Finding Strategies to Slow Our Pace

Lori Dunham avatar

by Lori Dunham |

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I have spent most of my life in a rush. As someone with a Type A personality, I love to be organized and manage my time efficiently. A great day for me is full of activities and to-do lists. Every task seems to carry a sense of urgency.

There are positive aspects of this personality type. I am usually productive and organized. I make good use of my time. But along with the positives come some serious negatives. Many times I don’t stop and linger. I miss opportunities to connect and establish relationships because I am in a rush. I cause stress for those around me who do not move as quickly as I do.

Furthermore, this type of personality caused some serious tension when our daughter Grace developed Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome. Suddenly, our lives came to a screeching halt. We were no longer able to hurry from one activity to the next. We had to slow down so our daughter could literally keep up.

This was a characteristic I absolutely had to change for the health and well-being of our whole family, but especially Grace. It has taken me many months to teach myself how to slow down. It is a daily choice. I take deliberate steps to bring peace and order to our home. Maintaining a pace in our home that can accommodate Grace is of great importance to me.

I have cultivated certain habits in order to bring peace and calm into our home.

Physically slowing down

I had to force myself to physically slow down. I taught myself to shorten the length of each step I took when Grace was walking beside me. When the afternoon rain came and we were outside, I learned the joys of getting wet.

Time management

I get very stressed if I am running late. Since Grace cannot move quickly, I build a margin of time into our routine so that she has time to get ready without me rushing her. I began incorporating more downtime into our days.

Moments of stillness

If we can’t make an event or are late, anxiety can easily creep into my day. I have learned to combat that stress by cultivating moments of stillness and peace. Lighting some candles, putting on soft music, displaying fresh flowers, and spending a few moments reading a book help ease my anxiety.

Grounded in faith

The moments I spend reflecting on my faith and Scripture have helped me deal with stress and anxiety in a profound way. My worth is not measured by how productive I have been today, according to the world’s standards. If I have loved well, taken care of those around me diligently and with integrity, I can count the day a success, regardless of what I did or did not accomplish.

We are not victims of this disease. It may alter the way we live, but it does not consume us. Our Grace stands before us with a life ahead of her worthy of living! We need to walk alongside her on that path, even at a snail’s pace.

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Note: Lambert-Eaton News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lambert-Eaton News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Lambert-Eaton myasthenia.

Comments

Roberta Berry avatar

Roberta Berry

Way to go Lori!!! Grace is blessed to have you helping her on the LEMS journey. As a LEMS patient, who formally was very active (skiing, walking, biking, etc) it has been a difficult adjustment. But knowing and recognizing my limitations and having family and friends that are understanding helps so much. Can I do everything I would like to do?? No. But there is so much that I can do, and I have to focus on the positive and not the negative.

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Lori Dunham avatar

Lori Dunham

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I, too, am trying to help Grace focus on what she CAN do, not on what she can't. There are certainly things she misses (playing basketball etc) but we will focus on what she CAN do! I'm so glad you have supportive people around you as well!

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