Friday, December 24, 2004

Uncontrollable, inappropriate laughing

People with ALS often suffer from fits of uncontrollable, inappropriate laughing or crying. In my case it's usually laughter, not crying. Unless you count the crying about not being able to run, which I consider appropriate grief. The laughing or grinning usually happens to me when someone is telling me something serious, that I take seriously, and about which I wouldn't want to laugh. I have developed a hand-signal to show my wife, so she will know I am not actually laughing at her. Today, at lunch, was a doozy. I had a wee bit of chicken pot pie in my mouth, and some orange juice waiting in the cup (getting right back on the horse), and she started saying how disappointed she was that the gingerbread cookies had baked too long, and would have to be redone.

I kept laughing and giggling like a mental patient for it must have been five minutes. I think part of the reason was the food in my mouth, and my not wanting to choke again. And then it course it becomes funny that you are trying not to laugh.

I gave her the hand sign. She's never gotten upset when this happens.
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