Ten years ago our nation was attacked by terrorist destroying the World Trade Center along with over three thousand lives. I still recall that day like it happened yesterday. I remember I was walking past the fitness center at work and saw a group of people gathered around the TV watching the first tower on fire, smoke billowing up into the crystal clear blue sky over New York City. as I watched the second plane fly into the second tower, I knew our nation was never going to be the same again. I went home at lunch and I took my dog for a walk like I did everyday. But on this particular afternoon walking along, I recall everything seemed so surreal. The surroundings seemed extra quiet as I was contemplating what I had just witnessed like time was at a stand still. I had a sick feeling in my stomach. That was five years before I was given the diagnosis of ALS.
Five years later, I was diagnosed with a disease I barely even knew anything about. Much like that day on 9/11, I was left with a sick feeling of hopelessness and despair. I knew my life would never be the same again unsure of how many years I had left to live. Most people are given three to five years after diagnosis. I have exceeded that by a year and a half.
My life has changed dramatically since then. First, I lost my ability to walk leaving me confined to a wheelchair. Then I noticed my fingers not responding, my speech began to sound slurred. now I can't speak at all, eat, have difficulty swallowing, droll, get my nutrition through a tube in my stomach, my arms and hands are weak making it nearly impossible to hold onto anything without dropping something. I require help with every aspect of my personal care. This certainly isn't the life I wanted to live but with God's help, I have come to terms with my situation.
Since my diagnosis, I came to realize we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Just like those that lost their lives on 9/11, they didn't go to work that morning anticipating to die on that particular day.
I have made the decision to live out the remaining days of my life knowing God has a plan and a purpose for my life whatever that may be. I still have much to be thankful for. I have great people surrounding me that love me and a wonderful family, wife, kids, wonderful daughter in laws.I have been blessed with the best caregivers anyone could ask for. They have almost become like family to me and am extremely grateful for the care they provide for me.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.