I was not very familiar with ALS before this week. I had an idea of what it was, but I was not aware of how a person got it, or what was done after they were diagnosed. That being said, I feel that I have learned a lot this past week. I was informed that it is hard to determine when someone has ALS, and when a person in diagnosed, there is very little that can be done to help. There are a few medicines that help prolong the disease, and I also found that by having a larger fat reserve, people with ALS live longer. However, people who are diagnosed with this awful disease will live a very difficult life that will end too quickly.
Not only does this disease take over the individual’s life, but it also requires help from others. Many patients depend on their families or care givers to help them with simple tasks, and hopefully they have a strong support system to help the patient feel as comfortable as possible while facing this devastating illness. I believe that an individual’s attitude towards life, whether he/she is sick or healthy, depends on the people that surround them; this is true for ALS patients as well. The main thing that can really be done for ALS patients is to make their life as comfortable as possible. It would be the hardest thing in the world to watch someone I love lose a battle with a disease after fighting so hard, but I would do everything in my power to help.
There are still a lot of questions I have about this disease like: how can we improve the lives of these patient and make their time on this earth better? There is so much unknown about the brain and why things happen the ways they do, and how can we fix one problem without creating another one? Scientists in this field have a lot of work ahead of them, but I feel we are headed in some sort of direction; whether or not it is the right one will be discovered soon enough, but for now I am thankful that there is research being done to understand the basics of many diseases that have ruined the lives of many.