Jeeesuuus Christ! What the hell was that! In my four years of ALS, I have never felt this bad. Wait, nevermind, yes I have. I forgot about my disastrous diaphragm pacer surgery that left me with eight weeks of pain resulting in a slight addiction to oxycodone and a good dose of suicidal thoughts. So, being sick for two weeks, doesn’t look so bad in hindsight. But let me tell you, this was a rough two weeks. This monster called ALS was winning. But today is the first day that I felt like I might be the victorious one. So, I’m pretty sure I deserve some sort of reward, medal, key to the city, a prize, or something! I guess I could consider my life my reward because I am… Still here… After a respiratory illness in the fifth year of ALS. Gracie came over yesterday and looked at me like, “You’re still here?”
I will get back to regular blogging tomorrow and yes, the winner of the Christmas tree contest! But, today some thank you’s are in order. Let’s start with all of you… If I could hug each and every one of you and thank each and every one of you for all of your love and all of your prayers I would. Pat yourselves on the back because your prayers worked. Sometimes I watch the news and see so much evil in the world but I remind myself that there are people like all of you praying for a girl in Paris that you have never met. You all have touched my heart and restored my faith in humanity. So, a million thank you’s and a million hugs. I will be schlepping my sick little ass over to my favorite church this weekend and I will light a candle for each and every one of you.
I also have to tell all of you that I read all of your emails and all of your comments. I cannot respond to everyone but I want you to know that each message of love reached me.
There is someone else I need to thank… A very special person. I call her Linda, but her real name is Debbie. Why do I call her Linda? Click HERE. Have you ever had the feeling that nothing in life is by chance. That there is a reason for everything. That God or whoever you pray to, puts people in your life for a reason? That person for me is Debbie. A year ago, I was sitting at a café in Paris and I noticed a woman was sitting next to me writing in her journal…in English. (Yes, I looked.) I don’t know who spoke to whom first but within three minutes I knew we would be friends forever. Here we were, two American girls sitting at a café in Paris who happen to be from the same hometown of Missouri. Debbie went to college in Springfield, Missouri where I grew up and where my entire family is from. Debbie is from St. Louis where I lived when Gracie was young. It was as if Debbie was my long lost sister. We have the same accent, we laugh at the same things, we eat the same food, we raise our children the same, and we both just get each other. Debbie was in Paris watching over her 16-year-old daughter as her daughter was going on casting calls for her modeling career. I just decided to start going with Debbie to wait for her daughter with her. You really get to know somebody at a Parisian café in the freezing cold over 14 glasses of red wine. Over the past year, Debbie would always return to Paris with her daughter and we would always get together. How could I not? She was officially family. So, it was no surprise when Debbie showed up at my door last week because she knew I was sick.
Let me be clear, David and I are not at our best when I am sick. I panic and then David panics and then we both start screaming at each other. There’s a lot of fuck you’s going on at this household in times of stress. Don’t get me wrong, David is the best person you want by your side when you are sick but you also want to rip his fucking head off. And now, Debbie has seen this whole show and surprisingly she neither called social services or the police and I think we are still friends. It takes a real friend to go through your worst moments of life with you and that’s exactly what last week was. You know how at the movies when someone is choking at a restaurant and they are gasping for breath and someone comes a long and does the Heimlich? Well, that’s how my week was, sometimes 4 to 5 times a day. Yesterday, it happened at least 10 times. I would start to choke, David would grab my cough assist machine and Debbie would be on her knees with a tissue wiping my mouth. Gross. Five minutes of complete terror would occur, my coughing would subside, then life would return to normal. Then, one hour later the whole episode would restart. Debbie was by my side for every moment. That’s actually an understatement. Debbie never left my side even for a second. She would stay with me even if I were sleeping. She never once left the apartment…for nine days. Debbie showed up with matching leopard pajamas for us, crawled in my bed, and got me through this. How did she get me through this? Mainly with love but mostly through laughter. I have just spent the last nine days fearing for my life and laughing hysterically. I wish all of you could have a friend like Debbie. I am one lucky girl. Hold on, Debbie gets more impressive. Not only is she gorgeous obviously, but now you know that she is funny and a wonderful caregiver and a true friend but… Here’s the thing… Debbie did all of this while suffering through her own illness. Debbie has MS. You would never know it this week. Debbie pushed her MS aside so that she could help her girlfriend with ALS. I know that Debbie was suffering with her MS but she never told me and she never let me see it. I’m pretty sure she deserves a key to the city as well.
Debbie and I have watched YouTube, watched The Real Housewives, caught up on our social media, watched the past four years of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, watched every video that Cher has ever done, watched Dr. Zhivago for the first time, and played Crack Trivia sometimes until 1 o’clock in the morning. We ordered take-out, Debbie made homemade chicken noodle soup and we ate four packages of Nestlé’s Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. I could not have asked for anything better. Debbie anticipated everything I needed including my crazy pills. She took a few herself… This was an extraordinary week so don’t judge.
She also put up with and understood David which is no easy feat. David would scream at both of us for whatever reason and then he would go to the kitchen and make us an apple tart. Every. Single. Day. Debbie would just tell David to shut up and then enjoy a slice of apple tart and three glasses of wine. We laughed, we cried, we gossiped, we solved all the world’s problems and we got through this. So, Debbie, with all of my heart and all of my soul thank you for being my friend. I knew there was a reason God put us together at that Parisian café. You are an angel in disguise.
So, hopefully I can put this respiratory illness behind me and look forward towards Christmas. I am so excited to share the winner of the Christmas tree contest with you tomorrow. In the meantime, check out my Pinterest board HERE that I have put together titled Have Some Decorum Christmas Good Ideas. I think is rather good, if I do say so myself. Thank you all again for all of your support. I cherish all of you… minus a couple of you psychopaths. I have manners so I won’t name names. But on the whole, I love all of you. Now, please take all of your prayers that were directed at me and direct them towards all of the innocent Pakistani schoolchildren that were murdered today by the Taliban. Please pray for their souls and their families and please pray for the retarded people who kill in the name of religion including that idiot in Australia yesterday.
*Something you don’t know about me? I am a fabulous roller skater. When I lived in Missouri, my mother would drop my sister and me and our best friends, Leslie and Emily, off at the rollerskating rink every weekend for hours. It was called Skate Port. We would order nachos with fake dripping cheese, Dr Pepper and my favorite sweet and sour candies and skate and skate and skate. We wore Jordache jeans and feathered our hair and roller skated to the soundtrack of Grease. I’m pretty sure I even had a few birthday parties at this place. I loved it. My parents wouldn’t even stay… They would just drop us off and pick us up at the end of the day. I would never do that in this day and age with Gracie. I would be too scared some creep like Terry Richardson would kidnap her. Creeps like that always hang out at rollerskating rinks. That’s it for today. I hope everyone’s having a happy holiday.