Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Bath

The Bath

By Scott Lew

A few months before
I was diagnosed
But when I knew
in my gut
I had ALS
I took a bath
to relieve the muscles
in my chest and arms
Warm water
My body
My mind
into a meditative state
I thought about
The horrors
that would soon
overcome me
And just decided
in one of those
Rare moments of clarity
That whatever happened
I would face it
and I would be okay with it
when I made that deal
with myself
I felt an overwhelming lightness
Lift me up
My entire essence of being
in harmony
It was like I was floating
in the bath

And that feeling has lasted
To this day

When I’m upset
because I can’t hug my kids
or play monsters with them
or sing the Birthday Song
I think back to the bath
and I’m okay
When I’m craving food
which I haven’t eaten in years
When I long to be part
of the conversation
or just make a silly joke
When I can’t smell
That thing
Everyone says smells so great
When I wish I could
Dance with my wife
or just linger over wine and cheese
like we used to
When I try to make an expression
but nobody can read my face
When just thinking about my breathing
being totally dependent
on this delicate machine
Freaks me out
When I’d like to leave
My house, chair, bed, vent, suction machine
and just take a walk
But it’s not possible
When my feet itch
Or a bug is crawling
on my face
Or my head falls
and I can’t pick it up
When I want to scream
but I can’t even utter
the slightest whisper
I go back to the bath
Feel that moment
Remember that bond
I made with myself
the serenity that followed
and I’m okay


Filed under ALS, ALS Poetry, Lou Gehrig's Disease, PALS, Poetry, Scott Lew