ALS can be a slowly debilitating and crippling disease. Muscles waste away because damaged nerves destroy the connections from the brain. What muscles are affected?
Nearly all muscles that we control in normal life eventually weaken and stiffen into cramps. Arms, legs, hands, feet, swallowing, speech, back and posture, and fingers.
The version of ALS that I have is called respiratory onset ALS and it affected breathing muscles and back muscles first but thanks to life on a non-invasive mechanical ventilator other muscle groups are affected too.
Did I mention fingers?
A few months ago my right thumb decided not to hold a pencil or fork or anything in a proper manner. Then, the right pinky finger decided not to join the other fingers in normal activities. Not long after that, the left pink finger decided to secede from its brothers. That was three of 10.
This week the finger next to the pinky finger on my right hand also decided to secede from the finger union and started causing problems while typing.
That’s four down and six to go.
Fortunately, my toes are OK. I can even stand on my toes (though not upright). Now, if I could just figure out how to type with my toes.