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Neurological diseases are a type of nervous system disorder that affects the brain and nerves. In my reading of Chapter 15, Neurological Disorders, it discusses Chronic Neurological disorders (CND’s) and focuses on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Multiple Sclerosis 9MS) and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). What I found very interesting was that on page 348, it states “All disorders discussed in this chapter except MS are more likely to occur in older adulthood; thus, gerontological issues are incorporated throughout the chapter”(Matzo & Sherman, 2015),  yet the two videos that we watch are both on two very young individuals.

I watched both the videos and I found them very inspirational, motivational and especially emotional. These two very different individuals were given a death sentence at what is supposed to be the prime time of your life. When watching the videos, I was compelled to write down some of their messages and mottos that spoke to my heart.  Here are a few: “ chopped into a box and labeled”, “expectations are lowered”, “I want more”, “Family expected more”, “ I was coping and thriving”, “Confidence is within”, “Give yourself to others”, “26 and ALS”, “trapped in your own body”, “BURDEN”, “anticipating the now”, “get yourself a good tribe”, “cant focus on the past”, “cant focus on the future”, “ focus on now”. (Carbajal, 2019; Lawton, 2017).

What I believe to be the most difficult part of dealing with a chronic progressive incurable neurodegenerative disease, is that your loved one is dying right before your eyes. The person you know, and love is changing whether it is mentally, physically or both and you still have this body to care for. Having Alzheimer’s in my family, I have experienced this firsthand. My grandmother, many of her sisters and brothers and now my Aunt. All the worries and fears I have felt many times over.

In an article about nurses making a difference in loved ones with dementia, there are many different interventions discussed. I would use three topics that they discussed; encourage mental stimulation, encourage people with dementia to maintain independence and to provide support for families and caregivers. “Research indicates that participation results in positive wellness outcomes for those living with dementia including improved memory and concentration stimulation, and increased sense of purpose” (Bewick, 2016).  I feel that these three types of interventions were also spoken by the two young people in the videos. They kept themselves active, they did not lay down and let the disease take over their lives. In one of the videos, Anthony, a young gentleman with ALS wanted to continue to take photos of people and life. His family found a way as his muscles and fingers deteriorated. The support and love of Anthony and Emma’s families is what is what keeps them thriving even while faced with this awful disease.

As nurses, we have the capability of looking past a person’s disease and seeing them for who they are and what potential they have at that moment. Therefore, I feel that I am able to make a difference in all of my patients lives no matter what the disease or outcome.


Bewick, T. (2016). Nurses can make a difference: caring for those living with dementia. Austrilian Journal of Dementia Care, , .

Bewick (2016)

Carbajal, A. (2019, May 15). Meet Anthony, Coping with ALS: My last days. Retrieved November 21, 2019, from

Carbajal (2019)

Lawton, E. (2017, June). Is Confidence in my DNA? TEDxLondon. Retrieved November 21, 2019, from>cour

Lawton (2017)

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