Originally Posted by Sininie
My step mother was dx about two months ago. Her symptoms started Dec 2008 with losing her voice and progressed very quickly. She still trys to communicate verbally and my dad can pretty much understand what she wants.
My question is...She has always been a very kind person, but is now saying things very out of character and cursing at my father all of the time.
Could this be a symptom? Perhaps it's frustration and fear?
Today she has made the decision that she wants to go to a nursing home, but her children are fighting that(money) which I feel is very cruel. However, I'm just the step daughter, so I can't say much.
My mother has been dealing with ALS for just over a year now. She is also a very kind and loving woman, however, she too has had a change in her personality that includes the use of language and gestures that have never been used in my parentsí home before.
The depth of the sadness, frustration, and heartbreak is beyond anything we can try to imagine. She can no longer speak and I feel like using this type of communication helps her vent and feel heard.
The very worst thing anyone can do is to treat her as if she isn't mentally sharp, speak for her, speak to each other as if she isn't in the room, etc. She needs to be heard and feel like people are discussing their feelings, the disease, and any decisions (big or small) directly with her.
We try to laugh and keep things light for the most part and that includes making funny comments about the four letter words...depending on the situation, I like to say "what would the ladies at Sunday School think"...she usually follows that up with the middle finger. I think its ok for her to express herself. She has lead a life of a spiritual woman who has complete faith that God is in control. I'm glad she knows that a few colorful moments donít take away from that for a minute.
As for the rest of the family that probably is dealing with anger and denial (and perhaps selfishness), contact your local ALS chapter. They will provide you with a social worker who can come to your home and act as an advocate for your mother-in-law.
I wish you all the best.