I am Bob Foxwell
living with ALS
I cannot thank my family and friends enough for all the love and support I have received. I appreciate and love all of you, you are the reason I get out of bed every morning. I am going to beat this disease or die trying. Never give up.
My name is Bob Foxwell and I was born in 1965. I worked in the engineering and architecture field for nearly 30 years and I enjoyed the work very much. In the latter part of 2016, I noticed a minor loss of dexterity in my left hand and only noticed it while at work when typing larger amounts of text. In November of 2017, I started experiencing occasional difficulty with slurred speech. This condition gradually worsened, until I finally made an appointment with my primary care physician in January of 2018. He ordered tests and multiple scans over the course of the next couple of months, trying to determine the cause of my symptoms. After receiving the results, he referred me to a neurologist for further testing who then informed me that I had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The neurologist referred me to the ALS Clinic at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit for continuing treatment and care. She also said to not put too much stock in what I might read online, as ALS affects each patient differently and there was no way to predict my encounter with it. I have been receiving care at the ALS clinic at Henry Ford Hospital since May of 2018. I attend the clinic on a quarterly basis, where I meet with Doctors and nurses from multiple departments along with social workers representing ALS related associations. The care that I have received from the clinic has been exceptional, and I do not think I would be doing as well as I am without their expertise and their encouragement to use every treatment available to me. I retired on medical disability on January 31, 2020, just in time for the covid19 pandemic of 2020. I spent the first 3 months of the quarantine sitting at home, kind of bored and watching way too much news coverage of the pandemic. The one bright spot during this time was when my wife, Michele, was told to work from home. Not only was I able to spend additional time in here presence, but I had the sounds of an active office environment, which I found oddly comforting. Once the travel restrictions between residences where lifted, I headed north and have spent a lot of time at our cottage in Houghton Lake this summer. I have not turned the TV on, other than for streaming music, in over 3 months and I do not miss it all. There may be some truth in that “ignorance is bliss”. My current condition allows me to take care of all my personal needs without assistance, some simple tasks have become something of a challenge, but I do prevail. I cannot thank my family and friends enough for all the love and support I have received. I appreciate and love all of you, you are the reason I get out of bed every morning. I am going to beat this disease or die trying. Never give up.
I don’t know how long I will be able to use my hands or how long I will be able to talk. I don’t know when my husband will lose his wife. I don’t know when my children will lose their mother.