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Gary and I are truly “soul mates” and had been happily married for almost twenty years when we received the life-altering diagnosis of Gary’s rare form of muscle disease, IBM (inclusion body myositis). At that time we anticipated that our lives would change. In reality, our lives have been dramatically altered. Our daily routines, finances, social lives and friendships have been impacted by Gary’s increased level of physical disability. We could choose to sit back and feel sorry for our fate; however, Gary and I have consciously chosen to look for the “silver lining” in the clouds of this rare disease. We have experienced a “spiritual epiphany” of sorts since Gary was initially diagnosed and this has motivated both of us to share these experiences with others. This book is filled with the issues of living life with a highly-imposing and relentless disease, but also finding time to appreciate the “primary blessing” of being alive and able to share the ups and downs with each other. ---- JULIE (wife and caregiver)
After I was diagnosed with an untreatable type of muscle disease shortly after the start of 2008, our lives were about to change in ways neither of us could have imagined. Living with a progressively debilitating disease doesn’t make you progressively less relevant. It makes you progressively less presumptive. Sure, I was getting older and our bodies change, but I was only half-way to 55 at the time. My wife was about to turn 52. We had reached a point in our lives where we were no longer striving for anything major. We were in a good place because we appreciated each other’s love and enjoyed each other’s company. We realized that we were fortunate to have found each other and also, thankful for our many blessings. ---- GARY (muscle disease sufferer)