Kim Curry got his first gig through his dad who was a radio guy. Thirty-three year later, when running the most listened to radio station in Miami, Kim was forced into retirement with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. In this episode, I speak with Kim to learn about his journey and how he’s managed this significant change in his life. 

Kim is the author of Come Get Me Mother, I’m Through! and The Death of Fairness. His second book was published after we recorded the interview on June 11, 2020.

Contact and follow Kim at, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can connect with Damianne on the Changes BIG and small website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. You’re also invited to join the Changes BIG and small Facebook community.

I’m taking a holiday for the next few weeks, but I will be back in your feed with a new episode of changes big and small after that. In the meantime, feel free to go back and check one of the previous episodes.

It’s how you approach what happens to you. It’s what you do about it.

Timeline of the Chat

Kim shares how he started in radio [01:05]
Spending 33 years in one career [03:23]
The process of finding out about Multiple Sclerosis [06:51]
Learning to Live with MS [14:26]
Adapting to the changes wrought by MS [16:46]
Getting a Lifetime Achievement Award [00:20:15]
Becoming a Writer [00:21:13]
What’s easier now after 15 years [00:27:23]
About His Wife [00:27:57]
Impact of MS on Relationships [00:29:55]
Biggest Lesson of MS [00:30:48]
The COVID-19 Situation [00:32:47]
Finding New Opportunities in the Time of Coronavirus [00:34:55]
Sources of inspiration [00:38:33]
Advice for dealing with difficult changes [00:39:12]
Advice for progress and self-improvement [00:40:40]

I remember where I was standing in my house, looking down on her when she said simply, you have to stop worrying about things you cannot control.

Quick Links

I think you need to look within yourself because I believe we all have the power to control most everything in our own existence.

Transcript of the Episode

Kim shares how he started in radio

Damianne: [01:05] You spent many years in broadcasting. Tell us a bit about your career.

Kim: [01:09] I was a really lucky guy. My dad got me started. I went to college for a few years to learn how to write news and how to research news and how to write format clocks. Radio back then, you used to draw your little format clocks, what song to play, when you’re supposed to play it and things like that.

And then I got my first full time job in Knoxville, Tennessee. And six months after Knoxville, I had sent out an audition tape and there’s a song by Peter Frampton called Baby I Love Your Way. It starts off with slight applause, and then he says thank you. 

Well, when I was on the radio one night, the applause started and I said, Hey, Peter, your zipper’s down and he said thank you. And so that was on my audition tape that I had sent out because I wanted to get it out Knoxville. It was not necessarily my type of place. 

I sent the audition tape out and the guy at Miami, Florida, his name was Jerry Clifton, he thought that was funny. He said I want to talk to that guy. So he brought me down for an interview and that’s when I got started in Miami was in 1976. 

I got there at 22 as the young guy on Top 40 radio. But when I left 33 years later, I was one of the oldest guys and I was running the radio station. Over 33 years eventually became the guy that I went to go work for because we stayed together a long time in my career. He and I have always thought the same way. That little joke that I made on that tape that he liked was kind of quirky. He is a kind of quirky guy. 

What helped make me famous on radio was the fact that I had some really superior mentors and they were both in Miami, Bill Tanner and Jerry Clifton. So it was a great career and I enjoyed every moment of it. When you’re doing what you like you’re never really working.

 Damianne: [03:01] That’s the ideal, right?

Kim: [03:03] I bled radio because my dad was a radio guy. He was a newsman at my first radio station and so I think it was in me deeper than most people. I really wanted to prove to my dad that he had done me a favor and he was, you know, very proud that his son was running the most listened to radio station in the Southeast USA.

Spending 33 years in one career [03:23]

Damianne: [03:23] Thirty-three years in one career is a rare thing, especially nowadays. Did you never get attracted to go and do something else? Did you always have that commitment to radio?

Kim: [03:35] You know, the kind of guys I worked for made me interested in more than just how to format a radio station. We used to, back when I was on the radio, you could actually go out and find music. 

We could just find songs and we could play them. And the whole idea was to find them before anybody else did because no other radio stations could find them.

Nowadays of course, with all those sharing, there is no exclusive music, but back then you could go find exclusive music and put it on our radio stations. Other radio stations didn’t do that. 

We were very much open to playing whatever we thought was necessary. When you say Top 40 music, that’s kind of the popular music that’s out there but it’s in a bunch of different forms.

It can be a Taylor Swift song. It can be a Casey and Jojo song. It can be Drake, it can be Fleetwood Mac. It can be all sorts of different types of colors and our radio station didn’t play one color. We played all sorts of colors. So it was within us to go find songs that no one else knew about, to play them like crazy and let the other radio stations catch up.

The biggest one that I did that made the most success for us was I was in England on vacation. And I ended always at the Virgin music store and I wanted to hear what Virgin was playing inside the store.

