Stop Forgetting, Start Remembering

There was a post on my Facebook page that was so appropriate for today. It was from ibelieve.com:

 Heavenly Father, You know every decision I need to make and every challenge I face. Please forgive me for the times that I try to figure this life out on my own.  I need you, I need your holy spirit to give me strength, wisdom and direction. AMEN

I kept waking up during the night, and I knew each time I awakened I was dreaming about my mother. Needless to say I was tired when I woke up, and frankly I wasn’t in the best of moods. I prayed for a change of attitude, because I truly did not want to go to the home and visit her. But talking to her the night before and promising I would come today, I went on, but I wanted no arguments and no sarcastic remarks. I just wanted to get her clothes to wash and leave.

Before going to the home, I visited (on the advice of the social worker) another place just down the road. It was a nice place that had private rooms available, and upon seeing the room I knew that setup would be a perfect place for her; but I was told she would be deemed a private patient, which meant all monies would have to be paid by us, and on her monthly check alone, it was just too expensive. I stopped the tour and explained we could not afford it and left.

But by the time I got to the nursing home lunch was being served and I told my mother I would wait in her room. She returned and we talked about the checkbook, and after about 90 minutes she figured out what to do. Her lucidness was okay, no agitation on her part. Not long thereafter I left, agreeing to see her sometime on Monday.

I knew I looked sad or mad, or perhaps a combination of both. I was not upbeat and made no attempt to be encouraging to her, which added to the guilt I was already feeling of her just being in the facility. As I was driving home some thoughts came to mind:

  • The process can become rather difficult when one focuses every moment on the issue at hand. The worry of ‘not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel’ does not change anything; it only makes life agonizing. And I have to admit, when this happens, I have forgotten what God has promised he will do for me if only I cast my care on him and believe he, not me, will work it out.
  • When God is allowed to work out what I can’t resolve, and I purpose to praise and worship him, the peace is restored, the angst is gone, the stomach stops doing flip flops, and just maybe rest is gifted at night.
  • I need to do some remembering of what God has promised, and what is required of me. If God has brought me through before, God will do it again. Stop forgetting and start remembering.

So then the solution to this is in the form of a question:

What is the potential of ‘being all in’ when ‘you’re all out of answers’?

The next post will tackle this one. Stay blogged in…

Process

Throughout today I kept hearing the word process. It got to the point I thought that would be the word of the day, something to write about. Whatever you are going through it is a process, defined as a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result. So the process entails, among other things…

waiting     wanting    searching, while

proving    experiencing   being challenged  and extending (of oneself)

discovering the newness of a different paradigm

accepting    incorporating   including…

But until the process is complete, there is…

struggling in juggling between  the old way of doing things and the “now all things are become new.” Circumstances introduce change that is difficult to accept, but must be incorporated in life. Process comes in varying forms, packaged in ways that was not invited nor welcomed, but it comes nevertheless into our lives.

I struggle with wanting life to return what I consider normal, and I grapple with the newness of discovering that things will never be the same.  I am challenged with thoughts of waiting on the Lord to guide me to the right way, while searching for the correct answers.  I want a timetable of how much time is left with my mother, and at the same knowing that no one can give me that answer.

I continue to experience that God has not left me as he continues to keep his promises while I continue to discover them and Him. Within the struggle of it all, there is a knowing that I can’t explain, in that He continues to draw near while guiding me in the process…

A Day of Two Extremes

Referencing yesterday’s blog, I didn’t sleep well last night; woke up early but got back to sleep eventually.

Went to work and for a change, in the midst of a rainy day, I actually wanted to work. I got to joke with coworkers, and the day seemed to be going well, as I got something accomplished for a change.

Went to my first counseling session and we mapped out a plan on how to deal with the stress of living life while being a caretaker. Went to the nursing home and talked to the business office. The more they talked about what had to be given up to pay for the expenses, how the funds in the bank couldn’t be used to pay for certain expenses, and the paperwork I needed to give them in determining if my mother would qualify for Medicaid. Right now her insurance was paying for her stay, but that was soon to be running out. If she was a private patient, the monthly fee would be over $11000 a month. If not, then she would have to “spend down” her funds (her monthly check alone is too high it appears for her to qualify for services and possibly Medicaid); in other words, whatever monies she had, from cash surrender value of her insurance policies to her monthly check would soon be theirs. The more they talked, the worse my stomach churned. I could feel my facial expression change, which represented the inner turmoil I felt. How are we to pay for anything regarding my mother’s stay here and how can I agree to this ‘financial arrangement’? I said from deep within: I can’t do this to her…

At the same time the social worker was speaking with my mother. When they finished, my mother was on her way to where I was in the business office, where I had finished signing some papers for them to get financial information, and of course my mother needed to sign some papers as well. I could tell just by her being there she was agitated, and as a result she refused to sign the papers until she had a chance to read them. Later, it was as though (what I thought was) the breakthrough conversation we had just days earlier never occurred. The distrust she had of me that she said was gone had returned, adding fuel to my frustration. I kept silently saying, God, I just don’t know what to do.

Moments later my mother and I spoke in another room, and distrust she felt was resonant in her vocal tone and in her words. I got up and went and entered the social worker’s office and closed the door as my mother walked back to her room. I suppose it did help a little to talk to her, but when I went to my mother’s room, she started to (what I call) talk dementia language, and I briskly said goodbye, grabbed my things and left…

Earlier in the day I felt like I could eventually get caught up at work, and feeling positive, but at the end of the day, I felt like I was back at the beginning when all this began with my mother, with no progress. Words were coming out of my mouth, but were bouncing off my mother’s brain, which was not deciphering their meaning. I thought I had a solution for my loved being taken care of, if only temporary. Now I don’t know. I have to November 6th to get all the paperwork together, or else there is high possibility she is coming home.

