Author Archives: Kristin Neva

The Many Challenges of Getting Out

Normally, we live much of our life at home. My husband, Todd, has ALS and is paralyzed. He spends his time in his wheelchair set up at his computer, and I can’t go far in case he needs help. Our traveling days are over, and we can’t visit most…

Time Travel With ALS: What If We Could?

I’ve been thinking about time travel after watching a couple movies with my husband, Todd, who has ALS. We enjoyed “About Time” during one of our date nights and “The Time Traveler’s Wife” during another. Both movies have subplots that involve love, marriage, and children. If time travel…

The Pressure of Caregiving Makes Self-care Difficult

Knowing that so much is riding on me creates a lot of pressure. I don’t get sick days, vacation, or weekends off. Taking time off to attend to my health issues requires finding and paying for caregivers for my husband, Todd, who is paralyzed due to ALS. For example, I…

Grabbing Bits of Beauty to Rejuvenate

“I am so sick of being sick,” Todd said. He’s having trouble kicking this bug that he’s been fighting for two weeks. His lungs keep filling with mucus, and I keep clearing them out. Just when we think he’s on the road to recovery because he has a long stretch…

ALS + a Cold = Stress x 10

My husband, Todd, came down with a cold last week. At this stage of his ALS progression, any cold is life-threatening. His lungs fill up with mucus, and he needs me to push on his abdomen so he can cough it out. Todd had a sore throat and a runny…

Looking Back on 11 Years of Our Joyful Sorrow

On occasion, I’ll page through the photo books my husband, Todd, made for me as Christmas gifts. I feel a sense of gratitude as I look back on all we’ve been able to do since his ALS diagnosis. Family game nights. Outings to sporting events. Family movie nights. Several…

I’m Wearing a Grief Backpack

On one of my recent daily walks, I listened to an “Office Ladies” podcast in which Jenna Fischer shared her ongoing struggle with anxiety. She used the analogy of a backpack to describe the burden she lives with. Some days it weighs her down, while other days she…

Shifting My Mindset to Play the Game of Life

Last week, I went to the doctor to get a problem with my ear checked out. The medical assistant went through a list of screening questions. The last was, “Are you depressed?” Tears welled up in my eyes. “Yeah, I’m depressed. My husband is terminally ill.” “I’m sorry,” she said.