Disability, Faith

“My grace is sufficient for you…”

I’ll be honest…the past year or so hasn’t been the best in terms of my health.

With that said – I’m not dying or anything like that so don’t worry too much. Technically speaking we’re all dying…but that’s a conversation for another time.

Anyway…

A bit of history: Things were dicey from the time I was born until I was about 13 or 14. Lots of doctors appointments, tests and so on. But my overall health levelled out and from age 14 until about age 35, life was good from a health standpoint. I rarely saw a doctor for anything related to Spina Bifida or really, anything at all. I felt pretty good overall.

I had a good run.

But…starting about 5 years ago, I noticed my mobility declining slowly. Some days were good and some days were not. In the past year, I’ve noticed even steeper declines in mobility and some days give me cause for worry.

As soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning, I know if it’s going to be a good day, or a bad day by how much effort it takes to walk down the hall to the bathroom. Some days, it takes a tremendous amount of effort.

Some days I can barely walk, other days I feel pretty good.

I feel good today.

In the past year, I’ve had 4 MRI’s (soon to be 5) to look at various parts of my body, related to Hydrocephalus and a tethered spinal cord.

The loss of mobility is likely related to one of those issues, or maybe both, but no one knows for sure.

In addition to the mobility issues, there’s concern that my kidneys could have some damage and we’re looking at options to prevent further damage. I’ve got an ultrasound and some other tests in the coming weeks.

I had a doctors appointment at Parkwood Hospital on Monday to discuss various issues…and so far, none of the options presented to me is too exciting… 🙂

There are surgical options for the tethered spinal cord, but there is some risk and the outcome is a crapshoot. It could go well, it could make things worse. When you’re talking about nerves, there’s no way to know.

The kidney thing – well….I’m informed that you really ‘need’ those to last, so we need to figure out how to prevent any damage going forward. I’m fine with drugs…drugs are the most appealing option. I’m hoping they work.

This summer I started to use what I call “the old lady wheelchair” when we’re going somewhere that will require any amount of walking or standing. It’s an old-school cheap, stainless steel wheelchair that someone has to push me around in.

I would like to purchase a new wheelchair that would allow me to be independent when we’re out and about, but they’re about $4,000 and because I technically do not “need” it at home, I don’t qualify for Government funding for this and I don’t have other insurance, so this is a slightly discouraging situation.

It’s a small world

Without realizing it, my world has started to get smaller and smaller. It’s only when I need to do something that I haven’t done in a long time, that I become aware that things have changed.

I no longer go into grocery stores, shopping malls or Best Buy because it’s just too much walking.

Getting from the car into my favourite seat near the side doors of the church is difficult. Some Sundays I get Joy to drop me off at the front door.

I don’t go to the basement rec room anymore. It’s likely been 2 months since I was down there. The trouble isn’t getting up or down the stairs, but the fact that there isn’t a bathroom down there so I prefer to stay on the main or upper levels where there are bathrooms.

If I were to be completely honest, I don’t like it.

I don’t like that I can’t cut my own grass.

I don’t like that I can’t wander through a store on my own, just to see what’s there.

I don’t like that I have to plan every day with a thought to what I can and can’t do or where I can and can’t go.

I worry about needing a more accessible house and we certainly aren’t in a position to do anything about that.

I worry about what this will do to my social life. What will I miss out on, if I use a wheelchair?

Overall, this situation is pretty discouraging…BUT there is hope!

I’m constantly reminded of Paul, in the Bible. He had some sort of illness, disability or mental impairment (no one really knows) and he pleaded with the Lord to take it away from him.

If there was anyone who was eligible for a healing, it would certainly be Paul, but the answer he got was this:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”

huh…Not quite the answer one would hope for, but this got me thinking.

What if our ailments, our hurts, our impossible situations are a chance for Him (the Lord) to show us His power? In MY weakness, the Lord has the ability to work. I don’t understand how, why, when and so on, but I know the Lord doesn’t work in a “willy-nilly” sense, without order and without a plan.

I just don’t know what that plan is!

You see – If we never had any problems, if we never had any ailments, if we never had any impossible situations, how would we ever get the chance to trust in the Lord and to see Him work?

Some will say that the existence of bad things happening in this world (like illness), proves that God isn’t real or that He doesn’t love us.

I just don’t see it that way at all.

I’ve seen Him work before. I’ve seen Him heal before. I’ve seen Him do things that I can’t explain in the past and I’m trusting that He will do it again.

But while I’m waiting for that – I’m holding onto this:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”


Also published on Medium.

5 thoughts on ““My grace is sufficient for you…”

  1. So, what you’re saying is, if I want that cat pee remover, I have to go and get it. OK. When can I invite myself over to see the two of you?

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