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David E Glover Memorial Fund

Sharon Glover

“You’re going to be in a heap of trouble if your recovery from this surgery interferes with our anniversary plans in November.”  That was my primary concern as we flew from Japan back to the US for David’s surgery.  I’d been planning our 5th anniversary ever since I realized that it would fall on 11-11-11, even before the wedding.  Although David was pretty matter-of-fact about the surgery and the recuperation, I knew that any surgery could bring about complications or prolonged recovery, no matter how simple.  David had been having difficulty walking and was getting very fatigued after a short distance.  He’d had a bad lower back for some time now and it appeared that it was now time to have it operated on.

We met with the doctor on Thursday afternoon in Jacksonville.  He told us that after reviewing the MRI and hearing that David was not experiencing any pain in the leg, he suspected that it probably wasn’t the nerve impingement that we and the other doctors had presumed.  He said that it might be something neurological, like ALS.  I’d heard the term before, but was not immediately familiar with it.  I asked what that was, and the doctor said, “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.  I still wasn’t sure about what it was, but I knew that this was very serious.  As I sorted through what was being said and the tears that were beginning to well up in my eyes, David had a much more immediate response.  His body went numb on him and the doctor had to ask him several times if he was with us.  Once he came around, we began to discuss our next steps.  The doctor was going to have him admitted to the hospital to be sure that his blackout was not anything serious, and to begin testing to confirm or reject his suspicions.  I was all for it, the sooner we could get an accurate diagnosis, the better.  David was far less agreeable.  He’d recently had multiple tests and knew that he was okay and did not need to waste a lot of money on a hospital stay.

After a two-day hospital stay and $5000 out-of-pocket expenses (hear David grumbling), we spent the next two weeks with additional appointments to zero in on what was going on with David.  Finally, on September 22, 2011, after a second, excruciatingly painful EMG, the neurosurgeon gave David a definite diagnosis of ALS after discovering muscle weakness in three areas.  My immediate reaction was anger.  David is just too good a person to be afflicted with such a devastating illness.  I told him that he didn’t deserve this, and then quickly added that no one deserves this.

So, next came the research.  Tell me everything.  After the first few days of researching this disease, I named it “The Disease of I Don’t Know”.  I don’t know what causes it, I don’t know how to diagnose it,  I don’t know how to cure it, I don’t know how long he’ll live, I don’t know which area of his body will be affected next – I DON’T KNOW!!!!!.  I do know that I cannot think of a worse diagnosis than this.  Gradually, and in no particular order, you lose your ability to walk, use your arms and hands, eat, talk and finally, breathe.  And you stay alert and sane the entire time!

As I’m sure you can imagine, we were really freaking out!  After a month of limited sleep and drastic weight loss, we began to settle into what seemed to be, “the beginning of our end”.  The anniversary celebration was really helpful in keeping my mind somewhat together.  I so looked forward to seeing our family and friends.  There was never a question in my mind about continuing with the celebration.  And it proved to be just the extra dose of loving that we needed – it was just too short!

The anniversary celebration was a good way to begin to let others know what we were facing.  It was so difficult to tell people about this diagnosis.  There isn’t much response that one can give you.  I felt as though I needed to make them feel okay about this terrible news, rather than them comforting me.  I felt badly about sharing such depressing news.  And yet, I knew that we needed everyone’s support to ‘walk through this struggle’. 

We’ve got to do our part to contribute to research for a cure for this awful disease.  I don’t want anyone that I know or do not know to ever have to be faced with this difficult journey.   I am asking everyone that we know and everyone that they know to help in some way.  We’ve setup this website to enable you to make donations to research for a cure.

David ended his struggle with ALS on Tuesday, July 31, 2012.  Don’t remember David as a victim of ALS.  Remember him as a kind, loving, generous, considerate man.  Remember his hearty laugh, his loping, bow-legged gait.  Remember how much he loved life and took advantage of all that it has to offer.  Remember his dedication to his family.  Remember his strong work ethic and dedication to his profession of electrical engineering.  Remember his fondness for scuba diving, snow skiing, jazz festivals and international travel.  Remember his skill on the basketball court in his youth.  And remember that like his namesake, King David, that he was a man after God’s own heart.

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