CategoryLiving with Illness

My Poker Face


A friend who gave a presentation at church on Sunday commented afterward that, as he was talking, he had been unable to read my reaction. At first I was surprised, for I was thoroughly engaged with what he had been saying. Then it dawned on me…Parkinsons. One of the effects of Parkinsons is that you lose facial expression. So on the inside I might be smiling but on the outside I might...

God Didn’t Plan for Me to Have Parkinsons. Bad Stuff Just Happens


People sometimes wonder whether there is a grand purpose behind their suffering. For me that translates to whether there is some divine purpose behind my Parkinsons? I don’t think there is. I live in a world that is fractured and broken. That brokenness is, in part at least, the result of sin and evil, two realities that are chaotic and disordered. And when you live in that type of a world...

Watching My Father Die. The Final Enemy is Death.


Last year I watched my father die. Like many Parkinsons patients he died not from Parkinsons but from the pneumonia brought on by the disease. Parkinsons impacted his ability to swallow, meaning he inhaled small pieces of food and mucous, which developed into aspirated pneumonia. I looked on helplessly as his body, already frail, shrunken and stooped surrendered. It was distressing to watch this...

Losing my Independence. Finding my Humanity


Most days I can no longer do up the button on the left sleeve of my shirt. For that you need fine motor skills in your right hand, something Parkinson’s has taken from me. Buttoning a sleeve sounds such a small thing, but for me not being able to do it it was a milestone. Until now I have been able to find a work-around for the limitations Parkinson’s is creating. I have learned to...

A Kingdom Focused Bucket List


It’s dawning on me that I probably have just ten to fifteen years of good health left. Odds are that ten to fifteen years down the track I will be severely debilitated by Parkinsons or receiving chemo for my leukemia or both. The looming future has created an urgency to my present. It’s caused me to wonder just how I will spend those healthy years. In the movie ‘The Bucket...

On Healing


2011 was not a good year for my health. It began with the diagnosis that I have Parkinson’s disease and closed with the discovery that I also have Chronic Lymphoctic Leukemia (CLL). At age 45 I was considered young to have acquired both these diseases. Parkinson’s is a movement disorder which has so far caused a tremor and muscle stiffness  in my right hand and leg. Over time these...

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