And of course at that time I heard The Spice Girls. They were huge in Europe but nothing in America because they hadn’t put their promotion together for America yet. So I brought back a Spice Girls CD and I put, tell me what you want, what you really, really 

Damianne: [05:15] Hmm. 

Kim: [05:17] I put that on the radio and immediately got a cease and desist from Virgin Records because they weren’t ready to have The Spice Girls in America. 

And I simply told them, you know what, you can’t tell me what to do. I bought this with my money. This is my radio station. My boss says do what you want to do. So I’m playing this song, sue me. You can’t stop me. 

And in that argument that went on for quite some time with the heads of Virgin Records, eventually I relented and I told them if I can have the first Spice Girls concert in America, then I’ll take your record off. And I got the first Spice Girls concert in America.

So that’s the kind of game we went. We searched on purpose to find things that no one else had. Also, our station Power 96 was very famous at taking songs by Madonna and turning those into dance tracks. I could hear a regular  song and then think, wait a minute, this could have some beats to it.

So we would mix our own songs and make them sound unlike any other tracks in America. I was really lucky to not have to deal with corporates people. No one really ever told me what to do. That was so unlike radio stations in America, but it was because of the history I have with the guys that first captured me in Miami.  So it worked out really well.

Damianne: [06:36] Even now listening to you talk, it’s clear that you love radio and you would  really loved what you did. So I’m trying to imagine what it was like when you found out that you had multiple sclerosis. What was the diagnosis like?

The process of finding out about Multiple Sclerosis [06:51]

Kim: [06:51] Here’s what happens. First of all, lesions appear on your brain with multiple sclerosis and things happen to me that I didn’t know what was happening. I was in Miami for 25 full years, but for eight years I kind of traveled around the country, working for Bill Tanner and Jerry Clifton at some of their other properties.

So one time I was in Washington, DC and I had a feature on my radio show known as Bed Check and Bed Check. I would let people just call in and make random comments and I would make smart comments back to them. And then at the end of i, I’d say, come get me mother I’m through, which ended up being the name of my book.

Whereas that feature was meant for little kids for junior high and high school kids, in Washington, DC, it became a feature that political parties wanted to play with. And I could pick up the phone and you could hear Democrats railing on Republicans, but there was one guy who called me and his name was Frank the framer.

And he says, Hey, it’s me Frank the framer. I’m in the basement of the White House right now and the president just walked out and that was Reagan. The president just walked out, listening to Bed Check. And I thought it was a joke. I thought this guy’s crazy. So I hung up and went on. He kept calling back as Frank the framer.

Well, finally, I got him on the phone off the air one time I said, who are you? He says, well, I’m actually Frank, the framer. I frame the portraits at the White House and I have an office down here. I’m with secret service, I’ve got an office. I do all my work in here and I have the radio on and so I listen to you.

So that connection on my radio show got me a tour of the white house, but you got to remember, this is just after Reagan’s assassination attempt. There was changes around the White House that were unrecognizable to regular people . 

I didn’t know where I was going. I thought it was supposed to turn in this road. And instead I went up this road and that wasn’t right. So then I found a driveway and it looked like it went right up to the side door. 

So I started driving up to that side door because I was just told to say, Hey, it’s Kid Curry. Tell them Frank the framers is waiting for Kid Curry, that they’ll know I’m coming.

So as I’m driving up to that back door, I see secret service start coming out of nowhere and the adrenaline starts to run and rush. And my right eye goes blank. And my right shoulder starts to I’m like what’s going on?

And when I got it, the car, I totally lost balance and I fall to the ground. I just thought I was having some sort of overload but what that was telling me was that was a multiple sclerosis exacerbation. Those kinds of things happened to me for 50 years.

 I just didn’t know what they were, but they started they getting really serious in 2004, the very end of 2004, which is when the tsunami hit. And I was home visiting here in Colorado with my mother from Miami.

I was home on Christmas and the tsunami hit. And my mom was very concerned. She’d never seen it, know what the word meant because she’d never heard it before. So we were having very intense conversations. And before I left, my mom says, there’s something wrong with you. You’re not right. And I said what do you mean?

She says there’s something wrong. I’m looking at you and you don’t look like you used to look to me. You better go to the doctor, which sent me to the doctor in January of 2005. By March, 2005 I was diagnosed. By June of that month, I was forced into retirement because at that time I was going down really, really hard .

 I completely lost the ability to walk straight, my eye was damaged, my shoulder. It was pretty bad and it’s a chronic disease. My wife and I had those conversations that nobody wants to have.

 Of course you heard of the word, but you don’t really know what it means until you look it up and I start looking it up and it’s people die for multiple sclerosis.

Damianne: [10:47] You started noticing that you weren’t quite feeling right. You started noticing some symptoms. What has to happen for the diagnosis to actually be made? 

Kim: [10:56] First she’d go into the.

