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Daughter Joe

New member
Feb 26, 2009
Loved one DX
Hi I am new to this site, but I have a few questions I was hopeing someone might be able to answer for me. Recently my mom was diagnosed with ALS (March 2008) It is the bulbar ALS and so she no longer can talk, eat, swallow, and finds it hard to breath. This last month she is losing control of her right arm and leg, which makes it difficult to write and walk. My main question is this, this winter she got a small cold which of course everyone was worried would turn into pneumonia, luckily so far it hasn't. With this cold though she has a hard time coughing up anything and when she does cough she has a very siever pain in her chest and right arm. Is this normal? what would cause it? She is on Loratab now, but it seems her coughing fits come more frequently then what the medication can keep up with. If there is any advice or comments on what I could do to help her please let me know. Thank you


I would definitely get your mum a device called a cough assist. My kids call it the lung sucker:grin: It will help her get that stuff up out of her lungs. I have one and it really helps when I have a cold or allergies. Good luck to you and your mum.
Thanks Diane
Where would I get one? I would love to get one and see if it helps at all.
I've got a couple movies on my site you can watch.
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It could be your Mom's diaphragm muscles are getting weak and she is taxing them when she coughs. My husband has pain when he tries to project his voice or yell and also if he coughs a lot.

Check with your ALSA to see if they have a Cough Assist machine, as they are rather expensive, even with insurance. A Suction machine may also be helpful.

Has she had any falls? There is a possibility she could have bruised or fractured her ribs and hurt her arm also.
Thank you all for the info. My family is still kind of new to this horrible disease and it is nice to be able to talk and ask questions to someone who understands. Thanks for all the input.

She has fallen a few times. But she says that the pain is a burning sensation with in her arm and upper chest. Is that what your husband gets as well, when he coughs and raises his voice? Does ALS effect and weaken the bones as well, do you know?

No he doesn't get any burning sensation. It's more of a muscle strain type thing, kind of like if you had been running a marathon.

If your mom pulled tendons or ligaments that could possibly cause sort of a burning sensation.

ALS does not weaken the bones as far as I know, but if the muscles are gone around the bones they support, the danger of breaking something is greater. (and internal organs can be damaged easier, according to the clinic my husband goes to).

Sounds like she may need to get this checked out. She shouldn't have to live in pain.
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