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Living with ALS: The Women's Voice

AS IS
Essay by Paula Goldstein
Fall 2010

My name is Paula and I have ALS. At first when I was diagnosed I would look back at all of the things I have done and those that I haven't done that I wanted to do. I've stopped looking back at what I did do and started concentrating on what I could do now, not thinking of the future. I wrote a list of things I want to do and have started working the list realizing some things are not impossible for me to do.

In the short time that I have been diagnosed my husband and I went on a cruise with my siblings and their spouses. We went on a week's vacation with our kids. I managed to have a surprise birthday party for my husband. I go out to lunch and dinners with friends. I spend more time with friends that I have in the past.

I have also learned to live one day at a time (most of the time) and appreciate everything God gives me. I am a better listener and more interested in the simple things. I spend more time with my children. All three are out of the house, so we don't see each other everyday. My husband and I spend time watching sports together, something I seldom did in the past.

I thank God for every morning that I wake up and my first thought of the day is not ALS. I have found that it is possible not to dwell on the past or what's in my future. In one respect I wish I would have learned to live this way before ALS. I accomplish a lot more now that I did in the past, because I've cut out things that are no longer important to me such as shopping or keeping the house perfect. My time is now quality time. I try not to waste a minute. I still work a few days a week to stay connected and when people ask me when I am quitting, I just say "not today".

Paula is 56 years old and married with three children in their twenties. She was diagnosed on March 16, 2010, but believes she has had the disease for 2 years. She is still working.

           

 

 


 
 

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