Archive for January, 2012

One Step At a Time

I have a lot to think about on any given day…and many things that have to be sorted out. I think today I did okay at that. I decided that if I wanted to reach my own personal goals I was the only one who could do it! I really do not like running on the treadmill. I like to run outside but since the aides are usually a very questionable commodity I cannot rely on it. This means I have to use the treadmill…ugh! But while running, I chose to concentrate on the positives. I can monitor my speed better – push myself a little better and log lots of miles! I can run any day and every day if my poor old body can handle it. I have to keep my goals in front of me – right now it’s to run my second half marathon. That means I have to pound out some miles one way or another. (you can check out my running blog for more details www.runningwisdom.blogspot.com)

While I was running and thinking about goals I realized that this is one of the difficulties I have sometimes in this particular situation. I know the half marathon is in April and I know how I need to accelerate my mileage in order to reach that goal. But with Chris, I do not have a time frame from which to work. I have to press forward with whatever I have each day and use whatever I am given in the best way possible to reach whichever goal I can get to! This can be very frustrating to someone who likes to get things all organized. Actually in my real life, I won’t start something until it’s at least very organized in my head! So not being able to set time related and tangible goals is difficult for me when it comes to caregiving. The best I can do is take what I have and try to squeeze a little progress out!! …seems to be working right now although it is still somewhat frustrating! But I am indeed seeing progress so that keeps me going toward my (non-time-related) goals with my son!

Actually,  did somewhat better today myself. I’ve been using Facebook on Chris’ iPad to help stimulate his memory. We take  moment each evening (at least most evenings) to look through pictures. I usually have to choke back a lot of teary eyed stuff and try to keep my voice from quivering while looking at pictures of him the way he used to be. But tonight I did okay. It might have been due to his response – he was smiling as we were looking at the pictures… like he was really engaged and actually enjoying it.. . those moments sure do help me out!!

So can you put a time element on faith? On one hand I think not – Isaiah had no idea how many literal years it would be before the virgin would conceive the Christ child…But God told Abraham that his descendents would be slaves for 400 years… for me the time element can be a very heavy burden. On one hand it doesn’t matter – God promised restoration – and whenever He decides to get around to it is fine. (although I do have lots of frustrations around that point)…But on the other hand.. my days are limited. I have fewer years to live now than what I have lived and they are running out!! lol! Do I have to spend the rest of them in this prison-like setting? I mean the world needed a saviour too.. God sent Christ to die but he sent Him as a baby  and then we had to wait another 33 years for the fulfillment.

Now I know that God knows we are human…finite beings with limited time on this earth. And He even has our days written down…all of them (psalm 139). But honestly, it frustrates me to think that He seems silent to my prayers and may wait until Chris and I are both dead for us to actually realize the promise…why make it then? Why not just tell us that Chris will be whole again on the other side? Why build false hope? I really do not think that God teases us…

So it’s back to the waiting game again. No questions answered and many more generated. For today I will simply have to be content with progress I saw in my son…and for now that will have to do – but somehow there is this underlying peace that is not worried a bit! Doesn’t make much sense – but we just keep walking toward our goal – to be like Him…one step at a time. That’s all any of us can do anyway!

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At Least a Small Piece of Normal

Each day is relatively the same around here with just a few minor changes here and there. Today held a nice surprise though. Ronella came and brought Eli over for a while. I got to spend some time with her and him; and then watched him for a little bit while she ran some errands. It was great. The really fun part was when she got back. We got Chris up and took him outside.There’s a park area behind the apartments so we sat Chris there on the walkway with us and I got to play with Eli, my grandson. It was a particularly fun time. It was nearly like getting to do something normal…except with Chris sitting there in the wheelchair. But it was good too – because he was pretty relaxed and not annoyed! Moments like that make my day!

Today Chris was sleepier – but I gotta give him a day now and then since I push him so much anymore. He deserves a break from me making him move this, move that – watch this – look at that! We are both tired! lol! (for real…) But I did use his iPad to let him look at his Facebook page. He sits right up too as soon as it comes on the screen. We looked through some pictures tonight though…he wakes up and looks at them intently while I try to stay where he can’t see me – and I try to swallow enough so that he cannot hear the cracks in my voice while I am talking to him about them. I really think he remembers…but where we are doesn’t match.

For me – it’s very difficult to see the pictures of who he was and where he was…and see him as he is now. I miss his smile greatly…his voice…his jokes…I miss him so much! Somehow it seems easier to not remember the past and try to just deal with where we are today – but the memories keep nagging. As a family we have so many good and fun memories. I thoroughly enjoyed the days my kids were in band. I was really disappointed when Ronella didn’t continue in band for college. But I really did understand. She wanted to give herself to her studies uninterrupted by band practice and other requirements…But before those days – while the kids were in school I enjoyed watching them march and compete and learn music!

