By Jackie Barry
Jackie Barry lives with her husband Tom in Austin, Texas. She was diagnosed with ALS in 2016 and has been involved with the ALS Association since then. Read her story below.
In early 2015, I began having a speech problem, like a lisp, which seemed to get a little worse when I was stressed or tired. We were in the midst of getting home repairs done, so I thought it would just go away if I ignored it.
In August that year, I saw the doctor about it, and he suspected it could be a stroke or a brain tumor, among other things. I had an MRI, MRA and a carotid sonogram done, which all came back normal. Shortly after that, I was referred to a neurologist, who sent me for a swallow test, after which he believed it was a neuromuscular problem. He then referred me to Dr. Carlayne Jackson at UT Health in San Antonio. Dr. Jackson diagnosed me with ALS in February 2016.