Q & A with Bernie – May 30, 2016

Question for Bernie:

One of my loved ones received devastating news about the ongoing progression of this terrible disease of ALS. He is young, only 40, with a beautiful wife and two young children. How can I help him?

Bernie’s Answer:

Remind him he has the potential to exceed expectations.  He needs to show his body love despite the diagnosis.  If he really does believe he, too, can heal, anything good he does for his body will send the message to it that he intends to LIVE.  He must not live in fear because that is self-destructive.

I have a friend, Evy McDonald, who recovered from ALS.  She wrote a book, Atilla The Gate Agent: Travel Tales and Life Lessons From A Musical Laf-ologist. In the book, Evy details what she did once she had the devastating diagnosis. One thing she did was to sit in front of a mirror without any clothes on and love every inch of her body.

Click on the following link for Evy’s own story of her miraculous recovery from ALS.

Peace & Healing,

Question for Bernie:

My mom suffers from dementia and does not talk and hardly ever opens her eyes. She has been diagnosed with melanoma, and has a very large growth on her face from it. (This is all pretty new). She is showing some signs of pain with facial expressions.  We have her on Tylenol suppository 3x’s a day, but every so often there is still more pain.

Do you have any recommendations?  This is just so overwhelming.  Anything would be helpful. Thank you so much.

Bernie’s Answer:

Get a doctor to prescribe stronger medication that you can give to your mother either by injection or in other ways. Play peaceful music, and talk to her with positive words.  Be assured, she hears you no matter whether she looks like she is listening or not.

Most importantly, many times each day tell her that you love her.   Talk about fun times that she had in the past, and if you have a beloved furry pet that is calm, friendly, and small enough for her to hold in her lap, by all means, let her hold it.

Look through the CDs on my website and choose one that you think she would enjoy. Remember, people with dementia, who also find themselves coping with a painful disease, cannot usually show “normal” emotion externally, so you must simply assume that she is enjoying the CD, and especially hearing you lovingly tell her how much she means to you and always has—and now you are here for her.

Being loving, kind, attentive, and thoughtful with your mother, who cannot tell you how she is feeling anymore, is very difficult.  You must learn to deepen what you have already learned about nonverbal ways that your mom can show you how she is feeling. You are caring for a mother who is coping with physical, emotional, and mental pain, but is no longer able to express herself as before.  Keep her reassured about how much you love her and want to make her feel better, and please, get her to a doctor who will give her prescription pain medication.  Tylenol is generally not used alone for the kind of cancer pain your mom is experiencing.

Peace & Healing,


Related posts:

  1. Q & A with Bernie – February 1, 2016
  2. Q & A with Bernie – May 23, 2016
  3. Q & A with Bernie – March 21, 2016
  4. Q & A with Bernie – March 28, 2016
  5. Q & A with Bernie – April 18, 2016
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