My name is David Jayne and this is my blog. Thank you for visiting www.davidjayne.net. My life took an unexpected turn a year after graduating from college. The journey to becoming a blogger began over a quarter century ago in the wilderness of Alaska. My father, Bill Jayne was raised on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Fishing streams was a passion he passed down to me. As I was cramming four years of college into five attending The University of Georgia I learned the rivers and creeks of north Georgia like the back of my hand. After graduation we planned our first Alaskan fishing adventure a year later we flew into a remote unnamed stream miles from civilization. The mosquitoes fogged the sky during particular times of the day particularly when we were outside of the tent. One hundred percent deet and cigar smoke were the only sources of moderate relief from the blood letting. On our third trip to Alaska I noticed the excess deet gel had collected under my plastic wrist watch and the time piece was dissolving. My heart dropped to the soles of the chest waders I was wearing. The consuming thought was how could a product that deteriorates plastic not devastate the human body?
Unexplained events began occurring. On an Aspen skiing trip uncharacteristic painful falls took place as if I was taken down by an unexpected blindside tackle. A pounding headache and extreme fatigue accompanied me while at altitude. A closer examination of photographs from the vacation revealed obvious muscle wasting on the left side of my body. I was a fly fisherman and tied the flies I used. One chilly fall evening while I was attempting to tie a pattern that required extreme finger dexterity frustration soon overwhelmed me because of an unresponsive left hand. The following spring I was diagnosed with ALS commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. I was 26.
The neurologist explained that ALS is a progressive degeneration of the motor neurons of the central nervous system, leading to wasting of the muscles and paralysis, it is fatal. Without lifting my I asked “How long?” Void of hesitation he replied “Three to five years.” In the same week I was given a death sentence I discovered a dream held since childhood had come true. My first child would be born in nine months. After recovering from the sucker punch I decided this disease will not abbreviate my life I have a child to raise! The decline into paralysis was a hellish experience I would not wish upon anyone. I was not immune from the typical progression of the disease as it paralyzed the muscles of my respiratory system. I made the decision to prolong life by means of mechanical ventilation therapy, a ventilator. This was a decision the mother of my two children did not support. She filed for divorce and took my two reasons for living.
My increasing longevity made me known in the ALS and disabled communities. I am fortunate in my ability to manage the symptoms and challenges of this disease resulting in a maximized quality of life. Knowing the hardships others face I seize every opportunity to communicate the solutions I have discovered. Becoming an advocate for the disabled was quite by accident. A writer for a local religious newspaper wrote an article about my life. That blurb resulted in Bill Torpy of the AJC contacting me to write an article. Bill followed me to a speaking opportunity, church and to the Georgia Florida football game in Jacksonville, FL. My home healthcare services were Medicare funded and a stipulation to be seen at home you must not leave the premises with the exception of medical appointments and church. This did not settle well with me. I was already a prisoner in my body being a ventilator dependent quadriplegic. I did not want my children’s memories of Dad confined to the house. I had been discharged from home health twice before the running of the AJC article once for attending a funeral of a friend that had succumbed to ALS the second for displaying a photograph from a MDA Telethon appearance. I predicted my third discharge when The Tin Man’s Heart was printed. I was not disappointed by the prediction, but something totally unexpected occurred the story went viral. Multiple articles were written by local and national publications including People Magazine. My services were restored immediately as a result of the negative press, but I could not ignore the thousands of individuals that sent emails sharing similar stories. I founded The National Coalition to Amend the Medicare Homebound Restriction, NCAHB. Bob Dole honorary chairman. After I traveled to Washington numerous times President George W. Bush signed an executive order relaxing this punitive law.
Life calmed after the DC experience and I returned to sharing my solutions with ALS sufferers and quadriplegics. It was a tradition two decades old of inviting ALS families into my home to observe how I lived with ALS when I met Carey. Her father was in the late stages of this horrific disease. Carey held out hope that her father would choose to extend his life by artificial respiration. She visited and we continued to communicate. I soon knew Carey was the love of my life and incredibly she felt the same for me. We married and our love grows deeper with every passing day. My goal of being the father of a dozen children has almost been reached! Now the Dad of six more wonderful children Carey and I are living a dream life. We were home schooling the three youngest, but they were missing the social activities that brick and mortar schools offer. The desire for our children to attend excellent schools brought Carey and I to south east Coweta County. One sleepless December night I was searching for our next home listed on the internet when I happened upon the beautiful rustic home on Line Creek. Mesmerized by the photographs I could not wait until sunrise to share the discovery with my sleeping wife. I found the home of our dreams, I was certain of this when discovering the couple that built this beautiful home were David and Jayne. All of our friends and visitors feel the warmth our family enjoys daily in this natural setting. We were honored when our oldest daughter asked if we would host her wedding here. Her lifelong dream has been to marry in a field. We fulfilled Ali’s dream while hosting the rehearsal dinner and reception in the A framed great room with weathered timbers. As guests and family departed at the conclusion of the nuptial events “magical” was the adjective repeated in the comments describing the weekend. Carey and I knew we had to share our place with others and The Hitching Post was born.
The financial goal of The Hitching Post was to hire a full time caregiver for me, because Carey began experiencing debilitating pain before the move. The Hitching Post was growing beyond our expectations until our neighbor went to county forcing us to go through the expensive process of rezoning our property. After meeting with Coweta public officials it became painfully obvious the dream of The Hitching Post was dead. I am blogging again with the hopes ad revenue will fund a caregiver.We ask you to please help us spread the word about www.davidjayne.net. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy!
All the best,