Jul 17, 2019 Latest post:
Nov 21, 2020
In September 2018, our father was helping his daughter, Sara, rebuild her deck. That night, after helping her, his hands were swollen and lost strength/feeling. He regained most of his strength in the following weeks. Then in October, he started slurring his words and his mouth seemed to droop. He was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. But by December 2018, our dad was having swallowing, extra saliva, phlegm, his speech was increasingly worse, his was more tired and breathless after walking, and his tongue and jaw felt numb.
After more doctor visits, on June 13, 2019, our dad was finally diagnosed with ALS at the U of M. Our father's ALS is considered as the Bulbar onset type affecting speech, swallowing, breathing, and includes the pseudobulbar affect causing exaggerated or inappropriate emotions. Since his diagnosis, he has gotten amazing help at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. Gary served in the Navy during the Vietnam War as a draftsman, which may be a blessing or a curse... You see, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. Although we may never know if his service caused this terrible disease to develop, the VA is taking excellent care of him now and that's all that matters. We feel confident he is receiving the best care and benefits. They truly are a great team.
A little more about ALS:
Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. The life expectancy of a person with ALS averages 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis.