“Happy Birthday, Akhil! You are going to find my prophetic words unbelievable, but don’t stop reading until the end. Let me introduce myself. I am you – the future you - and I am writing to you from 2015.
After an hour or so your speech is going to be slurred even though you will not be drunk. On the drive home, Laura is going to tell you that you should be careful of drinking too much. You will let her know that you had only one glass of wine. She won’t believe you now, but she will in about six months.
In May of 2011, you will feel your left bicep twitch sporadically. At first, it is just a nuisance. As the sporadic nature becomes more continuous, it becomes worrisome. In spite of that, you will do what you’ve always done, ignore it and hope it goes away. It will not go away so you make an appointment to see your neurologist thinking it is related to your MS. It is not.
On July 28, 2011, your life will forever be changed when Dr. Goslin will tell you that after all of the tests she performed, it appears that you have ALS.
- Feed Yourself
- Dress Yourself
- Roll over In Bed
- Speak Clearly
Your suffering will not be in vain. It will draw you closer to God. You will find strength and hope in knowing that while the disease has stripped you of many things, it cannot take these things away from you:
- The love of your wife – you will actually understand how much your wife loves you as she takes care of you
- Your relationship with your children – this will actually improve during your illness
- The love of family
- The respect of your former employer – you will see what a great company you worked for as they continue to support you during this challenging time
- Your faith – it will be deeper than it could possibly be had you not suffered
- Your smile – you will still find lots of things in life to laugh about
- Your ability to make a difference – as you struggle with ALS, you will have the ability to reach more people than you ever did as a healthy man.
I want you to do something for me, so I can live vicariously through you. Find a quiet place to eat where there is no noise. Look at your food, smell it and then pick it up and take a bite. Enjoy the sensations that it makes in your mouth. Listen to the crunch, then describe it to me. I read all the comments and I really appreciate it when you write to me.