A New Year



12 midnight.  Happy New Year!

The past couple of weeks have been a bit perplexing for me physically…I’ve noticed a obvious loss of function and greater weakness in general.  In addition, on Christmas day I began having these choking episodes that seem to be triggered by muscle spasms that have left me feeling frightened and discouraged.  I started the new year off with a visit to the neurologist yesterday and even though I kind of dread these appts, I was eager to talk to the doctor about the new developments I’ve been experiencing.  Every appt I go to, I rate my function on this universal point system to track the progression of the disease and I typically lose 1-2 points at every 3 month appt…the neurologist questioned the fact that I lost 8 points in yesterday’s assessment.  As a result, she wants me to follow up with another swallow study and lung function test but those have to be put on hold for a couple of weeks as I also tested positive for influenza yesterday.

I’m actually kind of relieved I have the flu as this might explain the quick progression of weakness I’ve experienced.  Maybe my poor score on the ALS assessment is due to it being an “off” day.  I’m praying so and also praying I can nip this flu bug in the bud quickly before it creates greater respiratory issues.  I sure am uncomfortable and can’t cough strong enough as is needed.  Would you please pray for health in our household as the boys head back to their campuses this weekend and Olivia returns to school on Monday?  I’m on Tamiflu now but will be contagious for a week or so.

(I’ve shared similar reflections in the past but it bears repeating as it’s where my heart is today)…Visits to the neurologist  (all of the doctors I see, really) are definitely exercises in emotional steadfastness…I go with these stupid, high expectations of being helped, somehow relieved of my symptoms for even just a moment and walk away reminded that all the medical community can really do for me at this point is to monitor my journey and suggest OTC drugs and supplements that may or may not help “depending on the individual”.  I don’t blame the medical community (I’m very grateful for the care I am getting)…it’s just the nature of the disease and the unmet expectations (no matter how unrealistic) hurt.  I had similar emotional responses to Rudy’s check-ins with his cardiologist and the heart clinic down at UCLA.  If only something specific could have been done pro-actively as opposed to just responding to what his body was doing…if only.

It’s important for me to keep days like yesterday in perspective…emotionally charged, physically exhausting, drowning in “to dos”…it’ll feel lighter and brighter when my body doesn’t ache.  Rolf and I had to do some power-of-attorney stuff yesterday as well…we called Schwab to make sure Rolf can manage/access my retirement account.  I had to talk to the Schwab rep to verify my consent and said “Hi Alex, give me just a minute.  I have ALS and can’t talk well.  Can you understand me?”.  There was a moment of silence and Alex responded “Yes, I can understand you.” and then went on to say ” Thank you for your courage, Mrs. Geyling.  I’m honored to help you today”.  He proceeded to ask me the necessary security questions and we finished our business.  I hung up with tears in my eyes…I engaged in the “task” at hand so matter-of-factly and it was met with this sweet expression of humanity that, frankly, I didn’t expect.  I wish I felt courageous, my friends, (today especially) but I’m grateful for the encouragement nonetheless.  😉  God is present in big and small ways.

And so the new year begins…thank you for continued prayers!

Love and more love.



14 thoughts on “A New Year

  1. Trish dear one, you and your family are deeply loved and in our daily prayers. Praying for healing from the flu (it’s a nasty bug) and for courage and hope for you and Rolf. These glimpses of humanity are also glimpses of God’s care and love for you.

  2. Oh, this is hard! Grateful for the agent’s kindness, for your courage, for your family’s support, for Tamiflu!! Praying for a good, quick recovery and that this bout will prove to be the source of the extra drop in points this time. Lord, hear our prayer.

  3. You amaze me Trish, please know that even though many miles separate all of us, my heart and many others are with you. Please know you are in my prayers, sending love and a hug…

  4. Grateful for a new year! Praying for new mercies for you in this season. This flu has been rough, so I’m sure it’s frustrw when you already don’t feel well. I hope the tamiflu works well and you find yourself feeling stronger when it’s over. ❤️

  5. I am grateful that God showed up in a man named Alex. I am so glad you noticed. I am praying continually for the you and the family.

  6. “You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.- Mary Tyler Moore
    Bravery is bravery, even if it doesn’t look that remarkable to anyone else. You are still brave. It’s continuing to press on, even when your stomach drops in fear, your hands shake in nerves, and you collect sweat in your armpits faster than fog droplets in a San Francisco “summer” day.

    You are our brave hero and inspiration, the Lord is with you. Trish…Keep on keepin on! xo

  7. Oh precious Trish! I am
    Praying for your strength, comfort and peace! I am Praying that your sweet family remains fluless! Lord, I’m asking that you please take the flu virus out of Trish! Restore her and give her Your Joy!
    I love you and am looking so forward to seeing you in February!

  8. God’s strength comes to mind whenever I read your updates, thank you for the reminder through this difficult experience. I haven’t been touched by ALS until now, the your journey is eye opening. Sending love and praying.

  9. Dear courageous and brave Trish, our love and prayers are with you each day! I pray that you respond well to the flu meds, and begin to feel better soon, that Rolf and Olivia stay well. Praying for your comfort and joy today, oxo

  10. Just catching up with your posts, Trish. I really appreciate all you’ve shared here. I am praying for you and your family. After reading this post, I will pray in particular for your recovery from the flu. And for Max and Will back at college and Olivia back in school this week. I love the interaction you had with the guy from Schwab—what a sweet and honoring, holy and deeply human moment. Sending love from the Elliott-Harts.

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