I Think I Have the “But Not’s”

All I can do is hope some of these weird changes in Chris are indeed improvements! He is awake at odd hours; 11 at night, 2 AM and so forth. Then when it’s time for me to get up around 6 he crashes and I hate to disturb him at all! One good thing – he’s awake! He slept for so long and now to have the “problem” of him being awake at night is a wonderful “problem” to have!

But yesterday he was in pain. At least that’s my guess as he was sweating like crazy. That’s how a brain injury communicates that there is the presence of pain. But we got lost in the shuffle once again and still no prescription for his pain meds. (It’s only been a 3 week wait!) And that’s where my frustration set in this morning around 5. Chris was obviously uncomfortable and I couldn’t help him.

It seems like all along this journey Chris is the one who has fallen through the cracks. Way back during the elongated hospital stay physical therapy didn’t work with him to prevent contractures. We were lucky to see them once or twice a week. He just wasn’t a priority; too many patients not enough staff! Plus he didn’t have any real  insurance.

The nursing homes were great – they just didn’t know what to do with a brain injury. Workers preferred to just let him sit in bed because that was easier. He didn’t qualify for physical therapy there for a long time. Then when I requested it because of changes they didn’t come until Valir requested it so he could go to rehab. I won’t ever forget the day the team finally came to evaluate him. They were amazed at all he’d started doing. One even said, “I’ll recertify him now based on what I just saw.” And i was like he’s even having a bad day! I looked at them and said, “I asked for a re-eval three months ago and you just didn’t have time.” They looked away and remained silent.

It seems all along the way we have had to fight for the things that he is supposed to be getting to start with. Even now home physical therapy is provided for but the company is basically too lazy to mess with the paper work. And so once again he falls through the cracks.

Then he finally goes to rehab – very good thing! The doctor that was seeing him (more acquainted with brain injury) quit. She shut down her private practice to work in the hospitals. (can’t blame her for that at all!) Their office referred Chris to OU med’s neurological unit for his care. I’m thinking it’s a good thing. But there is no primary care physician who can make the referral now…once again he is lost in the shuffle.

So how do I work through all this frustration? I keep thinking of the scripture in Psalm 27:10 that says even though my father and mother forsake me the Lord will take me up. Now Chris’ father and mother haven’t forsaken him but those who are in charge of his medical care seem to have done just that! I have to trust that the Lord will take him up! Isaiah 49:14-16 helps too  But Zion said, “the Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no campassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget but I will not forget you. Behold I have inscribed you (Chris) on the palms of My hands your (Chris’)walls are continually before Me.

I must trust that the Lord will take up his cause, He will carry Chris. The words Paul shared in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 ring so true for me this morning after a long night! He said that we have all the treasure of Chris within us – but it is in earthen vessels. We are afflicted… that’s Paul talking here – do you think he lacked any faith when he said that? I think not – he was dealing with present trouble. Affliction and trouble are not the sign of the lack of faith!

We are afflicted… but not crushed!

We are perplexed…but not in despair!

We are persecuted…but not forsaken!

We are struck down…but not destroyed!

Thank God for the “but nots” today! Yeah, there’s a lot going on. There is indeed a struggle…but there is not defeat! No matter what we are going through it is not the end of the story. I will hold on to the but nots today! He is faithful and He has not abandoned us! He will hear our cry from heaven and He will answer!

  1. #1 by Laura Hogston on January 22, 2011 - 6:40 pm

    I pray for you and for Chris almost every time I pray. I carry an image of his face in my mind with me all the time. I am so inspired by your words, even when you are frustrated, and rightly so. I am inspired by him, and the spirit that is in him to keep getting better. I have nothing in my life with which to properly gauge what you are going through and the many turns and twists that it has taken, but I think about the book Hinds Feet to High Places… the girl in the book was called much afraid and she was on the journey to the high places to be with the good shepherd… in the book she would see the high places and then her path would veer off and take her through the valley of despair, or the precipice of injury, or a place of dull sameness day after day… in every turn and situation she had to surrender her will and decide one more time to trust the good shepherd and his promise. Life is like that…over and over again we lay our will on the altar and decide to let God be God and to trust him. Every time she did this she picked up a little stone and placed it in a bag… at one point she found herself in a cave, again facing the choice… and she poured all the little stones out of her bag… one by one she picked them up … remembered where it came from and how faithfully the good shepherd had been… then she dropped it back in the bag… ten times, ten verses, ten promises, ten times of …. will I trust him… and Ten… yes Lord’s. In the end these stones turned to jewels when she got where she was going. I loved this book, this story and all it represented to me… and now from time to time I see that in someone elses life and I think about the book… the promises, the decisions we must make… and the Good Shepherd waiting to turn it all into precious jewels. Sister I am sure there are many whom you inspire… I am one. But I thank you for your sharing. God bless you and Chris.


  2. #2 by Jeanie Olinger on January 23, 2011 - 12:25 am

    Thank you so much for sharing with us. I do count Him faithful and am sure that He is working far more than what I can see presently! So glad you are inspired by some of the things I share. My prayer in sharing was that others could see the struggle (because in the church we tend to put on our “church” faces and not talk about it) and know that the quesitons, the anger, the fight didn’t mean faith was gone. Sometimes it is rough because it is there! In the struggle I wanted others to see that there is a way to work through and find yourself back in faith…back in His arms no matter what is going on!

    Thanks for reading
    Thanks for sharing
    Thanks for praying for us!

    in Him,


  3. #3 by Girley Felan on January 26, 2011 - 10:51 pm

    This sounds soooooo mcuh like my frustration when my son was finally diagnosed with hearing loss…….and I HAD insurance, but I then you had to be referred by your primary physician and after a few little “tests”, decided that my concerns were groundless. Also, the loss of valuable time in waiting, then more referrals, etc. I got plenty ugly and angry and finally came to the same conclusions that you did. It is hard seeing our “babies” needing something and unable to provide it for them. No matter how old they gert, they will always be our babies.


    • #4 by Jeanie Olinger on January 27, 2011 - 11:19 am

      I hear ya!! It is so difficult to try to fight through the system! I appreciate so much what they do and the ways that they do help us, but it can be so frustrating at the same time. You have to fight for almost everything!! Good thing that they are not my source!! lol!!

      Thanks for reading!!!


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