Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Pearls and Dreams .. a long post ...hopefully, worth the read.

Pearls and Dreams

Importance of a Name
by Peggikaye Eagler

What's in a name?
Does the meaning ring true?
Is your name a foundation?
Like a sauce needs a rue?
Is a name that Important?
Does it say who we are?
A name with great meaning,
Does it mean we'll go far?

"Why do you hate your name?"
My mother cries often!
"It means Precious Pearl!
Some say Pure Gem!"
But is my name me?
Does it really fit?
I don't feel precious,
More like Oyster Spit!

But God gave men names,
With meanings so deep,
A character to live up to,
And blessings to reap!
What mirror do I use?
The one on the wall?
What name will I hear?
When my Savior gives the call?

What's in my name?
Is my name from God's heart?
Lord, Let me see all,
The whole,
Not the part!

© Peggikaye Eagler

I was 35 years old and I hated myself. I hated everything about myself. The only thing I liked, was my long brown hair. I didn't like my looks, my weight, my personality, my name, my abilities ... nothing. I did not like who or what I was. I couldn't stand the reflection in the mirror. I constantly tried to change what I saw, I punished myself on a frequent basis. I obsessed over food, calories, weight & anything related to how I looked.

I weighed myself up to 20 times a day, and that weight dictated if I was good or bad. I limited my calories to an absurdly low amount, and if I went over that amount, I would punish myself by not allowing myself to read before I went to sleep. The problem there was : I don't fall asleep if I don't read first, so I was punishing myself both pleasure wise & physically.

I have had 3 severe myasthenic crisis brought on by severe & sudden weightlosses. The most severe was in 1997 when I lost 100 lbs in 4 months. Averaging 250 calories a day, I went into crisis and spent 3 days in ICU with a respirator and paralyzed from the forehead down. (muscles, not a nerve paralysis). When the doctor's got my muscles working again, and were pumping me full of potassium (I had a continous IV with potassium, plus they'd come in and give me some potassium through another IV, but in a much smaller IV bag, I'd have to drink potassium 4 times a day ...plus a banana on every tray that the nurses watched me eat. ) I was moved back to the regular room but it took 17 days to be discharged. Had my doctor's baffled. Plasmapherisis (blood transfusion) had worked before, not this time, 5 day treatment of IVIG, and I still wasn't bouncing back. They were stymied.
They kept sending a nutritionist in the room to see what they could do to make the food easier for me to eat ... my MG was blamed ... I told them I couldn't chew & I'd choke ... while, I do choke easy & chewing was difficult ... It'd have cleared up had I started to eat ... no one ever put 100 lbs loss in 4 months with why I was in crisis. I was good at hiding my disorder. 17 days later, I got out, very weak, very sick, and still refusing to eat. This time, on high high doses of prednisone and I knew I was done for. 100 mgs of prednisone and my starving myself would come to a quick end.

So, a few years later, I'm sitting in my doctor's office and he's looking at my chart, 4 months ago, I'd weighed 80 lbs more, he'd just started treating, me when I'd been in crisis in 1997. This was the second time in 3 years he'd seen me loose too much weight in too short of time. He gently told me I had two choices ... get help, or find another doctor because he cared too much to watch me destroy myself.

I went into Laureate Eating Disorder Clinic for an evaluation 2 days later, sure they'd send my fat little self on my way. Surprise surprise, they quickly admitted me to their outpaitent program, I was lucky, they didn't stick me into their inpatient program!

I started to realize something ... I don't see myself the way other see me. They see something I don't. I asked God to show me what HE saw when he looked at me. Scariest prayer I've ever prayed.
I was sure he was going to show me that I was just as bad as I thought I was ... and worse.

A year went by ... nothing.