Maybe I am totally crazy to think I will ever get Chris back. At least the Chris we all knew. It seems so long ago – so far removed; but fresh in my mind at the same time. It’s a pain that does not go away. I work and keep my mind busy…to try to numb up. But it doesn’t always work…

Add to that the fact that I rarely get out of the house anymore and I am a boxed up mess! I’m trying to just be content with the cave. Maybe I do not deserve a social life…doing things like going to a movie…or out to eat with friends…and maybe I am just actually getting content to stay here in the cave – order everything I need for life and godliness online – and get out one day a week for a run – if I am lucky enough to have that opportunity.  I’m starting to think that this is just the life God saved me for…so I should not fight it – just sit back and make the “best” of it…

One good thing is that Chris is easier to transport now. I can get him out on occasion. He handles it better. But to be honest – it is a huge mental struggle t get myself geared up to tackle it. It’s almost always worth it to get out – but it’s so involved…And it’s really difficult to make definite plans because I cannot guess what kind of day he is going to have.

But we move on.. some days I am content to hide away here, drink coffee, write and work with Chris. Other days it feels like a prison and I am being held here. In one way it is my choice…so I figure I should just suck it up and drink another cup of coffee!

But somehow in the midst of all of the pain, the turmoil and the adversity…there is something down inside of me that says no. I will not quit until Chris comes back to some level of functioning. There’s something that just cannot let go. It’s so frustrating to see him improve so much at this stage in the game – and yet not be able to get any help with therapy and such because the progress is still so slow. I can’t really get much advice even because everyone is afraid of a law suit. And what’s really frustrating is that therapy is provided under his Medicaid stuff. But because the state pays so little no one will take the job. I have to think that they keep the pay scale set low on purpose – that way they do not have to pay for in home therapy. If only someone could come one time a week (or a month) and help me set real goals and show me how to work with Chris’ trouble areas… oh well – that will have to remain in my dreams  — along with his full recovery for now.

But I am holding out hope….he is still breathing… God healed the man at the gate Beautiful and he’d been lame for years. He was immediately strengthened and began to run and jump and praise God…I don’t know – maybe healing brain injuries expired just before November 8, 2008!… Oh well… I simply cannot stop hoping…and I have no idea why!

 

Here’s what I want to see agian:

 

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Getting it Together

Well, I am not really too sure that I am doing an adequate job of getting it together, but I am trying. I am seriously trying to draw back into my cave and for the most part so far – it’s working and it seems safe! I really need to refocus…but I am not sure how to do that from here. Oh sometimes I feel like I sort of have “it” all together – but that usually lasts for a brief moment! But I have been thinking about a lot of different things and somehow it seems like there is some sort of forward progress in my life…sometimes.

I’ve thought back over the last three (plus) years and this furnace that I am living in. I must say I have seen God provide even through all the adversity. As we have taken each step He has been right there providing. That is not to say that he dumped money into my bank account or anything – but I have generated a small freelance writing business that is doing pretty well. I actually have to work diligently to keep up with it. I have no complaints. My lights are on, there is food in my cabinet, we are clothed and have a vehicle. If you are aware of any parts of this journey – especially early on – you know how amazing all of that is. And of course some people have generously given… some over and over…it’s been amazing really! ….no complaints…

And Chris is still making progress. That is very good, even though it is still so very slow – there is overall improvement each day. But the improvement does not dull the constant nagging pain of knowing who he was and all he had going for him and seeing him like he is now. Nothing erases that. And that’s really what eats at me…day and night. I have to work to stay ahead of it – to keep my mind on scripture and concentrate my effort on embracing hope and faith…and that’s what can make me so tired sometimes! We’ve had these two things (hope and faith) so tied up in things we can see – we forget that they are eternal forces. They are at work outside this realm we can see – working for us toward far better goals than the physical things we can see here…

I’ve also thought a lot about people. I think about people who were large parts of my life – and are no more. People who I admittedly gave too much allegiance to and got burned… part my fault – part theirs. Some who I thought were friends only to never hear from them again. Today I thought back about when we were in the hospital and one such “friend” asked me what I needed. I told her I needed contact with people who cared and could pray for me and with me. She said she would call me every day to encourage me. I have not spoken to her since that day. Sad really…but at least there is no question in my mind now as to where she stands! lol! (you gotta laugh or it will eat you alive! ) I was also under the illusion that coming “home” to Oklahoma would help me reconnect with some of what I thought dear friendships… boy did I have some learning to do! lol!

But on the other side of things I have to think about the good relationships that have developed over the last 3 years. Some were already established and  can easily name several true friends who have continued to walk through this with me. Some of them are located in various states – but have found a way to stay connected through this whole journey. For this I am so thankful. And I must also think about the new relationships that He has given me… I have some new precious friends for which I am so thankful… both online and off. I will never make light of true friendships again…precious is the only word to describe them.

So here I am trying to get myself together to face another year of who knows what…knowing that no matter what a day brings (and I don’t take a day for granted anymore either…) He will be there with me. He will carry me through both fire and flood. Holy Spirit will comfort me – if I will sit still long enough to let Him! lol! So I am just thankful. Not for the pain, not even for the journey (honestly, I hate the journey)…but thankful that I am not alone – whether or not I can sense anyone walking with me or not… He is with me – He is my hope… and with that I can go to sleep knowing that He will see me through the night no matter how many times I have to get up with Chris – and He will see me through the day no matter what it brings….

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