I am sure that many caregivers have these overwhelming feelings of failure. My son was in the hospital for a week and I feel like it was worse because I didn’t take him in sooner. But- he never ran a fever which is usually the first sign that something is wrong. I also thought they would just give him an antibiotic and send him home- the ambulance didn’t even run their lights on the way up there. Then it turned out he had all sorts of problems that needed attention. Boy, do I feel like I failed him? Absolutely! I feel like I am a lousy caregiver.
All I can do from here is to pick myself up, learn new signals to watch for – since he’s nonverbal – and move ahead. Can’t say if that is “faith” or not technically. But there just simply is not a place to quit. And I don’t want to. I will say that I am really tired but I am learning new strategies to help keep me from hitting rock bottom emotionally and they seem to be working…mostly. But it’s still a struggle.
For instance – I have made so many phone calls this week already trying to get them over here to get his picc line out. Shouldn’t that just be a given? By the way – I hated hooking up the IVs every morning and night. The process wasn’t difficult, the medicine just made him uncomfortable. And honestly, I have nearly zero trust of most of the medical profession right now. There are tons of reasons but I will spare any readers I may have hanging around! lol
So today is January 14- I have not been out for 14 days then. I took Chris to the hospital on December 31 and we stayed until Jan. 6. I am actually doing better with it than I thought I might. I am hoping he gets better soon so I can get him back out too. We are also going to need a few groceries at some point. I have discovered that there are a few things that you just cannot buy online. I can’t get my doggy groomed online (I ordered clippers), and I can’t by eggs, or fresh veggies online. I can’t get a haircut online either! lol – I cut it myself. What do I care? I’m not going anywhere! lol
So these are few of the bigger things I am dealing with right now and it makes me wonder about faith once again. The funny thing is that somehow it actually feels like my faith is still in-tact. I’m actually writing more and planning on writing even more. I really can’t put my finger on it but something happened when we were staying in the hospital. One day was particularly difficult. (Okay – more difficult than the rest.) The staff (except the doctor) was very understanding and cooperative when it came to Chris and the brain injury. When he was in critical care there was a nurse who had worked with TBIs before and that was nice; but even on the floor they tried to be understanding and listened to me for the most part. But one day there was too much stimuli. He was on total overload. They tried to take his blood like four times, took him down for xrays, finally started a picc line and then PT showed up to work him out! Poor guy! He was wound tight. That night I just didn’t have any more words to pray. I leaned over Chris and started singing an old favorite that my kids grew up on.
“Peace, peace, wonderful peace.
Coming down from the Father above.
Sweep over my spirit for ever I pray;
in fathomless billows of love.”
And then I started singing
“Hear my cry O Lord, Attend unto my prayer,
from the ends of the earth will I cry unto You.
When my heart is overwhelmed
please lead me to the rock that is higher than I, that is higher than I.”
Tears flowed and no one came in so I just sang those over and over because I had no other words or songs that came to mind. I really cannot tell you what happened in that moment except that His peace was just present. I just knew. I am not sure what I knew, but my knower knew that it was all alright. I simply had peace. The rest of the stay was not bad. I was comfortable and figured out my own little routine and was able to keep up with most of my writing work. By Sunday night I knew I had adjusted and was comfortable so we would be going home. Sure enough, the doctor came in on Monday morning and said we were going home. This is of course about four days shorter than he had said we would be there.
So I guess running out of words, although scary for a writer, is not too bad of a thing. And I sort of like not being able to explain what happened that night while singing over my son. That means I did not “reason” it out; He just put it all together and it was all okay.
Over this last 5+ years I’ve so struggled with the whys. I’ve discussed a lot of emotional things on here like dealing with depression, living with daily pain and grief and lots of topics. Those are still real in my life – and I experience struggles in these areas pretty much every day. But I had let all my questions cloud my heart from holding on to Him tighter. Honestly, I cannot explain it. All I know is I’m better even though nothing has changed. And I will continue to believe that God’s words about Chris (or myself) were not void or in vain. No matter how He intends to bring them about – they are still living and active. And so…I wait…..