Oh they give you everything. You do a CT scan, they do brain scans. They do electronic nerve scans , they test your gut acids. They do everything. It takes, you know, months. And final is a spinal tap. 

They’ve got to get all this information. Then they go to the spinal tap and they think, okay, now look what we have here because there is no absolute diagnosis.

 They have to look at the whole picture. And when they looked at my whole picture, it was evident. And the spinal tap is a whole nother story. I had four in one day because my first doctor missed, they couldn’t find any. 

She was like, Whoa, what was that? I’m supposed to be able to find; I’ll go get somebody else. And she goes and gets another guy. And the other guy has me bend on the table the same way. And he tries and nothing. And he says, well, I better go get the spinal tap specialist and you know, another hour goes by and it’s painful.

 It’s not any fun sticking needles the size of a straw in your spine. And then the third guy comes in and he has me sit up a different way. And when he puts the needle in all my extremes, my arms, legs started shaking and everything cause he hits some sort of nerve. So that was three.

The fourth time that day, which took about five hours, they had me lay underneath and X Ray machine. They kept going in three times, they couldn’t find spinal fluid. So they had to put me on an X Ray machine, find the spinal fluid, then go in and get it. Then they can finish their diagnosis. And then that’s what it was.

Damianne: [12:29] So, so you’re going through all these tests. You have a feeling that it’s something like multiple sclerosis, did you already know that this was what they were looking out for? Or did you just have no idea?

Kim: [12:43] I thought I could go to the chiropractor and they’d popped my back and everything would go back to normal. I thought that, Oh, there’s gotta be something in my spine. There’s you know, cause they’re looking at my spine, it’s gotta be something. Well, I just thought it was a simple pop, you know, that they could just, Oh, we’ll just do something here and it would be over.

Damianne: [12:59] So then you go to the doctor and you get this diagnosis. What’s going through your mind then.

Kim: [13:04] First of all, I was kind of glad to know it was something. When you don’t know and now, you know, it made me feel better kind of. But then you start looking it up and you see what it is.

And my wife is a strong woman. She’s an international business coach. So she was right into the computer and this is what 2005. So whatever Google offered you for information that time. We spent  the whole weekend going over everything she found.

We spent the weekend talking about it and on Monday morning I went in and I just told my boss, I don’t think this is good, man, because what was important to me was getting the radio station back on track because I was always in it.

 You know, when you run a radio station 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And I know every three second, but when this diagnosis and that was all going on, I got out of focus and I know the station wasn’t in focus. So at that point on that Monday, I said, I’m outta here, man. You guys got to get back to work. And I got to get something going on. I got to figure out what’s going on.

 My thought was to go home, to come back to my mom, you know, and my wife was like, okay, let’s just go somewhere where it’s much quieter. After living in Miami for 20 some years, quiet is my little hometown here in Colorado and my mom’s still there. And so we came home and just tried to figure out, we spent 10 years learning to have multiple sclerosis.

Learning to Live with MS [14:26]

Damianne: [14:26] So, what was that journey like? I mean, you must have made a lot of lifestyle changes as well as relationship changes. Tell us a bit about that.

Kim: [14:36] Lifestyle changes were immediate. I went from walking with a cane then onto crutches, then I have to get a wheelchair. I got a wheelchair for my house which was electric cause I can’t walk. So it zooms me around my house, but that’s the one they give you. 

If you want to walk outside your house, then you’ve got to get something on your car and they don’t pay for that. So the decision was to either add a whole nother part to the vehicle, buy a brand new vehicle, or just go ahead and buy a manual wheelchair. I ended up having to get a manual wheelchair for the car so I could go shopping and go around and one for the house.

 The biggest problem for me, and it’s only because of what I was doing and who I was at the time, because Kid Curry was a pretty famous radio DJ. But then when I took over Power 96 and it became as big as it did, you know, I was the kind of guy people gravitated toward my whole life.

Damianne: [15:35] You were in the center of things.

Kim: [15:36] Oh, absolutely. And especially at the very end, things are going really well and everybody was happy. Suddenly a few years after that all filters out, nobody’s calling.

I love these people and I wanted them to go through, I wanted them to go on, but I would have appreciated a few more phone calls. Then you start to realize when you’re walking in on crutches that nobody wants to get next to you. And when you come into a place in wheelchair, everybody’s scattered.

So I spent 33 years of my life people wanting to get close to me and then, you know, suddenly people are trying to get away from me and it took me a while to deal with that mentally. 

Damianne: [16:10] What was that process like? How did you?

Kim: [16:14] First of all, I’m a pretty positive person. I think part of why I am the way I am today is because I’ve really in my head probably just forgot that I have MS. I don’t think about it. I just keep going. But I had to get there.

 It’s scary. My wife, I wanted my wife to find something to do in her life. She became first a real estate agent, and now she’s an international business coach. I needed her to keep going.

