Truly Blessed

ALS patient James Martin shares his journey.

Red Alert

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James Martin
August 2, 2012

I always enjoyed StarTrek: The Next Generation.  For the uninitiated, they are simply morality plays set in science fiction space.  But it is still Star Trek; you know what I mean.  Routinely, Commander Riker would call for red alert whenever peril was at hand.  Unfortunately, red alert has jumped from Star Trek, and invaded my space like Tribbles in heat. 

At first it was the annoying blinking red light of voice mail.  It blinked, and blinked, alerting me of an important, or not, message.  A red alert that demanded attention, a crisis to be averted.  I admit that I do not miss that flashing red light.

In medical retirement, there was hope for a red alert free existence.  But a boy must have his toys, and my iPhone and iPad are my favorite.  But hardwired into these wonderful gadgets is what I call the Commander Riker App.  You see, every email, missed call, app update, text, each declare a red alert that must be dealt with. Return my text or email, call me back, update me now!  It's a red alert moment that shan't be ignored. 

But I think it is just me.  Other, rational and stable, people can simply ignore them.  But the app taunts me.  It doesn't just show an alert, the alert keeps count of my failure to heed.  There are 49 updates, 11 texts, 17 missed calls, and 99 emails.  

They drive me crazy.  Those are red alerts: if not dealt with, the Romulans will align with rogue Klingons and the Federation will be at risk.  I must clear my red alerts, after all, the universe is at stake.  So please, for the sake of humanity, deal with your red alerts.  The end may be near.

James Martin is a former attorney and graduate of Gonzaga University and Marquette Law School. He lives in Spring Prairie near Burlington. He has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. He is married with 6 kids. James is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the Gazette staff or management.

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