I have a character with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease). I've done quite a bit of research already, but somehow I can't absorb the info when it's all clinical. So, some of the things I need to know are:
--What would be the first symptom to appear that would drive someone to seek medical treatment?
--How is ALS diagnosed?
--Would it be mistaken for something else at first, and if so how long would it take to correct the misdiagnosis?
--What is the progression of symptoms, and roughly how long would it take each to appear?
--How is a person with ALS treated at different stages? What kind of equipment/support is necessary?
--What is the eventual cause of death?
Also, I want to know what symptoms ALS and AIDS might have in common, whether a person with ALS could be mistaken for having AIDS, that sort of thing. EDIT: I don't mean mistaken medically, just by random observers.
If you can recommend books/websites on the subject, that's fine. I'm just looking for something that's informative without being overly technical.
Thanks in advance!