List of my insufficiencies

Kermit. Miss Piggy. Animal. Rowlf the Dog. Beaker. Fozzy Bear. The Electric Mayhem.  Statler and Waldorf. Rizzo the Rat. The Swedish Chef. (Just to name a few.) If you have ever seen any of the Muppet movies or The Muppet Show episodes, I am sure you can envision the characters, the voices, the humor. And sometimes God uses the strangest Muppet analogies to give me humor in spite of my insufficiencies.

This past weekend, I started my notes of things that need to be discussed with the doctors tomorrow. I see a team of different specialists: my main doctor for the MRI results and treatment plan; a pain team management doctor for the tumors in my hands and the pain in my neck/upper back; a follow-up with my doctor for the blood clot and a few others. It is a long day–early to late in the afternoon with all the evaluations being meticulous, but repetitive. There are the talks of future possibilities, different treatment options available, different steps or things to watch. My brain about half through goes into standby. So I started bringing a list. I do better with lists. I am a note-taker person. It helps me focus and understand or stay awake. 🙂

So this list is all the changes that have occurred in my physical body since my February visit. After my scribbles of a list was finished, I put my pen down and cracked my knuckles. (I know you are not supposed to do this, but it feels good and I figure my fingers are already worse off anyway.) I look at my hands and start to laugh. Out of nowhere I remember my MRI experience from last Thursday. That day, I thought I would take a nap during the scan, but the technician asked if I wanted a movie. I looked at the list anyway and figured I would just watch something fun and that I have seen before so if I fell asleep then it was no big deal. I skim the options fast and choose what I see as “Muppets.” Now assuming this was The Muppet Movie, I get cozy with my arms strapped in and headgear set in place. The movie starts and this is no Muppet beginning…it is Muppets from Space and I think, “Oh boy. I haven’t seen this in forever!” The first fifteen or so minutes, I was breathing so hard through my nose, because it was the only way I could keep from laughing!

I did end up falling asleep during the movie, but I don’t think I would have ever thought of this on my own if I had not watched that particular movie, because unlike the other movies where Kermit and Miss Piggy are the lead characters, this time it was Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat. Gonzo. Classic character. Classic nose.


See that nose? If you are wondering how my left ring finger now looks as it continues to curl in–think Gonzo’s nose. It matches. Find the humor in the analogy and laugh. It’s ok, because I already did.

In making my list for the doctors, I found the “head and shoulders, knees and toes” song was the best way to organize my list so I started with my hearing; then my neck and upper back–more pressure and getting hard again to stand up straight or hold up my chin; my arm and hands–besides the “Gonzo nose” finger, my left middle finger has significantly started to curl as well. Whereas my right hand just went completely numb to my elbow making things like holding pens, buttoning my pants, putting in bobby pins, holding cups or texting, holding my toothbrush, tying my shoes, pouring coffee from the pot and typing more of a daunting task than they should be. My bowels still deal with constipation; and my legs/feet are weak. I can hardly get up off the floor or when I bend over to pet Muffy, if I am not holding on to something then I easily loose my balance and occasionally just fall over. Strange though, I have not had any pain spasms–Charlie Horse cramps in the legs–but no pain spasms!

I usually look at my list and I see my life becoming less independent. And if there is one thing in life that would be the hardest to surrender, it is my independence. It was the reason last year that I struggled so hard with moving back home. But where I could only focus on the losing part, God had bigger plans and he has been helping me to see that I can still live fully on my own. I just have a few speed bumps that take a bit slower t0 get over. Yes, there are days when I am completely frustrated at my hands or cry and say, “A 25 year old should not have this problem!” (like not being able to button my pants.) But to see past my insufficiencies helps me to see how blessed I truly am, because I have resources available to help and when the resources can’t, my family can.

Over the past few months, things of this have been changing: I got my own plates, bowls and cups that I can hold better; I have my special silverware and we just ordered more because I constantly use my fork and spoon now as it is. (See utensils here.) We also just ordered a button hook so I can button my pants; coiler elastic shoelaces so I don’t have to worry about tying my shoes or bending over when they come untied; and I bought hairbands so I don’t always have to use bobby pins. If I go clothes shopping, I have to be able to put the outfit on myself or I don’t buy it; I went back to wearing dangling earrings, because most often they don’t need backs so I don’t have to worry about trying to hold the tiny piece of metal; I gave away all but a few cd’s as I came to a peace about losing my hearing; and have been getting really good at finger poking at the keyboard when my hands otherwise are too tired or cramped to type in a normal fashion.

I don’t know what kind of results tomorrow will show or what I will be doing in this next month or the rest 0f the year, but as I gather my list of insufficiencies, I remember that when I can’t…He can.

I think I can’t, I think I can’t
But I think You can, I think You can
I think I can’t, I think I can’t
But I think You can, I think You can
Gather my insufficiencies and
place them in Your hands, place them in Your hands, place them in Your hands

~Relient K, “For the Moments I Feel Faint”

Other resources:


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Hospital Trips

14 responses to “List of my insufficiencies

  1. Karla Rooney

    Thinking and praying for you tomorrow Melinda. You are one amazing person. Love, Karla

    Date: Wed, 29 May 2013 21:16:21 +0000 To:

  2. Jane Thomas

    I’m praying for you Melinda! Your Godly attitude and thankful heart are amazing! I love you dear friend and will be thinking of you tomorrow. Keep me posted! Love, Jane

    • mel

      Thanks for praying Jane. I almost didn’t have an interpreter, but then they called and we got it figured out and I had a great time chatting in between doctors with my interpreter. 🙂 It always helps pass the time too. 😀 I thought of you and how you could do the same. 🙂

  3. Sheri

    Love, love, love your attitude, girl!! You always make me smile. You are truly amazing. I am excited to start the book you got me. Thank you so much! Love you!

    • mel

      I am so glad you got the book! I hope you enjoy it. I could not put it down..I laughed and cried. 🙂 Thanks for your prayers for me and the family. Love to you!

  4. negin

    my prayers, love, thoughts will be always u, strong Angle!
    a bigg kiss from the middle east sent to u Melly!!!!
    be strong, god hears u:-*:-*<3@-}–u

  5. negin

    melllllllll, your pic is great, ur very true smile………
    I love it:-*:-*:-*

  6. negin

    Would u please tell me the name of the book u told in the comments?

  7. Megan

    Keep on keeping on!!!! So thankful you’re able to have all these cool items to help make living independently possible….even while you’re at Daddy and Marme’s for the time being:):) I remember you posting the original post about the ‘home helps’ but thanks for providing the link to go back and look at the neat purchases. Oh and yes, I had to laugh at your comparison of the left finger to Gonzo’s nose – The Muppets truly crack me up just when thinking of all the movies and shows of theirs. Hilarious!!! XOXO

  8. Pingback: Clumsy Me | My Life with NF2

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