Why is my Brain Little?

APRIL 2004
We both heard the diagnosis at the same time.  Dorrie and I were seeing yet another Doctor in our quest for what we'd hoped was a simple answer to some annoying symptoms.  This time it was a Neurologist.  "I think you have Parkinson's Disease."

My reaction... "Cool, this sounds like a fun challenge..." (to myself, of course)

Dorrie's reaction?  She became immediately ill... struggling to stay conscious as waves of nausea poured over her.  "Maybe," I thought, "I won't tell her about the 'fun challenge' part right now..."

I was a very good athlete.  Basketball was the game, and I was strong, agile, and competitive to the core.  In High School, I led the entire league in scoring.  And with this accomplishment in hand, I was able to negotiate two athletic scholarships, almost completely covering my college tuition.  And, to top it all off, I was voted "Campus Clown" in my second year... people liked me... (maybe safer to say, they were "entertained" by me!)

Somehow I caught the eye of the prettiest girl on campus, (OK, she caught my eye), and we became the best of friends.  Within a couple of years, I moved down to Portland, Oregon, learned to drop the "Canuck" accent, and married Dorrie (that prettiest girl on campus) in 1978.

Our first home was a cracker box, only 800 square feet, but it was warm and cozy.  Over the next 27 years, with a healthy marriage, a strong body, and God-directed opportunities, Dorrie and I adopted 5 beautiful children, making a total of 7 (or, as she likes to say, "2 home-made, and 5 special deliveries!) 

I've never once regretted the choice in having a large family, nor the sacrifices or hard work that inevitably comes with one... after all, I was strong and  invincible... and would remain so forever, right?

It is difficult for me to write about my struggle with Parkinson's Disease.  It currently is a terminal neurological disease with no known cure.  It has robbed me of much of my day to day strength... and I can see that I'm losing ground fast.   

Over the next few months we covet your support in prayer. We are at peace going to Swedish Medical Center and Dr. Peter Nora to perform Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Surgery on April 20th, 2011. This surgery has advanced significantly in the last few years and shows a lot of promise for improvement for me. It is our hope that this reversible brain surgery will relieve many of my current debilitating symptoms from PD, and from the medicines I take for it. 

We are excited around here... but also, a little scared!  After all, this is Brain Surgery we're talking about!  

Thank you all SO MUCH for praying! 

Best Regards,

Merv and Dorrie


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for letting the world read your story. It is very helpful for me since I also have Parkinson's. I was officially diagnosed in 2008 on my one month wedding aniversary. I have been blessed with a slow progression so far. My wife and kids are greatful for that even though my 30th birthday will be this coming November. I'm glad you finally got you DBS but I do have a lot of reading to get caught up with your blog.
    This may sound crazy since I don't even know you but I have a team for Team Fox that raises money for the Michael J. Fox foundation and you are more then welcome to join. My team name is, "Always Half Full" and you can find it at www.teamfox.org

    Thanks again for sharing your adventures and we CAN beat this.

    Love in Christ,