Author Archives: Kristin Neva

Wartime Living Tests Marriages

Sometimes I’ll pick up a magazine in a grocery store checkout line and see a marriage article about sex or the division of household chores. I’ll sigh wistfully. Healthy people problems. In “Flying Without Wings,” Arnold Beisser describes his journey to become a psychiatrist, which was nearly impossible after…

Imagining Our Lives Without ALS

My husband, Todd, recently asked me, “What do you think our life would be like if I hadn’t gotten ALS?” I’ve done this mental exercise before, but never with him. He’d be working and trying to advance his career. Our two kids would be in school. I might be working…

Just Breathe: Dealing with Chronic Stress

ALS is now affecting my husband’s breathing. On occasion, Todd’s lungs fill with fluid and he needs me to give him an assisted cough, just as his physical therapist taught me to do. He stacks his breath as I count to four, and I push on his abdomen below…

Coming Unstuck and Reaching Beyond Ourselves

Before my husband, Todd, got ALS, we had minor problems, but we were full of hope. We had a small baby so I wasn’t getting much sleep, but I knew that things would get better. Todd was sometimes frustrated with his work, but he hoped to be promoted. Our obstacles…

Navigating ALS with Children in Tow

My heart ached for my kids after my husband, Todd, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Isaac was 9 months old and Sara was 4. How would ALS affect them? I had no idea how to help them navigate our future. A year after Todd was diagnosed, I…

The Art of Choosing a Family-friendly Movie

Spoiler alert: This column describes plotlines from the film “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”  Friday movie night has become our favorite pastime, as it’s something we can still enjoy as a family despite my husband Todd’s paralysis. We typically find a funny movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

The Clock Starts Ticking After an ALS Diagnosis

After my husband, Todd, was diagnosed with ALS, we went on what we thought would be our last family vacation. We flew into Los Angeles, visited friends, and toured some sites. I took a lot of pictures — our 5-year-old daughter meeting princesses at Disneyland, our…