I am almost positive I did it! I spotted my first bird by sound and look, then spotting it with my binoculars. Before ALS I was probably amongst the least knowledgeable people regarding anything nature. I knew of some bird names but never took the time to really notice them. I could identify a few trees, Weeping Willow and Magnolia being my favorites, but honestly I didn’t know an oak tree from a maple tree. I thought all sounds coming from trees were crickets, I was surprised to hear of tree frogs, What! we have frogs in the trees? I think the person I’m talking to is usually more surprised by just how ignorant I am to this stuff. Other than a couple of leaf variations, I’m clueless. This is for later learning, right now I’m learning birds, slowly.
I’m usually going for sleep about the time birds are come to life in the early morning and I’ve never been a morning person. When I scoot myself to the bathroom for my final pee of the night I can hear them very clearly from my bathroom window. At first I just heard birds as usual, just birds chirping. This special time of morning has had different meanings throughout my life. The hearing of the birds.
I mentioned the book Patsy gave me in the blog post – My Mother’s Day 2013 – with pictures and audio of 250 North American Birds. I’ve been trying to really listen and differentiate a specific bird. I had a sound in my head and finally found the matching sound in my book along with a picture and name: American Robin. So I’ve been on the look out for this bird in the picture when I’m looking out of my bedroom window with binoculars and guess what? I was actually looking for cute bunnies on the ground and there this bird was on my back lawn. I’ve had the book set to this picture and it all matched up. Everything matched up from tail shape to reddish chest. Coming from me, someone who never understood that bird-watching could actually bring anything but boredom has found that to be wrong. Birding can actually be quite fun and really exciting when you spot what you’re looking for. Take that ALS, I would likely have never realized this if not for you. I thank Patsy for the book, I never would have put it together without it. I also thank the ALSA for their Christmas program allowing me to meet the wonderful family who gave me the binoculars.
OK moving on to something else I’m going to share with you. If you visit other pages of my site, you’ve seen the page ~My Daily Pic~ on the drop-down Menu ~About Me~ showing a picture of me on my one year diagnosis anniversary. I wrote that every 90 to 120 days I’ll give you a sneak peek of my death by ALS.
You live and you learn, right? Well I’ve learned we, Tony and I, had it all wrong. A few days have been missed, that’s not the problem. We took the daily pic almost always at night and only of my face. What were we thinking? From now on the pictures will be taken daily in different settings and my body will be included. I want the muscle waisting to be seen and lost abilities will have a time line. We’ll be able to go back and see exactly when things change, when and how I compensated and when something was finally completely lost. ALS is so insidious that it can be really hard to pinpoint when you really lose certain things.
I’m not going to lie, I’m embarrassed to show what we have. I’m sorry, at times I may like to think I checked all vanity at the door with my ALS diagnosis, but I guess I didn’t. I’m not going to feel bad about it though. Even though I’m dying of this horrible beast called ALS, it doesn’t have to mean I like the way I look.
To me what we have looks like I’m about to go through an exorcism. No make-up, crazy static hair and well, I’ve told you about my face in the blog post ~ My Face~ I also told you I would show you and I’m keeping my word. You are seeing what ALS has done to my face, the bloating and crazy expressions and I’ve lost the ability to smile. When I try, I really look weird. I’ve learned a little closed mouth smile sometimes works but not always. I don’t know if I’ll keep this one up. There’s not much to learn or see. The next one will be better.
So go check my daily pic. The song playing is, Wild Horses, by The Rolling Stones. Tony and I refer to it as my ALS song. He gets to take the brunt of my frustration but he’s always there to remind me wild horses couldn’t drag him away from me. I know I am a very lucky woman to have him with me. I love you Tony, the love of my life long before ALS.
Until next time, take care,
This article was written by April