Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wisdom and Courage is what is needed

serenity-landscapeIf you follow my blog, you know that “finding acceptance” is why I started writing these articles and continues to be what I am searching for today. Acceptance, in my opinion, can take many forms.  What I am writing about today will use the Serenity Prayer for the basis of my thoughts.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
  • Accepting that I have Kennedy’s Disease was easy. DNA tests confirmed that I had the defective gene. And, because I had two brothers already diagnosed with Kennedy’s Disease, denial was out of the question.
  • Accepting that I cannot change what Kennedy’s Disease does to my motor neurons and muscles was more difficult and cost me earlier in life. How much it cost is still up for debate, but there was a cost. In those days I was unaware that over-exercising can do more harm than good. I felt that if I worked even harder on weight and cardio training that I would be stronger and the atrophy would be less noticeable. Boy was I wrong.
  • Changing what I can took me several more years. In fact, I am still changing things.
    • It all began with my smart exercise program. It changed my life for the better, but I was still missing something.
    • Later, a physical therapist who had experience with degenerative disorders designed an even better exercise program that I am still using today.
    • Beginning to take dutasteride was a shot in the dark. I went with the recommendations of a neurologist and researcher who I respect, but did not have a clue as to what the results would be (positive and negative). Fortunately, the last fifteen months have been very positive and possibly the best year of my recent life in regards to managing and minimizing the progression.
    • Courage is a good word to explain my journey, because making these changes did not come easy. Fortunately, I keep a journal and this helps me review and understand what works and what doesn’t.
courage symbol
  • Wisdom to know the difference is what I am still working on today. There is a fine line between accepting and giving up or in to something. I never want to give up or give in. I want to go down fighting. In fact, I need to go down fighting. But, I need to be smart about it also.
    • For example: Deciding to use a wheelchair as my primary mobility device was difficult, but necessary when I learned what might happen to me if I had a bad fall again. It took courage to make that change, but I believe it made a major difference in my life. Living in fear that the next fall might cripple me for life is no way to live.
    • As this health condition continues to progress, I need to continually review my capabilities and the options available to me.
    • Fortunately, I have an understanding and smart wife who continually challenges me to be consider the options and encourages me on. She is a blessing in my life.

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