ALS damages nerves that connect to and control muscles but not everyone with the disease is affected the same way. Yet, there are general similarities. For example, most people with ALS suffer from leg, feet, arm, and hand problems, while a significant number also have trouble swallowing and speaking. And, most die of respiratory problems.
I have had ALS long enough that it has begun to affect more muscles than my diaphragm, accessory breathing muscles, and paraspinal muscles in my back.
My grip has weakened on one side of my hands and fingers but not the other side. My grip is both weak and strong. A paradox?
It is a statement that, despite apparently valid reasoning from true premises, leads to a seemingly self-contradictory or a logically unacceptable conclusion. A paradox usually involves contradictory-yet-interrelated elements that exist simultaneously and persist over time. It is a statement that, despite apparently valid reasoning from true premises, leads to a seemingly self-contradictory or a logically unacceptable conclusion. A paradox usually involves contradictory-yet-interrelated elements that exist simultaneously and persist over time.
How can a grip be both weak and strong at the same time?
That’s how ALS works sometimes. For example, I can shake hands with a firm grip; so firm and strong that no one would suspect nerve damage or a grip problem.
Yet, I cannot hold a fork or spoon in the typical manner between thumb and index finger. Both are too weak so I stab my food by holding the fork as if it were a knife in my fist. It’s clumsy but it works. One side of the hand’s grip is strong and the other is not.
What about chopsticks?
I can hold the chopsticks between thumb and index finger but there is insufficient strength to hold any food. Three fingers on my right hand are so weak they cannot find proper keys on the keyboard.
I can type but it ain’t pretty. The more I type the worse my typing becomes. The more I grip the mouse, well, nothing happens. That side of my hand– those particular muscles– are weaker than in the past but not noticeable by someone who shakes my hand, yet the finger that clicks the mouse on my computer does not always work.
In another paradox, the paraspinal muscles in my upper back are strong while the same muscles in the lower part are incredibly weak; insufficient for me to stand up straight. I can bend down and easily pick up something on the floor yet I cannot touch the top of my head.
ALS is a nasty, debilitating disease.