Well were both the same age 47, his kids and mind are close and play sports together.as well the wives are close and we all socialize together.
He is very active in the community and a very out going friendly person. fHe is the type that would do anything for anybody and ask nothing in return. Should I just let him know that I'm here if and when he wants to talk about it.
I don't know what I should say to my kids at this point or even if I should. But as we all know kids are going to figure that something is wrong pretty soon and will start asking questions.
In my opinion,
Yes, let your friend know that you are there for him.
Don't pretend that nothing is wrong. Tell him that you know he is going through a hard time, and that you will be there for him when he wants to talk or for anything else.
Tell the children. Maybe not everything at first, but yes, they will know that something is wrong and it is better to know the truth. The ALS society has two books, one for small children and one for teens, telling all about ALS. We had to tell my two grandchildren (a teen and a pre-teen) about my ALS, but it was better after we told them.
Hope this helps. Again, every case is different, so you have to use your own judgment, but you sound like a great and caring friend to have!
you might want to wait until your friend is ready to say something to you. when i first got my diagnosis, i was not ready to start telling anyone, it was hard enough talking to family. give your friend time, it takes a while to assimilate the news. when well meaning friends would approach me...well it was all so overwhelming it was just very hard to deal with,i would start crying..... it just takes time to deal with all that new information, but you will know when the time is right. and when in doubt....give a hug
If you are that close, I think that he will ventually open up to you when he's ready. In the mean time you can prepare yourself by reading some stuff available from the Canadian ALS Society (upper left hypertext on this page). There are publications on that web site for caregivers and friends that might help you out.
I have been rereading my post and those of Ronney and Tbear, and realize that they gave much better advice. Mine is given from someone two years down the road, and might not be the best advice for someone just starting. I agree with Tbear, hugs are great, they can say a lot. I guess I was just remembering friends who never came or called. It is better to be there, say nothing and give a hug than to just say "call if you need me anytime" and then not visit.
It was also later into my having ALS that we told the grandkids.
Things need to happen at the right time.
Buffy, let him know you are there anytime. I agree with the rest he may need time to digest all of this. And depending on the kind of person he is , ie, the Superman type and can't lean on people, one who leans all of the time or someone more middle of the road will help you to decide how to help. But most of all I would say, is be there, without smoothering. Anyone associated with this disease needs support in one form or another.
Where do you live? Maybe there is a support group around to help you also.
Hi Buffy, there isn't really much to tell about familial ALS. It occurs in 5 to 10 percent of the cases. While someone may have it it doesn't mean all the siblings will get it or all the children of some one with it. It's kind of a hit and miss type disease. There may be more information about it at the ALS Society home page. Click on the Society link at the top of the page.