It’s been happening a few times a week. Unprovoked, my eyes well up and acid tears run down my cheeks. The searing renders me useless until after a few minutes it ceases as quickly as it began. I googled acid tears and searched a few of my Facebook groups. My best guess is that it’s a release of acid build up in my body from muscle breakdown. Just another form of ALS related tears.

I’ve had a few frustration and sadness tears lately as independent transfers are now in my rear-view mirror. I require human assistance with braces, a gait belt and/or a patient-lift system to move to and from my bed, shower chair, power chair, transfer chair or recliner. The one exception I’m holding onto for dear life is transferring from my power chair to the driver seat of my van. Both seats are high so not much hip strength is required. With leg braces on, I pull myself up and pivot holding on to both front seats for balance and gently lower myself down. I’ll continue this as long as I can do it safely. I can picture Steve or a good Samaritan pulling my crumpled body from between the two front seats. When this last bastion of transferring independence fails me, we will remove the driver’s seat so I can drive my power chair up to the steering wheel. The obvious drawback is no one else but me will be able to drive my van.

The latest batch of tears haven’t shown up in explosive melt downs but rather gentle sometimes imperceivable trickles. My family and friends are patient and gentle as always while interjecting appropriate humor as needed. Picture this Lake Tahoe camping scene: three grown men after a few campfire libations, using a patient lift and sling to hoist me into the motorhome. Let your imagination tell the rest of the story. Long story short, at 30 minutes a pop, I was successfully hoisted in and out of the motor home for seven fun-filled days in my happy place. You have to work hard to not be grateful in Lake Tahoe.

Back to gratitude. I’m grateful that I can use my hands, eat, talk, laugh and breathe. I’m grateful I have access to numerous mechanical (at times humorous) devices that replace my legs and feet. I’m grateful that I have all the love and support a person could ever want or need (I’m talking about you!). I’m grateful that my husband, children and grandchildren give me reason to live.

What are you grateful for today?

I’m Forgiven and Free and grateful you are part of my life