Living with ALS – Jay Smith

When I was diagnosed with ALS at the age of thirty-six, I was told that I would have less than two years to live. With no treatment or a cure, the disease robs you of all your physical abilities until you can no longer breath. Well that was three years ago. I’m happy to report that while I can no longer walk, talk, move my arms, or eat, I still live an active and productive life thanks to technology, mindfulness, and nutrition.

If you plan to live with this disease, you will inevitably lose the ability to eat and forced with the decision to either get a feeding tube or starve. When it came time for me to get a feeding tube the one thing that had me worried was the “food” that would enter my body. The doctor explained the procedure and talked about the formula that would be my sole source of nutrients. I’ve always been into healthy eating so the thought of eating basically a can of corn syrup with a multivitamin blended in didn’t sit well with me. We were told that we could blend our own meals but in raising two young kids with a wife that works full time, that didn’t seem realistic.

Since I could no longer safely eat, I had the procedure and started my new formula diet. It didn’t take long to realize that the formula diet didn’t sit well with my body. It left me feeling lethargic, bloated, and stopped up. That is how I discovered Liquid Hope. This month marks my one-year anniversary of my Liquid Hope diet and I have been able to maintain my pre-diagnosis weight, stay active and healthy, and continue to live productively despite my physical limitations. I also haven’t been so regular in my entire life. That last bit might not be the most glamorous sentence I’ve ever written but I know my grandmother would have been envious. I don’t need prune juice, laxatives, or some crazy homemade concoction to maintain the status quo. There are a lot of things to worry about with this disease and I’m thankful my nutrition isn’t one of them. Sure, I look forward to the day that ALS is treatable and I’ll be able to wash down an entire plate of nachos with an ice cold beer. Until then, I’ll keep on living with this “terminal” illness through positivity, surrounded by love, and with healthy living.

~ Jay Smith