Follow us as we journey through an Alpha Lima Sierra (ALS) life. ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that destroys the motor neurons in your body. Motor neurons are the messengers to the muscles. When motor neurons can no longer send their message to the muscle, the muscle atrophy’s causing weakness and eventually loss of movement in that muscle. ALS will progress to the point that you can no longer use legs, arms, swallow or even breath. While you are progressing with this disease, you are fully aware of what you are losing. Your mind is unaffected.
Now take a moment and just imagine that. Think about not being able to move. No longer able to hold your spouse or child’s hand. No longer able to walk to the bathroom, take a shower, go for a walk or wave goodbye. You can no longer eat because you are unable to swallow which can cause you to choke. You can’t catch your breath. You can’t inhale or exhale. You want to, you try, but your body is not doing what your brain is telling it to. Now think about never telling someone you love them or calling out for help. This is ALS.
An interesting fact about ALS is that military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS than civilians. In fact, ALS is considered a service connected disease by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). So while we make sense and figure out ALS and what it means to our family, we are also learning and advocating for care and services through the VA for not just the Big He but all veterans with ALS.
It won’t be an easy journey, but we hope you follow us.