38. At Least You’re Not A Zombie (if you are, sorry about your luck)

One of my all time favorite shows,  Santa Clarita Diet,  just started its second season on Netflix.   Oh Sheila and Joel,  I empathize with you!  I still say (as I did in my first post about this show) that while our issues are very different, Sheila and I have a lot in common.   At the end of season one,  Sheila found out that there was a possible treatment to help stop her from getting any worse.  Not a cure though.  There are now two possible treatments out there for people living with ALS.  The oldest treatment adds maybe a couple of months to your lifespan.  The newest one,  maybe that or more,  for some people,  for others it may not work at all.  Neither of these treatments stop PALS (people with ALS) from getting any worse,  it just slows the progression,  maybe.   I declined the old option years ago.  The new one would not work for me because it contains Sulfa,  which I am allergic to.  Oh well.  Such is life.  Sheila and her family have to search for their own answers and treatments,  because there are no researchers out there working on a cure for Zombism.  Many of us with ALS look for our own answers and treatments because even though we have researchers out there trying to find a cure,  they haven’t found one yet.  They have had enough time already.  I’m not sure what year the official search began, but the disease was first described as being Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis way back in 1874.

It is close to the one year anniversary of the start of my blog.  My first blog post was about comparing Zombism and ALS,  and about Santa Clarita Diet.  A year later,  Sheila and I are still hanging in there.  Still searching for a cure.  Still adjusting as we need to, to the changes in our life, to keep on keeping on.  We are still laughing,  and crying, along with the craziness that is our lives and our new normal.   Sheila and Joel are still together, surviving as a couple through all the changes in their lives,  as are my husband and I.   I  am pretty sure the divorce rate is even higher for couples when one spouse is struggling with a serious illness or some type of major issue.  If you have a spouse who stays with you after you are diagnosed with ALS, Pica (Google it), Cancer, or some such dreaded disease (Zombism), they instantly become saints in the eyes of pretty much everyone you will encounter.  Especially people who you don’t really know very well.  When they find out you are still married,  you hear an audible gasp,  and maybe even a “wow”!  “That’s so great”,  they will say, “that he/she has stuck with you!”   My husband and I always find it funny that people think anyone deserves praise for not breaking the vows that they took before God,  and usually everyone they know, to stick with their spouse in sickness and health.   I guess it’s just that when you take those vows,  you and your spouse are generally very healthy,  and you are not thinking about what might happen in the future.  You certainly would never guess that one of you might end up with ALS or wake up one day a Zombie.  But, it happens.  If you don’t believe one of those is true,  just listen to episode 26 of my all time favorite podcast,  Lore.

I haven’t seen them all yet,  but so far in Santa Clarita Diet, every episode has a surprise ending.  Similar to ALS,  where every day has a surprise in store.  Not always the good kind,  but not always bad either.  Sometimes things just fall into place for Sheila,  and she finds a new fresh meal where she least expects it.  More often than not,  I receive a surprise at some point in my day.  The Universe/God is always looking out for Sheila and I!   Sheila’s husband sometimes complains that she gets too messy when she eats.  My husband sometimes complains that it takes me too long to chew up my food.  I say it takes the right amount of time for me to not choke and die…one problem Sheila doesn’t have.  You know,  since she’s already dead.   Well, technically undead.

Sheila and I both think that our husbands complain a lot (see episode 4), and they claim that they don’t.  Sheila says it’s okay,  even if Joel complains,  because he gives up so much for her.  Joel says,  it’s not about what you give up,  but about what you get.  I think he’s right.  It’s not about what life takes from you,  it’s about what you get out of your life that’s important.   One thing is certain, Sheila and I are made of tough stuff.  As are most people living with ALS and most Zombies (I assume).  Life throws it’s toughest challenges at us and we do our best to dodge some of them, and survive the ones that hit us.  And,  we try not to complain too much while doing it.

 

 

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1. ALS and Zombism…Pretty Much the Same

In the Netflix series, Santa Clarita Diet, ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjRnbOgoAUQ ) Joel and Sheila are two happily married realtors going about their business when one day Sheila gets sick. Very, very sick. I mean, throwing up sort of sick. A hilarious amount of throwing up. Long story short, Sheila is a zombie. She and her husband and daughter go on with their lives trying to remain as normal as possible, all the while becoming less and less normal. Watching this hysterical show made me realize how similar my life with ALS was to Sheila’s life as a zombie. Like Sheila suddenly becoming a zombie with very few symptoms beforehand, I also was just busy living my life when a few non specific symptoms led to an ALS diagnosis. Suddenly having ALS, as with becoming a zombie, just happened and no one knows why. Maybe a virus? There are plenty of theories out there, but no one knows for sure how or why it happens. Just like with ALS,.there is no cure for being a zombie With both ALS and life as a zombie, you go on living your life as normally as possible until your body stops working. With ALS, body parts give out. When you are a zombie, body parts fall off. With both “diseases “, the things you are able to eat change, although for very different reasons. With both, you may notice a change in your personality, again, very different reasons. With both ALS and zombism, your life and the lives of your family are forever changed. The good news is that, like Sheila, I’ve found that I can be happy in spite of living with ALS… or in Sheila’s case, zombism. We both take things in stride and just go on with our lives. I might suddenly notice one day that my little toe will no longer move or help my foot to bear weight, and Sheila (spoiler alert) might  suddenly find that her little toe is missing. But, what the heck, we still have four more on that foot, right? We shrug it off and just keep going! Zombies and people with ALS, we never give up!