Monday, December 26, 2016

An unsolicited product endorsement

To review....A little over 2 1/2 years ago I took my health for granted. Then, out of the blue, my immune system decided that my motor axons with the new enemy. I went from marathon ready to"doctor there's something wrong with my hands and feet" to so paralyzed that I couldn't lift a fork to my mouth or stand in front of the toilet in about 48 hours. I have a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome called acute motor axonal neuropathy. (Use The Google, I'm tired of providing hyperlinks). My lower limbs have healed to the point where I can walk as far and as fast as any tourist in Times Square. But the problem is my upper limbs are healing slower, my hands and fingers are not that useful. Things like buttons, round doorknobs or scotch tape dispenser can be a stopper for me.

I've never been a fan of brand loyalty. In fact I always thought that was a character trait of a sucker. But there is a short list of exceptions. For example, I used to live in blue jeans and they were always Levi's. I don't know why, I never tried anything else. I also can't see changing my cable service or my cell phone company because I just can't imagine the competition is any different.

But I have been using the same laundry detergent for the past 25 years. Not because I think it's any better than the rest but because I associated with a positive memory. For our first vacation after our honeymoon my wife and I decided to buy a pair of new bikes and a bike rack for our new two-seat convertible and drive up to New England. They let people ride their bikes on the cross country ski trail at the base of Mount Washington. After a few loops my wife had enough but I thought I'd take one more loop. I wanted to push myself a little and I thought I knew where all the sharp turns were. So I took an incredible fall and had to have little pieces of gravel picked out of my elbow by the mountain rescue people. I learned a new word: "road rash", and for about a week I heard a lot of people say things like dude, "you should've gotten stitches". A week after the crash, I pulled the shirt out of the clean laundry that I thought I had thrown away. All the blood washed out. After that I didn't buy just any scent free laundry detergent. I became loyal to Tide Free, because it always reminded me of the crash that I survived.

So over the past few months I've been trying to figure out what I can do around the house. Or to put that another way what is stopping me from doing things around the house. I looked at the activity of doing laundry. I have no problem getting the clothes into a wagon and pushing it down to the basement. Getting them into the washer is easy but sliding the card into the slot to pay for the laundry load was more of a challenge but it didn't stop me. Moving wet close from the washers to the dryers was more of a challenge than I thought, but I got over that. I also had no problem getting the clothes upstairs and sorted, folding never really happen anyway. But there was one part where I would've made a mess..., pouring or scooping the detergent into the washing machine. Then I saw an advertisement for Tide Pods.

So thank you Procter & Gamble. I know I was not your target audience but you created a product that helped give me a little bit of independence back and with that a little bit of dignity.

Now I just have to hope nobody freaks out when they see me opening the dryer door with my elbow or using my teeth to get the laundry card in and out of the machine.


  1. Michael, you are really something. I just found myself inspired by a story about Tide. Gotta love it!!

  2. I really enjoy what you have to say. I do love your sense of humor considering all the challenges that arise with GBS. I look forward to your posts.

  3. As a GBS survivor myself I literally know all of the things you go thru and on top of that about 6 months into my recovery I was diagnosed with myasthenia Gravis. And that has put me in a coma and it makes me tired with the more active I am. There is so much more to it but your story brought tears to my eyes ��! Good for you! You have to be creative and fight to get thru these wicked curveballs that have been hurled at you! In my opinion the people who fight and have the positive attitudes r the ones who will heal and go on. Adjusted to whatever the current physical situation may be. You have already WON! Just keep up that attitude it will serve you well!

  4. It's the small things in life isn't it? Great to see that you've keep the humor and your spirit alive; that's really half the battle.


You do not have to be nice!


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