Sixty years old

Michael Gollin
July 3, 2017

Sixty years old
At fifty five, I slowed down.
I had been going fast and faster.
I lost running, walking unaided, walking at all, standing.
I lost typing, driving, using tools, gardening.
I lost eating solids, eating liquids.
I lost hugging and kissing.
I have my five senses and the sixth one, love.
I am grateful for the insurance and money
to afford round the clock care.
My eyes work, and I have a little motion in my neck and left arm.
All night I dream I am healthy.
I am enveloped in love.
It  is a tragedy to die in your fifties,
but it’s just bad luck to die in your sixties.
An improvement.

The lighter side of living with ALS

The lighter side of living with ALS

Michael Gollin at 57
July 3, 2014

When I learned I had ALS in 2012, the only response I could make was, “That sucks.” Then I started looking for silver linings and tried to figure out how best to play the hand I was dealt.   Here is my standup routine, delivered sitting down at my 57th birthday party, with my favorite 12 things about living with ALS.


12. If I get slurring, stumbling drunk, no one can tell the difference.
11. I don’t have to care much about the appearance of what I wear, as long as it passes for clothing.
10. People give me credit just for showing up, like in 1st grade. And I even get to take a nap.
9. If I say something even vaguely humorous, people act like I’m a comic genius.
8. When I drop things, no one tells me “clean up that mess you made.”
7. If I show up at work 1 or 2 days a week, instead of chewing me out, people call me a hero and an inspiration.
6. VIP treatment at concerts, theme parks, sporting events, and airports.
5. I can finally pull off a credible impression of Kurt Cobain in Smells Like Teen Spirit.
4. After decades of trying to keep weight off, it’s weird that I’m trying to gain weight, and I get to eat all the starch, sugar, and fat I avoided for so long. People actually get jealous of me – for about a nanosecond.
3. Pretty ladies hold doors for me and help me sit down, instead of vice versa.
2. Hugs. Hugs. And more hugs.
1. Giving my family and friends a great excuse for partying and hanging out with me and each other!!!