1. Laura wise

    Laura wise Member

    Feb 10, 2015
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    How should I describe the early symptoms of ALS?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Laura wise, Feb 19, 2016.

    Honestly the title says it all.

    To go into more detail, one of the main characters in my story develops ALS and I don't know how to describe the early symptoms without being too obvious.
  2. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Jan 28, 2014
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    Oh, gosh. I suppose the first thing is to go on some ALS websites and read up on the various types. For my brother it started with his tongue not behaving, kind of feeling thick at the base, and then progressed to his having difficulty in swallowing and speech. It went on from there . . . but it took a long time and a lot of tests for his doctors to figure it out. Nobody (in our family) even suspected it was ALS till I went on some websites about the symptoms and discovered not only were those indicators of a kind of ALS known as bulbar palsy, but that bulbar palsy was as form of ALS. Our grandmother died of it when we were kids, and we never knew till my brother's last year that she had anything of the kind. My brother, a construction worker and body builder for much of his life, was so ashamed of what the disease eventually did to him he holed up in his little town and wouldn't communicate with any of us for the last five months before he died. My poor, poor sister-in-law was the only one who knew for sure what he had until after he was gone.

    On the other hand, for the lady with ALS who sits behind me at church, it began a few months ago with weakness in the feet and lower legs. She'd trip on things and not know why. Again, it took awhile to diagnose. She walks with a three-point cane now, and her speech is beginning to get a little slurred.

    And I'm beginning to get a little depressed dealing with this subject. But I hope this helps. I wouldn't worry about "being obvious" in the early stages. It's supposed to be rare (she says sardonically), so it's the last thing anyone suspects they have or wants to suspect they have.

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