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Finding Freedom

Living Forgiven and Free

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February 2016

Arms Like T-Rex

The upside of not being able to lift anything heavy is that my manicure stays picture perfect for weeks. My shoulders are weak so I keep my elbows tucked by my side. In essence, I have T-Rex arms.

You may notice I use two hands to lift a glass. You may notice my hands or arms shake. I may ask you to hand me something that I can’t lift with my arms extended.  It’s all part of the T-Rex gig.

My shirts are sporting stains because the food doesn’t always make it from the plate to my mouth.  My handwriting has regressed as I have some atrophy in my hands. It’s weird. The base of my thumb has flattened out where is used to be rounded muscle. I find myself rubbing my fingers over the now apparent thumb bone.

It’s frustrating for sure. I drop things all the time. I’m in disbelief that my arms and shoulders are losing this much strength. Yet it’s part of the ugly progression that is ALS.

There is still much I can do with T-Rex arms. I can type. I can drive my van with my hand controls and steering wheel knob. I can drive my power chair like a boss. I can hold a book and turn the pages as I read to my grandkids. All this with my manicure intact. I’m grateful for the strength and movement I still have.

I’m Forgiven and Free and rockin’ the T-Rex arms

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
— Psalm 73:26

 

Why I left after 32 years

Steeped in white privilege, it was easy to register as a Republican. I was serving in the U.S. Navy during the fat Reagan years. I worked hard and went to school for years taking advantage of every opportunity availed. Isn’t this the land of the free? Everyone has the same opportunities. Truth is, the playing field has never been level, but now it’s a ski slope.

Fast forward 32 years, I just left the Republican party. Quite frankly, I’m embarrassed to be affiliated with a party whose leading candidate worships greed, pride, and fear mongering — everything that is wrong with America.

Having a fatal diagnosis was the real catalyst for change. No longer am I able to pick myself up by my proverbial boot straps. I am at the mercy of others. From this vantage point it’s easier to have mercy on others.

I used to think hard work was enough; but it’s not enough anymore. I believe God put enough resources on the earth to take care of everyone. I believe we are all connected.  I believe we can take care of each other.

I’m Forgiven and Free and feeling the Bern

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