The Gift That Keeps on Taking

I’ve already shared part of the GMA interview with Michael J. Fox regarding his new book A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future in my previous blog post, but there was another part of his interview that I loved hearing him talk about.  When George Stephanopoulos (which makes me want to say Snuffaluffagus), asks Michael about his Parkinsons, Michael calls it the “gift that keeps on taking.”  Michael goes on to say this…

“I was on a path, a terrific path.  I had a good career and family, but I didn’t realize how precious all that was.  It had this huge course change that at first glance was about a loss – but as I learned to sit with it and looked at it, the hole that was created started to fill in with all this amazing stuff.  It’s just been this tremendous journey that I wouldn’t have embarked on otherwise.”


Some of you reading this may or may not know about a recent diagnosis in Ol’ Blue Eyes and my life.  Ol’ Blue Eyes was diagnosed back in October with Muscular Tension Dysphonia.  Basically, the muscles in and around his neck and vocal cords tighten so severely that he looses his voice.  Causes?  Stress.  There is no way to consciously relax those muscles, so the only treatment for this is to get Botox injections into the vocal cords.  While we were thankful that this was not something like cancer, we were still sad, shocked, depressed, etc. because there is no cure.  This is something that he will have to manage the rest of his life.  Not having a voice is a disability, and when you go to speak, you get anxiety because you don’t know if your voice will be there for you or not.  It was a huge loss to him.  How was he going to work around this?  How would he communicate in meetings?  How?

So, we scheduled his 1st Botox shot in December.  The down side of the shot is that you totally loose your voice, completely, before you slowly get it back.  Ummm… that’s traumatic.  Here you are struggling to hold onto the voice you have left.  Then you get a shot, which is not a fun one, to give you your voice back, and that shot makes you loose what you have completely.  This lasts for a few weeks to a month.  Crazy!

My point in all of this is to say that I loved Michael’s perspective.  This was a huge hole for us.  What are we filling it with?  What things/illnesses/issues, etc. have happened in your life that have left a huge hole?  What journey have you embarked on that you never would have before if it weren’t for this thing/issue/illness?  What have you filled that hole with?

Well, here’s something that I love that has happened out of our journey.  The shot was a success, and Ol’ Blue Eyes has been doing well.  His voice does get fatigued time to time, and then he gets real quiet.  This gives us an opportunity to converse with our eyes.  Many times, entire conversations!  Here’s a recent one.

Me:  Are you sure you want another brownie?  You haven’t even gone to workout in a month?
Yes I’m sure, and I’m going to go in the morning.
That’s what you always say.
I know, but I mean it this time.  I’m setting my alarm for in the morning.
I don’t believe you.
I know babe.  I love you.
I love you too.
Wanna cuddle here beside me?
I love you babe.
I love you too honey.  We’re gonna get through this.
I know babe, I know.

I think I understand what Michael is saying.  I love our eye conversations.  That hole? It’s beginning to fill with some great stuff, and taking us on a journey we may have never embarked on.

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