Tuesday, December 29, 2015


      Whether it was launching a baseball from the warning track to the catcher, pinpointing a frisbee 75 yards to the end zone, or landing a fierce jab to the gut of a foe, I've always relied on my right arm. Even when it came to the easy stuff like brushing my teeth, holding my phone, lifting a pint of beer, my right arm always won out. 
      Now a days this is no longer the case. When ALS threw the kitchen sink at me it collided with the right side of my body. Tripping over my right foot is where this fight started and now it's turned me into a southpaw. Put a 50 lbs oven mit on your right hand and try to write an email or pick up the remote. That's what it feels like in my fingers and arm. My brain tells my arm to move but it stays basically motionless unless I whip out a killer shoulder shrug or move it with my left arm. 
      A fellow ALS fighter just wrote a blog where she shot down the idea that giving up independence might as well be a death sentence. I've struggled mightily at every point that I've had to concede and give up independence. Rocky had Mickey in his corner. I've got God in my corner as I'm training to become a southpaw (look it up). God does not promise ease; however, He does promise to never leave you or forsake you. It is this chapter of my life that has changed me. I've got a new fighting style. With new eyes and a new fist, I see the things that matter. I see and feel the Grace. This fight isn't even close to over.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ground Control to Major Tom

      Today is another transition in my life. A dude from LiftSystems is coming to install a ceiling track to help me in and out of bed every night, which will improve Chelle's quality of life quite a bit now that she won't need to lift my heavy ass. The thought of playing the Crane Game every night with my body has got me feeling strange if not introspective.
      It took me a long time to open up about my ALS and really communicate all my feelings, worries and anger that go along with it. Prior to opening up in these blogs and being true with my friends and family, ALS was tearing me apart on the inside. I was always a guy who kept my thoughts and feelings close to the vest, unless I had four beers or so, then my emotions would explode and usually make someone and/or me cry. 
      Knowing that one day this bullshiit disease may come after me and possibly my voice is all the more reason for me to be as clear, effective and purposeful with my communication. I don't have time to lie, to put on a front, or to internalize my feelings. I do however have time to tell you all how much I love you, how much I depend on the people in my bubble that make life as "normal" as possible for me. I do still have time to teach kids how to read and decode and how to add and subtract fractions. I do have time to answer questions about ALS, no matter how personal, to advocate for people like me. So keep the questions coming. I will speak "baby talk" to Arik Kristoffer when he is born in the coming days and blow raspberries on Abram and Allen's head. I will shoot you a glance in a meeting that says it all. I will toast your successes and 
comfort you in times of sadness. I will speak God's Grace.