J Walking

J Walking


Tough days and technical difficulties

posted by David Kuo

Sorry for the lack of posting. Part of it is due to technical difficulties on my end – for some reason a big entry got lost – and part of it is due to some hard days. I wrote about this in that lost entry on Thursday…here I go again… perhaps less emotionally.
One of the reasons for the midweek lag in blogging was simply that I felt sick at the end of my last round of drugs. Far bigger than that, however, was news that a dear friend has been diagnosed with ALS – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This is one of the most emotionally devastating things I’ve ever seen.
ALS is such a brutal disease. Our friend is such a gentle man. ALS cripples the body while leaving the mind perfectly intact. Our friend loves to dance.
It is that image that sticks jaggedly in my mind – it is a living compound fracture if there are such things. I just see my friend and his wife, a woman who is family to us, dancing and dancing and dancing. Dancing at birthday parties and at New Year’s celebrations; dancing on happy Saturday nights, just dancing.
And then I think of the disease and what it does – often so quickly. Hands, feet, limbs, devoid of life; breathing ever more labored as the lungs shut down; difficulty in swallowing; to the point where it is, perhaps only the eyelids that move. There is no dancing.
What makes it worse somehow is that our friend and his wife have worked so hard to get where they are now. They came to America 15-years ago to build a better future. They have scraped and worked and done the right things – they are such good people. This is such a brutal disease.
All I can think over and over again is how truly and completely unfair this is.
I guess it is my own experience with a brain tumor over these last four years that makes me so much more sensitive to his experience now. I know what it is like to have a completely out of the blue diagnosis that levels you. I know what it is like to deal with mortality and fear and faith and imagination and everything else simultaneously. And I want none of this for my friend. I don’t want him to have to think of such things. I don’t want him dealing with these things – his life has been hard enough already. His disease is so awful.
My mother is 75-years-old and I talked to her about his a few nights ago. She talked about suffering and about faith and about the mystery of it all. Having lived through the Depression and World War II as a child and plenty of hurts of her own during these years she knows what she is talking about. She directed me back to the Psalms – to the very Psalms she read me as a child – and to their wrestling with God over just such things. And to their repeated conclusion that God could be trusted; that God was good; that the God who knows the sparrows knows each of us as well; that God knows his angels and that God knows my friend named Angel.
Please pray for him. Pray for a miracle – that he might be healed; that doctors might find a cure; that he and his wife Patricia would have this cup taken from them…but if not that they would be given the strength to bear the cup because it is such a heavy cup to bear.



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Lyle

posted June 24, 2007 at 4:50 am


I am so sorry for your friend. I pray that he and his family will be granted the peace that surpasses understanding. He faces a long road ahead that can be devastating emotionally, spiritually, and financially. May God grant him peace and courage.
Lyle



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Brenda

posted June 24, 2007 at 2:50 pm


I wrote on my blog Saturday about sitting on my front porch with my Bible open to Psalms and listening to the rain. Sometimes life becomes so difficult that is all one can do.
Just a note…I appreciate your work very (very) much.



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Connie Reece

posted June 24, 2007 at 3:41 pm


My heart goes out to you and your friend. I lost my father to a neurodegenerative disease a few years ago, and when he was diagnosed, all I could think was — “Why MY daddy?” Such a good man, pillar of church and community. Couldn’t bear to think of him going through such suffering. It was a lesson in trusting God’s sovereignty. A difficult lesson.
Thanks for sharing your writing with us. I will keep your friend in my prayers.



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Trish Ryan

posted June 24, 2007 at 8:38 pm


Bless your friend. Bless you. You’re so right, that is grossly, impossibly unfair. Your Mom is a wise woman to recommend Psalms. We’ll add our prayers to Lyle’s above – that your friend and his family be granted peace and courage. And healing – miraculous, awe-inspiring healing.



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canucklehead

posted June 24, 2007 at 9:00 pm


This is another reminder that there are many, many people who live a good part of their lives (some – all of their lives) somewhere in the middle of the book of Job.
I pray grace and wisdom for you, David, as you walk thru this dark valley with your friends.



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PatientWitness

posted June 24, 2007 at 9:54 pm


Your family and your friend’s family are in our prayers.
– PW



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James

posted June 25, 2007 at 6:16 am


And pray that he doesn’t read your description of what it will do to him. I think you should try to be more sensitive and comforting. Imagine him reading the following:
“This is one of the most emotionally devastating things I’ve ever seen…. ALS is such a brutal disease…. ALS cripples the body while leaving the mind perfectly intact. Our friend loves to dance…. It is that image that sticks jaggedly in my mind – it is a living compound fracture if there are such things. I just see my friend and his wife…dancing and dancing and dancing…. And then I think of the disease and what it does – often so quickly. Hands, feet, limbs, devoid of life; breathing ever more labored as the lungs shut down; difficulty in swallowing; to the point where it is, perhaps only the eyelids that move. There is no dancing.”
The prayer request is great. The description of what lies ahead is not.



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David Kuo

posted June 25, 2007 at 9:39 am


James – Thanks for your concern, rightly said…He knows… tragically. David



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KATHY

posted November 30, 2007 at 7:12 pm


David, A dear friend of mine just recieved an ALS diagnosis. I feel so helpless and angry and afraid. What can I do for her besides pray? are there any good books you can recommend that may help her walk in her faith while enduring this horrible disease?
I am also concerned for her husband. SHe is his lifeblood. He is an oncologist and feels that for all the knowledge and skills and people he has helped to heal; there is nothing he can do.
My prayer is to be a vehicle for God to help them. Any suggestions.
~KC



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