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A Design for Living

After her diagnosis, she turned to AA for help

I measure my life in terms of loss. Giving up driving and walking was not difficult compared to losing my speech. Cooking, shopping, horseback riding, petting my spaniel—none are possible any longer. But because of lessons I learned in Alcoholics Anonymous, I can greet my terminal illness with grace, courage and acceptance.

My battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) began over two years ago. I noticed twitching in my left shoulder, followed by weakness which moved down the arm and across my chest. Because the diagnosis for ALS often involves ruling out other diseases with similar symptoms, I spent the first winter in limbo. I knew only that I was on the brink of something huge.

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