Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.
When life throws a curveball, you can duck or dodge it, or change your game plan. That doesn't mean you have to give up on your goals and dreams, you just have to approach them differently.
Allen's neuromuscular disease (specific one is yet TBD) has already forced us to make some small, yet significant changes in our daily life. We now appreciate and value the little things that most people take for granted, like the ability to open a water bottle, cut a steak, button a shirt, sign a check and type a text message or email.
Allen has never been one to ask for anything, especially help. In fact, he is the one who typically lends a helping hand to others. Whether it's manual labor, making a sound business decision, battling a social injustice or assisting others with their life struggles, he is the go-to-guy. Always in control. Always an answer. Always a plan. No excuses. Make it happen.
He may have met his match, though...his own body. He has significant muscle atrophy in his right hand and forearm, and has lost some use of his left hand and forearm as well. He is also experiencing fasciculations or muscle twitching, resulting from the ongoing disruption of signals from the nerves to the muscles.
So what does all of this have to do with my blog and why is it a focus? Short answer: I want to help others who may be going through something similar by sharing how we, as a family, will improvise, adapt and overcome this curveball, while continuing to live our chosen lifestyle.
For example, last night, one of our bull's jumped through a fence and went into a neighboring pasture to checkout a mama cow. Allen would typically fly solo and knock out the repairs required in no time, however, it took a team effort to fix the fence, due to his impairment. My daughter, Michaela, and I helped gather the supplies and work the tools that Allen had difficulty gripping and controlling. Instead of getting frustrated, Allen now understands that it is okay to ask for help, and sees it as an opportunity for valuable instruction and quality family time. The kids and I are learning the ins-and-outs of ranching and doing our part to help Allen continue doing what he loves...what WE love.
PS - The fence in the photo was not Allen's design. He is currently working on redoing the fencing on the lease. Work in progress.
"Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change." ~ Stephen Hawking