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Spotlight – Little Yellow Magnet by Jamieson Wolf

Little Yellow Magnet – A Memoir

Life can change in an instant. Jamieson learns this the hard way.

Waking one morning to find he has little-to-no motor control, Jamieson only wants the world to return to how it had been before. After a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, he thinks his life is over. What he doesn’t know is that it’s only just begun.

Trying to navigate through the world in a body he no longer understands, Jamieson must travel through the dark forest of depression while waging a constant battle against himself. Over time, he learns what he’s truly capable of, and what it actually means to be courageous.

Follow Jamieson as he loses himself…then discovers who he is really meant to be.

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Jamieson has been writing since a young age when he realized he could be writing instead of paying attention in school. Since then, he has created many worlds in which to live his fantasies and live out his dreams.

He is a number-one bestselling author—he likes to tell people that a lot—and writes in many different genres. Jamieson is also an accomplished artist. He works in mixed media, charcoal, acrylic and oil pants. He is also something of an amateur photographer, a poet, and a graphic designer.

He currently lives in Ottawa Ontario Canada with his husband Michael and their cat, Tula, who is fearless.

You can find him at www.jamiesonwolf.com    Facebook    Twitter    Instagram

The world was falling around me.

Then again, I always fell. The ground would reach up to meet me, but I would get up and keep going. Having been born with spastic cerebral palsy, this was nothing new. But lately it happened with increasing regularity and without explanation.

Normally, if I were about to fall, there’d be a warning: a tightness in the muscles, a spasm, or a vibration running up my legs or down my back as if someone were playing an internal instrument, causing my muscles to gyrate.

Now there was none of that. I’d be walking one moment, then down I went the next. The ground wouldn’t welcome me in its embrace; it would pummel me, demanding a kiss. I wouldn’t even remember falling.

I also began having problems speaking. Just odd little turns of phrase of sentences I couldn’t get out properly. I’d want to say cup and ended up saying cuppy. I would try to say computer and instead said something like commuter.

This worried me more than the falling. I am a writer and words are my trade. I had always been able to turn out a quick phrase, public speaking never a hardship for me. I constantly had more words than the allotted time to speak—there had never seemed to be enough time to say all of them.

These days I was constantly tripping over my tongue. The words didn’t come out the right way. I was concerned but put off going to the doctor. I don’t like doctors; I’d seen too many of them as a child. I usually waited until the last possible moment to see one. I had narrowly avoided pneumonia a few times that way.

Then my mother called me. “Your brother has been diagnosed.”

I knew he’d been having health issues. As I didn’t speak to him, I got second-hand updates from my mother. He had been losing feeling in his feet and the numbness had moved up to his knees. He was having his own kind of difficulties.

“What’s wrong?” I asked her.

“He’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis,” she said softly. I could tell from the sound of her voice that she had been crying. “They said it was progressive MS. You should get checked to make sure you don’t have it.”

“Is that likely?”

“You’re his brother, Jamieson, his twin. It’s very likely.”

I begrudgingly agreed that I would go. I had postponed it for as long as I could, but after a fall at work and another fall in my apartment, I gave in to the inevitable. I made an appointment to see my doctor. He’d been my family physician for a while now and while he wasn’t great, at least there was someone I could see when I needed to.

I explained everything: how I was falling more often and losing control of my body. How I was having difficulty speaking and getting the words out that I wanted to say. I told him about my brother’s diagnosis and my mother’s concerns.

He was dismissive from the word go. “You don’t have multiple sclerosis,” he said.

“How can you be sure? Aren’t there some kind of tests you need to do to prove that?”

He waved my concerns away. “You don’t have multiple sclerosis. I’m a doctor, I know these things.”

“What about my body?” I asked, growing slightly frustrated. “I know my body and I know my cerebral palsy. This isn’t cerebral palsy causing the falls. I know it’s not. There’s something else going on.” He stared at me with a somewhat bemused gaze. “I know my own body,” I said again. “What about my speech?”

“This is all in your head,” he told me. “All this hysteria is affecting you. I would suggest psychological help. That’s what you need. I can recommend a good therapist.”

I was shocked. I had never been talked to like I was an idiot. I felt quite hot under the collar now. “What about my speech?” I asked again.

He waved his hand once more. “I would suggest elocution lessons.”

I left his office furious, knowing without a doubt that I needed more than elocution lessons and therapy, but I had no idea what to do or who to talk to.

On December 30, 2012, my hand went numb.

I called my doctor again and got him to begrudgingly refer me to a neurologist, but the appointment was months away. Every time I smoked a cigarette my hand kept going numb. I would switch to the other hand, then I’d begin to lose feeling in that one, too. The cigarette would fall from my fingers. I would pluck it off the carpet before it burned a hole.

Since seeing the doctor that first time, the symptoms I experienced had worsened. I fell almost every day with no explanation and had more trouble with my speaking. I made jokes about it, but I was worried.

I looked forward to the coming new year and I decided to go to bed early so I would have plenty of energy for the day ahead. My body, however, had other ideas. I went to bed living one life and woke up living another.

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