Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Adventures in My Friend's Basement

One of my friends died two days ago. He died of ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Most victims of ALS die within a couple of years of diagnosis or discovery. Not my friend: he hung on for about seven years. Stubborn as a mule.

A few years ago, his basement flooded during a heavy rainfall. Well, naturally, he couldn't clean it up, so I went over and scooped it all out with a Wet-dry Shop Vac and several buckets. It took all day, and then some. I left three oscillating fans running when I left that night. Rained hard again a couple of days later. My shoulders slumped, but I went back.

And that’s something of a picture of my friend’s last years. Just when it seemed like something was cleared up, ALS reared its ugly head again—and again. It’s a very tiring disease.

He was a traveling super salesman. Financially, he was in tall cotton. Good thing, too—he had to quit working five years ago, and spend all that money on the slippery slide of broken health. Fortunately, the family never lost their house, but only because his wife went to work. Then every evening after work she went home and really went to work. ALS is an insidious disease that forces havoc on everyone who knows the patient.

My friend left behind a beautiful, busy bride, a college-aged daughter, a teenaged son and an elementary-school boy. Please pray that they can now get a decent night’s sleep.

No comments: