What is MND/ALS?

What is MND/ALS?
MND/ALS is characterised by progressive degeneration of the motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The motor cells (neurones) control the muscles that enable us to move around, speak, breathe, and swallow. With no nerves to activate them, muscles gradually weaken and waste. Symptoms may include muscle weakness and paralysis, as well as impaired speaking, swallowing, and breathing. In most cases, it does not affect intellect, memory or the senses. Progress is relentless and generally rapid, with a life expectancy of between 2 and 5 years from the onset of symptoms. There is no known cause and there is no known cure. See links on the right for further information.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

24 hours on a plane!

So tomorrow, after getting the all clear from my respiratory team, I'm flying solo from Sydney to London via Singapore.

Looking forward to it as I will get to spend 2 weeks with my family, most of whom I haven't seen for over a year. But in truth, I'm a bit nervous travelling such long haul now that I'm further into my condition.

I'm not worried about flying or being looked after by the airline crew but just apprehensive. It's the first time I'll be travelling with wheelchair / buggy assistance from check in to the gate, between flights at my via point and on arrival in the UK. I can already feel people gawking at me wondering 'what's wrong with him?' as I used to do when I was in better health.

Then there is the person I'll be sitting next to for 7 then 13 hours on both flights. Do I tell them I have MND so that they know? Do I tell the cabin crew when I get on the plane? What if I have a massive coughing fit, seeing as I'm not totally over my chest infection yet, and become the most annoying person on the plane? What if a bit of food or liquid goes the wrong way & I start to choke / panic and need the closest person to whack my back. Or even worse, have excessive saliva trickle down my throat while I'm asleep and wake up gasping, which happens in my sleep occasionally. I'm not even sure if the airline food will be edible for me, so wondered if I should bring my own Weetabix, but will they have milk and a bowl on the plane? Will I find the pressurised cabin difficult on my lungs? Will I pick up a nasty infection with all the germs circulating in the air system? Should I wear one of those medical masks over my nose and mouth?

All these things I've never had to think about or consider before.

Guess whatever will be will be!