In mid December of 2009, I was making a presentation after a brainstorming session at the corporate office of the pharma company I work for. Out of nowhere I noticed an occasional word or syllable didn't flow as easily as it should. It was only noticeable to me but believe me, I noticed it. It was the last day of our meeting so I flew back to Little Rock but didn't tell Jeff about the incidence. I wanted to see if he picked up on it but he didn't. Two weeks later I finally told him what had occurred and then we proceeded to have a fight because I thought he was watching my mouth instead of listening to me! Close to Christmas, we made a trip with our children to Grand Rapids, MI, to visit Rebekah, Juston, and our grandsons, Hudson and Hamilton. Even though we were in close contact with each other and when we are together you can count on much discussion taking place, no one noticed anything. Jeff had mentioned this to our daughter Abby, who is a speech pathologist, but she concluded it must have been nothing because she noticed nothing different about my speech. After Christmas and back at work I seemed fine in the morning and even through most of the afternoon but by evening my mouth and jaw would be tired. We noticed on the weekends my speech seemed better because I didn't have to talk all day like when I was working. But still, that was the symptom that stood out and I felt fine otherwise. I was even training for a half marathon in March! Finally Jeff forced me to visit our family practice physician who sent me immediately to have an MRI to rule out any chance of stroke. It showed no evidence that anything of that nature had occurred which I felt great about, of course! That began our search down a long and frustrating road to know what was going on with me. The good news is that I am a really healthy 54 year old in all areas except that I was eventually diagnosed with ALS. Are you kidding me? I have been extremely blessed with terrific health my entire life and was proactive to take care of myself trying to avoid the unhealthy heart genetics possibly passed on by my parents! I use to tell mom and dad I was planning a bypass procedure around age 65 just in case!
Needless to say I am devastated by this diagnosis since there is no cure. I have loved the life I have been privileged to live and I shouldn't complain but I just not that compliant with this type of news! I am so thankful to have lived the dream I had of loving my husband, raising our children to become faithful believers in God and His son, and basically working hard at whatever I thought worthy and just loving life! I just had a different plan in mind...many more events to be part of on this earth. I am praying for God's mercy to pour over me and restore the physical strength I once had! In the meantime, I am trying to remain focused on the same things I have always thought important, family and friends. I see no benefit in changing my life pattern just because of ALS! I am starting this blog out of respect to my children and friends that have requested I write a book. I don't think I can pull that off but those of you that know me know I love to talk to everyone, knowing you isn't really necessary! I am the person that wants everyone to feel included, even in line at Starbucks! And I must admit that I have strong opinions about whatever is very important and so the title of my blog, " More to Say ". Very seldom do I not have something to say, even though it has been an adult challenge of mine to learn to be silent in many circumstances! I sense this blog will become an outpouring of the numerous thoughts and moments I observe but cannot comment on because it has become very difficult to speak or to be understood. Hopefully I can share these because you can be certain, I may not can speak but I still have more to say!