What could be worse than dying? Most people die of an ailment or two. Or, three. Old age tends to collect various and sundry ailments and none of them are anything to look forward to.
ALS is a debilitating neurological disease that always ends the same way.
So, how could it be worse?
Slowly, steadily, inexorably, nerves become damaged and muscles stop working properly. If someone with ALS lives long enough, they will not be able to walk or talk, to use hands and arms, to swallow or speak.
Nearly everyone with ALS dies of respiratory failure as breathing muscles grind to a halt and stop, well, breathing.
Yes, it could be worse.
After more than three years, my chorus of symptoms has progressed to the point where death is imminent. I cannot breathe on my own. A ventilator machine does it for me. Yet, I can type. I can eat. I can move about; a little. Bedroom to bathroom. Bathroom to living room. It’s slow and cumbersome but it’s movement.
When the ventilator mask comes off I can even speak. But only for a moment.
I think my wife likes that limitation.
She says it could be worse.