The next year, something odd started to happen. Every where I turned ... every thing I saw, were lessons on pearls & gemstones. A lesson on the radio, a women's tea, a Prayer vigil at church ... all focused on how God talks about gemstones in the Bible and compares us to gemstones and pearls as being precious. The prayer vigil, the pastor's wife/worship leader at my church talked about how pearls are made ...how a speck of dirt goes into the oyster and irritates the oyster until the beautiful gem is polished and formed and how sometimes, what we see as irritating, horrible experiences, are really polishing us, forming us, making us into who we really are. I was floored.

A few weeks later, was mother's day ... my mobile home park was having a park wide garage sale the day before and my sons had gone around and bought junk, but they'd bought me a string of pearls. I went to church and was showing a friend ...she exclaimed "Peggi, those are REAL!!!" She had ones by the same jewelry designer.

It was becoming clear to me that God was going to great extremes to make a point to me ... Pearls ... precious pearls ...
My name Peggikaye ... Peggi means Pearls, Kaye means precious. I have hated my name since I could say my name ... I couldn't stand it! I would rather have been named anything BUT Peggi! However, God used my name, to start to break down that wall of self hatred to show me that he did in fact see me as precious ... a precious pearl formed for his service and with his delight.

As I started to recover from the eating disorder and the self hatred, and I started to pick up my pen and write again ... and I started to realize that there is more to life than a number on a scale ... I started to realize that while I might have thrown away a few dreams, and I might have been robbed of a few dreams by such terrible things as lupus and myasthenia gravis ... those dreams can be replaced by new dreams and I started to begin to dream again.

I went from simply surving to living and from living to hoping and from hoping to dreaming.

And thus, the name of my blog ... Pearls and Dreams ... because God loves me ... and I have dreams ...


  1. ((((((PK)))))))) This moved me to tears, dearest. So heartfelt and pure, how beautiful. Of course it was worth the read! You have so much to be proud of!
    I've suffered from anorexia and bulimia since I was about 10, so I can relate to this. What I've never considered was asking God what He sees when He looks at me, what a wonderful concept! I don't own full length mirrors or scales anymore, so I don't see anymore. But this, this has never occurred to me.
    Thank you, dear PK, for posting this. To share this shows so much compassion and beauty, you are a treasure dear!
    love, (((((hugs)))), and prayers

  2. a lovely post, a dear poem, and an inspiring message.

  3. Melissa, it was the singularly most frightening prayer I have ever prayed. I was so filled with self hatred, self loathing and so sure I was evil, that I just knew that God was going to show me a black and dank heart.

    He didn't. Do you know how many scriptures talk about pearls & gemstones? It's crazy!

    I highly recommend the simple prayer Melissa. Scary as it is, and Melissa, if you haven't gotten help, please do! Even if you're not 'practicing' at this time, if you're not in recovery ... please, don't just let it simmer below the surface. ED's & Autoimmune diseases are NOT a good mix!

  4. Dr. Charles, Thank you.

    I like that poem ...kind of. It has an awkard rhythm, but I can't seem to make myself fix it. Most of my poems that have odd rhythm's I can't leave alone till I've fixed it ...but this one I can't seem to touch.

  5. Your saying Hi on Cliff's reminded me I had not come to yours for a read in awhile...my, you have been through the mill backwards, as my mom used to say...between the illnesses and all! I have had my share too...recently a friend directed us to Dr. Lorraine Day and told us of how juicing is helping with some of their health issues. So we began...not doing it perfectly yet, but working that direction...hubby's diabetes numbers have dropped like a rock and my high blood pressure is coming down as well...do go read her site...and order her tapes. I think this woman (a doctor) has proved her right to speak on this. We ARE feeling better and that is a very nice place to be! May take more time to get where we no longer need drugs...and the doc knows what we are doing...saw him Friday. The progress speaks for itself. To me, meds are a temporary solution...though I have been on some a decade...I still have the goal of getting off! I HATE the side effects.

    I surely do identify with your struggle with your name too. I also hated mine, and with good reason...but it was my middle name that I had been called by and I LOVED my first name, so a couple years ago when we moved here (at age 50) I went to my first name and I STILL LOVE IT and how folks respond to it...I am ELIZABETH!