Author Archives: Kristin Neva

We Have No Guarantees with ALS, but We Do Have Choices

“What? But there’s a guarantee on your website,” I told the customer service representative for the herbal company. I had requested a refund of a digestive supplement because it didn’t work for me. He repeated his scripted line: “That product is nonreturnable because it’s consumable.” “Wow!” I couldn’t believe my…

Learning New Skills I Wish I Didn’t Need

I love learning some new skills, but not all of them. Thirteen years ago, I took a creative writing class that set me off on a journey that has included three novels, a children’s book, and now a weekly column. This week, I hope to take a…

Normal Déjà Vu: Life As We Used to Know It

Life with ALS is absurd when I think about it. It’s so different than it was before the disease, and with each setback, life gets even stranger. We tried to maintain a normal life, but nothing seems normal about feeding one’s husband in a restaurant. Just a year ago, Todd…

Defining The Relationship: We’re More than Our Roles

When I was brainstorming ideas for the name of this column, before settling on “Joyful Sorrow,” I asked my husband if he had any ideas. “How about ‘The Caregiver’?” Todd suggested. I dismissed it out of hand. He pushed back. “I think it’s a good name. It’s descriptive and it’s…

Embracing the Joyful Sadness of Life

This year for Father’s Day, I ordered a basket of gourmet caramel apples from Amy’s Candy Kitchen, a little shop in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Amy’s Granny Smith apples are large and covered with sweet caramel, salty pecans, or other nuts. It is an explosion of flavor, magnifying both the…

Faced with Incurable Disease, Fighting Is Winning

I am by nature a fixer. After my husband, Todd, was diagnosed with ALS, I found out modern medicine didn’t provide a cure. There’s no option for surgery. No drugs significantly improve outcomes. So, I turned to searching the internet for alternative therapies that might help. “I want to fight…