THE ODDS (Debbie Does ALS)


Oh to be a Hindu deity

Today is Cecilia's 17th birthday. (I know, I can't believe it either.) I have not had to write or sign anything in a very long time; well, long by my standards, probably 4-5 weeks. Anyway, I wanted to sign her birthday card. The first time I picked up the pen it fell right out of my hand. After several attempts, my left hand positioned the pen in my right hand in such a way that I was able to scrawl "Love, Mom." My handwriting was no better than that of a five-year-old, but it was still my hand.

When ALS struck my right hand was the first to suffer. As my hand became weaker, many duties were assumed by the left: applying makeup, brushing my teeth, using a fork and spoon, etc. But now it's becoming more difficult to use my left hand and, there being no third hand to which to turn, I have to be creative. Enter the small plastic cup, small enough that I can grasp, into which certain snack foods are poured -- including McDonald's french fries WHICH I LOVE. It may look funny but it works, and it gives me the illusion of independence -- well, after someone procures the snack, puts it in a cup, and brings it to me. That's still being independent, right?

Certain foods require that I be fed by someone else and, when my left hand becomes as useless as my right, ALL foods will require a helper. Unless by some miracle (or a hideous curse) I wake up one morning like this:

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