Recently I received a new theraputic technique developed by Aaron Mattes of Florida.  It is called Active Isolated Stretching (AIS).  Two therapists trained in this technique have worked on me and both believe they have the ability to restore muscle strength in my neck and shoulders.  The requirement is that we do exercises every day to reinforce the work.  It is very painful and expensive.

Loyal readers of this blog know that I have accepted my illness and the fact that there is no cure.   As my illness has progressed, I have been in a peaceful place knowing that it will soon be over.  My plan to stop eating and drinking through the feeding tube will effectively end my life in less than a week because our bodies cannot survive without water.  My decision was made a long time ago and would be timed to when I felt that my quality of life has diminished to a point where I feel I cannot go on.

I thought this was my only option and now I am confused.  I find that I still have some hope to live with enough of myself intact, for a time, to be worth the effort.  But the cost of this new option is huge. 

On Friday and Saturday I received six hours of this AIS treatment.  It was NOT fun!  Chris took photos and videos of my therapist working on me so that he could assist me in doing the exercises.  It was very difficult for Chris to see me in pain, which makes him skeptical about the process.

I am skeptical, as well, and I wonder if I could do it…..Does the end justify the means, so to speak?

Recently, I read Tuesdays With Morrie, by Mitch Albom.  This book was a bestseller for years, it seems.  It called to me from the shelves numerous times, but for some unknown reason, I resisted buying it.  Little did I know that it was a true story about a unique man with ALS!  And, if I had read it then, I surely would have loved the story, but it would not have the same meaning as it does now.  Serendipity happens.

This is an inspiring story of a brilliant man and his adoring student.  The dying man had so much insight regarding achieving happiness and what is important in life.  Surely, it is not about finding happiness through identifying with the home you have or the car you drive.  People who acquire these possissions as a way of defining themselves are sorely lost.  How sad that in a materialistic society people continue to attempt to garner stature, popularity and love through their possessions!

Morrie said, “So many people walk around with a meaningless life.  They seem half-asleep, even when they are busy doing things they think are important.  This is because they are chasing the wrong things.  The way you get meaning in your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote youurself to your community around you, and devote yoursefl to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

My new therapist is one of these people.  He feels deeply about his patients and holds himself to a very high standard.  For Bill, it is not about the money, but the benefit he can give in order for people to live pain-free meaningful lives.  And this describes my dilema.  I believe in him and his skill, but the cost to me is huge in terms of my ability and desire.  “What should I do,” I ask God.  “What should I do?  I thought I was sure of this journey and where it is leading.  Now, I am no longer sure and I fear that my will to involve myself in this AIS process is too weak.”

And yet, the thought of living 6 months longer than I expected or even a year, is so appealing.  To be able to spend a bit more quality time with my beloveds is a beautiful dream…..

My plan is to continue my prayer and to have faith that I will know what the best decision is for me.  I need to give it time, like a newly planted seed to be nurtured.  My faith tells me that I will know what is right for me.

I would love to know how many people are reading these words of mine.  Some of you leave beautiful messages, but that isn’t necessary.  If you want to remain anonymous, that’s fine.  You could leave just one initial, to let me know you have taken the time to read my thoughts.  I surely would appreciate that effort on your part, and if you are willing, please say a prayer to your God asking for me to be given direction in resolving my dilema.

God bless you!

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