What scares you? A sudden, loud noise? A credit card bill? Someone honking their horn behind you in traffic? Your mother-in-law? All of the above?
I scared myself today.
ALS causes muscle weakness to the point of atrophy but also causes massive weight loss and muscle wasting. I have not been able to see myself in the bathroom mirror for nearly six months and use a small mirror in the bath to shave.
The mirror only shows my face and it’s covered with soap so my reflection is more funny than scary.
I use a roller walker to get around the house. My daytime clothing is a t-shirt and shorts. Today I walked out of my home office toward the hallway and happened to see myself in the full-length mirror as I walked by.
I scared myself.
What I saw is not me.
Two years ago I weighed 220 pounds. Now I weigh 150 pounds and it’s a struggle to keep that number from dropping. My once muscular legs* and arms droop and sag with skin that looks more like hide from a sick elephant (I have the appropriate ears and nose but my legs are skinnier).
Humans are afflicted with many disabling diseases that change who we are on the outside and deplete life from our bodies. I no longer look like the me of yesteryear but I want to think I am still me on the inside.
That might scare others, too.
* up until a year ago I
ran jogged trotted shuffled twice a day to keep in shape.