 Oh, geez. I mean, you got to understand part of my MS is my short term memory, so I may have forgotten the question. I apologize.

Adapting to the changes wrought by MS [16:46]

Damianne: [00:16:46] I was asking about what’s the process of adapting to the fact…  

Kim: [00:16:50] oh, adapting to my changes. 

Damianne: [00:16:52] Yeah. 

Kim: [00:16:52] So because I was in my hometown, people would gravitate and then they went away. But I was in my hometown. I was in my hometown where my high school friends were so I got a lot of help. My sisters are there and everything got a lot of help, but at the same time it bothered me mentally for awhile.

But my wife, like I said, is just such a positive person. And she knew how to coach me through it and kept telling me, no, no, no, we’re going to keep going and then she affords me everything I wanted.

 We moved to my hometown and we bought an acre, and we built a house on the acre. Then I asked my wife if I could have a tractor and she let me buy a John Deere tractor, because I mean, I needed to cut, to keep the property up. We had rocks all over the place. 

I had to keep the weeds down and mow the back of the property. And so I wanted to do that stuff. So what that ended up being was me having to pull myself up onto my tractor and I’d fall off. I would just try and get up there and I’d lose my balance and fall it cause my legs work, but it became kind of funny to us because it would be like, well, I fell 50 times over a two or three year period, just getting on and off my tractor to the point where I even had to go to the hospital a couple of times.

 That’s the kind of invigoration my wife kept just giving me, come on, let’s go. Let’s get that back property done. Let’s get that car fixed up. Let’s get you hand controls for your car. I’ve got hand controls. I’ve had two different sets of hand controls.

 It’s really my wife who is really kept me and just kept me going. And then there was a moment that really changed everything. I have been going downhill for about 11, 12 years. 

The MS medicines at that time when I first got diagnosed, there were only five. There’s probably almost 20 by now, but at the time I’d been on one specific medicine for around 10 years. My doctor made a medicine change for me cause I have lesions on my brain and in my spine too. So the medicines all affect you differently. He found what he thought might be better for me.

And then he said this, you need to start taking vitamin D. And I thought vitamin D, what’s a vitamin going to do? I grew up understanding that, you know, vitamin C is supposed to cure your cold but it doesn’t. So what’s a vitamin gonna do. So he harassed me for six months and told me you’ve got to try it. And I kept saying, no .

 I finally relented taking massive 5,000 IUs of vitamin D every day, sometimes six and 10. I would just go crazy for about six months and the medicine change and the vitamin D seemed to me in my head, my condition leveled off. I have been going down for about 11 or 12 years, pretty strong, going from just my toes hurting all the way to my legs not working to my shoulder, my eye, and suddenly everything leveled off.

 At that same time, a person in the industry who ran the only independent magazine at the time, who I worked with very closely when I was in the business back before 2005, he had a yearly awards thing.

You know, you see the Grammy awards because the artists get the awards, but there’s a whole group of people that get the songs on the radio so that Taylor Swift can have the number one song and those other record promoters. Well this guy, Vince Pellegrino, was the only guy in radio who always had a yearly award ceremony for the record promoters, the guys who worked the hardest to get the product on the air.

Getting a Lifetime Achievement Award [00:20:15]

I’d been gone for 10 years. He called one day and he said you know what you need to do, you need to come to New York City cause I want to give you a lifetime achievement award. You’ve been gone for 10 years. People have forgotten what you did in this business. And I want to give you a lifetime achievement award. I need you to come to New York City. 

It was over the Christmas holidays and so it was beautiful in New York. It was so cool. I had friends of mine for 33 years, guys I’d hired, some I’d fired some. It was crazy. 

Then the next morning, this guy Vincent and I got together for breakfast and he told me you know what man, I’m dying and I’ll be gone soon. And I want you to wake up, figure out how to wake yourself back up and get back in this business or give back and do something because we miss you. You got to say something. You were out there for so long. We need to hear from you. Well, he passed away like two months after that. Then it became something in my brain that I was going to do something.

Becoming a Writer [00:21:13]

I wanted to do something, but I am so far away from the record music business, I can’t do anything in that. I don’t have any idea how it even works anymore. But what I did start doing was becoming a writer. And that’s what I do now. I’m a writer now. 

I blog like crazy. My last two blogs have had thousands of people check them out. A month ago. I started reading To Kill a Mockingbird and then all the way through To Kill a Mockingbird and having to stop and go you know what, nothing has changed. This book was written for 1935 era, and nothing has changed in our country. Don’t get me started about what’s happening to people in America today. Black Lives Matter.

 I want this to be the seed change that I’ve been waiting for since I was 10 years old when my dad moved me to the only little town in Colorado, that was the center of the KKK . And it made me wonder, was my dad a racist? I don’t think so. I never, when I asked my mom, why did dad move us here,  she said because he said all the smart kids were in Canyon City. She didn’t say well, because there’s no colored people live in my town. So I’m hoping that my father wasn’t. I don’t know why we ended up there.   

