Old 12-18-2006, 03:35 PM #1 (permalink)
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My body has taken on a mind of its own. This makes even the most mundane task interesting, to say the least. Hands and feet that once obeyed commands effortlessly now agree to cooperate, only to fumble the job, sometimes to the point of negligence.

This is never more evident than when I am visiting my daughter and her family, who live in the Denver area. I think the thin air and the fact that I usually take the cheap (read: red-eye) flights have something to do with it. At any rate, taking our grandchildren on a tour of the candy factory was an adventure. I was in charge of the two year old and the stroller, which means I spent a lot of energy getting him in and out of the thing whenever he wanted to look through the big picture windows to see the factory in operation. By the time we got to the factory store, I was maneuvering the stroller right into fellow customers and/or fragile displays of ribbon candy.

I have decided that one should go home at that point. A person really should get some rest when she starts becoming a nuisance. But this is Christmas, I was in Denver with the babies, and I didn’t want to rest. So off we went to a mall.

Once again they put me in charge of the toddler and his stroller, except that now the little boy wanted to walk. One does not reason with a tired two year old. So I took his hand, grabbed the stroller with my free hand, and proceeded to march. Did I mention that walking is a bit more complicated these days? I must remember to pick up my right foot high enough so that my toe does not drag, I must remember to make sure my thigh muscles will accept my weight when I ask them to, and now I was doing all this while negotiating my precious grandson through a mall parking lot a week before Christmas.

And I was asking my weakest hand to the heavier work of pushing the stroller, thinking that if I lost control of anything in the middle of a busy parking lot, that thing had better be something replaceable, as opposed to my pride and joy.

The poor stroller. I rammed it into a couple of light poles and the side of at least one store, and when my daughter noticed that fellow shoppers were at risk she lost patience just a little bit.

“Mom!” She exclaimed, “You almost walked right into that lady!”

I looked around at the stream of foot traffic and said, “Well, why can’t they watch out for me?” Then I hit upon both the reason for this and a solution: they didn’t expect to have to steer clear of me! They had no clue how risky it is to be around me these days.

“I know what I need,” I declared, “I need some sort of tee shirt with a warning printed on it. It could say something like: beware! Confused elderly person ambulating. Proceed at your own risk.”

Jen is a warm and funny woman, and she didn’t miss a beat. “Oh, we’ll get you a shirt with writing on it, all right,” she vowed. “I won’t say what it will be, but rest assured everyone will notice you!”

Now that is how to handle an ALS incident!
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:05 PM #2 (permalink)
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LOL Hey Cindy If no damage was done to anything except an ego it was a successful outing. I was out on Wed. and fell stepping off the curb banging head ankle and wrist. Injured pride mostly. Got son to get walker from van and after the 4 people it took to get me upright again I used the walker. Didn't fall down after that. We can be a stubborn bunch. AL.
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:23 PM #3 (permalink)
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Glad you enjoyed the story, Al! How's the head ankle and wrist?
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:25 PM #4 (permalink)
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Fine now. Neck is a bit stiff but that's about all. Thanks for asking. AL.
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:41 PM #5 (permalink)
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Al - OUCH!

Cindy - glad you (and the mall citizens of Denver) survived your trip.

My daughters are getting to be great escorts for me. They always take hold of my arm just when it looks like I'm about to, as they say, "tip over". Don't know what I'll do when they move out. The boys aren't quite so concerned. They're usually to busy wrestling with each other and generally making a public nuisance of themselves. I don't think they'd even notice if I fell.

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Old 12-19-2006, 07:19 AM #6 (permalink)
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Oh I know what you mean! My brothers in law have pointed out that certain members of my family are "not exactly the Florence Nightengale type." For those of us who go on outings with people wrapped up in their own worlds, we will have to rely on the kindness of strangers...Am I right, Al, that it sometimes takes 4 or more to help get us up?
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:01 AM #7 (permalink)
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Sounds very familiar everyone. You know it's bad when there are several people in your home talking, and your legs give away and you fall on the floor, and everyone keeps talking and walking around you.
Hey, YALL, I'm down here, could you give me some help? Oh just a minute I have got something in the oven and the other has to go to the bathroom, meanwhile my dog is licking me like a lollipop. Whew, she stinks, I've got to get someone to give the poor thing a bath.

Anyway, a T-shirt warning sounds like a plan to me. I've already got several like one that says "This is as dressed up as I get, I'm retired." And then the one that says:
"Insanity is hereditary, we get from our children."

