Tuesday, 19 November 2013


It was to be my last day of freedom; I didn't know it. It was to be my last day of living a so-called normal life; I didn't know it. It was to be the last day where I could live with a dream of a future, the hope of many tomorrows, the wish to build a life and live it. On this day, one year ago, I got hit by the bus, the bus called ALS, only I didn't know it.

That Monday was a regular day, a routine filled day. Just as with so many days before, but not so many since, I got up, went to the bathroom, had a shower and got dressed. I made my morning coffee and checked my personal email on my laptop before going to work. Only already I had seen a difference in my body, and in my lifestyle. Already I was having enough trouble that I had gotten a handicapped tag. Presciently, the doctor decided to apply for a long term tag rather than a short term tag; I think he might have had his suspicions already but was not willing to say. That was the job of a neurologist.

My plan for the day was simple; go to work and then, on the way home, stop at Foothills Hospital Emergency Ward to get them to check me out. I was pretty sure it would be a short stay. In fact while I had told my boss at work what was happening, I had only suggested I might be there for a day or so while they did tests. In reality I didn't even expect to lose a day at work.

I left work early to get ahead of the rush. It didn't help; the Emergency Ward was full to bursting. The duty nurse warned me it would be a long wait, as they had a number of urgent trauma cases that had come in and life in the ER was a busy one. So I waited, from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM. At 9:00 PM the intern saw me. He didn't really know what it was but was fairly sure it was neurological. I am guessing that ER interns don't see a lot of ALS.

The ER intern ordered blood tests, the first of many, and called the on-call neurologist. They warned me that it might take a few hours for the neurologist to show up, but then, suddenly, there he was. That should have been a warning to me. He poked, he prodded, he asked me all kinds of questions. Then he said I would need to have a full body MRI plus some additional X-Rays. To get all this, I would have to stay in the hospital overnight. So I got a comfy lazy-boy chair in the ambulatory waiting space.

My friend Anisa brought me some snacks. My friend Dion took my truck home for me. Other friends dropped by, but eventually everyone went home and it became a long night of waiting, waiting for the morning tests, waiting for what was to become the first day of the rest of my life.

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