Friday, 9 December 2016

Trouble Breathing

I wish, just once in a while, good news could stand on its own, and just be good news alone for a while. Unfortunately with ALS, this is virtually impossible. While I had good news yesterday, it was tempered with the realization that I am entering a new phase of my illness, and have been slowly entering this phase for a couple of months. Remember, with ALS, nothing is easy, nothing is fast. It's all slow and difficult.

Breathing is the issue slowly arising in my life. It's not that I can't breath; it's that I run out of breath so much more quickly than I have in the past. It used to be that I ran out of breath with heavy activity, things like dressing, or taking a shower, or moving things about. Then I started to run out of breath with simple activities like rolling my wheelchair over carpet, or preparing a meal. It's getting worse.

These days I find myself running out of breath for no reason at all, or for what seems like no reason at all. For example, if I am in a conversation on the phone, I tend to run out of breath. For that matter, any conversation can cause me to exhaust myself, cause me to run out of breath. Sometimes I run out of breath just sitting here doing nothing. It's not that I cannot breath; it's that the results of breathing don't seem to be meeting the requirement.

This transition is a signal. It's hard to stay alive when you are having trouble breathing. Right now it's not an all the time thing. A while ago it was a once in a while thing. Now it's a more often than not thing. When it becomes an all the time thing, that will be a marking point, a place where I am compelled to decide. For now, it's annoying. I can manage it by managing my exertion, be it emotional or physical. I can control it by not engaging in significant effort, either in activity or in speaking. Eventually though, it won't matter. Eventually, sooner rather than later, I will stop breathing.

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