PatientsLikeMe ALS Patient Spotlight: thornbal

At PatientsLikeMe, we believe in getting to know the person, not just the “patient.” That’s why we’ve decided to interview a PALS each month to find out more about how he or she approaches life. This month we are pleased to feature thornbal, a two-star member.

Where do you find joy?
I find joy in my family and friends, especially my two daughters. I have really enjoyed every day this summer with my daughters home on break from school! We all enjoyed reading the latest Harry Potter book! Also, I find joy in everyday things like reading the chat board on PatientsLikeMe and watching my favorite soap opera General Hospital (one thing about a soap opera… it is never a repeat! LOL). During the school year when my daughters are at school and my husband is at work, I always enjoy watching movies, television shows, and reading books… all online. And, there’s always Starbucks! Or just looking out my computer room window at my little flower garden, watching the birds and listening to all the sounds of nature.

What person do you admire most?
I don’t think there is any one person I admire most. I admire everyone living with ALS. Really, anyone living with a terrible illness… just to do what it takes to “keep on keeping on” is admirable.

How have you evolved since your diagnosis?
Like most people, I used to be so wrapped up in the “business” of living… working 40 hours a week, working around the house, running errands, etc. Since I was diagnosed, I have been able to weed out some of the things taking up my time that were suddenly not so important any more. When I still worked for Maid Sailors, I cut down my work hours and spent less time cleaning my house.

In the past several years, I have spent more time with family and friends, have traveled more, have spent more time in my garden, etc. Even though those everyday tasks still have to get done, I spend a lot less time on those tasks than ever before and more time doing the things I enjoy.

I was never an extremely religious person. I do, however, now consider myself a much more spiritual person. I have sought and found the answers that are right for me to some of those “big questions” about life.

What have you learned from PatientsLikeMe?
I have been able to read other people’s opinions and views on so many different topics. I have learned that oftentimes when dealing with ALS, the answers to my questions and the support from other people dealing with the same problems can easily be found here.

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