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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

ALS or Alzheimer, which affliction would you hope to have if you had to have either?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26821points) January 23rd, 2015

If you had to be afflicted by either ALS or Alzheimer which would you choose? Would you rather have a strong sound mind being deserted by the body (ALS), or a sound, healthy body being deserted by the mind (Alzheimer)?

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13 Answers

The_Past's avatar

Hoping to have, what an academic exercise.

majorrich's avatar

I think I would rather know what is happening the whole way to the end. Put me down for ALS.

ucme's avatar

i’d rather have neither, obviously…more questions about sacrifice, very strange.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

One’s going to take my mind, one’s going to take my body. Big fucking choice.

Adagio's avatar


zenvelo's avatar

A friend of mine died after suffering from ALS for 5 years. It was awful for him and for his family; his last two weeks he knew he was dying soon, but he could do little more than look at his kids. He couldn’t talk, he couldn’t eat, he could hardly breathe. An awful way to die.

He suffocated from not being able to breathe, a horrible realization as his body wanted air.

Your even asking this question shows a callous disregard of people who suffer from this awful disease.

Cruiser's avatar

Neither and willingly succumb to TFSOML…Tina Fey sitting on my lap.

ucme's avatar

Either would be equal to living a life as a snivelling, whining, pathetic, victim :D

gailcalled's avatar

My former mother-in-law suffered terribly with ALS and finally chose to stop eating (being fed mush) and drinking, with her family’s and doctors’ permission. Hospice helped; she had a few teaspoons of sherbet and some ice chips each day. It took three bad weeks for her to let go.

She was hardly sniveling, whining or pathetic. What a cruel choice of words. ALS strikes at random and causes terrible suffering.

My mother had senile dementia by the time she turned 90. She went on until she was 96, with lots of help from her family and a caregiver. She too never sniveled, whined or acted pathetic.

“Seriously” is right!

keobooks's avatar

I think I’d rather have Alzheimer’s. It would be terrible at first, but eventually, I’d forget enough stuff to not mind that I lost most of my memory.

With ALS, you’re totally aware of everything happening to you as you slowly go stonelike and smother yourself to death.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@gailcalled She was hardly sniveling, whining or pathetic. What a cruel choice of words.
It could have been a very poor attempt to carry baggage from another thread. ;-0

@zenvelo Your even asking this question shows a callous disregard of people who suffer from this awful disease.
I think not, in fact, far from callousness. I had a friend whose father died of Parkinson, and it might as well have been Alzheimer, he could hardly recognize anyone, remember anything, or even know he was on planet Earth. He was still healthy, he ended up having to be a virtual prisoner in his own home as he would wonder off not knowing where we was going or who he was going to see.

Another good friend died of ALS, it was horrible for him because as said, he knew his body was deserting it and had to endure every limb, failing, every body function that was going south, and knew there was no way to stop it. His end of life was like watching a slow motion train wreck that you could do nothing to stop. I am closer to the question than you know….since you are assuming…..

majorrich's avatar

My mother is in the throes of Alzheimers/Dementia now and I get daily calls from the memory care ward of her shenanigans. She was a very kind, quiet person before, but now at about 5 or so you can count on her going bananas. Last night she was flushing other patients clothing down the toilets and throwing stuff because she thought she saw my father being murdered in the common area. He has been dead 7 years now from Parkinsons Disease. She refuses to believe he is gone and won’t take her medications. Classic Sundowner syndrome. Still it is awful to see her all worked up and threatening the nurses and frightening the other patients. I fear if she continues along this path that she may have to be institutionalized.

hearkat's avatar

My one grandmother had Alzheimers, my other grandmother had strokes that impaired her body, but her mind was still pretty sharp. Working in health care with many elderly and special-needs patients, I’ve seen both cases numerous times.

If one’s mind is functioning below average, but their temperament is generally cheerful, they seem to manage pretty well; it is those who are prone to anxiety or negativity that seem especially miserable. However, temperament and attitude have a lot to do with how a sharp mind in a failing body copes with the challenge. Therefore, I made a conscious effort to change my outlook. I was once a very cynical, pessimistic person; and while I could never be a Pollyanna optimist, I consider myself a “hopeful realist” nowadays.

However, my body and mind are both failing me. I have a chronic, progressive, incurable condition that makes me hurt and limits my physical abilities, and also causes extreme fatigue and “brain fog”. I still do my best to focus on the positive influences in my life, and I have much to be grateful for; but knowing that it’s truly downhill from here and that I won’t make it to 92 like my grandmothers did can be depressing at times, but I try not to linger there.

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