Columns

Who Is Protecting Whom?

Lately, I’ve been pondering the many ways our lives have changed for the sake of safety, like tamper-proof packaging, airport screening, and two-step password verification. I get it. Identity thieves are everywhere, so are scammers, along with the just plain crazies. We might be a little safer, but I…

Finding Hope Alongside the Ski Trail

Last Sunday, the temperature was in the high 40s, making the tracks in the cross-country ski trail smooth and fast. A gurgling brook carried away snowmelt from a long winter. Birds sang. Two chipmunks scampered up a tree, one chasing the other. Spring skiing is one of my favorite…

‘Mission Impossible’ Merits a Blockbuster Cast

“To dream the impossible dream, To fight the unbeatable foe, … To reach the unreachable star, … This is my quest.” Vanquish ALS! Last week, my wife and I enjoyed a visit from a dear friend of ours. Interactions with him always have a quixotic effect on my psyche. Just…

Is It Too Much to Wish for Marital Bliss?

I felt twinges of grief as I shopped for a card for a young couple’s wedding. First card: “Wishes on this special day for happiness, joy, and love, along with a future that will bring everything you are dreaming of.” Sigh. I wish my husband and I had a future.

The Same as It Never Was

“And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack … And you may ask yourself, ‘Well, how did I get here?’ … Letting the days go by, same as it ever was.” Although I’m not proud of it, my life, pre-ALS, was largely a fortunate stream of autopilot idleness.

My Recovery Plans Come to the Rescue

If you happened to read my column last week, you’re probably thinking I’m writing this while sitting on a sunny beach, gazing at the ocean, and sipping a tropical drink with a little paper umbrella in it. That’s because I wrote about my busy month filled with ALS-related events,…

Breathing Easier With Support

Figuring out how to manage each stage of ALS for my husband, Todd, is a challenge. Each time Todd experiences another loss, I scramble to find answers and resources. Our latest challenge was trying to get proper support for Todd’s Astral noninvasive ventilator. It doesn’t help that we…

Twisting the Night Away on the Titanic

“And you know that you’re over the hill, When your mind makes a promise that your body can’t fill.” This refrain from the Little Feat song “Old Folks Boogie” could have been written with ALS sufferers in mind. It partly portrays our truncated existence. It humorously depicts making the…

How I Use Recovery Plans to Face Stressful Events

This month, I have a few ALS-related activities scheduled that in the past could have easily left me feeling exhausted. But now that I’m following my own advice, I know my recovery plan will let me sail through the month with ease. I’ve often discussed the ALS symptoms of…

Preparing for a Respiratory Emergency

ALS has compromised the breathing of my husband, Todd, to the point where his positioning — unless he is using the Astral noninvasive ventilator — can mean the difference between being able to breathe or not. We only realized how bad it was a couple of weeks ago when we…