Tuesday, November 25, 2008

PD Delivers Two More Arrows To The Heart

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Proverbs 11:2 (NIV)

Was it a strike to my pride? Or just more arrows to my heart; launched from the ever present bow of Parkinson’s Disease?

Recently I took my son to parent night at school. During this particular session everyone was to dress in pajamas, bring a blanket and sit on the floor to listen to stories and then sing songs.

Needless to say, I had to check my pride at the door as I walked in sporting my blue and black (racing) cane. I looked around the room at all of the moms and kids in their p.j.’s, looking happy and content. As I surveyed the room several moms and children had already begun to spread out blankets and get ready for the fun ahead. I began to feel out-of-place and “old” as I realized that there was no way I would be able to get down into the floor and sit with my son. I knew that if I got down onto that cold, hard tile floor I would not be able to get back up again.

This experience launched arrow one into my heart. I was sad and felt bad for my beautiful son. All of the other children had young, healthy moms who were sitting in the floor with them. They were laughing and having fun listening to the stories and singing the songs. I had to sit at the back of the room at a table, while my son sat alone on his blanket without his mom to laugh with.

The second arrow came with stealth, drove deep into my mind, and has caused unease within my soul. I was putting together a scrapbook page for my son’s third birthday. The project was nearly complete when I decided I wanted to add a large handcrafted number three to finish the two-page layout off.

When I started to sketch the three, my mind went totally blank. I could NOT remember what a three looked like, much less how to write one! Talk about freaking me out. I knew that I could look around the room and find something with the number three on it, but I wanted to see how long my mind would block the memory, so I purposefully did not look around.

Instead I sat and tried to visualize numbers in my head. I could see every number one through ten, except for the missing three. This strange blockage lasted for almost thirty minutes and by then I was almost to the point of tears. Then suddenly it was like a fog lifted from my brain. I began to be able to visualize the missing “3” in my mind.

As I look back, parent night is now but a memory, and thankfully I am retaining the ability to visualize all of my numbers. (At least for the moment.) But, these two events have caused me to evaluate my health status. I am beginning to ask myself, “What will my health be like in five to ten years?” I am questioning if my seemingly rapid increase in symptoms are being caused by the PD itself, or if one of my medications are to blame. I do know that one of my meds can cause side-effects that are similar to the cognitive difficulties I have been dealing with lately. I am also questioning my diagnosis. I have wondered if maybe there is something besides PD going on with me. Maybe I am just being overly cautious. Maybe I am just freaking out a little because a dear friend just had her diagnosis changed from PD to MSA (Multiple System Atrophy), and our symptoms are quite similar.

At this point I am feeling much more humble. God has my attention and my praise! Even during this time of mental reevaluation and readjustment to having a progressive neurological disease, and given the concern I am feeling for the future status of my health; I am able to praise God for I know that He loves me and He is in control. I give Him praise for situations which teach me humility for it is truly my desire to grow in His wisdom.

Dear Lord, keep me serving You in humility. Bless me with Your wisdom. I have no power or strength of my own, but through Jesus all things are possible. Allow me to cling tightly to Your promises and to lean upon You for my support and strength. I love You and I praise You. In Jesus name, Amen.


Anonymous said...

Joanie I am sorry that you were not able to get down on the floor with your son...perhaps the two of you could do a fun story time on your comfy bed at home with popcorn...what the heck break the rules of no eating in bed for one night! Hang in there and thank you so much for sharing from your heart. Hugs B'nana

Life Happens said...

I just want to offer a few words of encouragement. There is no denying that PD makes you physically different than the other moms that were at the pajama party that night. Just remember that is very likely that some of those other moms are fighting different battles in their lives, things that others can't see. My experience has been that when I open up to others, they open up to me. It is always so surprising the things that you will learn about the battles that others face in their lives. I think that the most important thing is that you were able to be there for your son. Even though you feel like you weren't able to participate in the same capacity as the other parents...you were there. I am sure that just having you there was a blessing to your son. For those of us dealing with physical ailments, we need to remember to be kind to ourselves and just do the best that we can with what we have. You are very inspiring and I really enjoy reading your blog.

Joanie Butler said...

Thank you both for your encouragement and sweet words. It is very true that each of us have some sort of difficulty in life that we must overcome. This past week these two experiences were just two of the ways God reminded me to be TOTALLY dependent upon Him.

Nicole Freeman BC87 said...

JB, I am so sorry that you had to miss that experience. But that detail is not what your son will remember as he gets older-my 9 year old daughter has no memories of me without a movement disorder. But she told me,"Mommy,you are the perfect mom for me-you have Parkinson's but you understand what it means to be a girl" I got so choked up I could barely speak. Your son will remember that you went to his events and you loved him. My prayers are with you on this frightening and unsettling future we all face,
Nicole Freeman BC87

Anonymous said...

Your life is a living testimony of God's faithfulness and a reminder that when we are weak, He will make us strong... and that includes the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.... For the past 2-3 years I've been struggling with health issues and God has healed me through and through progressively...

However, now I am facing an immense spiritual struggle, but God is giving me the victory to overcome each new day. I say all that to say that Jesus will not give us more than we can handle....... His plan in all our weaknesses can be to get us to recognize our need to depend on Him for EVERYTHING! His ultimate purpose is for our lives to be living testimonies and to bring glory and honor to His name.

If you have Skyangel, "Joni and Friends" has been such an inspiration to my life of how God works things together for GOOD!

Jesus, touch my sister in the Lord who has PD. Give her strength and wisdom as a mom. Surround her life with your presence and help her to remember that you are bigger than any problem or struggle she is facing. Help her to claim Philip. 4:13 and for her inmost being to know that she can "do ALL things through Christ who will give her the strength"

God Bless!

JnL4God said...

Hi Joanie,
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I haven't gotten my Bible yet but looking forward to it.
I'm sure it was hard for you at your sons story night, but you went and that means so much to them. You seem like such a strong woman - thanks for your courage. I am so happy we will be reading the Chrono Bible together. I am looking forward to getting to know you better.

pokie too said...

My dearest special friend...when you look for answers they never seem to be found. i too had a floor experience this weekend. i had to get on the floor..knowing I would have to lay down once I got there and need help to get up. My eight year old ganddaughter was there all the way. It took me fifteen minutes to get my brain to work and figure out what I needed to do. I am crawling with you my dear and leaving prayers along the way. It's time for serious reevaluation. The Lord has made us just strong enough to push on. Love you so and don't forget I am always there for you..just call...love pokie

Beverlydru said...

I will be praying for you. You are not alone. I am deeply moved by this post.