Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What is Lou Gehrig's (ALS) Disease?

Last year, a colleague and good friend succumbed to ALS* (AKA Lou Gehrig's Disease) after a long, courageous battle. He wasn't the first person I've known to have this terrible disease, and I often wondered what these people were feeling and thinking when first diagnosed, and during each stage of the downhill progression of the illness.

Recently, I came across a blog that tells the story of the journey with eloquence and compassion. Called Ray's Little Ride, Ray Spooner, a nurse midwife, entitles his story as a "Journey."

After diagnosis, Ray biked more than 3000 miles across the USA in a successful campaign to fund raise for ALS* research. The blog post referred to above was written in the later stages of the disease and, with a nurse's clinical perspective, shares with the reader his innermost thoughts and feelings. 

It is a journey of courage and bravery and I recommend the blog to my readers.

Robert Tell, Author

*According to the ALS Association, "ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a neurodegenerative disease. This fatal disease affects the nerve cells (motor neurons) that control a person’s muscles. As the disease causes these motor neurons to deteriorate, the brain loses the ability to start and control voluntary muscle movement. This is why people with ALS often lose the ability to speak. The disease slowly paralyzes its victims eventually taking away the ability to breathe."