I am posting this with a separate "post". I replied to a letter written in here with someone who was seeking alternative treatments for ALS. My Dad was diagnosed with ALS in December (the 28th) of 2004. At the time of his diagnosis with University of Washington they never wanted to give him a "time line" with the disease. Instead they decided to give him options and the typical feeding tube, breathing device, and all other things..oh and not to mention the classic. "You can take this medication that will give you a thousand side affects, but you could live for three months longer". Why? So, my Mom and Dad sat down for a very long talk and discussion. My Dad didn't want the breathing tube, but said he would use the breathing device at night. Immediately they started to seek out other alternatives. He was going to physical therapy for speach (helped with swallowing, and talking) and started a bunch of vitamin therapies. He also was doing another sort of therapy that helped build his lung capacity and ability to move his food around when his tongue became useless. Now, the type of ALS he had only affects 10% of the patients and it's horrible. It usually only takes a year for the patient to lose the fight. Now, with that in mind..my Dad was very determined. He wanted to win his fight. We all wanted him to win..so he started with all of these different types of therapies and vitamin treatments. Keep this in mind..I am a firm believer it worked for him. One of the reasons I believe it..is because he believed it. So, this past year (2008) in February my parents did their final cruise together. They sailed to Mexico and even took in Sea World. That was three months before he passed. The doctors were amazed at his progress every time they would meet. He would go to appointments in Seattle every 4 months to 6 months. The last time he went to UW was the time that the doctor suggested he get some hospice care. Mainly to help my Mom out a lot. My Mom took medical leave in December of 2007 to be with my Dad full time. That's when he started needing help. He really didn't start falling until the end of March of 2008. He wasn't talking for a year before that. While he took his last breath..I gently held his hand. I knew that he could walk again..talk again..and take a big deep breath. He was in a lot of discomfort but sedated with meds for the last week before his passing. I won't lie! Although, he even knew I was there. We had this crazy way of communicating. I knew what he wanted..just by the change of tone. The day he passed..I went down stairs and smiled at him. He waved and I waved back. I had no regrets..I was ready for him to leave us. Deep down..I was very sad and I didn't want him to go..but it was time. I think ALS hits harder on the family then it does the person. Your given information and armed with nothing but knowledge. Most of all..your given a gift. A gift of time to bond..and develop relationships. It's a special gift and I am so glad I had that opportunity with my Dad. I stood up at his service and spoke to the crowd that gathered. All I shared was memories..and then I realized how strong he is...and that ALS picks the strong ones. I firmly believe in strength and alternative medicine. What can it hurt? If you do it...great. If not..then that's your choice. The ALS society was great with helping my parents. It was endless opportunities and great for my parents and family. I hope this helps!!
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