Friday, August 6, 2010

Surviving ALS – It’s a Matter of Attitude

Let me begin by diffusing the over-simplified implication of the title of this post. Certainly there are many factors that impact how well a person fares with a serious illness. What I mean to suggest here is that an individual’s success in surviving any difficult situation begins with a positive outlook. In several previous posts, I have commented on aspects of this issue. Among them are: “A Tale of Two Nights” (3/12/2010), “The Power of Being Present” (3/19/2010) and “Turning Nightmares into Miracles by Reframing” (6/17/2010).

Whether you chose traditional or non-traditional treatment, it is well documented that patients with a positive attitude generally do better than those without. Norman Cousins’ Anatomy of an Illness tells the story of his recovery from a very serious illness largely through humor and Vitamin C therapy. His book stimulated a rash of studies decades ago that validated the link between a positive outlook and healing. Articles are popping up all the time further validating this link. Here is one from just a few months ago:

Each of my days begins with a series of affirmations and prayers that serve the purpose of starting out with a focus on the positive. Throughout the day, I look for opportunities to keep my attention on the humorous, enjoyable and satisfying. I am constantly thinking about all that I have to be grateful for. As a result, there is seldom a moment of sadness or worry. If there is one thing that living with ALS has taught me, it is that life is too short and unpredictable to waste time in negative emotions. As an added bonus, it often astounds me how much good this attitude attracts to my life. It can be very difficult as I am sure you have experienced, to stay in the presence of someone whose state of mind and behavior are heavy and negative. A light and positive presence on the other hand, nourishes and attracts people. Consequently, I am blessed with a constant flow of caring and supportive people streaming through my life, helping to reinforce the attitude that attracts them, and there are few opportunities to dwell on the negative.

Last week my wife and children (my artistic daughter, Julie, did most of the work) presented me with a gift culminating a month long celebration of my 60th birthday. They had assembled a collection of pictures and messages from friends and relatives, and organized them into a book of tributes and good wishes. They took turns reading to me what people had written and showing me the accompanying pictures. It took more than an hour, slightly extended by my frequent struggles to regain my composure, to get through the book. I felt overwhelmingly grateful and a bit overly flattered that so many people would take the time to say so many nice things about me, and incredibly honored that my children would take the time to assemble such a magnificent gift.

The old saying, “What goes around, comes around”, clearly applies. I am blessed with the many gifts that I receive from others, and those gifts reinforce the attitude that helps to keep them coming. Please let me hear about your similar experiences.


  1. Joe passed away on July 27, 2011. He will be sorely missed by his friends and family.

    I was diagnosed of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in summer of 2012, my symptoms started out with a "foot drop" on my left foot, from there my left leg lost all muscle tone followed by slurred speech and inability to eat without getting choked, strangled, and coughing. My neurologist prescribed me some medications to help my symptoms but the medications did no good and their side effects were too severe. In 2015 i started on NewLife Herbal Clinic ALS Herbal formula treatment, i read alot of positive reviews on their success rate with the ALS Herbal treatment and i immediately started on the treatment. Just 11 weeks into the ALS Herbal formula treatment I had great improvements with my coordination, speech, breathing and muscle movements. I have basically gone stronger than i'd thought i could ever be again, visit NewLife Herbal Clinic official website or email The fatigue and general muscle weakness had also declined, this treatment is nothing less of a miracle!

    Julianne Regan

  3. I was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) 15 months ago. At that time riluzole was prescribed. I found I could not tolerate it. did very little to help me. The medical team did even less. My decline was rapid and devastating. The psychological support from the medical centre was non-existent and if it were not for the sensitive care and attention of my primary physician, I would have died. There has been little if any progress in finding a cure or reliable treatment. My ALS got significantly worse and unbearable because of my difficulty catching breath. Last year, i started on a natural ALS Herbal therapy from Mbeki Herbal Clinic, i read a lot of positive reviews from patients who used the treatment and i immediately started on it. I had great relief with this herbal treatment. I am doing very much better now, no case of shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing,, my ALS condition is totally reversed. Visit Mbeki Herbal Clinic website ww w. mbekiherbalclinic. com. This treatment is a miracle!!