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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Eating an Elephant

Several people figured out that in my last post, I was referring to the old, corny joke....

Q: How do you eat an elephant?

A: One bite at a time!


Here's a variation....

Q: How do you deal with "unfixable" bad news?

A: One bite at a time!


Three months ago, I got that kind of “unfixable” news. On April 6, 2006 (that date is branded in my memory), I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. My first comment was, “This isn’t how I was planning on living the rest of my life!”

My grandpa who “died young” was 87 when he died. My two grandmas were 90 and 95. My other grandpa was 100! All of them were relatively healthy and energetic until the last few years. I had great-grandparents who lived into their 80s and 90s. My parents are in their seventies and still going strong (helping keep up with my toddler niece). My image of my “senior years” was based on Deuteronomy 34:7, “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.” I figured that with my genetic heritage and the advances in medicine, reaching 120 would be a breeze!

From the beginning of this Parkinson’s journey, I’ve been determined that whatever happened, my goal was the glory of God--whether I live 50 years with Parkinson’s or I wake up healed tomorrow morning. Although that hasn’t changed, I’ve recently realized that something else has.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I wasn’t acknowledging the diagnosis or the condition as “mine”. I used words like “they’ve diagnosed me with Parkinson’s,” “the Parkinson’s,” “the symptoms.” Without realizing it, I was very careful not to say things like “I have Parkinson’s,” “my Parkinson’s,” my symptoms.”

I found myself pondering the possibility of a misdiagnosis. Never mind that I was diagnosed at Mayo Clinic, by some of the best in the field. Forget the friends in the medical field who agreed that the diagnosis made sense. Ignore the fact that the diagnosis made me feel as if I finally had all the puzzle pieces in place. I clung to the slim chance that I’d been misdiagnosed.

(...to be continued...)


Keetha said...

Thanks for leaving me a comment on my blog!!!!! I had, actually, found your blog through Jim and Jaena's already!!!!!

I saw Nate and his wife in Tree of Life right after they arrived - - - so I DID know they were around. Glad for you, and for them. I'm sure it will be nice to be able to get together more frequently.

I also worked with Josh at both Teen Camps this summer, so he had already told me his news. BTW - - I was WAY impressed with Josh and his ministry heart as I watched him react with his campers.

I am sorry to hear about your Parkinson's. There are no words - - - - but I hope it does help to know that others around you care.

I'm looking forward to seeing Anna this fall at LCS - - - - wonder if she'll be in one of my classes this year, now that I'm taking on more HS science classes?????

And about being a Grandma - - - - as you SAW from my blog, I R 1!!!!
I say - - - come on in, the water's FINE. I will stop at that, or I could gush on and on like any other grandmother. Hehehehehehe


bartley said...

PARKINSON CAN BE BEAT OR AT LEAST SLOWED DOWN. I have parkinson's and have had it for a number of years. The DBS was the best for myself and my wife. Maybe it would not be right for you but I feel that anyone with Parkinson's should at least think about all the different ways to fight this and keep are lives going