One Father's Extraordinary Journal of Living Longer with ALS
Surviving a Perfect Storm

Tomorrow, my live-in aide, Jimmy, will be starting a well deserved ten day vacation. Knowing how difficult it can be to find an acceptable replacement, he gave me plenty of advance notice. About six weeks ago, I was lucky enough to secure the services of a former aide who was familiar with my condition and routine. Unfortunately, he backed out on me three days before Thanksgiving, leaving me with less than two weeks wrapped around the holiday weekend to find a replacement.

We pulled out all the stops and put together a variety of coverage plans. My first step was to call my care manager, Bonnie, to find candidates for the position that I could interview as soon as possible. I also put out emails to my friends and congregation looking for people who could fill in some hours, so that I could put together a schedule of potential care givers. This second option of using friends was also dependent on being able to move Lloyd’s (my afternoon aide) hours to the morning in order to have someone available who was able to move me out of bed and through my toileting and dressing routine. The third option was to temporarily move me into a nursing home, a last resort that I really hoped to avoid.

After interviewing three aides, I was unable to find one that was capable of performing both of the two most critical tasks – transferring me and understanding my “ALS accent”. Offers from friends began to pour in to cover multiple four hour shifts. Unfortunately, there were not enough people available to cover the daytime hours. To make matters worse, my good friend, Gil, who is often available to assist me in situations like this was recovering from surgery and unable to help. It is my wife’s busiest time of the year with her high school choir concerts keeping her out until late at night multiple times per week, and my children’s schedules would be keeping them out of state during the time Jimmy would be away. As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge, it turned out that there was no room for me in the nursing homes.

On the day before Thanksgiving, I was down to my last, although best option, and had one more health aide to interview. My last hope was a 19 year old Lithuanian, named Will, with only a year of experience. As it turned out, that year of experience included a client with physical limitations similar to mine, and Will was able to transfer me with ease, and understand me better than most people. I was saved, and Jimmy was able to continue with his vacation plans with peace of mind.

The most remarkable part of this experience for me was that I was able to remain fairly calm and focused throughout the ordeal, while those close to me were displaying higher levels of concern about how the situation might not work out in my favor. By staying in the moment, remaining calm, feeling grateful for the groundswell of support coming from my friends, and doing what was necessary, I weathered the storm, found the resource I needed, and averted a crisis. Living with ALS has taught me time and again how being in the moment, gratitude, and focusing on what you can control or influence can contribute to transforming difficult challenges from nightmares to miracles.

Have you had similar experiences? Please share them.

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In the past 7 years, I have done a great deal of detoxifying to rid my body of all kinds of pathogens. Using chelation, the lemonade cleanse, sound therapy, dietary changes, a product known as MMS (Miracle Mineral Supplement), and a variety of other products and techniques, I have eliminated heavy metals, parasites, viruses, bacteria, pesticides, and other pathogens from my body. Traditional medical practitioners will often dismiss these invaders of the body as irrelevant. Doctors will tell you that it is normal to have a variety of these pathogens in your system. They will say that in the absence of any symptoms of illness there is nothing to worry about. It amazes me that in a country with one of, if not the highest incidence of chronic and terminal illnesses in the world, there are still so many doctors who refuse to look beyond their own medical paradigms for solutions to their patients’ maladies where their traditional practices fail.

I am currently searching for a way to eliminate a moderate candida condition (a fungal infection) in my gastrointestinal tract. Alternative treatments I have tried have not been successful. The pharmaceutical products that I have explored pose too much of a threat to my kidneys and liver. Three doctors have told me that the candida is probably not worth worrying about. The effects of candida, however, may include mental impairment, headaches, fatigue, and digestive difficulties. In patients with compromised immune systems it can even be fatal. See The Effects of Candida.

In the case of ALS, there is little conclusive knowledge about the cause of the disease, let alone the treatment. So, on what basis can a doctor legitimately claim that eliminating a candida infection will be of no benefit to someone living with ALS? From a holistic perspective, it makes sense to eliminate any pathogens that may be compromising the body’s ability to function at full strength. Consequently, I will continue to search for a solution until I find something that works.

A man named Eric Edney is one of the most successful people that I have encountered in recovering from ALS. Eric has been living with ALS for twenty years, and has managed to reverse many of his symptoms. In the “Regimen Outline” on his website, he mentions fungi (of which candida is an example) as one of the pathogens that he believes should be eliminated from the colon. See Eric is Winning. Eric is fortunate enough to have found an open-minded doctor to support his efforts to heal from his “terminal” illness.

Too many doctors, unfortunately, are still unwilling to engage in potential solutions beyond their formal training. This medical myopia is certainly not serving people with ALS and other serious medical conditions very well. With the growth of interest in alternative practice and the high rates of chronic and “terminal” illness in this country, it seems to me that it is in the best interest of the traditional medical community and their patients for them to rethink their practices. Your thoughts?

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