I Dream of Movement

Almost every night of my life, I have had dreams. Some I remember only for a few moments. Some I remember for an hour or so. Some I never forget.

I received my diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease 10 years ago. I have continued to dream. Most of my dreams are pleasant. Some are strange. I rarely have nightmares. In all my dreams, I have never had Parkinson’s. I always move and function normally. The closest I have come to having a problem moving in a dream is one dream I had when I was a child. I was being chased by a bear and I could only move in slow motion…( reminds me of what it feels like to have Parkinsons ). Other than that, I have always dreamt of movement. One of the insidious aspects of Parkinson’s for me is that when I wake up in the morning, for a few moments I will lay in bed and remember my dream of unincumbered movement. For a few minutes each day, I forget I have this terrible disease. Then I move. That’s when all the realities come flooding back. I remember all the pain, trembling, shuffled steps, slurred speech, choking, pills. I remember all the things I use to do that I am now unable to do. It all comes rushing back into the reality of my life. Then I slowly and painfully go through the arduous task of getting out of bed to confront all of the challenges this life of sickness has in store for me.

But I thank God that despite the normalcy my dreams of movement are keeping alive, I am still able to get up in the morning. Thankful that I can still find joy and fulfillment in discovering new ways of traveling this path neither He or I would have chosen for me. Thankful for the joy of loving and being loved by a great wife, great family and friends, and a great God.

I Have Joy

I started writing this blog because I have Parkinson’s disease. I thought it may be interesting to bring you along with me on this journey.

Life is a journey. Some parts of the journey are interesting and some are not. Even though more and more people are having to walk this Parkinson’ life than ever before, most people have no idea what it’s like to live this life. I thought that keeping you up to date on any insights I hoped to be able to share would be of some value. I was hoping to learn life lessons that would help me and maybe help other people live happy lives with some kind of challenging condition that won’t go away. I was surprised by how I felt when the doctor told me that I had Parkinson’s disease. It was a weird combination of relief, happiness, and freedom. You would expect to feel something like fear or sadness when you are told you have a progressive, degenerative brain disease that there is no cure for. I felt neither of those things.

For some time before the diagnosis, I had not felt good. I had constant pain and a host of unwelcome and uninvited problems with my body and mind. I was suffering. What made it worse was trying to find out why this was happening to me and find a way to make it stop. Being God’s child, my fear was that I had done something that caused this to happen to me. Did I let something in the door of my life that gave it the right to do this to me? Or was it something I did to take me out from under God’s protection leaving me vulnerable? My life had not been a perfect life. I do make wrong and stupid decisions from time to time. And I believe like most people, I struggled with repeated sin and haven’t always chosen what I knew was right.

When you are saved at 6 years old, I don’t think you can say you were a sinner saved by grace. I believe in the age of accountability and when I reached it, I had not yet become a sinner. (I know every person is born into sin because of what our first parents did in Eden. I’m referring to having to be responsible for personal sin). Every person is responsible for the things they do that are wrong, saved and unsaved. The difference is the unsaved have no way out and are totally subject to the consequences of their actions and at the mercy of the adversary. We that are saved are also responsible for the consequences of our actions, but we have the opportunity to be forgiven, because we have a Father that forgives. Both the saved and unsaved are subject to this fallen world along with being in danger from the trains we willingly lay down in front of. The rain falls on the just and the unjust, the drought also hits them both.

There I was in the parking lot of my doctor, having suffered the last few years and trying the whole time to find out why and correct anything I had done or not done to cause it, not being able to put a name or a face on my tormentors. But now, someone had just given them a name, Parkinson’s disease. For some reason, that made me feel better. I still had pain and all the symptoms, but now there was also hope. Hope that there were tools to battle this previously unrecognized foe. Hope that there were people that had the wisdom and knowledge to fight this foe with me. I am still coming to terms as to the “why I have Parkinson’s”, but the why doesn’t really matter to me anymore. I just believe that God knows what He is doing. It’s my job to trust Him, do what I know is right, following his command to love Him and love others.

The path this journey is taking is getting steeper and more difficult to walk. I have lost my ability to work. Many of the things in life that I used to enjoy I no longer care about or I have lost the ability to do. My body is becoming less cooperative and rebellious.      But I’m happy! I have joy. The joy of having the best and most interesting person I have ever known as my wife. The joy of having three children that, if it were possible to choose your children, I wouldn’t have even come close to the fantastic ones I got. The joy of bringing into our family the perfect people our children chose to marry. The joy of grandchildren. The joy of having a God that is working endlessly in the most microscopic recesses of my life. The joy of friendship and family, where the line between them becomes blurred. The joy of the anticipation of heaven.                                                              I have joy!






Open letter to God

Dear Father,

As You know, I have Parkinson’s disease. I don’t know when it hit me or where it came from. I don’t think I asked for it. Maybe I did and don’t realize that I did. I know I didn’t ask for it specifically. I could have done something that caused me to get it, either in the natural ,( getting exposed to something that caused me to get it or a genetic predisposition for it.) Maybe spiritual, (maybe it was caused by an act of disobedience that opened the door for me to get it.)

As You are well aware, I have sinned from time to time since You saved me at the age of 6. I do know from that moment, I have been Your son. Everything that has been done to me and that I have done has happened as Your son. Nothing has gotten past You.

If my memory is correct, I do think whenever I have done something wrong, I have asked for forgiveness from You and anyone else I have wronged. There may be some forgiveness I have missed, but I know from past experience, You are good at bringing any I have missed to my attention.

So, however I got this Parkinson’s thing, I don’t like it. It’s no fun for me or Marcia and anyone else in our lives. I’m sure Your not happy about me having to live the rest of my life with this thing getting worse and worse either. Would You help me get rid of it? If there Is something I did to get it that I am unaware of, please show me. If it’s genetic or I have been exposed to some contamination that gave it to me, please clean me of whatever that may be and repair the damaged places.

I know I live in a world where mankind invited Parkinson’s in, but ever since I discovered my brother Jesus holding out His hand to me to save me, and I accepted His hand, I really haven’t been a citizen of this world anymore. Yes, I still have to live here for a while longer, but I would like to do it without a movement disorder.

I know I have asked for this a number of times in the last few years and some of my friends have asked for me, but I just thought I would ask again.
Whatever happens, You know that I love You and will love You forever. And I know that You love me even more and will love me forever. I hope your not disappointed in me because I still have Parkinson’s. I know faith pleases You. If my faith has been lacking, please let me know.
In closing, I really want to thank you for my life. Despite the Parkinson’s disease and the other bumps in the road to heaven, I really love the life You have given me. It’s greater than I ever imagined. And I know that if I shuffle up to the gates, I won’t be shuffling once I pass them.

Thank You for that gift and that assurance.
Your son,

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