Columns

We’re Figuring Out Healthcare on Our Own in Rural America

After my husband Todd’s ALS diagnosis, he said, “We need to sell the house and move near your parents.” He anticipated that their day-to-day support in rural northern Michigan would be more important than being near an ALS clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We appreciated the convenience of seeing Todd’s…

The 4 Ms: My Formula for Daily Living

When I was diagnosed with ALS in 2010, my doctor told me there was one medication available to help slow the progression of the symptoms. But there was no cure. I left her office with a prescription for Rilutek (riluzole), the first treatment…

Black Tie Optional: Dressing for Success with ALS

In Mark Twain’s book, “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” the protagonist, Hank Morgan, is ridiculed during a roundtable assemblage for his strange appearance and dress. He is subsequently sentenced to burn at the stake.  Except for…

My Tricks for Adding Movement to My Day

I’m always pleased to read news of advancements in health and wellness for those of us living with ALS. But one statement always makes me laugh out loud: ALS patients shouldn’t exercise because they need to save their energy. More than 10 years of published research on exercise and…

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…

The Power of My ALS Role Models

Do you have an ALS role model? I do. I have a whole collection of ALS role models, and each one helps me power through my day. I’ve always believed in the importance of a role model; someone whose success or behavior sets an example for me to follow. Someone…

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…