I recollect a lot of the details from my initial diagnosis fairly well, but there are some gaps. I attribute the gaps in my memory to the moment immediately after my neurologist had just given Amanda and I another brutal detail about what we should expect.
I remember my mind going elsewhere right after we were told about my life expectancy. Unsurprisingly, my senses almost shut down as my mind went elsewhere. And it's not like I was plunging the depths of my mind to find the answer to a question on theoretical astrophysics. Simple arithmetic to figure out when I should expect to die was consuming all of my focus.
I would drift back in to the conversation, back in to my surroundings.
I remember leaving the medical office holding hands with Amanda, and making it back to our car before losing my composure altogether.
My initial thought wasnt about my death - well, thats not the thought I got stuck on.
That was September of 2011. I was still active. Still playing footy. Still doing projects around the house. Still playing with Cora and Louise. Still wining and dining Amanda.
A lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge between now and then.
My initial thought was of the burden my illness would undoubtedly place on Amanda. And Cora and Louise.
Amanda was almost incredulous that my thought wasn't something closer to self pity.
I wonder now, particularly after the past year, if my initial thought makes more sense to Amanda. The past year has reaffirmed it for me.
As I've gone from able bodied to near paralysis, you can't even fathom the responsibilities and roles Amanda has had to assume. You may think you can guess what it's like for Amanda, but, in the realm of guesses, you wouldn't be in the right galaxy.
So here's to my wife; the most loving, hardest working, most giving, and toughest person I know.
Happy Birthday, babe.