Thursday, March 26, 2009

Its just more fun to laugh.

I know the image is fuzzy. I couldn't hold the camera steady since I was laughing at the time.

We got a call from a sister-in-law a couple weeks back asking if we wanted an electric wheelchair. It had belonged to her father who passed away recently, and her mother doesn't have any need for the wheelchair. Thus it was offered to us. Jeff knew this was not a subject I would be eager to discuss and he was right. Part of me was grateful for the kindness and generosity of the gift, as those items are pricey. But the other part of me was ticked. Bigtime. I should rephase: I was angry with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the resulting situation.

It was just over a year ago that I went on an 11 mile run while training for a marathon. Granted the following week it was obvious something was seriously wrong and I quit training. Jeff recently asked if I missed running. I could feel the tears start to sting my eyes just thinking about it! Yes, I do miss running. But to my outdoorsy friends and running friends, PLEASE don't feel like you can't talk to me about that stuff. Sure I'm envious and kind of hope you trip, but the softer side of me hopes you don't get hurt while going down.

The mobility digression, as I see it. Running. Walking unassisted. Walking with brace. Walking with brace and cane? Then a wheelchair?? Eeek. My new leg brace should be available in a week or so. I have put the purchase off for much too long and now with my pride shoved aside I'm looking forward to wearing the brace.

I will be fine in one area and then my body seems to nosedive. For instance, take my hands. I felt as if my right hand had been stronger than my left hand until about 2 weeks ago. Then one day I realized that I could no longer make an "L" shape with my hand. You know, when your thumb is at a 90 degree angle perpendicular to your fingers. My atrophy in my hand muscles is to the point that the most my thumb moves out on its own is 45 degrees. Tonight Jeff and Shane changed out all the door knobs in the house to levers. The levers are easier to open.

Last Sunday Jeff picked up the wheelchair and it has been sitting in our garage covered with a old green tarp. Each time I went in the garage and saw that tarp covered addition I could feel the irritation grow.

But today my attitude changed, and I owe a big thank you to Dawn. She stopped by to say hi and dropped off a dinner. Dawn is one of the most witty persons you'll ever meet and so so funny. Anyway, I managed to blurt out that there was an electric wheelchair in the garage. I can't remember what her response was but whatever it was it made me laugh, and (click) a light bulb turned on. I realized that I can be embarrassed about these lousy changes and mope in the background, or I can at least try to make the best of it.

Right then I turned to Erik and said, "Hey maybe you can get out the wheelchair and race Daxton." His friend has one of those cool kiddy cars. Can't you just see these two little boys racing down the sidewalk. Well Erik could and so could I! So I changed my mind and said, "When Dad gets home maybe he can take you on a ride." After dinner Jeff needed to go to a neighbors house for something. The tarp came off the wheelchair and both Erik and Megan climbed on his lap for the ride. And off they zipped.

Everyone has something that they need to work through and learn from. For now this happens to be our "something."

If you ask "how are you" I'll probably reply with "fine." I'm living ALS 24/7 so honestly, I really don't want to talk about it. But if you do ask a more specific question (and one not inquiring as to my emotions) I'm more apt to answer. Frankly there are other things I'd rather talk about.