Good days, bad days and part-time handicaps

Good days and bad days

Yes, you saw me riding my bicycle again. Yes, I have a handicap hang tag for my car. What about it? I have good days, bad days and part-time handicaps.

Part-time handicaps and part-time faith

I saw the recognition in his eyes when I pedaled past him walking his dog. My feet securely clipped to the pedals, I logged about ten miles. When I got into my car, I noticed the blue edge of my hang tag peeking out from behind the papers in the side pocket. I haven’t touched it since June. You see, I have part-time handicaps and part-time faith.

If you know my story, you know the Lord mandated a year of Sabbath rest for me. For exactly fifty-two weeks I intermittently used a wheelchair or scooter and consistently parked in handicapped parking, IF I was even strong enough to get out of the house.

My other handicap is gradually improving too. I am able to play nine holes of golf as long as I don’t waste any effort on practice swings.  I finally look normal. Well, I definitely have a new normal.

THE OLD NORMAL

I was caught in a trap of endless activities. Honestly, it was stressful and exhausting; exhilarating and rewarding; and most of all it was fun. The shrill tone of my beeper routinely interrupted my sleep and created extra-large bags under my eyes so big I needed a porter to carry them. About the time I crawled back into the comfort of my bed and settled in, my alarm rudely called me out. Despite arriving to work early, I got behind and felt oppressed under pressure to hurry through the day life. The phone rang incessantly and I felt as if I were drowning and people were pouring water over my head. I developed super-human powers such as inhaling meals, changing into scrubs at the speed of light (sans phone booth) and leaping up the stairs in a single bound. Well, maybe not a single bound, but close. It was the most demanding, most fulfilling career I could have possibly chosen.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world

Ecclesiates 3:9, “What does the worker gain from his struggles?” HCSB

MY NEW NORMAL

Instead of being the doctor, now I am the patient. Rather than worrying about how many patients are on my schedule, I have to schedule my life around appointments. I exceed my maximum out-of-pocket expenses for insurance every year by spring. Instead of writing prescriptions, I fill them – lots of them. If I conscientiously coordinate my refills I can pare down my pharmacy visits to merely twice a month. I only swallow twelve pills a day now, which is an improvement from sixteen. I never know how I am going to feel today or tomorrow. As an added bonus, every three weeks I spend an entire day in the hospital for an intravenous infusion.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world

Hebrews 13:15, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” NIV

BLESSINGS IN ADVERSITY

It may seem odd, but myasthenia gravis has brought many blessings. I would never have chosen it, but I’m not sure I would trade it either. To be completely honest, some days I hate it. Actually, every day I hate it. Strangely, as I have improved I am struggling more to accept my limitations. On days I feel like “normal” is almost within reach I do too much and pay the price. I wind up wasted for a couple of weeks. When I am tempted to be sad, I remind myself of the gifts I have been given through chronic illness. I have been given the gift of time. Previously, I wondered if I would have enough time in the day, now I wonder if I have enough day to fill the time. Fortunately, I have discovered how much I enjoy spending time with my parents. I have reconnected with dear old friends and made new ones who are really special. I don’t miss the alarm, my fingernails cut to the nub or those over-sized bags under my eyes. I do miss unlimited strength, the ability to exercise and consistently feeling good. I force myself to focus on the joys of sitting on the porch, drinking a leisurely cup of coffee, mani/pedis, time with my kids, lunch with friends, blogging, speaking and writing.

James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” ESV

NOT WHO I AM

Last week I had a procedure done. When the nurse brought the consent form, I signed the wrong line. I’ve probably signed that form ten-thousand times. Out of habit, I signed on the physician line instead of the patient line. Funny how my old identity seems so long ago. On rare occasions someone calls me Dr. Henderson, it sounds odd. It is what I did,  but it’s not who I am.

Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold.” NASB

Today I have been hardly able to get off the couch. Oh you saw me on the golf course? Well, that was my good day.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world

I don’t know all of the reasons God’s chose this path for me, but as long as it is His plan, I will walk it. Unless I am too weak, then He will have to carry me. I have good days, bad days and part-time faith. Whatever situation you are going through, I encourage you to open your eyes and look for the hidden blessings. Offer God a sacrifice of praise, because if you focus on the pain you will soon need anesthesia. I know, but I try not to stay there. Fix your eyes on the blessings in adversity and allow God to use it for His good purposes.

And you won’t trade it for the world

Focus on the pain and you will soon need anesthesia#sacrificeofpraise#rightsideuplife. Click To Tweet

Romans 8:28, “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” MSG

14 thoughts on “Good days, bad days and part-time handicaps

  1. This article infused me with some good perspective and a smile in my heart. Glad to be reminded there are hidden blessings and to offer a sacrifice of praise to Him. I actually experienced excitement in my heart, knowing you are right! Had to chuckle that you signed on the physician line. You are so funny. May God bless your days whether golfing or couching!!!

  2. I do hate my physical limitations but now I have time to visit my grandsons on a regular basis. Now there is ample time to pursue my musical interests such that they are now my musical adventures because I don’t know how they will unfold. Being a therapist was my past and it is certainly not who I am these days. It’s weird to have to quit working a fast heavy schedule. I do prefer the slower pace of my life. Now I’m able to devote many hours to my first true love, music. Fame? Not likely though I did meet another person that knows me from my folk music shows. Big bucks? Don’t make me laugh. Lots of fun? That is for sure. I’m very thankful for my many blessings. I’m able to live in relative comfort because I have a climate controlled house and truck. …….☮ph

  3. This arrived just as needed. It’s so hard to be couched when you’ve spent a couple days feeling so normal that you almost forget. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for the encouraging words. Choice…It’s a a word that God is infusing deep into my soul. Chose this day…Whom you will serve…God or self. Do I look for the blessings in adversity? or Do i look at the adversity and try to fight against it? Intentional, Purposeful, …I have a choice each day to live with intentional purpose for God or Impulsive, fleshly desire to be self-sufficient. Thank you Vicki for sharing your insight in the midst of this journey. It truly allows God to speak through you. Much can be gleaned through these blogs! I always look forward to what God will speak to me through your sharing.

  5. Thanks you so much for your inspiring message. I’m very thankful my dear friend Gretchen sent me your info and how I can receive your posts!

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