When my uncle was in his late forties, he began to notice anumbness in his legs, especially when he sat for a long period of time. Thetingling grew more persistent and pervasive and after a few years, it began tobe accompanied by muscle weakness and an increased difficulty walking. Thedoctors first began by ruling out all of the major neuromuscular disorders:multiple sclerosis, ALS, muscular dystrophy, and other, rarer diseases. One byone, they ruled out options, and one by one, specialists scratch their heads.My uncle lay motionless inside of MRI machines time and again, and all thewhile his legs grew weaker, until he was mostly unable to walk and confined toa wheelchair.

In this month’s issue of InTheFray, we explore our health, whatit means to be healthy and what it is like to cope with illness. We begin with LoriMarieLaSpada’s essay Hittingthe genetic jackpot, about her experiences living with a rareblood disease. Next, Lori Law tells the story of a woman waiting for a kidney transplant in Independenceday. Paul Jury shares his experience with a police officer and ajellyfish sting in Jellyfish conversations. In The rhythm of remembrance in health and healing, Larry Jaffe shares several poems from his recent book OneChild Sold. Jacqueline Barba reviews The Murderesin Damned and damaged. Finally,we hear from Tian Miao as she shares her view ofportions of Chinese culture in The sadness.

Eventually, the doctors did figure out what was happening with myuncle. Calcium deposits in his spine pressed on his spinal cord, damaging itenough to interrupt the signal between his brain and his legs. The good news isthat the damage has been stopped and his symptoms won’t progress any further.The bad news is that it won’t get any better. I think it is easy for those ofus blessed with good health take our health for granted. It is one more thingthat we should try to remember to be thankful for each day.

I am a writer/editor turned web developer. I’ve served as both Editor-in-chief and Technical Developer of In The Fray Magazine over the past 5 years. I am gainfully employed, writing, editing and developing on the web for a small private college in Duluth, MN. I enjoy both silence and heavy metal, John Milton and Stephen King, sunrise and sunset. Like all of us, I contain multitudes.

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