Eleven Life Lessons Learned from ALS: With Letters and Verses from the Valley of ALS

The diagnosis of ALS especially within the context of robustly healthy premorbid pre-diagnosis functioning strikes fear into the heart of not just the one so diagnosed but also family members, friends, colleagues, well-wishers, and acquaintances.

In the ensuing months following diagnosis, the horror, torture, and anguish of experiencing one's body degenerate, the loss of function, the helplessness, the associated indignity of not being able to fully participate in life as previously done can become likened to crawling through the valley of the shadow of death.

My manuscript is tripartite in format.

I titled it, Eleven Life Lessons Learned from ALS.

The first part, “Eleven Life Lessons Learned from ALS,” focuses on the challenges that come with illness and how to overcome the damaging internal dialogue that constantly strives to strip you of hope. It helps you to realize that the journey will require you traveling light, not wasting your pain and re-prioritizing your life.

The second part, “Letters to My Fab Four” are thoughts, feelings, and emotions I share with my young children about various life issues such as relationships, emotional stability and happiness, success, and many other topics.

The third part is a collection of poems about my pain, my fears and tears, hope and experiences about being on the receiving end of medical services having spent the last three decades on the other side.

Hopefully, the daily triumph of hope in the face of helplessness and hopelessness of ALS can encourage anyone facing any impossible situation to know that with God, all things are possible.

--Dr. Okey Nwangburuka

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