Finding the ways to understand

Robin McNeil wrote the following post. And it is so true. She belongs to the PLS group I belong to and I couldn’t have said this better myself…and this is how I talk.

“PLS affects my speech, and I’m very hard to understand. But it does not affect my brain. If you don’t understand me, tell me. I’m not embarrassed, you shouldn’t be either. If you understand part of it, repeat it back to me. If you’re close, I’ll fill in the blanks. If you’re not, we’ll have a good laugh about how far off you are! If you still don’t understand, I’ll write it out on my iPad. (I plan to get one). I’m just not ready to completely give up on talking.

The most important thing, though…Please don’t pretend as you understand me when you don’t. I’m very good at reading your cues (remember, brain still works). It just makes a frustrating situation worse.”

It is crazy to me, but when I think about the eye cancer and after getting rid of it, I will still have the other two degenerative neurological conditions, PLS and PSP, which is all I thought I had to live with until the end of my days.

I have to be at the Shawnee Mission Medical Center two days next week, at 5:15 a.m., for both eye procedures which are both outpatient. We are glad that Dan will be home to drive us on Thursday next week. We (Nancy) will drive us up on Sunday, Dec. 1.

In spite of these health issues, I have much to be thankful for this holiday season. I have a terrific family, friends and the Jay­hawks are a little better in football and the basketball team is playing great. And in all my years, I have never missed any meals, or have I missed any payments which I sometimes wonder how we made this work. We are blessed.

Tuesday, Dec. 3, is Giving Tuesday, from 4-6 pm in the Hillsboro City Building, where you can make a tax-deductible gift to the Hillsboro Commun­ity Foundation, or one of its funds, such as a scholarship fund. My journalism scholarship fund just happens to be one of the funds to which you may give. The first scholarship from my fund will be given out in May of 2020 which excites me a great deal. They are all great funds so I encourage you to head over and give on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Can’t make it that day? You can contribute any day. Virginia Martens is the executive director and may be contacted at 620-947-0170.

I can’t be there this year because my radiation eye surgery is the day before in KC, but my pos­ter will be there.

My family told me to stop telling Thanksgiving jokes. I told them I couldn’t quit cold turkey.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, e-mail joel@hillsborofreepress.com

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