Parkinson’s Was Taking His Ministry And His Life But Then God
For nearly a decade, Pastor Robbie Willis, 37, has been dealing with physical struggles that doctors were unable to properly diagnose. Fainting spells, tremors, and extreme weakness after exertion had left doctors perplexed. Being a Pentecostal minister, oftentimes by the end of a sermon at Mulberry First Assembly of God, he could barely remain standing to pray with people.
But God would do something so miraculous in his life that Robbies skeptical neurosurgeon was left just shaking his head unwilling to accept the miraculous, but unable to explain it any other way.
However, for a physical miracle to occur, suffering is almost always a prerequisite.
People would often comment about what a loving couple we were, says Anna May, Robbies wife of 18 years, because after Robbie preached, I would often go up and put my arm around his waist and he would have an arm around my shoulder as he walked around to pray with people. What most people didnt realize was I had him by his belt, helping to hold him up.
The Willises, who have five children ages 7 to 13, including two children who they adopted, believed in their call to ministry while also praying for years for Robbies healing. But their prayers seemed to go unheeded as not even doctors could determine what was causing all the symptoms Robbie was experiencing.
Then the bottom fell out.
For Anna May, the struggle was between what she believed in and what she saw happening in front of her eyes.
But was he healed?
How Does Faith Impact Care
What does all this data reflect? With such a diverse landscape of religious beliefs and sometimes differing rituals associated with some, the question is: How does the medical community safely treat people living with Parkinsons disease while maintaining the balance between medical protocol and freedom of religion?
For example, in the Muslim faith, illness is treated through prayer and patience which may not be practical, medically speaking. Some African and Asian influenced religions require the burning of incense over the body for healing. Other religions have restrictions on autopsies and organ donations. So where do we draw the line without discriminating against religious freedoms and maintaining a sanitary medical environment?
When we acknowledge and attempt to understand in a compassionate way that religious beliefs and medical protocol sometimes are on a collision course, we are open to establishing new and unique experiences and outcomes in treating the diverse Parkinsons community.
Prayers Against Parkinsons Disease And Other Old Age Dilablitating Diseases
Eternal Father in heaven, I feel very much ashamed to present my request for healing to You my Lord. I am a great sinner.My sins are too many to merit your loving kindness. However I know that You are a compassionate Father that forgives and forgets all our trespasses no matter how heavy they are. I sincerely apologize for my sins against You and my fellow humans. Having forgiven my sins I therefore request you stretch Your healing hands on me and cure all diseases in my body especially the tremor in my hands and legs. I pray You give me the grace to develop the faith to rely on You my Lord. I pray through Jesus Christ our Savior Amen.
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Feeding Our Faith Not Our Fears
Every morning and evening, my sisters routine is to spend time in prayer, then watch some religious programs on television. She attends church when she is able to engage in fellowship with others.
In article published in Neurology, researchers investigate how faith and spirituality are affected by PD. They found that patients generally maintain their faith or spirituality, regardless of disease severity. Also, their involvement in a religious community and attendance at places of worship did not decrease, despite their disability.
Although my sisters faith is strong, Im sure that Bev must feel like her body is betraying her, given her current cognitive, balance, and walking issues. She has expressed to me that she sometimes feels out of control. Bev told me one day, I used to be able to echocardiograms, but now I have trouble remembering appointments!
Brad Dell, director of columns for BioNews , wrote a column for Cystic Fibrosis News Today about his experience with faith while dealing with chronic illness and loss of control. He said, When I felt small and thrown to the unpredictable winds, I desperately clawed for any semblance of control and yearned for spiritual answers as to why all things hurt. Its hard not to consider questions of purpose when your own body tries to murder you.
Faith and spirituality may reduce stress, decrease anxiety and depression, and offer hope and a sense of purpose to those with chronic illnesses like PD.
Rabbi Berlands Prayer For Parkinsons Disease To Disappear
The following is translated from Rabbi Eliezer Berlands compendium of prayers in the Refuah Shleimah booklet. To get the prayer in the original Hebrew, you can buy the booklet HERE.
