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11 Things To Remember If Your Love Someone With ALS

11 Things To Remember If Your Love Someone With ALS

It is not easy to love someone who is sick; it is especially difficult when it comes to loving someone who has ALS.

ALS is a motor-neuron disease, commonly known in the USA as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It strikes certain cells in the spinal cord and brain, making it difficult or even impossible to move. It starts by making a patient generally weak, unable to lift things and walk and then talk and even swallow. The disease is mostly diagnosed among people of 50 years and older. But there are cases when young people or even children are diagnosed with a light form of ALS. True love is unconditional, but ALS tests everyone. Understanding how a person with ALS feels will help you deal with the hard mental and physical work it requires.

1. ALS is not a death sentence.

Although statistics are rather sad, there are people diagnosed with ALS who have managed to live to see their grandchildren. Take Stephen Hawking as the best example. The world’s smartest man was diagnosed with ALS when he was 21. Soon, he will be celebrating his 70th birthday. Being wheelchair-bounded, he helped to formulate ideas on quantum gravity and black holes. His books are bestsellers, and his life is a legend. Although he lost the ability to move or speak, he has been working as a professor at Cambridge for over 30 years and became director of research at the center of Theoretical Cosmology.

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THE HAWKING PARADOX

    2. It is not their fault.

    ALS can happen to anybody with no clearly associated risk factors. Only 10 percent of ALS cases are genetic or based on gene mutation. Most people die from respiratory failure caused by ALS approximately 3-5 years from the onset of symptoms. Nevertheless, there are those who manage to live 15 years or more.

    3. They need your help.

    No one can deny that people with ALS need help. It is going to take a lot of time and adjustment to learn how to help your friend with ALS. Be patient and listen very attentively to what they say or show you.

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    4. They can sometimes cry or laugh uncontrollably.

    People who have ALS can sometimes experience uncontrollable laughter or crying without feeling particularly happy or sad. This effect is mostly seen in people suffering from upper motor neuron disease. Although this has nothing to do with actual depression, it has been successfully cured with antidepressants.

    5. ALS doesn’t affect them mentally.

    They are the same people they used to be. Yes, they cannot walk, lift things, or in some cases even talk. But just because they have changed physically doesn’t mean that they have changed mentally. They are still your best friend, cousin, wife, or mother. Treat them the same way you used to.

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    11-things-to-remember-if-you-love-someone-with-ALS

      6. They can hear you well.

      The biggest stereotype for people with ALS is that they cannot hear you well. Motor-neuron disease does not affect hearing. Talking loud or screaming will not make them answer faster.

      7. They are smart.

      Those suffering from ALS are able to use their brain’s potential to the fullest. They can even concentrate on everything amazingly. They are big book warms and excellent scientists, businessmen, directors, and journalists.

      8. They can be sexually active.

      ALS does not affect sexuality. Sufferers can be sexually active and even have children. Stephen Hawking, for example, has three beautiful kids who don’t have their father’s disease. The only thing that can make sexual relationship difficult is difficulties with the respiratory system. Nevertheless, there are special positive pressure ventilation systems that can help.

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      Stephen-in-1983-with-his-children-Robert-Lucy-and-Timothy-and-his-wife-Jane-215093

        9. They have a good sense of humor.

        In order to survive through hard times, you have to have an excellent sense of humor. ALS patients can be extremely funny when you get to know them. If you want to help them and show your love, you need to make jokes and tell funny stories, and you will see that it works both ways. Our ALS hero Mr. Hawking is known throughout the world for his exquisite sense of humor.

        10. They can tell you more about life than you think.

        Spending time with people who have ALS is a great experience. These people are alone with their thoughts a great deal of the time, so when they finally talk, they surprise you with accuracy and wisdom. You cannot help but be inspired by people who have lost everything at one point and gained even more than we can imagine.

        11.   They can continue leading a normal life.  

        Although normal is an abstract word when it comes to ALS, it has been proven that people suffering from this disease can continue leading a normal life. They can work (if it doesn’t involve physical labor), they can communicate with friends, watch movies, enjoy entertainment, and even travel.

        Featured photo credit: Girl with Heart, by Dannie via picjumbo.com

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        Last Updated on July 13, 2020

        9 Simple Ways to Always Stay Positive

        9 Simple Ways to Always Stay Positive

        It’s common to be struck with a bout of pessimism, or to naturally be more towards the pessimistic end of the perspective spectrum. It’s hard to see the positives in life and become an optimist when you’re lost in the murky waters of negative thinking.

        However, Henrik Edberg, the founder of The Positivity Blog is here to share nine ways we can create a more optimistic outlook and positive perspective:

        “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” — Maria Robinson

        When I was younger — in my teens and early 20s — I was trapped. Not physically, but mentally: by the destructive thought pattern called pessimism. This negative thinking poisoned what might have been a pretty good and opportunity-filled childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. This pessimism created ceilings and walls where there really were none.

        Throughout the period when I was ridden by pessimism, my life and I mostly stood still. Looking back, it was a terrible waste. If you are in pessimistic place, you don’t have to stay there for the rest of your life. I didn’t, for I learned to replace my negative thinking with optimism.

        In this article I’ll explore nine positivity habits that have helped me to go from someone who was pessimistic most of the time to someone who is now optimistic almost all the time. I recommend to not try to add all the habits at one go but to choose one habit and to practice it for 30 days so it becomes a habit, before adding the next.

        1. Ask Yourself the Right Questions

        This is the simplest but perhaps also the most important habit I have discovered in adopting an optimistic mindset. The questions we ask ourselves day in and day out when we wind up in negative, difficult or uncertain situations make all the difference in our life.

