It has been several months since I’ve had a good cry about my mom’s health decline from the effects of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Pick’s disease (a form of frontal lobe dementia). Every time I think about her situation, I feel tears rise to the surface. I allow myself to cry briefly but then push my emotions back down, just to get through my day. As a result, I feel depressed and my energy feels heavy. From experience I know I need to release my grief to feel lighter and to be more present in my body and in my life.
Over the past few months, it has become more and more challenging for my mom to speak. During my last visit with her at the full-time care facility where she lives, she mumbles her words so much that I have difficulty understanding her.
“Mom, why don’t we use the communication board the ALS specialist gave us to practice with,” I suggest while pulling out the board.
I ask her to point to letters and phrases to spell out a sentence such as a question she might normally ask me about what is going on in my life. As her fingers […]