are greeted with a massive water fountain that leads to wonder mountain. We were all happy that it was a beautiful warm day and I was thankful for the cool breeze. Our first stop of the day was the roller coaster known as Dragon Fire a ride I decided to skip out on. Up next was a very intimidating roller coaster named Leviathan, a high speed coaster known for being a major thrill ride that I also decided to skip. While I was waiting though I did noticed that this ride offers an elevator/lift for riders with disabilities. Now as far as accessibility is concerned they do a pretty good job allowing those with disabilities who can't climb the stairs to access the rides. In some cases you simply go up the exit ramp and the ride attendant will assist you in getting on the ride. A great system that I actually took advantage of on this day when I went on an old wooden roller coaster known as the Wild Beast. I am sure those who ride a lot of roller coasters would agree that the old wooden roller coasters sure give you an exciting high speed ride. It was a lot of fun and when the ride came to an end I sure did face major difficulties getting back out. But I am happy to say that even though it was a real struggle I did survived.

After this I did skip out on a few more rides, that is until everyone convinced me to go on a high speed coaster known as the Vortex. So I went up the accessible exit ramp and waited till my wife got to the front on the line so I could meet her. It was a really difficult ride to get on to but I was looking forward to the ride. Now it did start off very slowly then when it rounded the corner it picked up speed at a high rate which took me by surprise, next thing I know I am being tossed around like a rag doll with my head flopping side to side. I found myself just wanting the ride to be over, but the next 15 seconds of the ride seemed to take forever. I was very thankful the second the ride came to a stop. It actually felt like I had just taken a physical beating. Then when it came time to get out I struggled like I had never before. I could barley stand on my feet as one of my legs almost gave out. I even ended up having trouble walking for the next minute or two after the ride. This was a major wake up call for me, in this moment I realized that at this point in my life I can no longer handle the stresses these types of rides place on my body. So my advice for anyone with a disability or any medical condition considering going to a local amusement park is to fully think it through. After all their are actually signs posted outside of each ride prohibiting those with certain medical conditions from riding. On this day I would have to say I learned my lesson and I now know that high speed rides at amusement parks are not a good idea for me.


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