Attitude

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Al

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A friend sent me this today and I thought it fit.

Subject: Attitude is everything.

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in
The mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her
Head.

"Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today." So
She did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that
She had only two hairs on her head.

"H-M-M, " she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the
Middle today." So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirr or and noticed
That she had only one hair on her head.

"Well," she said, "Today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony
Tail." So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed
That there wasn't a single hair on her head.

"YEAH!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

Attitude is everything.

Have a Good Day!
 

JMH

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Attitude...Talk about words of wisdom. Food for thought for us all.
I'm here, still shaking my head at all I've had to digest in the last two weeks. My sister tells me that yes, the neurologist did stick some needles in dad here and there (hands, wrists, etc.) and watched his muscle reaction. That is why he is 99% sure Dad has ALS. Quite simple actually - what could possible have taken everyone else so long to be diagnosed?
Anyhow, I called the ALS Society of Manitoba yesterday to hopefully shed a bit of light on things, explaining to the lady there that Dad had seen this neur. and that he was sure he has it. Also that we are not exactly feeling comfortable with this quick diagnosis, thinking that other avenues should be approached. She said "Well, if he's had the needle test and the neuro. says he has it then he has it". She gave me the # of a case worker who would get in touch with dad and family members. Said that they would want to see dad and assess which stage he is in and explain the various aspects of the disease. I'm so up and down these days I don't know which way to turn.
Want to share one of my dad's past experiences if that's all right. Last night I was talking to my brother 2 provinces away. Told him about this needle test - which I am assuming is not quite as conclusive as an EMG. My brother laughed - he said the idiots obviously didn't know about dad's pain threshold - he wouldn't move a mucsle if someone hit him on the foot with a sledge hammer - it's a pride thing. You see, the year before I was born - my dad was shot 3 times with a rifle (some hunter mistook him for an elk). His jaw was shattered by one bullet - the others hit his chest and shoulder. It's quite the story, I still have copies of the newspaper article. Short version - He made it to the small hospital 15 miles away with my Uncle's help, was taken to a larger facility by ambulance and here we are 46 years later.
Questions: Do I make an appointment at this ALS Society, let them explain to a 77 year old man what this disease is going to do to him, (I know he will need to know about the different aspects) but, will they do testing to rule out all other possibilites? If we take him to another doctor will they tell us that we have to accept the neurologists diagnosis? He hasn't went for an MRI yet - we are waiting on the xrays to see where the left over lead from the hunting accident is before he can have an MRI. I'm not in denial about anything here. I just want to make sure all other avenues are searched, you see. The CAT scan on his back ruling out a tumour hasn't come back yet.
Sorry for the long post...got off on a bit of a tangent here.
JMH
 

Al

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Hi JMH. Sounds like your dad is a tough old bird. One of the problems being his age is that many doctors and lay people assume they're old and are going to die anyway. My father in law needed surgery on his carotid arteries when he was 76. The surgeon said given his age and condition (looking at him with clothes on) that he didn't think the operation was a viable enterprise. When his wife said he would be disappointed not playing golf 3 days a week and walking the 38 stairs down to his boat everyday and cutting half an acre of grass with a push mower the doctor said OH I didn't realise you were still that active! We'll do the operation. He's 89 now and has started to have some problems but the point is some doctors will write you off if they think that it won't be worth it for them or the health system or just through ignorance.
I'd be demanding a second opinion and have that doctor do all his own tests and not rely on the other guys notes.
On a sour note I've had 5 or 6 needle tests and it's pretty hard to not show muscle movement when they stick it in and start moving it around. Don't think you can fake that one.
Hope this doesn't confuse you more but helps. AL.
 

Ontario caregiver

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cute

Al

I must have needed some humour today thank you. I practice now to say my cup is half full not half emty. Any good thought always will get you through a difficult day. My husband is in the Listowel Banner this week he was interviewed for the ALS walk in Winghan june 24. I am not sure but it should be on the internet under LISTOWEL BANNER .CA . You are always concerned when you do an interview to what they will write the interviewer was young and afraid of the word terminal but helped him through it explaining any question could be ask because at this stage of the game you are more interested in having people be more open about the disease and not be afraid of someone with a terminal disease, and the positive feeling you get going to the walks as thier is such abonding feeling amoung the group. We always went to the London walk but Wingham (their 1st walk) is so much closer for us and we know Gary will be ok to go that short drive for us. Some of the MONKTON wildcats are walking with us so that is such great support for Gary he played and was a coach for this team for years untill he got ALS. I should add this is not Moncton N.B. it is Monkton Ont.

Thanks again Al for the humour and as I said before I read the postings when I have a spare moment, but all have agreat day and keep smiling
 

lunarruna

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heavy metals

JMH,
You happen to mention your Dad has lead in him from the shooting accident. Heavy metal poisoning is similar to ALS symptoms so be sure his heavy metal (lead) levels are tested as well. Just a thought.
Good Luck with all--Beth
 

Al

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Just as a sidebar here I think lead is non magnetic so if it was 100% lead slugs it shouldn't be a problem with the MRI. If it was steel jacketed bullet that's a different ball game.
 

JMH

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Al,
Thank you so much for the story about your father in law. It somehow helps to know I'm not alone. My dad is a tough old bird. He has a wonderful sense of humour that I hope he never loses. I admire him for that and his other great qualities. We always try to find something to laugh about. A counsellor asked me once how my family dealt with tradegy and sadness. I told him that in my family we either laugh or cry...sometimes we do both. He would love your lawn mower story Al. I'll have to tell him about it. He has many like it. We installed a bathtub bar in his bathroom early this year. I told him that he could get one for beside his bed and his easy chair, if it would help him. His reply: "Yes, and if we got more I could just swing around from room to room like a &*%# monkey".
Thanks for the advice and the laughs. I'm curious about the metal toxidity - will look into it.

Beth,
Thanks for the advice - I talked to my sister about the metal. She's going to visit him to give my other sister a break. We try to trade off so he doesn't get sick of us all at once :)
Anyhow, she hasn't seen him for 7 months as she lives in Alberta and I'm afraid she is going to be shocked. He's very thin.

By the way, we discussed the ALS Society of Manitoba and are a little hesitant to contact a case worker. Does that sound unwise? We're afraid that at this point (until we get further testing done) that it might be of more harm than help to dad. Since he's come from the neurologist he seems to be worse - swallowing difficulties, etc. but given his state of mind I don't think that's unusual. I've had a hard time swallowing since his diagnosis. The mind is a powerful thing. We aren't ruling anything out of course, because we sure aren't doctors but would like to be sure of a diagnosis. He's been quite depressed since we lost mom in November. I hope it's not a bad decision for us to have made. We have the contact number when the time comes.....Are we being overly protective?
JMH
 

Al

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I don't think you are being overly protective. The case worker can wait a while until you are sure. Give him a bit of time to swallow (no pun intended ) the information he has before loading him up with more. If he's been depressed since your mother's passing and is a bit worse it might not hurt to get him something from his GP to help his mood. The mind can really bring you down and make symptoms worse.
 
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