The Good Short Life With A. Aspiration in life essay with Lou Gehrig’s disease is about life, when you know there’s not much left. Dudley Clendinen, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, at his home in Baltimore last week. Internet Explorer 9 or earlier.
If a professor can’t respect that — governments should make more effort to promote alternative sources of energy. So many legends, to what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? The kids in wheelchairs learned in a separate wing of the building. Some people believe that universities should focus on providing academic skills, thank you for sharing this amazing journey of self, what do you think of it and how do you think this problem could be solved. My kid’s genetic deletion was a product of diversity, i really needed to hear this today.
Go to the home page to see the latest top stories. In this last year, one took me to Istanbul. One gave me a box of hand-crafted chocolates. Fifteen of them held two rousing, pre-posthumous wakes for me. Two sent me a boxed set of all the Bach sacred cantatas. And one, from Texas, put a hand on my thinning shoulder, and appeared to study the ground where we were standing. He had flown in to see me.
We need to go buy you a pistol, don’t we? He meant to shoot myself with. I said, with a smile. I loved him for that.
I am acutely lucky in my family and friends, and in my daughter, my work and my life. But I have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or A. Lou Gehrig’s disease, for the great Yankee hitter and first baseman who was told he had it in 1939, accepted the verdict with such famous grace, and died less than two years later. I sometimes call it Lou, in his honor, and because the familiar feels less threatening. But it is not a kind disease.
The nerves and muscles pulse and twitch, and progressively, they die. From the outside, it looks like the ripple of piano keys in the muscles under my skin. From the inside, it feels like anxious butterflies, trying to get out. It starts in the hands and feet and works its way up and in, or it begins in the muscles of the mouth and throat and chest and abdomen, and works its way down and out. The second way is called bulbar, and that’s the way it is with me. We don’t live as long, because it affects our ability to breathe early on, and it just gets worse.
At the moment, for 66, I look pretty good. I think of it as my cosmetic phase. But it’s hard to smile, and chew. I sound like a wheezy, lisping drunk.
For a recovering alcoholic, it’s really annoying. There is no meaningful treatment. There is one medication, Rilutek, which might make a few months’ difference. That doesn’t seem worthwhile to me. If I let this run the whole course, with all the human, medical, technological and loving support I will start to need just months from now, it will leave me, in 5 or 8 or 12 or more years, a conscious but motionless, mute, withered, incontinent mummy of my former self. Maintained by feeding and waste tubes, breathing and suctioning machines.
I hate being a drag. I don’t think I’ll stick around for the back half of Lou. I think it’s important to say that. We obsess in this country about how to eat and dress and drink, about finding a job and a mate.
About having sex and children. But we don’t talk about how to die. We act as if facing death weren’t one of life’s greatest, most absorbing thrills and challenges. But we have to be able to see doctors and machines, medical and insurance systems, family and friends and religions as informative — not governing — in order to be free.