Tag Archives: Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)

Though disabled in the eyes of society able to do great things

How common are specific disabilitiesHow many people do not take it for granted that we can make our bodies move about the world as we command them to. But lots of people have no such blessing. There are even people who remain conscious but are unable to move, communicate, or even breathe on their own. For them their body may be like a prison in which they are closed up and have no prospect to become liberated. Can you imagine how it must feel , knowing you never get out of that prison, which limits you to one particular place where no easy communication is possible?

People can be periodically blocked or not able to move any more. Others can have periodic paralyses as a genetic disorder characterized by episodes of sudden muscular paralysis. Again others may have got the bad news they shall become more and more limited in what they can do to end up to be fully limited in their actions and having to face death, totally paralysed. For them it is not just for minutes or hours that muscles become flaccid and useless. For several people there are no such episodes which are reversible with treatment of abnormal potassium levels, and in most cases aren’t fatal.

What would you do if you come to know your body is deteriorating?

English: 1934 Goudey baseball card of Lou Gehr...

English: 1934 Goudey baseball card of Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees #61. PD-not-renewed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What if you are a lover of movement, a dancer or a baseball player like Ludwig Heinrich Gehrig, better known under Lou Gehrig and his byname the Iron Horse or Iron Man (born June 19, 1903, New York, New York, U.S.—died June 2, 1941, New York City). He was one of the most durable players in American professional baseball and one of its great hitters, but had to hear terrible news after a year of speedy decline, falling several times, not having strong wings any more, in 1939, getting diagnosed with a rare nervous system disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); this disease has come to be known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A sportswriter observed that Gehrig looked “like a man trying to lift heavy trunks into a truck.”

When the Yankees arrived in Detroit for a May 2 game, Gehrig was hitting .143. He took himself out of the lineup, telling McCarthy it was “for the good of the team.” Gehrig took the lineup card to home plate with Babe Dahlgren‘s name at first base. The Detroit fans applauded for two minutes. Gehrig tipped his cap and disappeared into the dugout and the record books. He would never play another game. His streak of 2,130 games was a record that would stand for 56 years. He finished with 493 home runs, 535 doubles, 162 triples, a .340 batting average and 1,990 RBIs, third-highest among all major leaguers. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004: Lou Gehrig}

On May 2, he took himself out of the Yankees’ lineup, and he never played baseball again. He left baseball with a career batting average of .340, with 493 home runs and 1,990 runs batted in, all during regular season play. In seven World Series (34 games), he batted .361, hit 10 home runs, and drove in 35 runs. {Encyclopedia  Britannica – biography:Lou-Gehrig} He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.

What if you start feeling those early symptoms which may only involve mild weakness, slurred speech, or twitching?

However those patients who are slowly locked inside their bodies, losing their ability to control any movement should not loose hope for what they can achieve. Even when in the inevitable conclusion, the unlucky victims getting unable to even speak or swallow there are ways out to be able to communicate. Though they might come completely dependent upon others for total care, some of the victims have proven to be stronger than their disease and mad sure they could mean something special in our society.

When sensation and the mind are left intact, leaving the patient helplessly aware of their imprisonment it is a matter of daring to not allow the adversary pull you down. Do not allow yourself being pulled down neither by those around you, who may loose patience with ‘a case like you’, but use that still active brain to show the world you are able to think properly.

English: Professor Stephen Hawking in Cambridg...

Professor Stephen Hawking in Cambridge, UK. Español: El profesor Stephen Hawking en Cambridge, Reino Unido. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who has surpassed typical survival expectations by decades, is one of the most beautiful examples how a person can be stronger than his captor or retainer. At his last visit in Belgium, last Autumn, he gave a marvellous interview on the Flemish television, where he was followed for his whole stay in that small country where they look up at that grate man.

After having been an outstanding student at St. Alban’s School he received a first-class honors degree in physics at University College, Oxford (B.A., 1962), Hawking set off for Cambridge University to begin studying at Trinity Hall, (Ph.D., 1966) and looking at the themes of cosmology which would preoccupy him throughout his life.

Stephen William Hawking was elected a research fellow at Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge. Though it was already in the early 1960s that Hawking contracted amyotrophic lateral sclerosis but that did not stop him to continue with what he liked best. He continued to work despite the disease’s progressively disabling effects and became considered the most insightful theoretical physicist since Albert Einstein. with good reason he gained a worldwide following, not only among other scientists, but also among a great many laypeople and as an author and lecturer, he has achieved celebrity status.

Black & White photo of Hawking at NASA.

Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA , English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. – Here seen at NASA in the 1980s.

