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Friday, April 28, 2006

The silence may not have been golden, but....

OK, I've been quiet long enough!

Almost three weeks ago, Joshua and Jen told us they're expecting! We wanted to give them the time to tell family themselves. Their due date is in early December. I have one friend who pointed out that it was just like God to temper the "less good" news of Parkinson's with the WONDERFUL news of a baby (in the same week)! I was concerned that if I posted here, my family (who checks my blog) might find out online before Josh and Jen got a chance to announce it themselves. And me -- I'm excited enough that all I could think to write about was MY GRANDBABY!

Anyway, that's the reason for the long silence! Hope you understand. I'll write more soon...I promise! Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, April 17, 2006

How It Works....

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

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I'm not sure HOW this works, but I believe it DOES. That's enough to keep me going....

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Time

"GOD proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from GOD." --Lamentations 3:25-26 (The Message)

"Passionate patience"--what a concept!

Time is short, but eternity is long.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Shepherd Goes on Ahead....

I heard this idea in a sermon recently, and it's so cool I just had to share it:

Before David could defeat Goliath, he had to go through the valley.

Why did he have to go through the valley?

Because in the valley there was a stream, and in the stream were the five smooth stones he would carry with him to use in his sling.

Here's the key point--

**FROM THE DAY THE WORLD WAS CREATED, GOD HAD BEEN PREPARING THOSE FIVE STONES TO BE THERE, READY FOR DAVID TO USE ON THAT DAY!**

God knew what David would face, and when, and had gone ahead of David to set up everything he would need to be victorious! He led David through the valley to equip him for victory.

'He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all His own, HE GOES ON AHEAD OF THEM, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.' John 10:3b-4 NIV (emphasis mine)

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Saga Continues

Yesterday was an OK morning physically, but GREAT emotionally and spiritually! I made it to church...so many expressions of love and concern and offers to help. The sermon was great, too - about how we're called to follow Jesus' example when we suffer, and how that plays out in real life.

A couple funny things happened at church.

1. While I was standing and talking in the foyer, someone (who apparently doesn't know about my balance issues) walked by and patted me on the back. I swayed gently and righted myself. They kept going and weren't even aware that they almost knocked me over! Call me odd, but I found that funny!

2. After church, a friend and I were talking and she gave me a hug. It pulled me off-balance and as I was tilting toward her, I had to ask her to stand me back up. Again, call me odd....

Yesterday evening was GOOD. I took a nap in the afternoon, and in the evening I felt almost normal! Lloyd accused me of showing off because I stood in the middle of the kitchen and did 360 degree pivot. (Something I normally have trouble with.)

Last night made the "denial" phase of dealing with my diagnosis very easy to choose. You know - "If I just get more...(sleep, exercise, vitamins, etc)...I'll be fine" Don't worry, I'm not stupid enough to ignore this and hope it goes away! (It won't let me!)

Anyway, I guess that's about it for now. Stay tuned for more updates as this story develops.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Journey Ends...and Begins

Good morning! I'm back home! We got back in around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. My Dad is such a trooper--he's already headed out on the five hour trip to HIS home this morning! (Of course, if I'd been away from MY sweetie for two weeks straight, I'd be in a hurry to get home, too!)

The work has already begun on managing my symptoms. Believe it or not, I'm taking (drumroll, please)...Benadryl! It's what they call an "anticholinergic". I'm still working on understanding what that means!

Anyway, if the day comes when I feel I need more help than I can get from Benadryl, the Dr. has already told me what he has next on the list of med options. That's one of the "good news/bad news" things about PD (Parkinson's Disease). Bad news: there's no cure, only treatment of symptoms. Good news: since we're treating symptoms, I'M the one who gets to decide when to do things like change meds. (It's nice to feel like I still have SOME control of what's happening!)

One interesting thing now that I know what's going on (to me anyway) is when I look at a list of PD symptoms, I see little ones that I began experiencing years ago, but that by themselves were so small I forgot about them! For me, that just confirms the doctors' diagnosis.

Anyway, that's what's up today! Next week I begin the process transferring my care to a Movement Disorder Neurologist closer to home--as opposed to 8-10 hours away. Please pray for that process, as we find the doctor who God has planned for me. Pray for all of us, too, as we attempt to adjust our image of the future to this new scenario.

Thanks for your continuing prayers!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Answers

Well, it looks like we have an answer. The Movement Disorder Neurolgist says that he's convinced it's early-onset Parkinson's Disease. (And I've seen his diplomas - he should know!) It won't change me, just the "tent" I live in. And it won't change how long I live in the "tent", just HOW I live.

Parkinson's is a condition where my brain doesn't produce enough of the chemical needed to communicate well with my muscles. Hence, the shaking, fatigue, and unsteadiness. There is treatment, but no cure. It DOES NOT effect life span!!! There is a wide range of medicines I can take to control symptoms. There are also significant advances being made in research for a cure. The doctor said he wouldn't be at all surprised to see a cure in the next 5-10 years!

In the meantime, feel free to ASK ME QUESTIONS!!!! Feel free to let your kids ask me questions! I love to share information and it won't bother me to have you ask! IT WILL HELP ME!!! (It will also give me an excuse to go on the internet, if you ask me something I don't know!)

If you want to do some research of your own, a couple good places to start are:

www.parkinson.org
www.wemove.org

Thank you for your prayers...keep it up! They ARE making a difference! I'll be posting more, and I'll see many of you soon!

"I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Psalm 16:8

Love y'all....

Marcia

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Piece of the Puzzle

Safely arrived back in Rochester, MN this afternoon.

I feel as if God has given me a major puzzle piece to report to the doctors tomorrow! I was taking Benadryl and Aleve today, for other reasons. While they were in my system, pretty much all my symptoms were gone!

I don't know WHAT that means, but a symptom-free day is HUGE! I will DEFINITELY be telling the doctor that news tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Heading Out....

Well, I'm just a couple hours from heading out for the return trip to Mayo. The road trip may be the hardest part--very tiring. We'll go as far as my sister's in Wisconsin tonight and on in the morning. I may or may not be online again before Thursday. Expect me when you see me.

Prayer Requests:

Wisdom for the doctors who will diagnose and treat me.
Peace and comfort for my family, who try to carry on without me at home.

Praise:

I got to be here for my 10yo's Science Fair!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Takin' a Break

I'm home for a couple days, then I head back. I have two appointments at Mayo on Thursday. The first is with a movement disorder neurologist and then a follow-up with my coordinating internist who, I assume, will discuss all the findings with me. Until then, I went to church yesterday (for the groundbreaking on the new building) and I'm enjoying time with my family. When I know more, you'll know more.