Author Archives: Dagmar Munn

2 Things That Make My Life With ALS a Little Safer

Among the many challenges of living with ALS are the physical symptoms of muscle stiffness and weakness. I have both. During my first year with ALS, I’d wake up and walk into the bathroom doing a good imitation of the clumsy, lurching steps of Frankenstein’s monster. On other days,…

How I Fine-tune the Voices in My Head

I’ll admit to hearing voices — the voices in my head, that is. We’re all listening to our mental voices. It’s the constant chatter of inner dialogue or self-talk that leapfrogs through our thoughts, beliefs, questions, and ideas. Mostly the chatter is background noise, accompanying our daily activities and conversations.

Will This ‘New Normal’ Ever Feel Normal Again?

The other day while watching TV, I heard the newscaster announce, “We’re in the ‘new normal’ folks, and everybody wants to get out and travel again!” “Well, I don’t,” I thought, and just as quickly wondered, “Am I the only one who doesn’t feel comfortable yet to go out…

How I Shift Into ALS Manual Mode

To help me get through the ups and downs of living with ALS, I’ve created several mental games. Perhaps they’ll help you, too. For example, when life around me isn’t cooperating, I imagine I’m in a driver’s ed training film. When my body isn’t following orders, I tell…

When Second Opinions Get Social

Lately, I’ve noticed a strange trend happening in several online ALS communities I belong to. I’ve seen an increase in posts from people who haven’t yet been diagnosed with ALS asking members of the group to essentially offer medical opinions. A typical post begins with a list of physical symptoms,…

ALS Recognition Is Growing in Hollywood

Everyone likes being noticed — for the right things, of course. I like it when others recognize my unique talents and skills or a job well done. I don’t like being noticed because I have to use a rollator to help me walk. Or, because I move more slowly than…

Why I’m Cautiously Optimistic About My ALS Future

If a year ago you would have told me that going without a face mask would be an emotionally challenging thing to do, I would’ve had a good chuckle. But last week, as a fully vaccinated person, I did it, and several times to boot. Although I felt confident being…

How I Learned to Speak Up for ALS Awareness

“I didn’t even know ALS existed until I was told I had it.” That’s what most patients say when telling their ALS story. I said the same thing when asked to share my story at an event in 2010, and I hear the same thing from others today, 11 years…

How I Took My First Step in Spreading ALS Awareness

Like many newly diagnosed ALS patients, I was overwhelmed by the steep learning curve of finding out more about the disease. Never mind having to jump in and help raise funds for it. Every time May rolled around with ALS Awareness Month, I was uncertain about how I fit…