        A pessimist might ask him/herself questions like:

        • “Why did this happen to me?”
        • “Why do bad things happen to me all the time?”

        But an optimist asks him/herself the questions that open up the mind to new viewpoints and possibilities. A few of my favorite questions for finding the optimistic perspective are:

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        • “What is one good thing about this situation?”
        • “What can I learn from this situation?”
        • “What is one small step I can take today to start solving this situation?”

        2. Create a Positive Environment to Live In

        The people you spend your time with and the information you let influence your mind will have a huge effect on your attitude and how you think about things.

        Watch this YouTube video and learn the power of a positive environment:

        So choose to:

        • Spend more time with the people who lift you up. And less time – or no time – with people who just bring you down by being negative and critical. Read: You are the Average of the 5 People You Spend the Most Time With
        • Let in the information that supports you. Spend less time on negative and self-esteem damaging media sources and spend more time reading positive and constructive blogs and books, watching motivating movies, listening to inspirational songs, and listening to audio books and podcasts created by optimistic people. Check out 12 Inspirational Movies With Important Life Lessons To Learn and 25 Most Inspirational Songs of All Time.

        3. Be Grateful for What You Have (Don’t Forget About Yourself Too)

        A very simple and quick way to boost the positive energy in your life is to tap into gratitude.

        I usually do it by asking one or more of these questions:

        1. What can I be grateful for in my life today?
        2. Who are 3 people that I can be grateful to have in my life and why?
        3. What are 3 things I can be grateful for about myself?

        Just spend 60 seconds or a few minutes during your day with answering one of these questions to reap the wonderful benefits.

        4. Don’t Forget About Your Physical Self

        Being an optimist isn’t just about thinking in a different way. It is also about caring for the physical part of ourselves.

        I have found that working out a couple of times a week, enough quality sleep each night and eating healthy food has a huge effect on my mindset.

        If I mismanage those very basic things then negative thoughts pop up far more often and I become more pessimistic and shut down about the possibilities in my life.

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        So don’t neglect these basic fundamentals. Just caring for your physical self the right way can minimize a whole bunch of problems in life.

        5. Start Your Day in an Optimistic Way

        The way you start your morning can set the tone for the rest of your day. For example, a stress-free morning often leads to less stress during the rest of the day.

        So how can you set an optimistic tone for your day?

        A three-step combination that has worked very well for me is to ask myself a gratitude question during breakfast, read some positive information online or in a book very early in the morning and then follow that up with exercising.

        This sets my mind on the right path and fills me up with energy for my day.

        6. Focus on Solutions

        A sure way to feel more negative about a situation is to sit around and do nothing about it. Instead, use the questions I shared in step one and open up your mind to the possibilities of the situation you are in.

        If you have trouble to get started with taking action, ask yourself:

        What is one small step I can take today to get the ball rolling?

        Then take that small step forward. However small this step is, it can have a big effect in your mood and thoughts. If the step feels too big or it just makes you procrastinate, then ask yourself:

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        What is an even smaller step I can take to move forward today?

        The most important thing is to move forward, even if it’s a tiny baby step.

        7. Reduce Your Worries

        The worrying habit is a powerful and destructive one and can take over anyone’s thinking. It used to be one of my biggest obstacles to optimism and to moving forward in life.

        Two effective steps that have helped me and still help me to this day to minimize the worries are:

        1. Ask yourself: how many of my worries ever happened in reality? If you are like me you will find that the answer is: very few. Most of the things you fear throughout your life will never happen. They are just nightmares or monsters in your own mind. This question can help you to do a reality check, to calm down and to realize that you have most likely just been building another imaginary nightmare.
        2. Focus on solutions and the action you can take. The worries grow stronger in a foggy mind and an inactive body. So use the questions in Steps 1 and 6 to move out of your worries and into resolution.

        8. Don’t Let Ideals Ruin Things

        A common mistake people make when making a shift in their attitudes is that they think that they have be perfect and do things perfectly all the time. This traps them from being positive.

        Changing to a positive attitude can be gradual. While you may slip and stumble, continuing this way over time will strengthen your positive viewpoint more and more.

        But if you set an inhuman standard for yourself and think you have to go from being a pessimist to always being an optimist, then you may find it hard to live up to that. And so you may feel like a failure. You get angry with yourself. And you may even give up on changing this habit and fall back into negative thinking.

        So instead, focus on gradual change. If you are optimistic 40% of the time right now, try to improve this to being optimistic 60% of the time. Then, increase that to 80% when you are used to the new standard, then subsequently 100% if you can.

        This focus on gradual improvement is far more sustainable and likely to bring long-term success than trying to reach an inhuman standard grounded in perfection.

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        9. Finally, a Reminder to Help You to Not Give Up

        I would like to end this article with a simple but powerful and timeless thought that comforted and encouraged me to continue on when things looked bleak.

        That thought is: It is always darkest before the dawn.

        This thought has helped me to hold on and keep going when my social skills and dating life was just plain bad. It has helped me to continue on in my online business when things looked like they would never pick up. It has helped me to put one foot over another even when things looked dark.

        I have found this thought to be very true. Why? Because when things seemed to be at the lowest for my blog, business, dating life or life in general, something positive would always happened. That’s probably because being at a low point forced me to change how I did things.

        But maybe also because life has a way of evening itself out when I go on. By taking action rather than give up, something good will always happens.

        Seeing this thought live itself out has strengthened my belief in staying optimistic, in taking action and to keep going even when going through rough patches.

        Re-syndicated 9 Simple Habits to Stay Positive in Life | Personal Excellence

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        Featured photo credit: Allie Smith via unsplash.com

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