For religious people his explanation of the Big Bang theory may be very revealing. Hawking is not afraid to question such idea if there had been a beginning to space-time (a big bang), or whether one state of affairs (one universe, to put it loosely) simply gave birth to another without beginning or end. He also dare to tell that there is so much we do not know yet and that we may not underestimate the force of nature, that new universes might be born frequently through little-understood anomalies in space-time. He also investigated string theory and exploding black holes, and showed mathematically that numerous miniature black holes may have formed early in the history of our universe. When humans develop the unified field theory, said Hawking, they will “know the mind of God.”

His goal to come to a complete understanding of the universe,

“why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”

is something he nor we shall be able to reach, but for sure he has proven that we do not allow a disease to imprison or chain us and to have it to make us useless. He is the living proof, that though disabled, a human being can be able to do much.

 

Be it ALS, MS, AS, Transverse myelitis, High-Level Quadriplegia, Akinetic Mutism, Fibromyalgia, Locked-In Syndrome or any other nightmare diseases, let it not destroy your mind, your way of thinking your way of being yourself a “I Am” wroth being.

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Please do find also a list of some famous and well known people with various disabilities and conditions: Famous People with Disability

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Disability Videos
Selection of video clips providing information for and about persons with disabilities in video format.

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Preceding articles:

What would you do if…?

What would you do if…? Continued trial

See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

The Goal

Cosmina Craciunescu looks on Positivism

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Further reading:

  1. Civil Rights Worldwide – Disability
  2. Silence as Acquiescence: On the Need to Address Disability Stereotyping in Kocherov and Sergeyeva v. Russia
  3. What does body identity mean today?
  4. Life in chronic pain
  5. Access for All: Agenda for Americans with Disabilities – 3 New Bills
  6. Disability: Benefits, Facts & Resources for Persons with Disabilities
  7. It’s All Relative
  8. We can do Anything, but hear!
  9. “The Danger of Silence” by Clint Smith
  10. I will not be defined
  11. Schrodinger’s Chiari
  12. Your daughter has ABS…
  13. My Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
  14. Fibromyalgia & ME/CFS Awareness Day
  15. The Burden of ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
  16. Ableism & Hate Crime – Disability
  17. Suffering with M.E..
  18. Bhil family struggles with three disabled members
  19. DWP: Disabled Woman, Persecuted.
  20. The Daily Fix: The Jeeja Ghosh judgement is an important moment in the fight for disability rights
  21. Entertainment – Disability
  22. When Snapchat Filters Mock Your Medical Condition
  23. It’s wicked to mock the afflicted – Kenneth Howerd…
  24. Leader of the PACK
  25. To J.K. Rowling from Us
  26. The Book That Changed My Life The Most
  27. Assistive Technology – Disability
  28. Update and NoobGrind GTX 1080 article
  29. The Scars From Which I Have Grown
  30. Disability in the Church
  31. Pastor Lingerfelt, Do We Look “Retarded” To You?
  32. Want to Be an Awesome Ally for People with Disabilities?
  33. Over-Explaining
  34. Sunshine or Rain
  35. When Strength Isn’t Enough
  36. A Circus Stole Some of My Monkeys!
  37. Intrview: My Story – Living with Aspergers Syndrome
  38. “I just wanted to die” – living with leprosy in Myanmar.
  39. What is on your bucket list?
  40. She might have lost both her arms and legs but that’s not stopping Shalini from participating in a marathon contest!
  41. Lessons I have learned
  42. The cost of living (with a disability)
  43. Bringing Disability Accessibility to Colchester: How YOU Can Help
  44. Euphemistic Terminology
  45. Time Passes…Life Goes On…Even Under Seeming Odds
  46. Bad to worse to… hopeful?
  47. Not much to say
  48. Life is Short, True Love is Rare….

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6 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, History, Positive thoughts, Uncategorized, Welfare matters

What would you do if…?

Lots of people encounter many struggles in life. Some get to learn how to cope with them, others get pulled down so much that they do not see any reason any more to live.

All have good and bad moments in life and whether we’re going through the worst of times or the best of times, history and our own experiences show us that life does go on and that we are just a very tiny atom in it

In this world there are people who, like Ray who grew up in London, moved away and travelled the world, ending up back where he started, are not able to raise their arm but found ways using other parts of their body to communicate or to move things, though at times it may feel for them like they might as well be trying to move the earth.

It is not the Most High Creator Who brings all that badness over us. But it is Him Who give us the opportunity to work around it and to become stronger, if we allow Him working in our midst.

We should not fear man nor fear worldly situations or diseases, but should fear God and come to trust and honour Him, putting our ‘tiny’ hand in His Big Hand, to be carried through life.

There are no rules to how life plays out. We have no control over it. The only thing we have control over is how we face those challenges. We are not so much a product of the challenges placed before us as we are a product of how each of us has faced those challenges. {To Live And Ride With ALS}

Please do find what Bill of Unshakable hope has to say and look how he manages to cope with the terminal disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS or call it “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.

