Sunday, March 30, 2008

Doubting Thomas

I've always hated sermons that say that Thomas didn't have to touch Jesus's wounds--my experience of wanting my wounds to be touched has been so strong. But today I read a wonderful sermon that gives a much deeper context for my reactions. Easter is fundamentally incarnational, fundamentally about Jesus having a body.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Learning about Parkinson's

I am very grateful to the former therapist who told me that one of the best ways to deal with a major life change is to be obsessed with it for a year. So I don't feel so badly about obsessively researching Parkinson's disease, to the point where I sometimes sound like I am the one with the disease, not my husband. I've learned several useful things. The neurologist said it was ok for my husband to take his Sinemet with protein at this stage but I learned that milk can particularly interfere with it getting into the brain. He avoided milk yesterday morning and felt the medicine was more effective. I like Patients Like Me, which not only has a forum but also gathers data, so you can see what are the most common medications and dosages. I also find the medical forums at the National Parkinson Foundation helpful. I struggle with thinking about caregiving; I found a long article in the Washington Post discouraging.

Friday, March 21, 2008

safely home

Just over 1400 miles of driving in 6 days, without fights or even significant complaining from the kids. They spent a lot of time watching Anime DVDs (Full Metal Alchemist) on a laptop. We stayed four nights with cousins who have two year old twins (and a five year old)--I don't know how they do it.

Our travels went very smoothly, from picking up my daughter at the metro after visiting Goucher College in Baltimore with my son to driving through Washington DC (on Rock Creek Parkway) to avoid traffic on the Beltway Thursday morning to stopping at the North Carolina welcome center and getting a great price on a motel in Greensboro. Of the colleges we visited the later part of the week, we were particularly impressed by Mary Washington.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


A couple of pictures from the drive north.
Natural Bridge was bigger than I expected:

Luray Caverns is pretty commercial, but pretty spectacular:

My daughter is enjoying the museums in DC, my son liked St. John's Annapolis. I was very impressed by what a supportive environment it is.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

spring break

I am taking my kids to Washington for a week of museums and college visits (St. John's Annapolis, Goucher, Mary Washington). It is the first time I've taken my kids on that long a car trip, and my husband isn't coming. So anyone who is so inclined please pray for us. I will miss walking the walk through Holy Week--I probably won't be able to get to any services until the Easter Vigil.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sons and Daughters of Dear Old Clemson 10k

It was a cold (low 40s) windy morning with low clouds. I got to the race site half an hour before the race began, and that was much more time than I needed. There were maybe only 30 people racing, but I was determined to do the race because it is in my town and is a 10k. I prefer not to do 5k races because afterwards I'm sore and have to take several days off from running, and I haven't actually run very far. A 10k is more worth it.

My goal was to hurt in order to burn off stress. I did try to start off slowly because I hadn't warmed up much. The first mile is mostly downhill, but judging from my heart rate the excitement at the beginning of a race makes me go fast. I was last from the very beginning, but there were two women about 50 to 100 yards ahead of me the whole race so it wasn't as lonely as it sometimes is.

I didn't actually hurt, except a twinge in my leg for maybe half a mile in the middle. I slacked off a bit in the middle, but the last mile I really did try to catch the women ahead of me, withou any success.

mile splits/heart rate from my Garmin:
1 12:43 94%
2 13:20 90%
3 13:22 89%
4 13:56 83%
5 14:52 86% (steepest long hill)
6 14:05 88%
6.36 5:16 87%

Time on the clock 1:27:08, compared to a few seconds over 1:17 last year. What hurts is the people who think I am walking, when I think I am running.

Friday, March 07, 2008

a new world

We didn't think it would happen so fast. Not quite two weeks ago my husband and I started discussing some concerns we both had about his health. Today a neurologist said to him "You definitely have Parkinson's disease." He doesn't have a tremor, but it turns out that 25% of cases of Parkinson's don't start with a tremor. He doesn't want it generally talked about, but I figure no one who knows him reads this blog except a few close friends of mine. It does make the world look different.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


I got to part of my church's annual retreat at Kaunuga, and I squeezed in all my favorite things. I took a walk up to Long Rocks admiring the details.

And I took my favorite bike ride. In the winter I particularly admire an orchard on Evans Road, which is pruned in an unusual style.

My husband's recovery has been slower than expected, but no major problems.