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Thread: Friend with ALS

  1. #1
    Senior Member WarrenJ's Avatar
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    Friend with ALS

    My friends child was diagnosed with ALS..I can not bring myself to ask how is his son doing? How do you approach asking about sons condition? Just touchy to me the answer is obvious...eff up is how he is doing.

    Any suggestions are appreciated!!!
    Appreciate the small gains and the large ones will be ignored!!

  2. #2
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    Maybe just try "I have been thinking alot about you and your family lately, just wondering how everything is, is there anything you need, advice, shoulder to lean on" and I am sure the words will continue to flow once you start the conversation.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Probably everyone is thinking like yourself, so no one ever asks ... which can make a person feel worse. Maybe you can be the outlet for your friend to feel better to get it all out for just one day, at least?

    Severe illness, divorce and death seem to make people scatter.
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  4. #4
    support is more than likely what your friend needs as much as anything, its probably more of a comfort for you to be his friend than anything or it would to me.......support your friend with honesty and love will follow..........

  5. #5
    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
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    It's almost a rhetorical question with ALS, as you noted "it's obvious". Day by day is all you get. I wouldn't bother asking, personally, but I'd be there for them. We recently lost my mother in-law to ALS, and she lost a brother, sister and more than one aunt/uncle/cousin through the years. Sometimes just being close, with empathy and sympathy is all we can do, when words don't seem to fit the situation. Seems the case, here. Words seem almost meaningless in the midst of tragedy as powerful as experiencing one's own child fade away. Brings tears to my eyes, can't help but project myself into the situation and wonder what I would want and need from the people around me. It would be time away from every thought and action but those spent with my little one. Time away from work, cooking, laundry, etc would all be worth more than just about anything to me. I don't know, really, just thinking out loud. My heart goes out to your friend and their family.
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  6. #6
    In situations like that I've found that asking what I really want to know, specifically, is the best route. Spell it all out and *be specific*.

    "How is your son doing?" (general and problematic as you've already said)
    vs
    "Do you need me to do anything for you?" or "I don't know how to help or what you need- but it's important to me that you know I care and will do whatever you want me to" (specific and what you really wanted to say)

    Sometimes the direct approach is best. Even just offering some help with going out to dinner or surprising them with a gift (maid service for a month etc).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Domosoyo's Avatar
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    Do they have a CaringBridge site or similar setup for their son? Getting asked all the time on their child's status is draining. A website is a great way to inform the masses.
    (http://www.caringbridge.org)

    A lot of people will tell them that they want to help with anything. I think it is better to do things for them without asking. After my daughter's accident, I really appreciated and was amazed at the friends that did things for me that I didn't ask for etc. I don't know how close you are to this friend, but occasional food, house cleaning, house maintenence etc. are great things you can organize for them. Doesn't have to be a huge thing.

  8. #8
    Senior Member WarrenJ's Avatar
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    Thanks for input from all of you
    Appreciate the small gains and the large ones will be ignored!!

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