3-7-12: An Update on Dudley Clendinen
An update from Tom on Dudley Clendinen:
A little more than a year ago, we began broadcasting a series of conversations with the writer Dudley Clendinen. Dudley was diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in November, 2010. Beginning in January of 2011, every two weeks, Dudley talked to me about his experiences as his disease progressed, until his voice was no longer consistently intelligible. We concluded our series in late January of this year, and at that time, I promised to give you occasional updates on Dudley.
I haven’t seen him for about three weeks, although my wife Linell had dinner with him and a few friends last week. Dudley and I are in touch via e mail, and he tells me that he’s doing OK. Although he has trouble speaking, and it’s a bit harder for him to use his hands, he is still ambulatory, and his social life is still very busy. He’s adjusting to having a feeding tube, which was implanted in his stomach about a month ago. He says that it doesn’t hurt, although it stings sometimes. He tries to consume 5 cans of nutrients every day, in an effort to slow his weight loss. He compares “filling up,” as he says, with filling up a lawnmower. He’s not quite up to his 5-a-day goal yet. He says that it still makes him feel a little cold and queasy. But he is able to have at least 3 cans a day, and he is happy that his weight has stabilized.
I know Dudley appreciates the fact that so many people ask how he’s doing. We’ll be sure to let you know from time to time here on Maryland Morning. You can also listen to all of the conversations in our series “Living with Lou: Dudley Clendinen on a Good, Short Life” at this link.