Master of the world, Creator of remedies awesome in His praises just like you performed miracles and wonders for Daniel the charming man = 2775 who rode on and overcame 1464 lions, so too perform miracles and wonders for . in the blink of an eye = 435 in the merit of the Tzadik the foundation of the world = 435.
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Life With Parkinsons Disease Part 3 Of 3
In Part One of this series, we pointed out a few of the lesser-known indicators of Parkinsons Disease. Interestingly, when I asked Shanon Weselake what she misses most from her pre-PD days, her answers tie in with those less familiar symptoms.
I miss being able to do things quickly. Today I was out walking, thinking I was just motoring along, when this woman passed me on the left and in a few seconds was way ahead of me. I could have sworn I was going that fast too, but apparently not.
Acknowledging Different Belief Systems
Parkinsons certainly does not discriminate! It affects the Buddhist as well as the Christian, the Hindu as it does the Catholic and once we educate our medical providers and change the way we treat Parkinson’s while accommodating reasonable religious requests, the outcomes will improve.
Whether your faith is a religious experience or relaxation techniques, reiki, yoga or a combination thereof, I urge you – especially if you are in the medical community – to be sensitive to the needs of your patients.
In closing, Id like to thank the World Parkinson Coalition for its diligence in providing such thought provoking breakout sessions that change the way we think about and treat those living with Parkinsons disease. My faith has been an integral part of my personal treatment of PD.
Ive evoked prayer and meditation before, during and after treatments and for Deep Brain Stimulation surgery and attribute my nearly 23 years of living well with PD to my faith.
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Facing Parkinson’s With Courage
Grant me the courage to change what I can change
It takes a lot of courage to absorb a diagnosis of Parkinsons and find a way to be proactive in living with the condition. Whether its their efforts with exercise, diet, mindfulness, getting enough sleep, volunteering, going to support groups, or simply just keeping up with a routine of doctors visits that in itself can seem like a part-time job.
I so admire the many folks with Parkinsons Ive met who demonstrate the courage to change their lives in the ways needed to keep Parkinsons at bay.
Learning To Accept A Diagnosis
The grace to accept what cant be changed
Although I remain very hopeful that well see advances in the treatment of PD, and perhaps even preventative methods or cures, in coming years and decades, for the time being Parkinsons remains a progressive incurable disease. Acceptanceoomph!
Yet in this territory of acceptance, surrender, grace, or whatever you call it, I have seen people with Parkinsons display remarkable serenity. Several people have even told me that accepting the reality of their disease has led to realizing a higher quality of life than theyd ever had before due to their growing ability to appreciate each moment.
At the end of a movement lesson I was teaching, one of my students with PD said, “I just need a new body – where can I sign up for that?!?” It was one of the countless examples I’ve seen in the Parkinson’s community of the kind of acceptance that becomes livable through humor.
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It is believed that King David of Israel might have had Parkinsons disease. If that is true, then couldnt it be possible that some of the other diseases we live with today could have been around during King Davids time? Diseases and illnesses such as breast cancer, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and so much more likely played a part in history. After all, according to Christopher G. Goetz of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the shaking palsy was first diagnosed by physician James Parkinson in 1817, who described it as a neurological syndrome. Earlier texts, including some from India around 1000 B.C. and some ancient Chinese texts, describe symptoms of what might have been Parkinsons.
If Parkinsons disease really did play a role in King Davids life, then it is probable that those diseases from long ago still exist to some degree today. Couldnt it be more than likely that Parkinsons is one of those diseases referred to when the Apostle Matthew wrote, Jesus went through all the towns and villages healing every disease and sickness.
Can you imagine what it would have been like as a person with Parkinsons disease to be healed on that day? The day of healing every disease and sickness? To be walking down the street one minute, mistaken for a drunk with uncontrolled limbs, slurred speech, and constant tripping? You stop near this man who claims he can heal you and you think, What have I got to lose?
And you wait.
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