I can’t believe that it was the end of July when I last blogged. I’m happy to say that we are in a better spot than when I last wrote. We were able to get Jim on some additional medication so his aspiration pneumonia cleared up. He also changed the way he started eating which has helped prevent any future infections. I am happy to report that he is currently stable. We are still trying to figure out medicaid, but I am keeping the faith and confident that this will come through very soon.
ALS is a horrible disease, but one of the gifts it has given me is gratitude. Before this I thought about gratitude in a very abstract way. I knew it was good to be grateful and I did remember occasionally (once a year in November) to be grateful for all that I had, however, when you are living with a deadline, gratitude takes on a whole new meaning. My gratitude for the moments that I have with Jim, for the moments that our son has with Jim is ever-present. Also, when you live with someone whose abilities are so limited, it changes your perspective and you find it easier to be grateful for the simple things. There are times when I am simply grateful for the ability to scratch an itch or when my feet hurt from walking, I’m grateful I can walk.
This is, of course, when I am being my best self. There are certainly many times when I have stumbled into the “why mes” and I could not find gratitude if it was covered in fluorescent green. What I have learned though, is if I can go to gratitude, I feel so much better. Being grateful puts you in the present moment and allows you to see the possibilities instead of all that’s wrong with your life or the fears of what may come. Don’t get me wrong, we all need a good cry or to get really angry, but staying in that state doesn’t bring me what I need. Gratitude is what makes living life in an impossible situation possible.
So, practicing what I preach, I want to express my gratitude for so many people who are supporting us in this impossible situation. I was so overwhelmed by the responses we received from my last blog. I am so grateful for our families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, medical professionals, community groups, and people we don’t even know who have supported us by praying, sending a note, providing meals, giving advice, providing financial support, and so much more. As much as I hate this disease, I hope this lesson of gratitude is one I never forget.