On a Scale of Nirvana to Bosnia

I’ve never been able to respond to health care providers who want me to rate pain.  “On a scale of 0 to 10, zero being pain-free and ten being the worst pain you’ve ever felt, where are you?”

Uh, no.  Here’s my pain scale:  On a scale of the every-day pain that I grit my teethe to tolerate and the pain I think my mother must have suffered when the cancer hit her brain, I’m way closer to the first than the second.  On a scale of Nirvana to Bosnia, I’m somewhere in between.

But my theory of relativity blew all to hell this morning, as I sat over yogurt and micro-waved coffee, watching James Ruby’s ice bucket challenge video.  Mr. Ruby, in what appears to be a fairly advanced stage of ALS, first sits in his wheelchair with his wife and son beside him, then stands, held by his son.  After making his challenge, he endures a grandly thrown bucket of ice water with a wide grin and an unquenchable spirit.

The pittance of suffering that I’ve endured fits into a thimble in comparison to the effects of this terrible disease.  I realize it’s not a competition.  But note:  I am strutting my stuff perfectly dry while James Ruby, unable to stand on his own, takes an icy bath while being held upright by his family.  And why?  To persuade people who can to donate to help save the 30,000 Americans who suffer from ALS each year.  I’d say that Mr. Ruby has found his way to Nirvana, and I am mightily jealous.

I didn’t submit to a bucket of ice but I did donate, in honor of my cousin Paul Orso.  I would ask any of you who have the means to make a donation, here:  www.als.net.  Check out this Facebook post of James Ruby’s video, but please, get your hankies ready:


And I am sure you’ve seen this photo before now, but I’ll close today’s blog by sharing a photo of my son, my cousin Paul, and myself, taken at Paul’s home earlier this year.  Paul has ALS which has progressed since our visit to his beautiful St. Charles home.  We love you, Paul.

Patrick Corley, Paul Orso and yours truly.

Patrick Corley, Paul Orso and yours truly.

One thought on “On a Scale of Nirvana to Bosnia

  1. Cindy Cieplik

    Very well said-and I will add that in my long nursing career, I had the privilege of caring for several ALS warriors. Everyone of them had a fantastic sense of humor and touched so many people in that special way as did Mr. Ruby in his video. There is a major lesson in this somewhere–just truly wish that these folks with immense spirits never had do deal with the ravages of this despicable disease.


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