Many people with ALS also have pseudo-bulbar affect (PBA). It causes fits of laughing and crying at inappropriate moments. I don’t cry that much, but if I get really stressed (like we’re running late for a doctor’s appointment), I’ll kind of freak.
Interestingly, a drug that helps PBA (Nuedexta) is currently in clinical trials to see if it can help with the bulbar (swallowing, voice) symptoms of ALS. And so far, it’s doing well. But since it’s already approved for PBA, doctors can prescribe it if wink, wink, you already have those symptoms. I wouldn’t say I have a bad case of PBA, but I do credit it with preserving my voice so far. A friend of mine told me her sister cried the morning after she started taking it – because it was the first time in 6 months she could understand her. Now that’s success 🙂
For me, PBA mostly makes me laugh at inopportune times…like if DP and I are arguing about something. The classic scenario is he’s serious about something I don’t think is that big of a deal – like when he accidentally spilled coffee on the cat. I’ll kind of awkward-giggle and that’ll just make it way worse.
Most of the time though, I just crack myself up. Anyone who knew me from before ALS can attest that I always kind of laughed at my own jokes. Now, I start laughing so hard I can’t even get the punch line out. Which just makes me laugh even harder…
On Thursday, I started following the live Twitter stream during Donald Trump’s 75-minute acceptance speech. Lawdy, I laughed so hard, I started hiccupping. So then, I hiccup-laughed all the way through the speech. Thanks, @OnionPolitics:
At least it was better than crying.