Ger Tracy is 55 years old and lives in Clara in Co. Offaly. Ger was diagnosed with MND last year. This is his story:
"I have always had a love for the gym, I was well built and I lifted very heavy weights, so I suppose this is where I first noticed change in myself. I noticed over a three-year period I was losing strength and size in my chest and arms. I didn’t over think it at the time, I just put it down to getting older.
Then last year I noticed changes in my breathing. I would be out of breath for the least thing. I also noticed little changes in my hands, I thought it was just arthritis as there is a family history of it. I lost my mam in June of last year and it was then I decided to change my GP to Dr. Ward in Clara as it was much more convenient. I went to Dr. Ward last October for a routine checkup and I mentioned my breathing and my hands. When she examined me, she noticed my muscles twitching as well and she became concerned.
I was sent to Tullamore hospital the following week for three days of tests including an MRI and a nerve conduction test. On the third day, I was told to bring my partner with me and it was then I was delivered the bad news that I had Motor Neurone Disease and it was terminal. Obviously, we were devastated as we had just gotten engaged at the end of summer and had great plans for the future.
I was then referred to Professor Hardiman in Beaumont who advised me life wasn’t over and all my plans and life should go ahead as normal and to try and live as normal as possible.
Yes, there are changes to what I can do and what I can’t do but I have learned to adapt to each circumstance. Things like sometimes not being able to zip up my jacket, close my buttons or even tie my laces don’t frustrate me anymore.
I’ve learned its ok to ask for help. I don’t work now, which was very hard to get used to after working the last 40 years of my life but again I have accepted not been able to lift things and getting used to not over doing things that would get me out of breath.
I continue to live as normal a life as possible and we are busy now planning our wedding for August hopefully depending on government guidelines. I try in every way not to let MND change my life, instead I try to adapt to new challenges.
I am also blessed to have a wonderful partner, three brilliant kids, grandchildren, extended family and friends who are always there to help if I need them, So I thank god every day for all I have".