Transitioning is never easy for a lot of people, yet it’s always around the corner. Ready or not, we all go through numerous transitions in our lives – changing jobs or losing a job, getting married or getting a divorce, having children. These become those weeks or months or longer of awkward emotional spaces where we have cut ties with what we know and have not quite settled into what is new. Some we have planned and still others are unwillingly imposed on us. Whatever the circumstances, navigating transitions can be difficult, presenting us with new problems and demanding us to respond in new ways.
For me, the most recent transition has come in the form of having to relocate from my beautiful home in Boulder, Colorado where I have lived for almost 20yrs and had planed to live the rest of my life. The architecture layout of my house just wasn’t conducive to support me going forward nor did I have family living near by to help support me-having been single, never married with no children.
Therefore, my choice of where to relocate to was limited given a variety of factors, most importantly, the progression of my disease. Just doing the math and logical reasoning I had to relocate to Florida and live with my parents at their retirement home on a lake. I had to sell/donate everything I owned with the exception of two oil paintings since my parents had limited space.
After the decision was made in March to relocate, my parents and I boarded a private jet that a good friend of mine setup (Thanks again Mark!) and arrived at my parent’s lake house in April. (see pics)
Once arrived it set in motion a series of appointments over the next several months for additional equipment and setting up a home health team in support of trying to prolong the progression of my disease.
The transition here to Florida has had its own set of challenges mentally, physically, and emotionally, i.e., selling/donating all my possessions, leaving my home and friends, moving to an area where I don’t have a network of friends, living with one’s parents and having them become your caregivers as an adult, continued progression of my disease.
The continued progression of my ALS up to now has left me with having to incorporate a mechanical soft diet back in February (no more steaks, sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers, etc.) after a choking incident that took me to the ER as my surrounding muscles in my throat area have weakened, a ventilator at night to help me breath and expel excess carbon dioxide so I can sleep, use a walker full-time to get around for short distances and my manual or power wheelchair for longer distances as my spinal cord and upper and lower extremities have become weaker, utilizing a health aid for 3 hours a day 5 days a week to bath/shave/dress and provide physical therapy, and very soon use speech assistance technology devices to communicate as it is becoming difficult to talk.
Yet, I find solace staring out at the lake with all the wild life that feeds off it from my parent’s porch or living room.