Consider This - From a Person with ALS
We received this from Jan Elser, a person with ALS (PALS,) on the email list from our ALS support group. I thought it enlightening and decided to pass it on to you. I've made small changes to Jan's original to fit Frances' particular condition. Thank you Jan.
What if you woke up in the morning at your usual time of 5:30, eagerly waiting the new day but could not get up. What if you wanted to open the shades and view Gods creation yet one more time but can’t. What if you can not open the door every morning and breathe the fresh air. What if you could not dress dress yourself, get your clothes out of the closet or hang them up, put on your favorite jewelry. What if you could not shampoo your own hair or bathe yourself. What if you had to wait until a helper arrived to be lifted painfully in a sling, moved across the room on an overhead track and set on a potty chair, hoping your body will do what it has done for 40 years by itself because you can’t control it any long. What if you could not walk over to the coffee pot and brew a fresh cup of coffee for yourself. What if you could not pour yourself a cup of coffee nor carry it to your favorite chair. What if your hands can no longer lift your immobile legs into place.
What if you only had no motor skills, not being able to move anything except your lips and eyes. What if you can not reach the remote control to turn on the TV. You can not walk, stand, set down or get up – at all. What if you could not straighten your pillow at night, lift your legs into bed, or turn over in bed. What if you can not reach the telephone. What if you can only go places with proper facilities and never go by yourself. What if you could not cook or serve your own food. And even if you could, what if you could not eat except through a tube in your tummy. What if you can not hold your children in your lap, touch them, kiss them, or even see them unless they stand in the right place in your room. What if you can not open your car door, or any door, or drive yourself to Starbucks or anywhere at all. What if you could not speak and must communicate by controlling a computer with your eyes, typing out what you want to say one slow letter at a time moving your eyes over a keyboard and clicking by blinking.
WHAT IF THE BAND PLAYS AND YOU CAN NOT DANCE!
You twist your leg around and give yourself a swift kick in the butt and say to yourself, look Chickie Poo, life goes on. I still have my eyesight and my hearing. I can breathe (albeit with a ventilator through a tube in my neck/throat.) My mind is active and in tack. If they come into my room and stand in the right place I can see my children. Here is so much to be thankful for. I have hundreds of my friends praying for me.
I have a husband who is attentive to me. No one has refused to help me when I ask. We have 2 healthy children. God has taught me to let go of earthly concerns. It is humbling to be dependent on others for my existence, but that is where God wants me to be.
Counting my blessings,
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