Joyful Sorrow - a Column by Kristin Neva

patients, strength, bittersweet

Kristin Neva is an author, mother of two, and caregiver for her husband, Todd, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010 when he was 39 years old. Knowing they would need family support, they moved to Upper Michigan and built an accessible home on property next to Kristin’s childhood home. Kristin enjoys spending time outdoors, especially on the shore of Lake Superior in the summer. Todd no longer has use of his limbs, but he stays active working on projects on his computer using adaptive technology. They try to find joy in the midst of sorrow as Todd’s health declines.

How my husband keeps pushing the limits with ALS

We often feel isolated now that my husband, Todd, is homebound because of ALS. He’s paralyzed with weak lung function, and it’s just too difficult for him to get out. So we were delighted when some friends planned a game night with us at our home last weekend. We…

The strange calculations we make while living with ALS

One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was balsamic vinegar — two bottles, actually — that my husband, Todd, gave me. Todd has ALS and is paralyzed, so he spends time watching YouTube videos about various subjects. A couple months ago, he came across a video that explained…

After rough times, any relief feels especially sweet

After I finished this holiday season’s wreath orders, I moved my wreath-making table out of the dining room back into the garage and put away extra pine cones, bows, and birch bark. The room felt spacious without the clutter, and I told my husband, Todd, “This reminds me of the…

Feeling sick and powerless as an ALS caregiver

“The essence of trauma is powerlessness.” This quote from Christian trauma therapist Colleen Ramser grabbed my attention, because I often feel powerless as a caregiver for my husband, Todd, who is paralyzed by ALS. We’ve been having a rough week. Todd’s shower aide called in sick a…