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    MCJULIEO   177,109
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The Good Doctor, the Great Physician, the Death Sentence... and Me (Part 1)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

My husband is a very good doctor, the kind of small town Christian family doctor that people run up to and hug at the grocery store or at the county fair. His medical colleagues respect and even love him, looking to him for leadership and guidance within their professional world, and he has served on boards all over our community for more than 30 years.

When Steve was diagnosed with ALS on his 62nd birthday last September, it was like a death sentence. Unlike a brain tumor or some other kind of cancer, there is no cure, and very few treatments. We were challenged and overwhelmed, but as believers in Christ we know that there is NOTHING that enters our lives without the Lord knowing about it, that everything is Father-filtered for our good and His glory. Looking through our tears, we could be sure that the Great Physician knew we were hurting, and would accompany us on this hard journey.

Quick Facts:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them. Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.
- ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries, and the average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis.

From being a healthy active outdoorsman as recently as just 18 months ago (taught SCUBA in college, backpacked the Chisos Mountains, canoed the Boundary Waters Wilderness along the Canada border), the DH has had to close his practice, and has become wheelchair bound and totally dependent on others for the most common activities. His speech is dreadfully impaired so he uses a machine to help him communicate, and his medication can only sometimes relieve his constant struggle with muscle spasms. My best friend is hurting, and so I do, too.

All this and we are determined to take one day at a time. In short, I may not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.
(to be continued)
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELIZACG9 2/18/2014 11:56AM

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IAMFRANSGIRL 2/6/2013 1:22PM

    emoticon May you both find strength in your faith.

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DOVESEYES 2/5/2013 11:36PM

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CLPURNELL 2/5/2013 7:51PM

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LINTPICKER 2/5/2013 5:39PM

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BLUEANGELLK 2/5/2013 5:24PM

    Amen.

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MERRYMARY42 2/5/2013 5:08PM

    Thank You for sharing your story, we are all here for you, and as you already know, you are not alone

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F8CONE8 2/5/2013 3:31PM

    Julie - Thank you for sharing this with us. We all forget sometimes just how precious the good times are. Your strong faith and letting the great Navigator take control of this journey you are on is an inspiration. emoticon

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MRE1956 2/5/2013 1:35PM

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WALLAHALLA 2/5/2013 11:32AM

    What a blessing you are to him. He chose well when picking his help-mate for life.

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IMPROVINGME 2/5/2013 11:22AM

    I'm sure it must have been very difficult for you to write this, Julie, but I'm glad that you're letting all your SparkFriends know what your DH and your entire family are going through.

Yes, looking through your tears, you can be sure that the Great Physician knows you are hurting, and will accompany you on this hard journey.


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WOLFKITTY 2/5/2013 10:36AM

    Hugs, Julie. Life is unpredictable, but certainly worth living.
Lots of love to you and yours,
Jocelyn

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OBIESMOM2 2/5/2013 10:28AM

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a friend lost his wife to ALS a few years back. You & your family are in my prayers.
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TUESDAYBEAR 2/5/2013 9:36AM

    Your message touched my heart, not only as a Christian, but as the niece of a wonderful man who did not let ALS define him. Rather, he let God be his strength, and we are all better for it.

I will be praying daily for strength for your husband, and for you. You are absolutely right - God holds your future. And He will keep the both of you in His arms.

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SONYALATRECE 2/5/2013 9:34AM

    Amen! He is in my prayers.
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AKATHLEEN54 2/5/2013 9:33AM

    God bless you both in your troubled times. As a nurse I know that is no easy especially when it is happening to you and to someone you love so dearly. I pray that you find strength in your faith and you know you always have an abundance of friends within this community that will be there to offer you love and support. God Bless emoticon

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LOSE4LIFE47 2/5/2013 9:31AM

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