I guess I will start with a little background on my mom. Her name is Patsy. She is (was) a very independent woman. Some would go so far as to say controlling. I am in the “some”. But I can understand why. She was born into a life of struggle to a passive mother and cold hearted abusive father. Her childhood was rough and suffering. She, as a teenager, sought love and affection in all the wrong places and was a single mother in early 1969, at 16 to my oldest sibling, my brother Mickey. She then met my father, fell head over hills in love, and they married. I was a planned child, that came in late 1970. They were separated before I even got here. My father was an alcoholic that was abusive on alcohol and a cheat to boot. She met her second husband and we became almost a normal family until he cheated on her while she was pregnant with the baby boy, born mid 1974. A year later they were divorced. There was a third marriage that wasn’t much more than a blip, lasting less than 6 months. And then there she was, 23, 24 years old with 3 kids to feed, house, clothe, support. Not one daddy contributing during a time when failure to pay child support would get you a few weeks in county lock up which would wipe the slate clean. No arrears at all. There was no help from family. Her parents had divorced and as I implied earlier, father was an asshole that could’ve cared less if we all starved and her mother was struggling to support herself. We did wind up staying with granny however, and the park my granny live in was an adult only park so the landlord raised a mighty stink and somewhere in that stinkbomb when the smoke cleared, my mom had lost us all. My oldest brother went to foster care, I went to my paternal grandparents and the baby, Tommy, went to his father. The longest she ever had all three of back at the same time was around two years I guess and that was between 1979 and 1981 I think. In 1981, could have been `82, she lost all three of us again. She had me back for about 4 months in 1984. Mickey was there about 6 months in `84 and Tommy she didn’t get again until ’87. Somewhere in that time, she married her fourth husband and they were married until 1994. They had two businesses at that time and split them in the divorce. She took hers and was able to support herself with it. That husband cheated on her as well as being abusive. She stayed single until 2002 when she married Billy. And God truly saved the best for last. He loves her, is completely devoted to her, and takes great care of her. The early years of their courtship and marriage were probably the best years, that I’m aware of she ever had. Although she was in pain management for degenerative spine disease, they had a somewhat normal life. She retired her business and became a housewife, which she thoroughly enjoyed. For the first time ever, she had a nice home and the means to fix it up the way she dreamed. And she did a beautiful job too. But, and yes, there obviously had to be a but, her pain became worse as the years passed, and that called for more pain meds that she couldn’t stand and in 2010 she made the decision to have surgery to fuse discs in her neck and her back. It would actually be two surgeries, but it would get her off so many pain meds. It was during a pre-surgery physical that they discovered a problem with her heart which required an emergency open heart double by-pass to fix. That was June 2010, followed by the neck fusion in November 2010, and finally the back in January 2011. She was able to come off 75% of the pain meds, but she was never quite well after that. When we trace back the symptoms of MSA, that’s the time period we feel it all began. Within 6 months after the last surgery, she was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, the early stage of COPD. Her bladder became a real issue too, with control sometimes becoming impossible. For the rest of the story, tune in later.