70 Years Later

Posted: August 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

I received some good news today via an appointment with a pulmonologist:  My diaphragm is strong and my ability to take deep breaths is normal.  I don’t even qualify for a BiPap machine at night yet. To put that in perspective, a little insight into the ALS world is that no matter how the other muscles break down and weaken, it is ultimately the inability to be able to breathe that kills.

So folks, I’m not going anywhere yet!

I am learning to accept that God’s plan is for me to stay on earth, while enduring some amounts of physical suffering.  Since ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, I decided to read his biography.  It was a good read,  although it contained way too much info on the Yankees. 🙂  The book was somewhat depressing because, well, everything about this disease is depressing.  Also, I knew how it was going to end…in death.  But we all know that, right?  It’s a fact of life…we all die.  Reading the Bible is much better because it tells me about another end…that death is not final.  I get to spend eternity with God in Heaven.  All because of Christ.

As I think about Lou Gehrig suffering from this disease over 7 decades ago, I have to wonder how much more difficult his suffering was than mine.  I have so much support and numerous aids, none of which were available back in the 1930’s.  There is a specialist for every area of my body.  There are tools and gadgets to help with every deficit.  Non-profit organizations loan and give away expensive equipment. Medicines have improved by leaps and bounds. And my church family continually helps in too many ways to count.

But the biggest difference between Lou Gehrig and myself is that he had no hope.  His most famous statement is compelling when he told the world that he considered  himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”  Although he may have been lucky in the world’s eyes, I am blessed.

Luck has nothing to do with eternity.  Christ has everything to do with it.

Philippians 1:21  For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

  1. Delphine says:

    Wow, I am speechless. I have also read Lou Gehrig’s story, and seen the movie. Because of my Mom’s history and my interest in ALS I have looked into his story and it is as you have said, sad. Because he had no hope. He did consider himself the luckiest man, but we know so much more! I am so blessed to know Jesus, and so blessed to now, know you and your family too Patrick and Dena. You are helping me heal through all you are sharing. God is leading me down this path of healing over thirty years later… Thank you Patrick, Dena and Family for allowing Him to work through you… I know this is an extremely difficult road to travel and I pray for you often.

  2. Heisler, Ruby says:

    I’m praising God for this encouraging report regarding your good breathing. You And Dena continue to inspire all those you come in contact with. Yes we are ALL dying – we just don’t know when but one thing we do know we Will live forever with HIM. Love And prayers to the McGoldricks, Ruby. Heisler

  3. Tonya Burns says:

    Prayers, hugs and thoughts that the pause button gets stuck on “pause!”

  4. Patrick you are an inspiration! While going through huge suffering of our own (a different kind of course, but suffering non the less) you are a breath of fresh air. God is using you to encourage us in the midst of our storm.

  5. Shari Herbert says:

    Amen brother! We all will die, not many of us know in advance how. And Jesus Christ is TRULY our only Hope! I don’t know how people live without the hope that He alone provides. Jer. 29:11

  6. Dianne Elizabeth Homan Schick says:

    Praise God for this “PAUSE”!! ~Dianne

    Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2012 02:19:07 +0000 To: d66schick@hotmail.com

  7. Russ Arbuckle says:

    What an up beat reading of you and Lou Gehrig. One difference between you and him is that
    he usually caught the ball when it was hit his way. HA! God bless you as He does and you are a
    light onto to me and I will continue to feel the light that you give off from Jesus Christ our Savior.

  8. Floss frey says:

    Good news Pat. Your perspective is a blessing. Praying for you and your family many times a day.

  9. Mel Stull says:

    Hey Bro, Praying for you every day. This song has been ministering to my soul and I think you and the family every time I hear it.

  10. Colleen Rose says:

    You are so right, Patrick, how do those without the hope of Christ and an eternity with Him cope? I just wanted to let you know that I have been praying for you and Dena especially the last couple of days.

  11. janet says:

    We are all praying for a pause, so praising God for putting a pause in this area. Will continue to pray!! We love you so very much!!!

  12. Joe & Gail Asaro says:

    One word Patrick, Amen.

  13. Mary Rodgers says:

    I’m always so glad to get your up-dates and know what is going on. So happy for the good news…anything positive is good.

  14. Alan Bonjour says:

    That is good news.

    It is a difficult thing to be too weak to draw a breath. I had gone through a lengthy time (Crohn’s Dx) when I could not expand my chest, and numerous times I could not tell at all that I could move any air in or out, and wondered if I was going to pass in bed without saying good-bye. I could not move a flame, or single layer of tissue. It was serene, scary, lonely, and exciting, all at the same time. God sustained me by His hand (and eventually miraculously healed me).

    I will pray that God would sustain you in His arms by His grace, however long, or whatever His path is for you. We see today in part, but then, we will see fully.

    “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

  15. Stephen Luke says:

    I have been following your blog silently since it was established, and it has affected me tremendously. I must say that your previous entry “Pause it, please” brought both my wife and I to tears and has caused many moments of “pause”, reflection, and thankfulness, as well as prayers for you and your family since we read it.
    I really wish that I could offer a word of eternal wisdom here that would be of some great help to you and it would take away all the hurt, but as we both know only God can heal our hurts, and sometimes things don’t make sense to us at all and that’s where faith comes in.
    I would like to share one more thing with you, and it may seem kind of silly, but it’s a big deal to me. My wife and I have been doing P90X for a while now, and it’s an intense workout program 6 days a week, and on the days when I “just don’t feel like it” my mantra has become “Let’s do it for Patrick!”
    You see my friend, “Patrick’s Story” could just as well be “Stephen’s Story” and I realize that, I thank God for you and will continue to pray for you and your family.
    In Christ,

  16. Les and Judy Johnson says:

    Patrick: Read your blog glad to hear the good news. Our church, sunday school, prayer group, and us, are praying for you and your family.

    God Bless

  17. Lee Wise says:

    Thank God for the hope, Pat, thank God. How true.

    Sherry and I talk about that often. You may or may not remember that we came to know the Lord a bit later… around 21ish! I was a young Marine and indirectly led her to the Lord. We remain so very grateful for our hope in Jesus as well.

    Again, thanks for the testimonies of you and your family. And, naturally, the prayers are with you.


  18. DOUG says:


  19. Thank you for reminding us that extra innings in this life is not the prize, eternity with God is!

  20. Diane says:

    Patrick and Dena,

    As you may recall, familial ALS runs in my family, and it has been an encouragement to me to see how the Lord is giving you grace through this very tough situation. Praise HIM that this life is not all there is! Praying for you all regularly.

  21. Pastor Pat, I woke up this morning praying for you and thinking of this song. I took that as the Holy Spirit prompting me to send you this link and continue praying for you today. You’re one of the anchor people God put in my life at a vulnerable and impressionable time. I love you so much! Erica (White) Zauflik

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