The ALS Association

I Want and Wish for a Cure

Cecilia R. Orlando, Florida

My mother's name was Yolanda Rodriguez. She was born March 15, 1946. She was 66 years old and lived in Kissimmee, Florida. Mom first started complaining of right arm atrophy and loss of right hand strength, inability to grasp objects, open car door or turn car on, unable to button blouse or wash her hair, which started gradually in the beginning of January 2012. Neck pain followed by arm and hand pain. Mom complains of her head dropping when walking and is unable to raise her head due to muscle pain. She is unable to speak clearly, slurring of speech. She is unable to swallow her food properly, which can take up to three hours. She gags and is unable to breathe easily. There was unexplained weight loss of four pounds per week for a period of six months. There was gum and tooth pain, and food was hard to chew. Her arm atrophy began in January 2012 after she complained of her gums and teeth hurting a lot and visited two different dentists, and they advised her to remove the remaining 18 teeth she had left that were causing her to not eat properly. They told her she had a very bad oral infection. She proceeded with the surgery, and she was left in the dentist surgery chair for many hours, and so her neurologist explained she had a pinched nerve which was causing her arm and hand to feel numb and this was causing her muscle loss. The pain continued and began in her neck, and it was getting harder and harder to walk without her head dropping. She would try to lift it, but her muscle pain was too intense. She again visited her PCP, and he explained that her head drop syndrome was d/t the oral surgery. Her doctor told her this would also pass and get better, but her neck pain was getting worse and worse. She was now feeling the same sensations and muscle loss on her left arm. She felt the same symptoms were attacking her left limb. She now has lost 82 pounds and was desperate for answers and made an appointment with the neurologist for January 7, 2013, one year later after her very first condition began in her mouth. She was dignosed with ALS on January 7, 2013 and passed on Febuary 20, 2013. This disease has devastated my family in more ways than one! I lost my best friend!! Mom is survived by five children and 11 grandchildren and three great grand kids. I miss my mother every single day. There was no warning of this devastating disease, and we knew nothing of this disease. I am a medical student and will become an integrative physician and will specialize in palliative care for ALS patients. I want and wish for a cure. I don't want another family to endure the pain this disease causes. Watching the one you love die before your eyes is the most helpless feeling a human being can face. Help us find a cure! Love and light to you all.

 
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