This is my first post here on the coping boards, but i've been around awhile in the wedding/honeymoon ones. I just thought I'd share my story, I guess it'll help me get it out.... In may of 2004 my (then) 42 year old father was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). The first two years had gone ok. Earlier this year my father started to loose his ability to walk. Really he had no other symptoms that were too prevalent. His speech was worsening, and his hands were getting weaker, but ever since like the 2 year mark, he has gotten more and more progressively worse. In june of this year my father fell a few times (even with use of a walker) and decided that he could no longer work. Now, his job was very much his passion, but he decided that it was becoming too hard on his wife and younger daughter to deal with getting him up and helping him get ready for the day. In doing so, my mother also had to stop working to take care of him. She needed to be here in case anything were to happen to him. I was very lucky that my father was able to walk me down the aisle. It was a 100 ft walk, and took us about 4.5 mins to complete, but in August of this year we did just that. However, since then things have only gotten worse. My husband and I moved in with my family (into an apartment in the full finished walkout basement) to try to help take care of things. The stress is slowly becoming too much for all of us. Recently my father was hospitalized for a bronchoscopy (sticking a camera into the lungs to make sure no food was stuck) and we have had to start feeding him all of his meals because he could not do so. My mother has become extremely depressed through all of this. She has many times suggested that she has had suicidal thoughts, sometimes even in front of my 10 year old sister. Lately she has stated that she feels like she is no longer a wife, she is his caregiver. They (my father and mother) have fought more and more lately. I am trying to deal with all of this and it's becoming very difficult. I am a student and my husband has been laid off and unable to find another job. I seem to work all day, and then again work all night. And on top of it all I'm trying to deal with the fact that the man that raised me, that I was so incredibly close to, is loosing his ability to function. I almost feel like he's not even there anymore. I just don't know how to deal. I want a normal life with my husband, however, its increasingly difficult because of my own mental state. Sometimes I am perfectly fine and strong, but at night I tend to just break down. I just need strength to get through this all, but I don't know how to find it. I am a deeply religious person and I have tried to keep faith and pray for strength, but I feel incapable of having it. I am trying so hard to please everyone, I feel like it's almost impossible for me to be joyful anymore. I just don't know how to handle this all. I love my father and my family. Soon he will be getting a feeding tube, and possible not much longer and he will go on a ventilator to make him breathe mechanically. Any experiences any of you have with this disease or things like these would be very appreciated. I guess words of encouragement would also help if you feel like giving them. Thanks for reading...I know it's probably not entirely a coherant story. Thank you.