The Adventures of ALS Boy

A middle-school math teacher documents his joyful life while battling the evil forces of ALS.

Goal Orientated

My goal here is to get you to read this.

My goal as a kid growing up was to earn all A's on my report cards so I could get into a good college. Well, a 55 to 1 A/A- to B+ ratio at Parkside Junior High and a 4.13 AP-class adjusted GPA at Capuchino High School pretty much meant mission accomplished in that regard as I attended UCD in the Fall of 1987. (College GPA withheld by the author for reasons of embarrassment and shame).

At the age of 25, my goals shifted towards my cardiovascular health as I attempted to kick a ten year cigarette smoking habit by going on the nicotine patch. My lungs and I are happy to report that no tobacco has entered this body since April 15, 1994.

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After quitting smoking, my body staged a rebellion of sorts by blowing up to the tune of 200 pounds. My new goal became losing 35 el bees by walking every day and eating more sensibly. Yo Adrian, I did it.

Then I wanted to become a middle school math teacher. The only way I knew how to accomplish this particular goal was to put in the time to up my game. I think it worked for the eight years I spent in Room 36 at La Entrada.

Then came the diagnosis of a terminal illness in February 2008. When I was informed that most people with ALS survive between two to four years, I was forced to reevaluate my goals. The Bucket List concept is good in theory but doesn't make a lot of practical sense when my abilities to speak and move disintegrates on a monthly basis.

These days I focus on living to see April First each year in order to celebrate our shared birthday with my daughter Emma. Then every October I make it my life's goal to attend the annual Father Daughter Dance with Emma and Fehmeen (with music provided by my dad and the world famous Bay Area Band).

I have yet to miss either occasion and I don't plan on starting any time in the near future. Besides, I have seventy-five more entries to write if I want to get to post #100 on this blog.

 

Jason Picetti lived life with ALS by six simple words: Speech and movement compromised, spirit unaffected. He died on October 2011.

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