Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Adjusting to a new normal...

Happy times with my Dad!!

What is ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no or negative. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment–"No muscle nourishment." When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening ("sclerosis") in the region.

As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies.


My father, my rock, the man I've always leaned on was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

We've (my mother and me) been trying really hard the last couple of days to wrap our brains around this diagnosis. Fortunately my father does not understand the gravity of his diagnosis. I think that in and of itself is a blessing. He's telling everyone that there's a 95% chance he'll go into complete remission. We know that this is not true, but we will not tell him.

We all need hope, and my father has found that hope.

Who knows the mind is a very powerful thing and maybe he will go into remission. I will hope and pray for that.

Give your loved ones a hug and kiss, we never know whats ahead...all we really have is today and I appreciate every minute.

This is a therapeutic post for me

I really wish that I could write. Tell all of you what I'm feeling right now. How do you put into words emptiness, pain and hopelessness. That's what I was feeling yesterday for a bit. I say a bit, because I cannot let myself stay in that frame of mind. I have to stay positive and move forward...I have a lot of people counting on me for that.

I'm sorry to say that it's almost become part of my life for the last 8 years. One more tragedy to deal with...suck it up Carey, and deal with it.

You must be wondering...where's her faith? I have faith. Faith, that what ever happens, I am not alone, that I can deal with what's put in front of me. That there is something better for us in the future. All of us.

That being said, I am only human, and I am at the end of my rope. That's basically all I wanted to say today.

More later. Thanks guys for listening, and as strange as it might seem I feel better just putting it on to speak.