Life or Death: I Choose Life

Yesterday I met with the medical staff at the hospital, to discuss our next step for my mother. It’s been three weeks (at least) and she will not eat or drink. It was recommended for her to have a procedure to insert a feeding tube, so she could get much needed nourishment. My choices were to give consent for the procedure, or not do that and let nature take its course. In either case, it is not known how much time my mother has to live on earth.

It’s a big decision to make, which brings with it a barrage of questions linked to either choice. If the tube is not inserted, then we lean toward hospice care, with people coming in and providing quality care and keep her comfortable, with the end result of death. How long would it take for death to come? Only God knows. The feeding tube could be inserted to provide needed nutrients to keep her alive, but the same question remains; how long would she live?

I talked to friends and to my son Stephen, and we went back and forth, making my already long day tiring. But during the evening, something dropped deep within me. What side is God on? Is he for death, or is he for life? I would like to think he is for life. If the tube was inserted, at least I would feel at peace with my decision that I had done all I could to help her as best I could, choosing life. So, when the doctor contacted me earlier today, I told him I would give consent for the feeding tube to be inserted. There may be possible problems with it (infection, the tube getting stopped up, my mother pulling out the tube, etc.), but at the same time I want to be able to say I had done all I could to give her the best care from what was available.

So, to all caregivers out there, consider the same. Everyone’s situation with their loved one is different but choose to do what you can that fits your situation regardless of how difficult it is in making the decision, feeling confident that you did your due diligence of doing the best course of action.

Be encouraged, and keep striving to take the best course of action…

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13


God Is Still With Us

Since the last post, things have happened regarding my mother. In August she broke her leg and had surgery. She came through that with flying colors, but at the same time, things have drastically changed. She’s not talking much, or should I say she’s not communicating in the way I am used to her talking. She spoke clear and precisely, like an English teacher who spoke in a pleasant tone. That has been replaced with sounds of growls and shouting. If there are words, they are only one or two shoutouts of what she doesn’t want you to do.

For the last two to three weeks Mom refuses to eat or drink. As a result, her lab results have shown a high level of sodium in her system, though for now her organs have not been damaged. I don’t know why she refuses food or drink. Is it that she is being stubborn, or is it that she no longer knows how to connect putting food in her mouth, not knowing how to swallow? Neither I nor the hospital medical staff know, so we will be discussing the insertion of a food tube in the next couple of days.

As for me, I am heavily relying on the staff’s medical knowledge that will guide me on what to do next, as I feel like I am in a whirl of unanswered questions circling my brain. Are we approaching the end of this dreadful dementia disease, and thus the end of her life? What can I do to help her? It seems like when I talk to her she doesn’t respond, just gives me a growl that is saying get away from me. Right now I feel more helpless now than I did in October, 2015, when this journey began.

But I can say this: Through it all, God still has not left me to fend for myself. He stays true to the following verse:

The Lord your God is with you,

the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

The songs keep coming in my mind, and then I know regardless of what happens next, God is with us. I may not know what will happen, but God already knew this present series of events would become reality. All I have to do is tell him like King Jehoshaphat did when he was faced with bad news, not knowing what to do:

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b

As the answer came to him and the and the kingdom of Judah, I am confident God will provide and sustain us. I hope you will experience the same thing when faced with a challenge…