My dad was a Navy recruiter here in Colorado so all the kids throughout the state would come to him to try to get in the Navy. So after seeing all the kids from all around the state, he thought that the smartest kids come from this town, that’s where I’m going to live. That’s where I, that’s where I’m going to hold on to.

 It just so happens after I lived there for about eight years, I learned what kind of place it was. And I’ve always wondered. My dad’s gone now, but you know, I don’t think so . I just think he took us there because he thought all the smartest kids come from Canyon, but I’m not very proud of what happened in my hometown beforehand. So anyway, I don’t know how I got there. I’m so sorry. 

 You were sharing about having vitamin D and how that made an impact and it got me thinking because I listened to this podcast by a doctor called Dr. Hyman on functional medicine. And there have been a few episodes of that podcast talking about people taking various different vitamins and also changing their diet because apparently your gut flora is related to lots of diseases. And we’re beginning to find out more about the relationship. I guess it makes sense because the body is a system.

I’m a science guy. I believe in the science of it. And if my doctor Dr. Bowling Allen Bowling, he’s an author. He’s got a big book about optimal health with multiple sclerosis. He doesn’t do anything unless there’s scientific proof. 

So once I finally started taking vitamin D and realized that something had happened to me that maybe things have changed for me, I started doing more research and you know what, there’s plenty of research out there that says vitamin D is essential for even regular people.

Damianne: [00:24:13] Well, I take vitamin D almost every day because Black people need more time in the sun than white people do in order to be able to get the same amount of vitamin D. And I mean, I live in the middle of Europe. Half of the year it’s cloudy anyway or winter.

It’s just always on my supplementation list to take vitamins irregularly. This is not advice for anybody else. Talk to your doctor, but….  

Kim: [00:24:40] But you know what’s happened to me since then and, you know, I get it. There are multiple sclerosis patients  who can hardly talk because the lesion on their brain has disabled what’s going on in here. 

 I used to be that way. I got that way, but you know, when I started coming back, my doctor got me on brain games immediately. When the vitamin D kicked in and I went to him, I said, you know doctor, maybe you’re right, maybe I do start feeling better. He says, well then now capture this moment, go do brain games.

And it was like, I don’t know how long ago it was now seven, eight years ago where the brain games were pretty cheesy on the computer, but there are some amazing brain games out there that even back then really helped me. And because I’m now writing, I do this all day long. I get up in the morning, four or five o’clock in the morning.

I write throughout the day. My wife is a, like I said, a business coach, but her office is over there. I see her all the time. We talk but I’m writing all the time. I believe that the work I’ve done since my condition changed has healed things in me because my voice was gone. I had really hard and I’m speaking again.

Damianne: [00:25:55] So you experienced the change yourself of what is possible.

Kim: [00:26:00] But my doctor said, you know, your brain can rewire itself. 

Damianne: [00:26:04] Absolutely

Kim: [00:26:04] And I think that all this extra work I’ve been doing and all the research I’ve been doin g has helped my brain. And again, I try not to think I even have MS. I mean I still go along. I stand up as much as I possibly can and I’m not supposed to; my wife gets mad, but I do. I keep going because that’s just I think in my brain.

Damianne: [00:26:24] Yeah. I think brain research is fascinating too, because before we used to think that once something happened in the brain, you could not grow new connections after some time, but we’re finding out that you can actually continue to build new connections no matter what age you are.

Kim: [00:26:40] I meet with guys over 50 with MS. So the Zoom meetings now and we were just talking the other day. I, I had to confess, I almost feel guilty because the guys that I’ve been speaking to that I see here, you know, I, I wish they could have my path because some of them are going down so badly, but you know, the MS drugs affect each person differently because MS is different for everyone. But I just, you know, I told him the other day, man, I feel guilty. Cause I’m coming back. I was, I was hurting big time, but I’m coming back and I just wish they could come back. I wish some of those guys could come back. 

   Damianne: [00:27:18] It’s been 15 years since your diagnosis, is that right? 

Kim: [00:27:22] Yes. Yes.

What’s easier now after 15 years [00:27:23]

Damianne: [00:27:23] So what comes easily to you now besides getting into the tractor? Which used to be more difficult before?

Kim: [00:27:28] Well, I’ve, I’ve had the since sell the tractor because  my condition is such I don’t have any help with my legs anymore. And we’ve actually moved. We were in Southern Colorado at my hometown, and we’ve actually moved to Northern Colorado. We’re in Fort Collins. 

This is the home of Colorado State University. I love being in college towns, very young, very vibrant, very smart people in this town. My thing now is taking care of my wife. When the beginning of the pandemic on March 13, you got to remember that was a Friday, March 13.

