- Oct 31, 2006
- Lost a loved one
This has been on my mind since I lost my dad Dec. 23. He had just been diagnosed a few months earlier, though he'd had symptoms of muscular weakening for several years. I think older people don't get diagnosed sooner because many doctor's don't look farther than "old age." Anyway, he was given physical therapy exercises to keep range of motion and maintain strength and he did them with great determination and consistency for 5 years before the ALS diagnosis. All his doctors were surprised at his grip strength. Because he was still walking around, we were unprepared for his sudden loss of breathing ability. The muscles operating his lungs were unable to maintain function even with the bi-pap machine assistace. I began to wonder if he had ever done breathing exercises as part of his routine. I think he was not given anything along these lines, at least I never saw him specifically working on deep breathing. Maybe this is a good thing to do to keep function as long as possible. It is worth asking a physical therapist about, preferably one who specializes in working with ALS patients. It is too late for my dad, but I am curious to know if any of you do breathing exercises along with range of motion, etc.