Hope everyone stays well and we don't have any more falling, for Christmas. Have a great time.
God Bless
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:14 AM #8 (permalink)
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HEY HOW ABOUT I FELL WITH 7 PEOPLE STANDING AROUND ME WITH A WALKER NOW THATS GETTING BAD HA HA HA LOL RIGHT. AND I ATE CHOC.DIPPED ICE CREAM STARTED LAUGHING AT MY HUSBAND (HE A NUT ANYWAY) AND SPRAYED IT ALL OVER OUR NEW VAN FUNNY ENJOY THE LAUGHTER THATS ALL I CAN SAY LOV TO ALL JANFGAGIRL
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:23 PM #9 (permalink)
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Not sure if it takes 4 people to get everyone up but I weigh about 210 and when my legs went out they were totally useless. When I got my legs up and straight I was ok. One of the guys helping me was 5ft.5 in my son is 5ft 10. and the other 2 bystanders were skinny too. So maybe 2 big guys could have done it but we were in the driveway of the mall and I was in a hurry to get up as you can imagine. FUN WOW.
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:19 PM #10 (permalink)
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Hey MT. I'm still giggling, thinking of you on the floor while the rest of them attend to the oven and such. Maybe it is a good sign, that they're no longer frightened by the whole thing. My problem would be Sam. He doesn't lick me but he'd see a good pillow and come and lay on top of me. Now he's a big animal so if he decides he is comfortable there is an argument that both the person functioning as pillow and the family baker and all of Al's 4 helpers are going to lose!

Stay well yourself and let's all try to keep upright for a few days at least until they break out the New Year spirits. At least on New Year's Eve maybe we will look like we fit in with the rest of the revelers!
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Old 12-19-2006, 05:45 PM #11 (permalink)
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I really wish my mother in law had come here herself instead of my sister and law and I..you all would have really lifted her spirits. I did tell her a few stories that cracked a pretty big smile (and it got hard to get her to do that some days) like the drool on the cake after blowing out candles and the questions regarding nose picking, scratching etc....
keep it up!
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:25 PM #12 (permalink)
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My Mom taught me how to deal with a life-ending illness. She sought diagnosis, learned all she could about her Alzheimerís, made all the decisions such as when to give up driving and when to go to a nursing home, and then she proceeded to enjoy her life and the company around her. She did not try to make her illness anything other than what it is, and she never gave in to all the loss she had to face. She simply put her affairs in order, became familiar with her condition and her new living situation, and proceeded to enjoy life as much as she could. Today, she canít crack a joke or understand what is going on around her, but she was such a pleasure for so long that her fellow residents look out for her and report how she is when I visit. She taught my family that it is ok to laugh, and today as we plan for my diminished capacity we do so realistically, compassionately, and with lots of humor.

Thanks for the feedback, Jodie - Merry Christmas to you and I hope you make some wonderful memories during whateverholiday it is that you celebrate! Cindy
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:58 PM #13 (permalink)
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I think I might have to change my name to something else. Like maybe, "Falling AL", " AL the guy on the floor", "AL the bad stunt man".

I fell not once today, but twice. Twice as much fun for half the price.
I had used my wheelchair to get up to the sink to wash my cute little cocker spanield, to get her all spruced up for Christmas. Stood up after drying her off and put her down and walked a few steps , legs were feeling pretty good, then picked up a broom and when took a step, tripped over the broom I was holding and fell on the tile floor. Talk about GRACEFUL......
My puppy heard me scream and came over and stuck her tongue in my ear? Just what I needed at the time, it encouraged me to move.

Then tripped on the back porch and fell on my back, in the rain of course, brings back memories. My wife came out after about 5 minutes and said what are you doing? I said I'm washing the floor, what does it look like. She said ok and walked back inside, until I called her back out and told her what had happened. Amazing some of the things I say she thinks I'm serious. A laugh a minute around here.

I think I just need to stay seated in my wheelchair for awhile. Guess I'll have to now since I'm sore all over. It's kind of funny now, but not at the time when my poor wife is all upset and wanting to call an ambulance. As many times as I have fallen, I would need one on standby in the driveway.

Thank God no broken bones or serious injuries. When I think how many times I have fallen since I discovered ALS, I'm amazed I haven't broken anything. The only way I can explain it is God is merciful and is looking out for me.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, and remember to put Christ in Christmas.

God Bless
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:05 PM #14 (permalink)
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Al Wow You And I Must Be Bouncing Ball I've Fallen 7 X No Breaks.janf
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:09 PM #15 (permalink)
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AL, I talked to a lady yesterday, has ALS, lives close to me, she's broken so much. Bless her heart. I have great bone density. praise GOD.jan oh Al i love your icon. merry JESUSmas
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