I wish I would have paid closer attention in my high school and community college biology classes back in the sixties. As I move far along in my seventies I realize that my body is being challenged by old age.
When my physical therapist evaluated me earlier this year, he asked me if I had ever been evaluated for Parkinson's Disease. One of my M.D.s asked if I wanted a referral for a neurologist. I'm glad I did.
I was diagnosed exactly a week ago. Since then I've experienced various emotions. My wife says, it's part of my new normal. I feel like a deer in the headlights late at night on a Michigan highway. I'm not sure I know which way to move or if I really want to.
So far, I've started the Parkinson's meds to restore dopamine to my neurons to help all sorts of body functions. I've developed a severe stoop when I walk most of the time. I have trouble getting off soft chairs and couches and I've had a problem with severe constipation during the past few years.
My declining voice which has been reduced to a whisper most of the time has been a real problem. Used to have a low voice, it's barely understandable. I'm going to a speech therapist for special retraining of my voice. It's LSVT Loud designed for Parkinson's patients.
Then there's the joint pain which seems to be getting better as I take the meds. I never had hip pain until the past few months. Tonight, it's gone, but I'm not sure for how long.
How do I feel about the future? The apostle Paul said in Romans that with the Holy Spirit's help, we need to be "Joyful in hope and patient in affliction." I want to be joyful in all this. I won't be dancing down the street, but with God's help I can be joyful in hope.