Author Archives: Kristin Neva

Loving What’s Left

With my gym closed, I’ve been getting my daily exercise by cross-country skiing. A calm happiness washes over me at about the 2-kilometer mark, after my heart rate is up and endorphins flood my brain. I take in the beauty of the woods. Soft snow, the vestige of winter,…

My Junk Drawer Sparks Memories of Better Days

Since my husband has ALS and is paralyzed, his life is much the same under COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Todd still spends his days on the computer, except now there are many more people online, so he feels more connected. However, the kids and I have had to find a…

‘How Are You?’ Can Be a Weighty Question

When someone asks how I am in passing, I know the script: “I’m fine. How are you?” Sure, the question and response are meant to be pleasantries in our polite society, but since my husband has ALS, some days the question feels weighty. It stirs smoldering emotions, reigniting the…

The Little Things Can Mean So Much

The other morning, I woke up to find a note on my husband’s wheelchair cushion: “Buttercup, please cook the sausage. Love, Todd.” He was reminding me of the bratwurst I had pulled out of the freezer a couple days before. His arms haven’t worked in years because he has ALS,…

We’ve Adapted Before, and We’ll Adapt Again

Since my husband was diagnosed with ALS a decade ago, we’ve adapted to this difficult life in ways I never would have expected. After leaving rural Michigan for college in Chicago, and then living in Milwaukee, I didn’t think I would end up living in a handicap-accessible house across the…

7 Ways Life with ALS Is Similar to Life During a Pandemic

When someone asked my husband how he is doing in light of COVID-19, Todd replied, “Our life isn’t that much different. Now everyone else is dealing with what we have been living with for years.” There are similarities between life during this pandemic and life with ALS. 1. We already…

Appreciating My Partner

My 14-year-old daughter woke me up at 4:45 a.m. “Do you hear that?” “Hear what?” I asked groggily. “You don’t hear anything?” Panic rose in Sara’s voice. “No.” I sat up. “You don’t hear that?” she said, just after I too heard a high-pitched chirp. “Yes,” I said. “It sounds…

Living Life While Taking Precautions

After three weeks of my husband, Todd, being cloistered in our home with a cold, we ventured out Saturday for Michigan Tech’s last home hockey game of the season. Our Huskies took on their archrival, the Northern Michigan Wildcats. Games between the two teams usually sell out because…