For those caregivers out there and for those just reading my journey, I could use your comments chock full of ideas regarding what to do, because I truly don’t have a clue right now.

Nevertheless,

Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all I could ever ask or think…

Ephesians 3:20

Turmoil vs. Rest

Rest: peace of mind or spirit; freedom from activity or labor      Turmoil: state of confusion or disorder

The above definitions were obtained from the Merriam-Webster dictionary online. I wanted to write about these words.  They appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, fighting each other. One reminds me of the person who, no matter what comes his or her way, they (at least outwardly) appear to handle situations well. However I wonder about how these type of people are inwardly. Could they exhibit a calm exterior while silently battling a war internally?

I wish I was experiencing internal and external rest. I admit that is not the case. Today when I woke up, I thought that finally I slept through the night and got rest in the process, as initially I felt refreshed, if only a little bit. But by the time I got to the parking lot at work, it was like an avalanche of tiredness enveloped me, continuing to extend frustration. By the time I got home from visiting my mother at the nursing home, I wanted to delve into this issue of rest. Why can’t I obtain it?

Coming from a Christian perspective, rest is the result of trusting in God. The results of that trust involve experiencing peace that one cannot explain, a gift from God. Turmoil, on the other hand, is the result of worrying, which bring on weariness and an inner war that one cannot win.

Jesus commands us to

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29

If explained further, Jesus challenges us to

  • position my yoke on you
  • learn, increase your knowledge about me, and put that to use or practice it in your everyday life
  • be humble and gentle like I am
  • after searching and coming to me with you situation that you think you can’t handle, you will find what you need.
Psalm 32:8 speaks of God saying He will instruct and teach us in the way that we should go.
So there is something to be learned here. If I trust God to show me the way, I need to give Him my situation, as He promises to show me how to handle it. I admit I have been trying to work it out in my mind, trying to fix everything, which is probably why I can’t mentally shut down and relax and rest. Please pray for caregivers. We have a lot on our minds as we try to juggle living our lives while taking care of others. It is a challenging task. If I had a prayer request for caregivers, it would be that we all need rest: freedom from worry, a type of intermission that keeps our emotions in check to the point that peace permanently replaces  turmoil, so when we turn off the lights at night and our heads hit the pillow, our sleep will be restfully sweet…

 

Freedom…Really?

 

Freedom. Have you ever thought about it? Have you thought about the freedom of waking up in your own bed, in your own home that you take care of? Have you thought of the freedom you have to do what you want when you want to do it, and if you change your mind, having the freedom to make that change? Have you thought of how much freedom is taken for granted in everyday life? I have, and now I am getting an understanding of how one may feel when freedom is taken away.

Let us thank God for being able to live, to move, and have our being in the freedom to live life as we choose. There may come a day when, as we get older, choices will not be made by us but by others, and freedom as we know it will be taken away. Loves ones make the choices, and I am the loved one about to do the same. The guilt I feel in sending my mother to a nursing home is overwhelming…it is the right thing to do, but it still pains me deep within. I guess more help is needed.

 

How it all began…

10/6/2015 posted on Facebook at 11:44pm:

It started Sunday evening. The next day much better. Then came today. Getting to the hospital a second time by request by the nurses, because the patient was very combative, who pulled out both IVs, and on and on it went. When I got to her room, she called me pitiful, that God did not love me, she didn’t want to see me, and I was the devil in sheep’s clothing. She asked me if I loved God, who Jesus was to me; the more we talked, the more bizarre it became.

I felt I lost the essence of one that was there for me, that was an encourager, my friend. Today though she is still alive, the very essence of her is gone…today I lost my mother to what appears to be dementia. I am truly at a loss of words. I do not know what to do right now. I am trying to hold it together, but right now, not being able to sleep, not being able to turn off my head, I’m just at a loss of words, because I feel the agony of losing someone close to me.

I’ve been told my mother is not coming back. I have witnessed this evening the evilness dementia possesses. I guess it is now my turn to ask for help. I know God is with me no matter what. When I walk through the fire I will not be burned. The words she said to me this evening I know are not from her. Many decisions to make… I need Jesus to walk with me… in my trial, Lord walk with me… when my heart is aching, I want Jesus to walk with me…

Beginnings…

New Beginnings

From the encouragement of friends, I begin this blog. This is new territory for me, and my feet are not grounded in what I consider to be new ground. But as the feet settle, I hope to create a blog about a journey, one I did not anticipate nor plan to take, but one I am doing nonetheless. I hope many will read and be encouraged and respond. This is what my blog is about…

On October 4, 2015, my mother called me, and she didn’t sound coherent. Eventually I went to her apartment and to make a long story short, the more we talked, the more strange it became. With the help of friends we got to the hospital on the directive of the physician on call; the staff there thought she had a urinary tract infection (or UTI), which can cause hallucination. But that wasn’t it. Later, my mother was diagnosed with dementia…

The past three weeks have been heart wrenching, coupled with feeling guilty for being an only child who put her in a nursing home while knowing it was the best decision to make, hearing the hurtful words from her mouth and trying not to have them take up residence in my mind, and on and on it goes. What has been my friend during this time is writing, and I hope to do so on a daily basis here. So join me as I continue on this journey with my mother, making the day to day steps with her, and the faith component that keeps me moving.