For the past two years, my sweet friend Gina has put her faith into action providing weekly in-home massages. Sometimes twice a week, depending on what destruction I’ve done to my body. I am a little hesitant to call them a “massage” because that implies dim lighting, no talking, aromatherapy and the sound of ocean waves as I melt into a deep, relaxed state. Our massages look more like a three ring circus! While my friend is moving my weak and paralyzed muscles, she is also managing my phone, giving me sips of water, helping me answer homework questions and sometimes even breaking up arguments– all while Colleen is scooping her hands into the massage lotions trying to help.
Since Gina started giving me massages two years ago, we’ve really adapted our technique. At first, I laid on my back, then flipped to my stomach on the table… like a normal massage. When I could no longer lay on my stomach after diaphragm pacemaker and feeding tube surgery, we had to use the table for my front and she also started bringing a massage chair for my back. When I could no longer lay flat, we elevated with a wedge. When I could no longer breath elevated, I had to start wearing my mask during the massage. When I could no longer transfer to the massage chair, we learned to do the best we can while laying on the table (okay I’ll spill the beans. This is how I recently hurt my shoulder, I fell backwards off the massage chair, try not to get a visual) Gina has learned to adapt the massages and lovingly tailor them to my progression. When we can no longer use the table, we will move to the bed. She knows my body better than anybody else.
ALS has no treatment or cure, but the weekly massages of moving all of my muscles and blood are the closest thing I have found to treatment for relief. It’s a therapy that is unfortunately not covered by insurance, but in the case of ALS it should be.
* Thank you for your kind words of encouragement from my post yesterday. I am feeling better especially after Massage Monday.