About His Wife [00:27:57]

I believe it was a Friday, but I think everybody went into weird mode for 48, 72 hours. My wife’s corporation, she works for the Keller Williams real estate people, they went into lockdown meetings and on Monday morning they were on the phone with their clients letting them know that yes, we’re going to get hit, but all of you need to be ready because when it’s time to come back, we all need to be prepared to do this, this, this.

So from the time this thing broke out, my wife has been working from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM every day with a one hour lunch break, talking to business people around the world. They need to be ready to get running back to gear because the world is going to need to come back. So I follow her all day long. I go make sure she’s got every two hours, got a snack. 

I’m going to go cook lunch for her in the moment. That’s what I do now. I’m Invigorated by how, how my wife has handled this very difficult time in our land, in our world. And so right now that’s what invigorates me right now . I’m proud of her. She’s working really hard.

Damianne: [00:29:05] When you were speaking earlier about how you were getting coached by your wife, it made me think about how there are two parts to this. There’s one, your wife coaching you, but not everybody accepts coaching. And also sometimes when you’re not feeling the same as before, when you find out you have some illness, there is some grieving that could happen and sometimes you could  be not a very nice person. So it’s interesting what comes out when we deal with those types of difficult changes

Kim: [00:29:34] And my wife has had to deal with that with me because MS is such that stress, I’m telling you any amount of stress right now, as I’m talking to you, this little bit of adrenaline is running in me. Now my legs are sticking straight out because my adrenaline is running. Any little bit of emotion can really turn me on or off.

Impact of MS on Relationships [00:29:55]

And I’ve learned how to be much more patient and slow down with my thoughts because the aggression is part of the multiple sclerosis diagnosis. That’s just part of what happens. 

Something clicks and you know, it caused a real riff between me and my little sister. Uh, she caught me in a bad mood one day and she hasn’t gotten over it. I don’t know about them talk to her again, dang it. But I want to. Please Julie, go look it up. What I did was part of my condition. I wasn’t doing it at you. It was part of what happens to me. And I just, I went nuts and said stupid things because that’s just what happens and I’ll get through to her someday, I promise. 

Damianne: [00:30:39] So, what have you found, what have you learned from the struggles? What would you say is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned from the struggles you’ve gone through?

Biggest Lesson of MS [00:30:48]

Kim: [00:30:48] I’m a real believer in positive thinking. You know, I am a true believer in the power of good grace. I’m a firm believer in acceptance. I think you live this life, you put into it, what you get out of it. And I put in nothing but love. I mean, it’s in me.

 Because I’m in a wheelchair and I roll into places, I’m the center of attention. I can either go in there and be a problem, or I can go in there and start laughing and talking to everybody because nobody’s going to stop me from talking. You probably assume that by now. Um, I’ve, I’ve been in front of thousands and thousands of people hosting halftime shows. Nothing scares me.

So it’s within me to be good, to turn people into good. I was at a store just in the last two weeks. When I went in there, there were two people in line and two people at the counter of this particular place.

 Then another guy comes in and he’s all huffy and puffy because he has to stand behind me and he’s like, ah, how long is this gonna take? And he said that out loud. And I just kinda turned around cause we all got our masks on and so just say how you going, man?

I just let him know that I was paying attention but he starts huffing more and more. And he starts walking around and more people come into the room and he’s making everyone uncomfortable, but they take them in the order they come in.

So when it was my turn, I turned around and said, yo, you are next. And I want you to be nice to somebody on purpose because I’m being nice to you right now. You are freaking everybody out here because you want to be a tough guy. I told him you want to be a tough guy. Well, I’m doing you a favor to go out today and do somebody else a favor.

And by the time he left there, he was my best friend and everybody in the room was doing high five. Hey, see you later, man, bye. So, you know, I can do that. That’s part of what I can do because of where I am. So I take control of that. It’s, it’s important for me to try to wreck positivity because I’m the guy that everybody looks at when he walks in the room, you know. That’s the truth.

The COVID-19 Situation [00:32:47]

Damianne: [00:32:47] You mentioned this happened  weeks ago. What’s it like with COVID-19 in terms of, what’s the situation like in your state, in your area.

Kim: [00:32:55] Fortunately we have a very smart governor. They asked for masks. In fact, they kind of require masks. If you own a business and you don’t want someone to come in without a mask, you can actually say so. And there’s a law now in the state that gives them the right to do so.

But I think everybody, you know, where I live in a college town, I think we’re all on the same page. You don’t see too many people without masks here. So we’ve been back to normal.  They just this week allowed, you know, things like stores to open. 

Actually, I went out and got my hair cut, which was probably a really good thing. Or otherwise you’d be looking at a completely different dude. Um, but everything’s going well, but I think everybody understands they have to wear a mask. I mean, that that’s a necessity. We must wear a mask. 

So I tell people when I see them, I’m smiling at you. You can’t see it. I’m smiling at you. I tell them because otherwise there’ll be no conversation.

