Handling a Diagnosis of Tardive Dyskinesia

 

Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) is a condition of involuntary, repetitive movements of the jaw, tongue or other body movements. It frequently is a side effect of the long-term use of antipsychotic drugs used to treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It is almost always permanent. I’ve been told Vitamin E might help a bit.  Benzodiazepines have also been used with mixed results on a short-term basis.

Some examples of these types of involuntary movements include:[3]

  • Grimacing
  • Tongue movements
  • Lip smacking
  • Lip puckering
  • Pursing of the lips
  • Excessive eye blinking

(Wikipedia)

I recently was diagnosed as having TD after the use of Zyprexa. My version is my lower jaw moves from side-to-side, unless I concentrate on not doing it. I quickly revert to this involuntary movement when I’m not aware of it. I recently saw a video of myself (with my family) and sure enough there I was, doing the ‘jaw thing.’ It was very obvious. It was also very embarrassing. (I have the ‘lithium jitters’— where my hands always shake, but TD is different.)

There are a couple of things I might mention:generics7

1) I’ve discovered that there is a real social isolation with this TD stuff. To be doing this in public is “not acceptable.” I have had people come up to me wanting to know what’s my problem. Since I can’t control the movement I just say, “It’s my meds— they affect me this way.” In a way it’s like wearing a neon sign saying, “I’m a fruit cake.” Having a mental illness is stigma enough, but the TD just puts a new edge on it.

2) As a natural introvert the isolation has only deepened. (I avoid crowds and most social engagements.) I guess if the truth be told, I’m uncomfortable when others look at me strangely or whisper to each other. My standard ‘paranoia level’ has taken a new twist. I feel like I’m always compelled to explain. I guess I’m embarrassed when others are embarrassed.

3) I settle myself down in my faith to cope. I know I’m not alone in this– the Lord Jesus is always with me. He holds me tight through all these twists and turns. Since I isolate myself so much, I savor the connection I have with a few friends who have become inured to my condition. Social media helps out— Facebook is a gift.

4) One of the things I try to remember are the issues of selfishness and pride. I keep reminding myself it’s not about me all the time. One of the significant areas mentally ill people deal with is self-absorbed thinking. It seems it comes with the illness.

5) I try to keep a sense of humor everyday. It breaks down the mental pain to tolerable levels. We can take ourselves too seriously sometimes. Be more patient with yourself.

I certainly ask that you remember me in prayer. I’m in ‘uncharted waters’ (it seems) and I sometimes feel all alone with my mental illness and all its tangents. I want good to come out of this. (An instantaneous healing would be o.k. too.)

 

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Thanksgiving Starts in Our Hearts

The First Thanksgiving

“Let us thank God heartily as often as we pray that we have His Spirit in us to teach us to pray. Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to God and keep us engaged with Him; it will take our attention from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts.”

–Andrew Murray

“Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.”

Psalm 30:4

 

 

 

The Difference the Holy Spirit Makes

Chesterton-disciple

I like this quote. The early Church was all of these things: Fearless, happy, and very much in trouble. Luke wrote of the nascent exploits of this group of people in the Book of Acts, and while some believers will debate different aspects of theology, none can diminish the reality. These were human beings irrevocably touched by the Holy Spirit.

Some have even suggested that the title of the book be changed to “the Acts of the Holy Spirit.” (Instead of “Acts of the Apostles”).

When the fire of the Holy Spirit meets the dry tinder of the heart, it explodes into a conflagration that can’t be contained. It boils over and touches everyone around it. The disciples became fearless. Their boldness could not be diminished or diluted. They were so courageous (and contagious) that they preached to both kings and beggars.

They were “happy.” Once they had surrendered their personal ‘agendas’ they became immune to the negative issues of life. They soared with the eagles of contentment and joy. They no longer lived in the ‘mud’ of human life. They were ‘Teflon’ to that which can be so sticky. Happiness is the deep evidence of a personal contact with God’s own spirit.

But they ‘were in constant trouble.’ There may never been a people so maligned and persecuted. The apostle Paul faced daily obstacles. As the de facto leader of the church, he absorbed a lot of hatred and wrath that was focused on the early Church. Everywhere he went this darkness would descend, and each time God met him.

I suppose that we might ask ourselves, is this our experience? Am I fearless, and happy? Am I in ‘constant trouble” for the sake of the Gospel? (Do the police have my ‘mug shot?’)

Honest reflection is in order I think. We should really determine if we have the very same spirit that the early Church possessed. Whether or not, we should amend our relationship with the Spirit of God, and seek to be more tractable to His work. We start by believing the truth about our hearts and lives. The Truth is stronger than the lies.

This post was not intended to condemn. If you have read that into these words, I ask forgiveness. But reading this over, I will retract nothing. But I still ask that you ‘spiritually check’ each thought. Is it biblical, and does it glorify the Lord Jesus?

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33, NLT

 

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Can a Mother Forget? [Love]

Gods-love

Yet Jerusalem says, “The Lord has deserted us;  the Lord has forgotten us.”
Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?  Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible,    
 I would not forget you! 16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.”

Isaiah 49:14-16, NLT

Some of us need to be persuaded of God’s love. We are unconvinced. But Isaiah understands. We grasp the theology, but not the meaning. Our own native ideas keep us in disbelief. Perhaps the greatest liability we have as believers is this doubt that God really feels this way about us. But, He does.

Isaiah claims the impossible, yet grounds himself in what is real. The Father loves us and we’re His very own. Even if we don’t seem as holy as we ought to be. In His out reached hands, we discover scars.  This is the price He has purchased us with. We once were blind, and very lost— but now we are His own children.

