Monday, 6 March 2017

Jessica Was Here

I am unwell again. I don't know if it is a new virus, or the same one which has been haunting me all winter. I awoke this morning with a raging sore throat, a low grade headache, and pain in my inner ear. This, along with the tremendous weakness that went further than simple ALS, was enough to keep me in bed, unmoved by the passing hours.

Where this renewed illness comes from, I know not. It might be that I have been very busy ever since coming back from the road trip. It might be that I have been entertaining for a few nights in a row, consuming more wine than I should. It might be that this damn virus has locked on to my ever weakening body, opportunistic enough to break me down but not strong enough to do me in. Regardless, it's back.

This morning, when my Home Care Aide finished cleaning my apartment she asked if I wanted to get up. I said no. That was at 11:00 AM. Next thing I knew it was 2:15 PM. My friend Jessica was due at 4:30. We were going to do dinner and a move. I texted her to let her know that there would be no dinner or movie. She came over regardless.

When Jessica arrived I was still mostly asleep, unable to rouse myself even for a decent greeting. Then she did something amazing, something which had an incredible therapeutic effect on me. She curled up on the bed beside me and told me I was going to be okay. She lay there with me for an hour or more, holding me, letting me absorb her energy and strength. Finally I felt like I could get up.

At that point, she became Nurse Jessica, helping me get up, get into my commode chair, get into the bathroom. While I was in the bathroom she changed the sheets on my bed and set it up so that I could go right back to bed if I wanted. I didn't. Her warmth and caring made me feel like I could handle being up for a while. She helped me dress, my energy level still so low that almost everything felt like climbing a mountain.

We had something to eat, the remnants of my fruit plate from Saturday night. She made me coffee. We talked. We ate the cannoli she had picked up on her way. Then she suggested we watch a movie. She helped me transfer, then curled up beside me as we watched Dirk Gently on Netflix. Again she energized my enervated soul. My body is still exhausted, but my spirits were incredibly comforted by her simple act of sitting with me, holding me, listening to me.

I am still and once again exhausted, ready for sleep after only four hours awake. Jess has gone home to her husband, Todd. Yet in the few hours she was here she gave me so much. She made me feel safe, warm, enveloped. She listened to my weariness, cared for my weakness, shared my space quietly. For this, I am completely grateful.


  1. Thank you Jessica... you are truly magnificent, with a heart of gold. gg

  2. Thanks Jessica. You are such a generous soul.
    Richard - it also shows what an amazing person you are - to have friends like her !