Everybody just walks past everybody. And I’m once again, because I’m in the wheelchair, I’m smiling at you. I get it to everybody and believe me, I get stuff back, good stuff back.

Damianne: [00:33:58] As someone with MS you are considered high risk, right?

Kim: [00:34:03] Absolutely. Well actually on March 10th, my wife had me locked down. I didn’t go out of the house for a long time. But what we did was we went out on the weekends for rides so I can just get out of the car and out of the house  took the family out and rolled the windows down. 

We just took rides so I got to get out of the house, but my wife is a smart woman. Anybody who comes into my house has to have a mask on. My son comes home from work, he’s a mechanic comes right in the house, goes right into his bathroom, has to strip down and take a shower. 

Even though we’ve had some lax requirements here, she’s continuing our procedure. We’re going to act like it’s going to come back. 

Damianne: [00:34:37] That 

Kim: [00:34:38] And so we’re not going to change our mode. It’s already started. In fact, you know, as good as our state has done, I saw some of the numbers go up just a little bit even the last couple of days.

Damianne: [00:34:48] Yeah I think it’s even 

Kim: [00:34:50] Arizona, right now they’re full of mourning. All the hospitals get ready here it comes.

Finding New Opportunities in the Time of Coronavirus [00:34:55]

So I just, you know, until we get a vaccine we’re all gonna play this game. 

Damianne: [00:35:00] So in the meantime, while you’re mostly confined to the house, you seem to be enjoying your writing and doing Facebook lives and that kind of thing, right.

Kim: [00:35:10] I’m in the middle of my next book, which is about the death of fairness. This is the book that is pretty important to me because it talks about the rescinding of the fairness doctrine. 

There used to be a law in America, that radio stations and TV stations had to give contrasting points of view equal time . In other words, if somebody came on and said, Oh, the president’s from Kenya for 15 minutes, then it would be the requirement for someone to come on with authority  knowledge holding up the birth certificate, saying the president’s birth certificate is right here. He’s not from Kenya for 15 minutes, the same amount of time.

 In 1987, the fairness doctrine was rescinded by the Ronald Reagan administration. Because radio station and TV station corporations realized it was taking time and money to find people to come in and do contrasting points of view. So financially it was a problem for the corporations.

They complained to Reagan and Reagan said well, then we can get rid of it. We’ll just say it’s antagonistic to the rights granted by the first amendment. So when you take away the fairness doctrine, effectively what you do is you leave the president’s from Kenya, without someone saying he’s a liar. 

That’s what my book is all about, the first book. So now I’m writing a second book. In this book fire destroys the town actually because of the fairness doctrine. The second book examines why and how that happened.

So it’s pretty important to me being a former radio guy. I’ve always believed you should tell the truth and eliminate lies. So what happened after 1987 and the rescinding of the fairness doctrine was Rush Limbaugh, where anybody can go on the radio and just spew all sorts of lies and no one can come on after them and say you’re a liar. So now effectively you make lies legal. 

Damianne: [00:37:03] So this book is your main project right now. 

Kim: [00:37:07] The book right now has got me deep and there’s nothing more invigorating to me than getting up at four o’clock in the morning. And, you know, I’m just making up a story. I have a theme. I know where I’m going, but I’m making up the things in the middle.

And the first book is a short story. The next one’s going to be a novel cause  the protagonist is actually going to come back. She’s going to be in a wheelchair. She’s going to be a lesbian. She’s going to run for office.

She’s going to bring back the fairness doctrine is she’s going to go to be the president on the hopes that we can bring back a new version of the fairness doctrine. So that’s what my new story is all about. And this is all in my brain and I’m having a great time. I actually have research people.

  I have a lady here who just ran to be a Senator of the State of Colorado. I’m doing research with her so she can tell me what it’s like to be in a political campaign. The ladies who do my physical therapy at the rehab hospital are helping me with what it’s like for her. She’s actually going to become paralyzed. So I get to talk to them about what it’s like to go through that rehab and stuff so I’m getting really into it and it is so much fun. Nothing better than coming up with a great story.

Damianne: [00:38:12] That’s wonderful. I mean, if you’re going to spend so much time doing something, just like you said before, it’s not really work if you’re enjoying it.

Kim: [00:38:19] Oh, having a great time. And you know, I kind of get paid for it because every now and then, you know, I put my books out and people actually read them. Every now and then I’ll get a little check from Amazon and it’s pretty cool.

Sources of inspiration [00:38:33]

Damianne: [00:38:33] Where do you draw inspiration from. 

Kim: [00:38:36] I am spiritual without religion. I have a real hard problem with religion, but I am spiritual. I am very much the type of person you want to be around because I’m positive. I am encouraging. I get all of that from my mom.

 My mom was always a positive person. I remember the day, I remember where I was standing in my house, looking down on her when she said simply, you have to stop worrying about things you cannot control.

