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Tag Archive | "Lou Gehrig’s disease"

Galle letters available at library

Evan Galle, 11, is shown here with the books that contain the writings of his late grandmother, Kris Galle. Evan is her youngest grandson. Post photo by J. Reed.

Even while suffering with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Kris Galle, 70, was always good for a laugh. It was the humor of both Kris and her family that helped them get through the dark days of her disease, before it took her last October.
During the latter part of the summer and fall, we ran several of Kris’s humorous letters to friends and family. Many people asked the Galle family for copies of the letters, and they would like to let people know that they have combined the letters into books that are available to check out at the Cedar Springs Public Library and the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church.
The writings make up two separate books. There is one set of the books in hardcover at the library, and two sets of the books in soft cover at the church.

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Humor and Lou Gehrig’s?

By Kris Galle

We have been sharing some letters from Kris Galle, age 70, of Cedar Springs, who has been suffering from ALS—better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Kris died this past week (see obituary). Her sister, Sidney Prater, had dropped off this letter in the days before Kris’s death and told us it was her most recent writing about what she was going through. The family was glad to be able to laugh with her, and shared what she had written in hopes it would bring a smile to the face of others who are caring for a family member.
Our condolences to the family and friends of Kris. May she rest in peace.

Fruit flies

Fruit flies. Does anyone know where they come from? Both Glenn and Lindsey know how to tell their sex but I’d rather know why they’re here at all. This week they’ve been circling my head. Does this mean I’m dying and it’s an early sign before the vultures start circling? Maybe they’re mini scouts. And where are the kids going to use their knowledge of how to tell a fruit fly’s sex? Why do we care?
This family has used a lot of humor to get us through the last few months. It helps. Once I was coughing, mouth full and trying to tell Lindsey to bring me a towel. Judd calmly looks up and in an inquiring tone says, “What’s that Lassie? Timmy’s in the well?” I still laugh.
Another time, I was racing up the ramp for the bathroom and Evan said, “Look Uncle Judd, Oma’s got it in third gear. It seems like just last week she could only do first gear.” To which Judd replied, “Yes, they grow up so fast.”
It’s the joking and the small kindnesses that make each day so much brighter. Things like Lindsey sitting with us at church and her visits. When the senior band members were recognized at the football game, she presented me with her carnation. That made this “Little old lady from Pasadena” very happy.
When the boys email me from college or come and visit, it’s a great pick-me-up. I can enjoy Sammantha playing volleyball. Eric took me for a ride in the Corvette. (It’s kind of Eric’s bucket list for me.) He also thought I should experience riding in the cab of a semi. Getting me in and out was no pretty but the view from my perch was. The S-curve in a semi is not the same as in a sedan. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Evan always brings me joy. He’s very caring and protective, and always, always, makes me laugh. I remember when he was about five and we were having a discussion. He looked me in the eye and said, “Au contrary, my little friend.”
Steve always goes ahead of me so he can break my fall. We depend on Lisa, Caroline and Amy for so much. I literally don’t know what we would do without them. I find myself relying on them for more and more.
And the laughter continues with an email from Lisa. If a toad poops in the yard, is it called a toadstool?

Love to all,

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Humor and Lou Gehrig’s?

