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Get ready for a long journey.

Get ready for a long journey.

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Posted by Larry Petrone on September 25, 2000 at 08:13:56:

In Reply to: ALS - Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gherig's Disease) posted by Randy Whitman on September 17, 1999 at 12:23:13:

In the summer of 1995, I first heard my grandmother, whom I absolutely could not have been
any closer with-- first complain of her leg stiffening up. After that came a long road of medical
tests, mis-diagnosises, a pointless operation, and eventually the realizationn of ALS-- or Lou
Gerhig's disease. Once the "head" of a very close family, the backbone of her husbad's (my
grandfather's) orthodontic practice, and a well known, well loved person in our community, ALS,
in about four year's time, had reduced her to the point where she couldn't speak, eat move, or
do absolutely anything for herself. We adjusted to this, as she still ran the show through simple
movements of her eyes-- she would communicate by looking at a board we had made with the
alphabet on it. She would do her best to look at each letter of the words she was trying to say,
looking off to the side when she was done with a word, and we would do our best to figure out
what it was she was trying to spell out. She ate through a feeding tube which went directly
through her abdomen to her stomach. Once a person who dined at the finest restraunts in town,
her only meals now consisted of canned liquid "mush." From her bedside in her house, she
still ran my grandfather's practice-- she would spell to me, step by step-- a task that could
take hours-- how to do the payroll, the annual taxes, and other paper work.
As I am running out of time, for more info and suggestions, e-mail me. Good Luck.

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