The ALS Association

I Have Realized What's Important in Life

Debra S. Bradley, Oklahoma

I was 62 years young when I got diagnosed in February 2011 with Bubar onset. I was a Registrar at a private Christian university. My sister had Type 1 diabetes and suffered an above knee amputation and was on dialysis. My goal was to take care of her when I retire in four years. Well needless to say, plans change. We had remodeled our house to be accessible to the handicapped, little do I know it would be me that wound up using the handicapped bathroom. I had to quit my job because I couldn't speak. I now talk with an iPad, and by the time I get it typed out, the conversation has moved on. I am now on a feeding tube and can't swallow. Do you know what it's like to sit in a restaurant without ordering something and watch the people all around you eating? And I can't go to buffets with my family because they think I am eating and want to charge me. Do you know how many food commercials there are on TV? I realized what's important in life, and that is family and friends and relationships. I spent some time commuting to and from work (one hour each way) and worked long hours at home that I wasn't getting any enjoyment out of life. It has caused me to draw closer to God, also and rely on him for my every need. I stop and enjoy sunsets and flowers in my garden. I started quilting again, and I make quilts for people. I wouldn't wish this disease on my worst enemy, but I see why God allowed me to have it. I just hope they find a cure for it or maybe to prolong life and stop the progression from being so fast. I am in a wonderful ALS support group and tired of seeing my friends die.

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