Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

So far this morning I've managed to drop two oranges and spill a cup of coffee. Yes, it was two different oranges. No, I did not spill the whole cup of coffee, just about a quarter of it, enough to call for a clean up on Aisle 6. I suppose I shouldn't complain. I picked up the oranges with my grabby stick and cleaned up the coffee with a nearby towel. It could have been worse. The oranges could have rolled into a place where I couldn't reach them. I could have spilled the whole cup of coffee.

There is always a bright side to these things, although I am at a loss to find it a great many days. For example, today I am having a lot of pain in my left shoulder and weakness on my left side from my neck right down to my fingers. My left thumb is having trouble with the spacebar. It's not too much trouble; I am still typing. But my fingers ache and my shoulder hurts and my neck is sore. And I am tired. So where is the bright side?

I could say that the bright side is that I am still alive, and doing quite well. That's true. Most PALS who were diagnosed at the same time as me are dead now, some having gone in months, others making it to the three year mark. That's the median. Half of PALS die within 36 months of diagnosis. I am a full year past that in another week. Is that the bright side?

You see, I'm not so sure. Quality of life has come to mean a great deal to me these days. I am becoming increasingly willing to stay at home, to stay in bed, to be alone. Everything tires me out; I'm too tired to even have sex, were that opportunity even available. I am unable to complete any task without taking a rest, or giving it up altogether, leaving it half done until tomorrow. Is living like this really the bright side?

My two big goals today are to re-package a large package of ground beef into smaller pieces, and to boil some eggs before they expire. I got the ground beef on sale in the larger pack, but I have a Food Saver to help with the downsizing. These eggs have a best before date of October 29th, a full two weeks ago. If I boil them, they will keep in the fridge a bit longer. Maybe I will make Devilled Eggs for the football game this Sunday.

These low ambitions are my focus for today. That and my daughter Kate is coming for dinner. I am making Chili in Bread Bowls. It's a simple meal, but healthy and filling. I made the chili a couple of days ago, so I don't have to do that. I just have to heat it up, empty the bread bowl, and fill it with chili. And that, these few tasks, are what I now consider a full day. I'm still looking for the bright side.


  1. You Richard, are the bright side for your readers❤ You affect our lives daily... even those who do not comment think of you throughout the day, anticipating your next post. ALS is not for the faint of heart... you prove it every single day! Love to you from Oregon.

  2. One of the bright sides of my day is to read your posts, Richard. Truly mean it ...