CHRONIC stILLNESS

CHRONIC

Some days I wish I could push rewind and go back to my old life. My life when I was perfectly healthy. When I performed surgery with my hands and pedaled a bicycle with my legs. My life when I could open the mail or eat popcorn without resting; my life before chronic illness with myasthenia gravis.

Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” NIV

Can we take a direct flight back to reality, or do we have to change planes in Denver?

Tim Allen in “The Santa Clause”

UNDERSTANDING

It is impossible for others to understand  hidden or invisible illnesses like multiple sclerosis, lupus or in my case myasthenia gravis (MG).  I spell it and explain it, but unless you live with it everyday, it is hard to understand. But honestly, I don’t mind explaining my illness, I am really glad you care.

Psalm 71:9, “Do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” NIV

METER

In the movie “The Santa Clause 2” Scott Calvin begins the de-santafication process until he finds a wife. He departs from the North Pole with a limited amount of magic, but he must save enough to return home. Bernard, his chief elf, gives him a meter he wears as a wristwatch to indicate how much magic remains so he does not get stranded.

2 Samuel 22:33, “God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect.” NKJV

WHERE CAN I GET ONE OF THOSE?

My magic is limited too, so is my strength. I do not get tired, though many with autoimmune diseases do. Instead, MG causes weakness. Simple tasks are a struggle you cannot see; weakness is invisible. But, I know if  I fail to conserve enough strength, I won’t be able to get home. It’s hard to choose where to spend it. Someone should invent one of those meters for me so I know how much strength I have left!

Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” KJV

STRENGTH CONSERVATION

Every choice I make affects my strength reserve. Some days I may walk across the parking lot just fine, then not make it through the store. I slice a tomato then not be able to stir. I can shake your hand or open the door, but it will cost me strength and mine is limited.

Psalm 37:39, “But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble.” NKJV

YOU ARE LIMITED TOO

In reality, everyone harbors hidden struggles, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. We are all limited, only able to do so much and  give so much. It is impossible to be everything to everyone and trying causes misery. Maybe your strength or energy reserves are deep, but your time is finite , so is your attention. Choose wisely how you spend it.

Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.” HCSB

REST

I neglected rest. My old life was perpetual motion. I was never still then and I have yet to decide how much I miss it. Frequent rest is no longer optional, it is necessary for me to regain my strength.

The harder I try, the weaker I get #IHaveHeardofMG Click To Tweet

The magic runs out. Though rest goes against my nature, I try not to fight it. God commands rest for everyone. He actually uses it to bless and He knows precisely what we need. The Lord even set the example by resting Himself. He commands us to “be still.” Now I am still, I only wish it weren’t chronic stillness.

Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God;  I will be exalted in the earth.” ASV

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47 thoughts on “CHRONIC stILLNESS

  1. Dear Vicki,
    Thank you for sharing with us. God has given you wonderful insight and this gift has established a ministry which helps others so much. I was so happy to hear from your Mom yesterday that you will be here with us in September. Please remember that you are loved and that you are being lifted up in prayed daily by many.
    Myrlene Tedford

  2. I enjoyed reading this. I can relate as I have MD- CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth). It is a struggle dealing with an unseen illness. You have special way with words and I look forward to reading more.

  3. Through. MG you are ministering to many many people I am so proud of you for using your illness for the glory of the Lord God has been good to us even through the tears

  4. Dr. Vickie, you are such a sweet, wonderful person. I am so sorry you have this. I will keep you in my prayers.

  5. Hi Vickie, my mother was Linda Lewis. She came to see you before she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. She passed away in 2011. Mom often talked about how you would pray with her during her dr. visit. I wanted to personally thank you for caring for my mom. We were blessed to have her as long as we did. I pray God continues to use you. Thank you for your uplifting blog!

  6. I so enjoy your writings. You are so relatable. Love your analogies that so clearly bring insight and nuggets of powerful truths to live by. Thank you for blessing so many out of your chronic stIllness!

  7. You are an awesome strong woman! I’m sorry you’re going through this, but I’m happy to see you are still in good spirits and letting God continue to lead you in this journey! I am so honored to have had such an amazing woman such as yourself to bring my most precious gifts into this world! Thank you for sharing your story! You are loved by many! Prayers & blessings your way!

  8. I am so blessed to have been able to work with you for so many years, even if you made a mess of my clean field! You are a true inspiration and your faith amazes me, k ow that you are always in my prayers.

  9. I want to start out by saying thank you for bring my beautiful children into this world. I am sorry you are going thru your illness but I am happy you are in such great spirits. I enjoyed every visit with you. You were the sweetiest most kindiest person I was proud to call my Dr. Take care Dr. Henderson I will never forget you!!

  10. Always a blessing from your post. You used one of my favorite verses today Isaiah 40:31. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Thank-you for this much needed dose of reality. (He knew what I needed to hear). I, too, live my life in “perpetual motion”. Last week I had surgery, and sat here frustrated this pm because I am “not my normal self”. Your words are inspiring and insightful. For now, I will be still and rest. Thank-you and Blessings to you!

  12. My normal self started chaining in 2005 so my normal self keeps changing. There’s no stopping it though I can slow the process a little. I can no longer hold a job. Yes I can still play guitar but need help carrying gear as well as getting on and off even a small stage. I realize how blessed I am to still be able to do my music. …..☮ph

  13. Needed to read this. Thanks what a blessing. I’ve been living with fibermyaliga for over 20 years now. God is my strength.

  14. Wow, Dr Henderson you are awesome!! I read that you prayed with your patients and that is awesome!! Thank you for your post here as well. I have RA, Shjogrens, Connective Tissue, Fibro, Type 2 Diabetes, PAD and have been in a lot of pain so I have been not getting around the way I used to. I was feeling sorry for myself and staying in bed too much so it was making the pain even worse. You have inspired me to try again and renewed my want to, to get out and help others and share Jesus/God again. We are all given a gift and I thank you for reminding me of mine. Would love to meet you sometime. You are a wonderful person and sharing our God the way you have, you have and renewing our faith, what a tremendous gift you have!!! Thank you!!!

  15. Dr. Henderson,
    Thank you for sharing your story, I don’t know if you remember, but I was due to have my baby days after you got too sick to practice…well I was so mad and upset that you were not there for my baby and I. I want to take the time to apologize for my selfishness and thank you for the care you did provide for my baby and I as well as my other girls!!! May God bless and keep you!! Prayers for you and your family!!
    Chermaine White

  16. Thank you for the reality checks. Your grace and faith on a very difficult path make me embarrassed for the way I feel when I’m inconvenienced or struggle. You inspire me.

      1. Thank you for your story. I have an auto immune disease with multiple diagnoses. Sometimes it feels no one understands except someone else with the same struggles.

  17. Reading you blogs is one of my happiest time today. I am not flattering because I don’t know how to. MG offers you time to write. And happy to see you that you can face it directly. Love this sentence ” Maybe your strength or energy are not limited, but your time is , so is your attention. Choose wisely how you spend it.”

    1. Yes, it’s a great analogy. I have a friend with that. It is certainly very serious. I wrote about invisible illnesses in the posts “What you see is not what I get” and Good days, bad days and part time handicaps. Thanks for sharing the Spoon theory.

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