What stick did you measure that with?

“You are doing well,” my doctor pronounced during my last visit. Resisting the urge to respond, I narrowed my eyes and kept my mouth shut.  Will someone please define well for me?

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” NIV

I USED TO BE WELL

I remember when I checked all the no boxes on the health history form:  no medications, no allergies, no health problems.  Now I need an additional page to list my medications.  I have had to check yes:  yes I have diabetes, yes I have Addison’s disease, yes I have hypothyroidism. Oh yeah, and don’t forget myasthenia gravis (MG).

Psalm 38:10, “My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes, it also is gone from me.” AMP

NEAR NORMAL

The Johns Hopkins website states, “People with MG can live a normal or near normal life.”  Exactly who thinks this is anywhere near normal? It is recommended people with MG use an electric toothbrush to conserve strength. Personally, muscle fatigue from brushing my teeth is not anywhere near my normal, not even close. I have decided:

WHAT MEASURING STICK DID YOU USE?

Thankfully, I really am doing much better.  I can drive now and walk through most of the grocery store and cook a little.  If I pace myself I can water my flowers, but I planted succulents in case I have a bad day. I suppose if I had been sedentary before it would not be such a bad disease, maybe. But my normal was so different.

Leviticus 19:35, “You must not be unfair in measurements of length, weight, or volume.” HCSB

THE DOCTOR WASN’T WRONG

At first I was limp as a rag doll. Compared to my limitations when I was first diagnosed with MG, I am doing quite well. Compared to my abilities before I was diagnosed not so much. So how I measure up depends on what I am compared to.

2 Corinthians 10:12, “For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding.” HCSB

COMING UP SHORT

Perhaps we play the same game with our Christian walk or good works. Many people erroneously think good people go to heaven. If salvation could be earned, why would Jesus need to die a cruel death on the cross? We end up comparing ourselves to ourselves then decide we are good enough. But we all fall short when we compare ourselves to the One who came to live a perfect, sinless life. He is the standard and He is the only way to get to the other side.

Vickie Petz henderson

 

Isaiah 46:5, “With whom will you compare me or count me equal?  To  whom will you liken me that we may be compared?” NIV

I AM WELL

I am doing well in my heart and in my head. That’s where it truly counts. It is well with my soul.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul  ~Horatio Spafford

Thanks doc, I can roll my own dice at Bunco now if I alternate arms. It’ all relative.

I hope you don’t think I am complaining, but awareness does not come through sugar coating. Love you all for your amazing support!  Your prayers have truly strengthened me. Keep spreading awareness about myasthenia gravis.

23 thoughts on “What stick did you measure that with?

      1. Thank you for this! I recently went to an appointment with a more specialized neurologist. These were the first providers I’ve encountered who did not see the “before” me. The first neuro I saw was for the “mildest” of symptoms. Funny how 6 weeks ago I thought those “mild” symptoms were so awful.
        I guess everyone must have a point when it first hits them- what this diagnosis means! For me it was last week. Explaining to someone new what my before life had been like. Nurse, mom, daughter, grandmother, walker of miles, amature logger, traveler and so much more every day.
        I am the friend, mom, family always organizing outings, always talking people into that spur of the moment hike, kayak, trip to the beach.
        This morning I am sitting in my bed wondering if I will be able to make it to the store today, use an electric scooter, and make it home as it is supposed to be quite warm. I’m sitting in my bed looking at my closet that I’ve been cleaning out for 3 days that would have taken me a few hours before. I’m sitting here trying to remember how hard I prayed that this not be some terminal brain tumor or other thing that would take away my life too soon.
        I am trying to remember that on the continuem that is life’s lot that I am very fortunate.
        Your post is so right for right now.
        Thank you

  1. Vickie, this is Wilda Teter–remember?? My bladder repair is still working–you didn’t think it would. The medical field sure has lost a wonderful, caring Doctor. I have been praying for you, every since I knew you are ill. Our LORD JESUS will sustain you, stay close to Him. Love and prayers for your recovery; Jean Teter Date: Sat, 6 Jun 2015 11:51:15 +0000 To: jteter80@live.com

  2. Dr. Henderson,

    I pray for you often and am SO inspired by your blog. As a maxed out woman dedicated to my career, young kids, husband, God, cooking, gardening, exercise and social life…I really relate to how this diagnosis would be my worst nightmare. Like you, I am used to being able to do it all and I LOVE it! Even as a very young girl, I looked up to you as a role model and the epitome of an active and rewarding life. Reading and watching your journey has only strengthened my view of you as the superwoman I already knew. I love your comparisons of your limitations to your life before because it helps me relate and apply what a diagnosis like this would mean in my life. Sometimes I need those small details so that I can remember to be thankful for the ability to water ALL of my plants by hand instead of wondering why I haven’t put on a sprinkler system. I am blessed and grateful for the perspective your view provides. Thank you for the inspiration, then and now. I am a more grateful in my prayer and as a momma, wife, employee and friend because of people like you.

  3. You’re not complaining…you’re giving the rest of us a glimpse at what it means to face physical adversity head-on and still claim victory through Christ. (Thankful you share so openly.) Praying for you…

  4. Thanks for sharing parts of your story. Its a good reminder that we are often unaware of the hurts & struggles of others. I love that you are increasing awareness. I can’t help but think that everyone–no matter how good they may look on the outside–has their own struggles. Increased awareness, compassion, & empathy is always a great thing 🙂 Enjoyed your post!

  5. Vicki, you are alive and sharing your beautiful faith with so many. I love your family and you are an example of Christ every day. Through many trials and heartaches, persevere and our rewards in our Father’s house will be many.

  6. I have seizures and I get so frustrated with my doctor when I go for my check ups and he tells me everything looks good, obviously I’m not or I wouldn’t still be having them. Your posts are really helping be try and be little more postive about it though because it could always be worse.

  7. Thank you for your story. I’ve dealt with many chronic health issues and usually can remember this but each time something new comes up, I have to “relearn” it. I’ve got your blog in my RSS reader now so I can follow your journey.

  8. Thank you Vickie for spreading awareness, your writing is so upfront and honest. MG is a challenge to deal with. I wish the best for you.

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