When Sherry was first diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), she initially felt worried about what life would be like in the future. Sherry, an avid bird watcher, walker, travel guru, and dog-lover, wanted to make sure that she had the ability, time, and energy to keep up with her most valued hobbies. It has not been an easy road to getting where she is today, but she has made a point to “live in the moment” and prioritize her activities to make the most out of life.
When Sherry started to have difficulty with her right-hand function, she wanted to make sure that she was still able to take pictures on her walks. Losing function in her dominant hand would prove to be difficult. But, with a little creativity and some help from Norman Camera, a local store, she was able to fashion a strap that allows her to hold her camera, press the shutter, and focus all with her left hand. She stated that she also has started wearing a lower leg brace to help stabilize and keep up her strength, while on her long walks. She states, “It helps me taking pictures, actually. It all ties together.”
When asked about how she manages to make time for the activities she’s passionate about, she says it’s all about learning to prioritize. “I had to learn to let someone help me clean my house so that I have time and energy to do what I want to do.” She also states that, “With all of my appointments, I make an effort to limit how many I go to in one week. It’s important, but I want to make sure it doesn’t take over.”
Lastly, Sherry’s advice to anyone going through a tough time or a new diagnosis is to “Live in the moment and do not let the possibility of the future ruin the present. Enjoy what you have, because it is so easy to worry about what might be coming. Enjoy every moment as it comes.”
~ Nicole Olson, PT, DPT, NCS