Kris Galle

By Kris Galle

Forward: Kris Galle, age 70, of Cedar Springs, has ALS—better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Kris has been writing about what she is going through—but with a touch of humor. Her sister Sidney Prater brought in some of what she has written in hopes it will bring a smile to the face of others who are caring for a family member.
Let me tell you about my day yesterday. While Bob was having his eye exam—a two hour affair—I took the power chair and went down by the river. There is a park with a paved path, trestle bridges, flowering trees and it all follows the small river. The wheelchair was fully charged so I set off. After about 40 minutes and no end of the trail in sight, I decided to turn around and head back.
Suddenly the chair started slowing down and the power bars went from 10 (fully charged) to six. I kept coaxing it along because if it dies out there it can’t be pushed or moved at all. Bob didn’t know where I was and I’d only seen four people. Now I’m down to two bars and I see Main Street, if I can get it across a big field. I made it and started up the street, when all of the sudden the skies opened and it started pouring. Got the chair inside a tire store (couldn’t have been a fun store) and turned it off.
Of course, I can’t speak well enough to explain about the battery and my husband at the doctor’s. I dried off and the rain let up and for some reason the battery kind of recharged (five bars) and so I made a run for it. Ha! I got three more blocks before it started pouring and I just made it to a shoe store overhang. Battery at one bar and flashing madly!
After sitting there awhile, a car drove up and it was the employee of the doctor’s office and she’d been driving around looking for me. After making sure I was fine, she said Bob was almost done and she’d tell him where I was. End of big adventure. Shows I’m not too old, or too sick for excitement! Also shows I need to let someone know where I’m going and never trust a battery that says “fully charged.”

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Humor and Lou Gehrig’s disease?

Kris Galle

Kris Galle, age 70, of Cedar Springs, has ALS—better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. nerve cells (neurons) waste away or die, and can no longer send messages to muscles. This eventually leads to muscle weakening, twitching, and an inability to move the arms, legs, and body. The condition slowly gets worse. When the muscles in the chest area stop working, it becomes hard or impossible to breathe on one’s own.

Kris and her husband, Bob, 81, are battling the disease together. To cope with her illness, Kris has been writing about what she is going through—but with a touch of humor. Her sister Sidney brought in some of what she has written in hopes it will bring a smile to the face of others who are caring for a family member.

“Kris is one of the funniest people I know,” said Sidney. “As we learned the art of humor in our upbringing from the joy of life’s experiences, this gift has flowed through us to our children…We hope it is healing.”


By Kris Galle

There once was a lady who had her home decorated just the way she wanted it. Kind of comfortable Victorian. Lace, flowers and fern. China cabinet, beaded shades and pictures. Lots of pictures. The oak coffee table held magazines and an actual cup of coffee. Then I got sick. Soon my perfect room became a dumping ground for machines, miles of tubing and “things.” The sofa became my office and we added a second coffee table, different size, wood and height. They became my desks.

My desk now holds magazines, Kleenex, box of bills, two computers, a bell, horn, whistle, remote, phone, sunflower from Marge, smiley cup of pens, matchbox Lamborghini from Ethan, stone from Lisa, cross Evan made, an angel medallion, a book and the nebulizer mouthpiece. Underneath is a wipe-off board and three boxes.

To my right are the nebulizer machine and a huge three-foot oxygen condenser with 15 feet of plastic tubing. The nebulizer only has about 18-inches of plastic tubing. In front of me is an IV pole with gravity bags for the feeding tube. That has six feet of tubing. Plugs and cords everywhere.

My walker has a seat filled with my snacks. Chex Mix, Lindt chocolates and animal cookies. The power chair is on my left. Around my neck is the stunningly lovely medical alert. The box it’s connected to is on the counter. We have eight smaller canisters of oxygen stored in the bedroom. The ramp has a racing stripe down the center so I keep my chair centered. Next to the bed is a machine with a mask and water container with two hoses to wear when sleeping. There is another wheelchair in the truck.

The medical equipment is taking over. How do I recreate the Victorian look? Doilies on the power chair? Pictures and flower hanging from the IV pole? Lace skirts on the machines? The most irritating is the miles of tubing and cords on the floor. If I stand at the top of the stairs and close my right eye, I can see the pretty side of the room. If I close my left eye, I can see my office side of the room.

When you get sick, it’s not just the illness you battle, but the changes it brings to your everyday life. The perfect coffee table doesn’t matter. What matters is that we had another one to put next to it. And one of my favorite things on the table? A picture of Lisa’s big toe giving me a thumbs up from the beach. That’s what’s important.

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