Thursday, January 17, 2013

Non-gay-related call for prayers

I have a dear, dear friend who is facing a very discouraging medical diagnosis.

She has a degenerative disease that leaves her bedridden for 22 hours a day.  Sometimes she can rob Peter to pay Paul and spend a few hours out on the town tonight, but it means that she won't be getting out of bed tomorrow at all. She can't spend more than a few minutes in the same position without excruciating pain, which means that every night she wakes up every hour in misery and has to roll over in her sleep.

With so much time spent in bed, she finds unique ways to fill her time.  She enjoys crocheting, knitting and quilting, and she's taken a lively interest in family history.  Her hobbies, while decidedly old-fashioned, leave her feeling fulfilled because most of what she makes and does ends up being a gift for someone else (I once intercepted an e-mail my mom printed off from her and then accidentally left on the table that said that she was making me a bow tie for Christmas).

Well, I still haven't received that bow tie because shortly before Christmas her degenerative disease left her in so much pain that she couldn't concentrate on anything.  And then, shortly after Christmas, she started feeling extreme dizziness that meant that she couldn't open her eyes without feeling intense nausea.  She literally didn't open her eyes for a week because of the vertigo.

Finally, she went to see a doctor and heard the saddest news since she was initially diagnosed four years ago.  While the exact cause of her dizziness and nausea is not clear, it is something neurological and unrelated to her prior condition. Additionally, the same event that did damage to her sense of balance has also affected her eyes.  She can no longer track her eyes and has taken an extreme drop in the clarity of her vision, which is likely irreversible.

This girl has been through so much.  I know it's easy to put people on pedestals when you pity them, but what few negative qualities she might have would not doom her to this kind of poor health if this world was fair.  When she heard the news that her vision might never return, she realized that the only hobbies she was able to maintain since being diagnosed with her first condition might no longer become possible.

My reasons for posting this are threefold:  One, I want to brag about what a good friend I am to her (those of you who know me in person are now stifling laughs of incredulity).

Two, I'm hoping that someone out there has enough of a direct line with God to help ease her burdens. We've been praying for her for years and if anything, her condition is worsening.  I know (and she knows) that the Lord has a plan for her and that it might include a life of incredible hardship.  But prayer is a powerful drug and just might be what she needs. Besides, it's all we can do.

Three, if anyone has an idea of what a legally blind shut-in could do to occupy her time and enrich the lives of those around her, please, e-mail me or leave a comment here.  She's optimistic that she can learn to knit and crochet by feel, but to ease the transition, is there anything else she could do?

This blogging community is incredibly selfless. I've seen some of you do some amazing things for complete strangers. I'm not so full of myself to think that I reach a huge audience, but those of you who read can do great things.  Please, I'm all ears to any suggestions as to how I can better help my friend. All I have right now is empathy and while she needs it as much as anything, I want to do more.  So help me, eh?


Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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