i was diagnosed in 1991. i have had 4 exacerbations since then. Each episode i was hospitalized and given steroids iv then rehab. each episode left me weaker and i can.t walk as far as i used to without limping or not being able to walk at all. at. the time of each episode i lived alone, i had no family around or support. After the '97 episode i was left with swallowing problems and urinary trouble and sometimes i stutter.