He does not believe God causes trials and he doesn’t believe we will ever fully understand, at least not in this life.

But, whatever other reasons God has for allowing trials, I discovered two big things that He accomplishes through our trials; He helps us reset our priorities and forms our character. (Obviously He had a lot of work to do on me).

For sure he is not the only one to whom God has a lot of work to do. For the creator of this and some other lifestyle magazines had also to go through two near death experiences before he decided to work more for God. It does not mean, that took all the pain and frustrations away from him, but he gets encouraged by feeling the Hand of God at work in him … and that keeps him going….

One night, about a year before Bill was diagnosed with ALS, he and his wife Mary were up late watching “Nightline” on which Ted Koppel was doing three nights of interviews with retired college professor Morrie Schwartz who also had ALS and was sharing his life-lessons with Ted Koppel just as he had done previously with one of his former students named Mitch Albom who compiled these life-lessons and wrote a best-selling book titled “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

Bill has one vivid memory from watching those interviews

having to rely on his wife + caregivers for virtually all of his needs = helpless he was

Bill turned to Mary and told her

I would rather just go to heaven than live trapped in my own body like him.

a year after making that statement = diagnosed with same “trapped-in-your-own-body” disease

=> hastily-made statement began to haunt + taunt me

=> change view + began trying to do best to live one day at a time <= grace of God in me, urging me to keep going

Hastily-made statements carelessly uttered by healthy people = spoken out of pride = cannot comprehend grace of God <= self-reliant, self-righteous + just plain selfish

Trials cause us to reexamine hastily-made statements we’ve made before the trial, when we so carelessly said what we’d do if this thing or that thing happened to us.

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Preceding articles

The Greatest Fear

Fear in your own heart or outside of it

Fear, struggles, sadness, bad feelings and depression

Phantom Of Dreams

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

Watch out

Walking in the Light of Life

See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

When the world rages, let it rage, but let us not fear it

Those steady drips, those small steps!

My tales will be beautiful

For those Christians who say they are the Victim

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian

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Additional reading

  1. Struggles of life
  2. Pain and Suffering is inevitable but Misery is optional
  3. Good and bad things in this world
  4. Your struggles develop your strengths
  5. A way to prepare for the Kingdom
  6. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  7. Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
  8. If there is bitterness in the heart
  9. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  10. Evil in this world not bringing us down
  11. Dying or not
  12. Life Goes On
  13. Trouble is coming
  14. End of the Bottom Line
  15. A small trouble is like a pebble
  16. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  17. Do not be so busy adding up your troubles
  18. Do the appropriate for a friend
  19. A Breath for tomorrow
  20. Shelter in the morning
  21. Luck
  22. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  23. From pain to purpose
  24. Faith because of the questions
  25. Hope by faith and free gift
  26. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  27. May reading the Bible provoke us into action to set our feet on the narrow way
  28. You God hold the future
  29. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  30. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  31. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  32. Songs in the night Worship God only

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Further reading

  1. ALS Awareness Month
  2. Pesticide Use Linked To Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & ALS
  3. Why Me?
  4. To Live And Ride With ALS (Part ll)
  5. The Sacred In The Mundane
  6. The Bread Of Affliction
  7. I’m Sorry
  8. Cape and Tights – My Grandmother’s Struggle with ALS
  9. 2016/05/09/ Repost
  10. Mother With ALS Paints Again
  11. Kirkus Review of My Perfect Imperfections
  12. The Reason I Run, Chris Spriggs – a review
  13. The Walk
  14. Army vet starts ‘#22kill push up challenge’ to help other veterans
  15. One man’s poison is another man’s….
  16. The Story So Far…
  17. Can you see it?
  18. The Woman Behind The Blog
  19. The Privilege of Growing Old
  20. How Famous Researchers Work: Stephen Hawking
  21. Advocates for Rare Diseases

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Unshakable Hope

One night, about a year before I was diagnosed with ALS, Mary and I were up late watching “Nightline.” Ted Koppel was doing three nights of interviews with a retired college professor named Morrie Schwartz. Morrie had ALS and was sharing his life-lessons with Ted Koppel just as he had done previously with one of his former students named Mitch Albom. Mitch later compiled these life-lessons and wrote a best-selling book titled “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

I hate to admit this, but even after seeing the three nights of interviews and reading the book, I cannot remember most of the life-lessons that Morrie taught. But, I do have one vivid memory from watching those interviews; it occurred while listening to Morrie describe his daily routine – having to rely on his wife and caregivers for virtually all of his needs. After hearing how helpless he was…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Educational affairs, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Welfare matters