We are given the impression that He more than ‘loves’ us; He ‘likes’ us. That dear ones, is not a point I’m prepared to support with scripture— it doesn’t exist except in my own thinking. I know that He theologically loves me.

But I also believe God also likes me as well. Surely, there is such a fine line here, between ‘like’ and love. The more I walk with the Lord, and it’s been almost 35 years now, the more I do love/like Him. I have learned to like Him as much as I love Him. And if God doesn’t like me, I think it diminishes His love.

Some of us must be persuaded again and again of God’s love.

Regardless, Isaiah speaks for the Lord with tender things. Among the people they had the mindset that God had somehow forgotten them. They thought that they were ‘the lost ones.’ God uses the analogy of a mother. A nurturing mother. This metaphor is strong and sure. No, God hasn’t forgotten His people. Look at His hands, your name is ‘tattooed’ on them. You’re His, forever.

“In math, if you divide an infinite number by any number, no matter how large, you still have an infinite quotient. So Jesus’ love, being infinite, even though it is divided up for every person on earth, is still infinitely poured out on each one of us!” 

Charles Spurgeon

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Epileptic Christians Rule

Epilepsy understood

Epilepsy understood

“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever.”

Psalm 73:26, NLT

I think it’s time for me to talk openly about this.

For several months I have been experiencing absent seizures. These are moments when I just ‘check out’ and stare at something–actually at anything, but bright and flashy will almost always draws me in. These are not the ‘grand mal seizures’ with the jerking and shaking and rolling around (but I’ve been told that these can happen to me.) I have the ‘petit mal’ variety. Many times they go undetected and unnoticed by others. They seem like a long pause of thoughtfulness. But it isn’t. I’m having a seizure.

It seems just what I needed, “another kick-in-the-head.” The thought has been brewing lately that I’ve been mistreated by God again. Why? (Why do I always get the hammer? I wonder if heaven has a Complaint Department?)

My medical history would rival the classic, “Moby Dick” in terms of sheer mass and requiring “heavy lifting.” Hepatitis C, Manic depression, Brain tumor surgery and all the after effects–and now this. Perhaps, I need to spend some quality time with my Father?  I like this verse a lot.

“O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed;
    if you save me, I will be truly saved.
    My praises are for you alone!”

Jeremiah 17:14, NLT

I have worked hard to eradicate self-pity over the years (or I think I have). I’ve had so many medical issues and I don’t ever want to add “hypochondriac” to this list.  I heard this joke about a young boy who was so caught up with his illness that he started to take his M&Ms one by one with a glass of water, like a pill.

The jolt is becoming real now. They want to take my driver’s license away. (What next–will I be mandated to hear a protective helmet?) All of this is so wrong, it seems to me. (“Can I get an ‘amen’ here?”) The last few days I’ve taken a new med, a proven anti-convulsive. I have never ever wanted a drug to work more then this one. Unfortunately, I am experiencing some side effects. I covet your prayers now, more than ever, especially for my wife, Lynn and my kids.

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“I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain.”

    John Henry Newman

Some links I have discovered to be interesting, and maybe even helpful.

http://epilepsyfoundation.ning.com/group/christianswithepilepsy

http://www.squidoo.com/ahealthyresponsetoseizuresversusdemons

http://morethanstone.blogsome.com/2007/02/27/epilepsy-and-spiritual-warfare/

&

ybic, Bryan

 

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Our Life in Babylon

Living-in-babylon-Logo

Christians are now smack-dab in “Babylon.” We must live our lives under the auspices of this hostile world-system, and yet stay faithful to our Lord. We must manage ourselves with the same grace as Daniel or Esther.

In Jeremiah 29 there contains an important historical letter that the prophet Jeremiah wrote to those taken into captivity. In it we can absorb much of what is needful for the moment. For people caught in Babylon it becomes a vital document, advising them of what they should now do.

This list comes straight out of Jeremiah 29.

  • First, prepare for the long haul. Be good citizens of your new land, (vv.5-6.)
  • Second, pray for the peace of the nation you’re captive in. (v.7.)
  • Third, don’t be fooled by it’s culture, Discern what is true and what is false. Babylon is full of false gods and worship.
  • Fourth, remember that God has given you “a future and a hope” (v. 11.)
  • Lastly, extend that same discernment to the spiritual understanding of your own past.

These five should be enough to navigate faithfully through hard times in Babylon. We must admit that we’re only “pilgrims and strangers” here. Our citizenship is in heaven where it is secure. By faith we understand this.

As broken believers we are supervised by the Holy Spirit, even in this difficult place, Our souls are shepherded by God, even in Babylon. Our “captivity” is only temporary– it is not a permanent one.

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:13, NKJV

“By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion.”

Psalm 137:1

“She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.”

1 Peter 5:13

‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’

Revelation 18:10

ybic, Bryan

 

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April Fool’s Day: An Accident Report

This is a bricklayer’s accident report that was printed in the newsletter of the English equivalent of the Workers’ Compensation Board.

Dear Sirs,

I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block #3 of the accident reporting form. I put “Poor Planning” as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I found I had some bricks left over which when weighed later were found to weigh 240 lbs. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 240 lbs of bricks. You will note on the accident reporting form that my weight is 165 lbs. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collarbone, as listed in Section 3, accident reporting form. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley which I mentioned in Paragraph 2 of this correspondence. Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of the excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience.

At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs. I refer you again to my weight. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and severe lacerations of my legs and lower body.

Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move and watching the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope. And I lay there watching the empty barrel begin its journey back onto me.

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