Thursday, August 04, 2005

Laughter diet

I met this week with another guy who has ALS. His cluster of paradoxical and non-conforming symptoms is not the same as mine, but it's the same cluster of paradoxical and non-conforming symptoms. This ALS thing appears to hit us all so differently. For instance, he does not have a problem with lability.

For my own part, I have felt in the past couple of weeks as if I were on the laughter diet. What happens is that, at the dinner table, my kids are just being kids. But they say and do things which tend to make me choke when I am trying to chew or drink. They're not being bad, they're just being kids. I'm not suffering those fits of uncontrollable laughter, either, but when the danger of choking is high, and my kids start doing wacky things, the pressure alone can make me start to smile or chortle. That's not good when you have to swallow.

I wind up wheezing and gasping and fighting for air once each day, it seems to me. Monday night's attack was a bit scary. It scared my son too, "Mom, Dad is choking!" he said, as I gagged in the sink. One of the things that I think is great about that kid is that he really cares when someone else is in distress. You can see the love in his face. He has empathy.

But he makes me laugh. What often happens is that I just stop eating, in order not to choke, or I push my plate away thinking I'll finish after they're in bed. By that time, however, I'm so tired I just want to take my pills and go to bed. It's the laughter diet. And that's not good, because I'm naturally skinny and I don't want to lose weight.

I can't/shouldn't tell a kid: "Don't do anything at the table that might make Daddy choke."

Maybe a program of aggressive snacking is called for, so that dinner is just a cap. But I'm not sure I can keep that up, nor would the food be any good. Hmm...

I took the first riluzole this morning at about 9:00 AM yesterday, having taken the Namenda at night per usual. I felt like lying down, but I often do at that time in the morning. I forced myself to stay active, had a snack, and then felt fine. My lovely wife points of that I was taking Namenda during the ceftriaxone infusions, and those were supposed to inhibit glutamate, and there was no problem. She's smart. That's why I married her. That, and she can catch.

Left grip is 34 pounds (29, 29, 34), right grip is 81 pounds (78, 81, 77), left leg balance is 6.03 seconds, and inhale volume is 4450 mL.
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