Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Latest Update and Additional Thoughts

Just a quick update on my condition before I share some additional thoughts. I am slowly regaining some strength. My overall pain level is down somewhat, but my lower legs really hurt. My walking is still slowly improving, but I still tire easily. My peripheral vision seems better. I will check for pin-pricks early next week. I am excited about the improvements. Thanks again for your prayers.

I am by nature a person who likes to work and be busy. I was brought up that way. Like many of you, hard work was expected of me from childhood forward. As a youngster, I worked some with my Uncle Buck, or with various men from the church on different jobs that usually involved digging, grunting, or carrying something very heavy. These were always the dirtiest jobs they did not like to do--I loved it.

When we moved to the country in 1970, I was responsible for working the garden on a daily basis. We had about an acre of beans, corn, tomatoes, squash, etc. I plowed, hoed, pulled weeds, sprayed bugs, picked, sweated, and ate well. Two weeks before I turned sixteen, I began work at Dundee Textile Mill No. 5 in the Spinning Department. I was a "lint head." I worked a split second shift (4:00 PM to 8:00 PM one week then 8:00 to 12:00 AM the next) during school, and full-time when school was not in session. When I met Cathy, I worked for her dad after school and on weekends. We built concrete pools. I serviced, maintained, and repaired a regular account of about twenty swimming pools, weekly in the summer.

Even as a pastor, especially in the small churches and while in school, I worked extra jobs. I have been a school cafeteria janitor, substitute bus driver, substitute teacher (I lost my mind for a few weeks), typesetter and printer, and self-taught computer technician and repairman. I was a busy boy. In my full-time pastorates, like most pastors, I work well over forty hours a week and that does not include the time studying and preparing on nights and weekends. It takes a long time to find a good preaching sermon on Saturday night (ha! ha!).

Since Cathy and I have been married, we have worked together in adding on to, or remodeling three different houses and doing lots of landscaping. There was no task I would not take on. There was no project I would not face. Bring it on! If I do not know how to do something, I will learn how and then do it.

I was strong, vibrant, in-charge, and often felt invincible. Not to different from how most men feel in their prime of life. But, things change, and change they do!

A lot of men face this change after they retire and their health begins to take a downturn. With modern medical technology and our longer life-span, this change does not often manifest itself for many men until well in their eighties. Now, women change too, but more gracefully and in different aspects from men.

My change began at age fifty-three, while still in the prime of life. No, I'm not talking about having a mid-life crisis. I cannot afford a sports car and I would not be patient enough to be re-trained by another woman (Cathy is stuck with me). Cathy would probably blog here, "he would be to grumpy for any other woman to put up with him." True. Someone asked Cathy the other day, "did you wake up grumpy? "No" she replied, "I let him sleep."

So, what change am I talking about? Vulnerability! That's for my next blog, probably on Saturday or Sunday.

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