Damianne: [00:39:03] That lesson has stayed with you. 

Kim: [00:39:04] Oh forever. I remember exactly where I was, and you’ve got to stop worrying about things you cannot control. I was like whoa. 

Advice for dealing with difficult changes [00:39:12]

Damianne: [00:39:12] So for someone who is facing a difficult change, and you’ve definitely gone through that yourself, what’s some advice that you could offer. What do you think would help someone go through this kind of change gracefully, successfully?

Kim: [00:39:27] I think you need to look within yourself because I believe we all have the power to control most everything in our own existence. That even means your friends, your existence, your time with people. You can control all of that. It’s a clarity of mind. It gets me through this.

I understand what’s happened to me. I understand that I’m not going to let it stop me. I understand that I have a great wife and a great family. And so I really would encourage people just to, to think within themselves that they have the power, it’s within them. They have the power within them to control most, anything. It’s how you approach what happens to you. It’s what you do about it.

  I’m fortunate to have, you know, when you’re like me and people like me disabled to have a caregiver, like mine is why I’m here. Because without my caregiver, I would be in a real heap of mess. But my wife is a a genius. I love her. She’s pretty cool  It’s our 20th anniversary. 

Damianne: [00:40:37] Oh congratulations!

Kim: [00:40:38] Yes ma’am. Thank you. Thank you. 

Advice for progress and self-improvement [00:40:40]

Damianne: [00:40:40] I remember hearing somebody say that people don’t upset you, people don’t make you angry, that really you’re making yourself angry. You’re making yourself upset by the story you tell yourself. And I was like, what, certainly it’s their fault.  

But over time I’ve really come to, I mean, it comes with a lot of responsibility. It’s  a kind of hard pill to swallow that the misery you’re in often is your own doing.

Kim: [00:41:08] It is a hard pill to swallow, but it is reality.  I’m really looking for positive things coming out of all this going on in the world right now. I’m going to do what I can. 

On my blog has a story about To Kill a Mockingbird. Plus it also has my 2020 commencement address in which I explain that the reason we’re eating off this plate right now is because your parents, grandparents and great grandparents have voted you into this little place you’re in right now. 

I really need young people to go vote. The 18 to 50 year old needs to vote to control America .We need young people to vote and be positive and be forward thinking. That’s what my 2020 commencement address is all about, all in the blog.

Damianne: [00:41:55] Yeah, definitely. I keep reminding myself and other people that it’s about voting and it’s also about being aware of what the issues are, because sometimes things creep up on you and you don’t even realize exactly what’s happening until you kind of lose control of it or lose sight of it. And so I think it’s so important to know what’s happening around us in our world, in our environment.

Kim: [00:42:21] Absolutely. And I’m hoping that people educate themselves more. One thing I’ve done in the pandemic is I’ve read more than I’ve ever read. I’ve written more than I’ve ever written. I even kind of, I learned the concept of painting. I have a friend who is trying to teach a million people around the world how to paint.

He’s devised the thing it’s called a And he says there’s only eight notes. If you can figure out the eight notes on a piano, you can figure out the eight notes it takes to paint. And then he explains this on his video and I’m like, I could do that.

 He’s a personal friend. He and I have been friends for years, but I thought, wow, I could actually learn to paint now because of this one little thing I learned. I also learned how to ethically hack. So I’ve been growing my brain in this time, down here.

Damianne: [00:43:15] Yes. That’s something that interests me a lot because a few of my ancestors have had Alzheimer’s or other dementia related illnesses. And so I think, yeah, I’m going to need to just keep learning new things to try to keep my brain as healthy as possible. 

I’m so grateful for the time you’ve taken to chat with me today. As we end, is there anything else you would like to add to this conversation, anything I haven’t asked.

Kim: [00:43:45] I just want to say thank you. I appreciate you taking the time with me today. Like I said earlier, you almost gotta tell me to stop. Cause I don’t stop. 

I like to talk, but you know, think good things, be good to each other. And remember that we are all on this planet. We are all here. None of us are different. We are all here.


About the Author
I'm a curious problem solver.

1 comment on “Building a New Life Living with MS

  1. Michele Medley says:

    I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2014 but had my first symptoms in 2012. both my legs were spasming mostly at night which made sleeping difficult. I tried Copaxone for about 5 years or so. The Copaxone causes joint pain, I have tried several types of medications but all made me sick. In 2019 I went to a care facility, life was too difficult at home for my husband and family. I was advised by one of the nurse at the care facility to try natural treatments, She introduced me to Mayaka Herbal Clinic, spoke to my husband about it and he went online to research, My husband read positive reviews from other people who used the product from Mayaka Clinic, We decided to start me on the treatment. Its been 7 months since I completed the treatment, It has made a tremendous difference for me. all my symptoms including poor vision, pain, fatigue, and other symptoms stopped.

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