Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Let Go, Let God

     Pneumonia ain't no joke. It's especially brutal when you have ALS and can't cough worth a damn. I spent a week in the hospital being poked and prodded, tubes down my throat sucking out flem and having doctors in and out of my room talking about "what if's?" They asked about a tracheostomy, which I am opposed to. It's a hot topic with ALS patients right now, but for me my future in heaven greatly outweighs being completely trapped in my body. Michelle signed many Do-Not-Resuscitate forms before my Bronchoscopy procedures. And I had to lay in a bed for 8 days being told when I could eat and drink with no shower in sight. It was the scariest time of my life. I thought it was going to be the end, but I poured all of my hope and trust into God and he made it clear I'm not done yet, but even if I was I would be ok with it.
     I am now back home with Michelle and Wrigley, the IV's removed from my arms, my ability to breathe working its way back, with the help of numerous machines.  I watch the trees wave in the wind, listen to the rain, sleep next to my beautiful wife, I feel like a person again. The mind fuck that I face is that of course I'm happy to be home and feeling better, yet how great can I feel when I still have a terminal illness with no cure. Being in the hospital for a week really zapped the small bit of strength I had left. I'm having trouble driving my wheelchair, my neck feels weaker and now I have even more nurses stopping in to make sure I'm maintaining some sense of  "normalcy."
     It's hard not to burst into tears when I think about my future. However, when I start thinking dark thoughts I dive into God's word where He promises pain and sickness is not permanent and that He will never abandon me no matter how miserable the experience may become. I don't know when my last day will be but I do know for sure that when that day comes I will be consumed with Grace and made anew. On that day I will conquer ALS.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


     The summer is officially over by my standards. Michelle has returned to work. Last year at this time I would have been just getting into the swing of things after my honeymoon period with my students. Reading stations would be in full swing, benchmarks would be set, behavior interventions under way, scrapping organization techniques that flopped, my fellow teachers know what I'm talking about. I would be on a double dose of caffeine every day and begging Michelle every morning to hit snooze to no avail. It's not last year though, I've retired and am in a whole different world. A forewarning to those who may already have a tear in their eye, this blog post isn't for dwelling on the past. I will always be a teacher as I've said before, my curriculum and environment has simply changed.
     My days begin differently these days. I give Michelle a quick kiss before she leaves and then I sleep for three more hours before my PIC (Partner in Crime) comes to help me with all the physical shit I can no longer do. My PIC, Emily, is really more of a blessing God provided me for my next chapter. Em cleans the house, waters the plant, feeds me, does laundry, helps me run errands, plays with Wrigley, the list goes on. She is a stress killing superhero. Em frees me up to focus on the priorities. Students needs used to be priority number one for me, now my priorities are much simpler.
     Now I focus my attention on Love. Keeping in touch with those that I love. Telling them I love them, showing them that I love them, and connecting with those that need more love. I spend more time reading God's word. I brainstorm ways to advocate for those with ALS and for families in the Stateline area that need love and support. I also don't waste my time on bad TV or music. I've caught up on shows, and discovered excellent musicians. Don't get me started on my awesome Fantasy Football teams. I eat what I want and only drink great beer, I ain't got the time for sub-par cuisine and crappy beer.
     I know there will be days when memories come creeping back into my mind and make me feel sad, but that ain't today. I've got a new curriculum to follow, a curriculum that is ever changing, a curriculum bursting at it's seams with Grace.