It is sneaky. It creeps up on us during the prime of our lives. We initially deny its existence, but it just will not go away. We make excuses for a fall or the inability to do certain things, but something inside tells us “something is wrong.”
Then, when we finally admit we might have ‘it’, fears find a way of wedging their way into our daily thoughts. We feel isolated - alone and begin to imagine the worst. Because the disease is not well known, we have no idea what to expect. All we know is whatever is happening cannot be good.
As the disease progresses, we begin to pray for a miracle, or at least a treatment. We worry about our family’s future. We wonder if we will have to retire early. And, if we do, what does that mean for the family’s financial well-being?
Other little things begin to nag at us. Who will mow the lawn or do the home repairs? Can we afford to send our children to college? The concerns grow, and, they amplify as our strength fades. And, right about then, our manhood is challenged.
Our friends and family notice the change and want to help, but we shut them out. When that happens, all we have left is our hopes and prayers.
The reality is that the disease does progress. Fortunately, it progresses slowly. There are also brief periods of stability. These periods are something we look forward to because they give us time to adjust to our current capabilities. Unfortunately, we are never prepared for the next progression.
Whether the symptoms begin in our twenties or not until our sixties, the only thing we know is our strength and capabilities will decline.
This is “living with Kennedy’s Disease.”
Because the progression is slow, the actual disease is not nearly as bad as the emotional aspects of learning to live with the disease. Our fears are our worst enemy. Once we learn how to control the fears, we begin to adjust and start living again. When that happens, we see …
There is life after Kennedy’s Disease.