Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Internet

It's amazing to my how much the Internet has changed our lives. The advent of things like Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps and a host of other applications connected through the Internet have broadened my world in ways I would never have expected. It has brought loved ones closer, rebuilt lost connections and enabled me not only to share my ALS journey with others, but allowed others to share theirs with me. The Internet has enabled my writing, my learning, my growing; the list is near endless and it just keeps getting longer. It is an amazing tool.

Consider the political changes we see happening in the world around us, or the oppression we know goes on in places like Syria, Russia, and sometimes even here at home. These ills of the world can no longer be held quiet, hidden in the dark places of society, struck in the breast of night and suckled by its darkness. The power to communicate empowers the individual, something those in power hate to think about.

Yet perhaps the best thing about our modern communications is its ability to enable people like me to share my experiences and to meet others with struggles like mine; to meet, virtually and sometimes physically, those who understand the pain and difficulty of my illness; to meet people who are going through this and who have helped a loved one through this. It is a powerful thing to know that you are not alone, that others understand what this damnable disease does.

I met one of those people yesterday, a young woman whose mother has passed away, another victim of ALS. For this young lady it was a clarion call to a life of action. She has become an advocate, a warrior on behalf of those of us too tired, to exhausted, to worn to fight. She is a bundle of energy, compassion and enthusiasm; one of a kind.

She is one of the first I have met outside of my medical team and the ALS Society of Alberta who I can be with and not have to explain why I have to eat, why I suddenly get so tired, why I want to be pushed in my chair sometimes and not others, why driving is so important to me. Thanks to the Internet, I get to meet her and others who understand my journey. I love this; it makes me happy.