Posts Tagged change
It’s been a little crazy around here the last few weeks. I had an aide who didn’t really want to do anything at all. I actually have a picture of him sleeping in my recliner! Now I have a new aide but she is still not comfortable with being here alone with Chris. Not all that important, except that it means I’ve been stuck inside for over a month except for a couple of races and a couple of runs where a friend watched Chris for me – out of pure kindness! And yes, I do have cabin fever. However, I am seriously trying to deal with it constructively. For one thing I turned my bedroom into a mini-gym. This takes away any excuses and offers me a quick outlet if I get overwhelmed…which can actually be very often.
Anyway – I took Chris out to the grocery store the other day since he needed a few items. We use a bus system which helps the elderly and disabled get out and about. The buses have the special lift so that it can handle chairs easily. Getting him out can be a very challenging experience both physically and emotionally. It does seem to be getting better; and he seemed to really check the store out so I think it provided a very good stimuli for him.
We only needed a couple of items and the bus wasn’t coming back for an hour. So I just pushed Chris around the store looking at stuff and talking to him. When we got to the drink aisle, I got a little upset. It was only because I was not sure exactly what Chris would have wanted to drink. I was saddened to think that I could not remember those little details. I know it does not matter too much but it still really bothered me. I wish I could remember every tiny detail – and more.
Not too long ago I found Chris’ old video camera and I watched all of his home videos. There was some really good footage and then there was some silly stuff too. It was so good to see him like he was before the accident. But it was very difficult too – seeing him walk, talk and do all the simple things we take for granted. I was upset that I’d forgotten his unique movements like the way he used to do his hands or make crazy expressions. I wish I had a video of his whole life so I wouldn’t forget a thing.
I know that even as he gets better – he’ll never be exactly who he was before. But neither will I. I’ll accept Chris #2 just like he is and love him just the same – maybe more. It does not matter to me what his physical condition may look like – he will always be my son. I think sometimes God feels this way about us. If we are honest we can see that the church is far less functioning than it could be/should be. Personally, I am far less than what I should be in Him – but no matter what we look like to God – He will always call us His sons.
Lots of changes are up for me and Chris…for all of us. Chris is progressing nicely and I am learning how to push him a little more each day without wearing him out too much most days. You’ll have to check out the update blog for all the details on that. (www.updatesonchrishampton.blogspot.com)
And then there are other changes too. My aid is quitting to take a better paying day job. I can’t blame her for that. We were just a trial run for her anyway so she could see if she liked nursing in any way. And I wasn’t too surprised at it anyway. But now I have to remember how long it took the home health agency to find an aid last time… so I am planning on no aid for a while.
Honestly the first thing I thought was, “When will I run?” But I’ve been working on getting a treadmill all week and if it all works out then I won’t miss a lick and will be a happy camper. I may even opt to not even have an aid after this. All I need is a couple of hours to run errands each week. With a treadmill I can actually go ahead and start training for a full marathon… now that’s exciting!
Here’s the big stuff though…I got a phone call from an agency that isn’t even technically supposed to be handling Chris’ case as he is ineligible. But the lady was so helpful and kinda gave me a nudge to get off my duff and get something done. So I called and will be changing doctors this next month and Chris has an appointment the first week of August with the new doctor.
The thing is – I will have to take him. No problem on one hand, because I understand there are two different transportation agencies who can transport us to the doctor. One is even covered on his program. So it’s all good…except…it’s a totally new adventure for me. And to be completely honest – it’s very scary to me. I have become comfortable here in the cave…and I broke down and cried after the doctor accepted him – pretty much out of pure fear…
And please don’t write me a ton of scriptures like “God’s not given us a spirit of fear….” I know that…but the emotions were (are) still there – it’s scary getting out of the cave. We’ve been so secure – so safe…and it’s all changing and while I know it’s a good change – well, it’s just that change is different! lol!!
We have also been invited to participate in a program for handicapped citizens. But I haven’t been able to get over that hump and take Chris out yet. CART supposedly will come and get us…but my knees start shaking again! lol! And honestly – it’s totally new territory for me…I’ve never been here before. In my cave I can make the adjustments that are immediately necessary but to venture out is … scary!
So I am dealing with these really weird fears and joy all at the same time. I’m so happy with the progress Chris is making… it’s like I can see his progress almost every day now.. even in his sleeping patterns. He really sleeps now for the most part. And it’s a restful, peaceful sleep – not a brain injury sleep… I can’t explain it better than that….and then I am forced back into the unknown – Not sure what to do with him next. I always say that I play a lot of “guess and check”…Guess what needs to go next and check to see if it works…if not – guess and check again!
And in the middle of all of the turmoil I am very aware of God moving. I am not sure I have adequate words to describe it because some of it seems more like He and I are arguing ( I’ll let you guess and check on who starts it!)…but before I know it my mind is lost in the word and pretty soon I have such a clear understanding. And for the most part all I can say is that I’ve been so blinded by religion I really couldn’t see HIm before….we will never be able to see Him here – not while using our natural eyes to measure His dealings…the measure of faith will never be accurate when using what our eyes can see…
Today was a very interesting day (as the title more than implies)! First my friend Joann came yesterday and stayed the night. She lives in Arkansas but has stayed so connected through all of the craziness of the last two and a half years. She’s been a true friend for sure! She didn’t walk away when she wasn’t sure what to do with us when our live drastically changed in a moment; she just kept walking with us…even from a distance…as so many have.
We talked, ate, pulled a few weeds in the garden and took Chris for a walk through the park here behind the apartments. It was so nice to hear another voice in the house for the weekend. I’m not real sure why the weekend can wear on me so much heavier than the week can, but it tends to. This one is about gone and I’m ready to get some sleep and start a new day tomorrow!
Something really strange happened today. I have been part of a group for most of the last two years plus – called Daily STrength. I found it and joined a couple of the online support groups there. I won’t forget the first person who talked to me on the site. His name is Shaner and he was injured in a fall accident himself. He was given so little hope of survival that the doctors had his mom sign off on his organs…but here he was writing to me, continuing his education and helping to encourage others to never lose hope! Among his first words to me that still ring out were the doctors do not have the last word! That statement brought me lots of encouragement. I’ve met other wonderful friends on DS too. (Hi Tori!!)
Today a new person wrote me. She has a son named Chris as well. He was in an accident when he was a teenager and she’s been caring for him for 7 years now. She was reading my story and wanted to “connect” as she felt she could encourage me. Our conversations are “your Chris” this and “my Chris” that…it’s kinda funny!
I’m ready to embrace whatever God has down the road. Her Chris has not spoken since his accident, yet he still continues to improve…I am saddened to think the thought what if Chris never speaks again? Honestly, I had not thought about it. I just keep working with him (which btw – he was very vocal with me today when I upset him! I swear when I asked him a question his grunt was in direct response!)
Emotions tried to suck me under…maybe I am only deluding myself…but I just can’t believe God would silence Chris’ voice. I wanted immediately to take the things I do have and get them out for all to hear! I have all his writings and some of his music (and power of attorney!) and wanted to begin to put them in books so all could share and hear the things God had already put in this young man!
So I am kinda in a weird spot tonight…totally trusting what God promised…yet trying to prepare since I don’t really know what’s ahead – or how far it is ahead! And you know what – I’m not sure it matters from here…I’m going to trust God with what each day brings…that’s all anyone can do!
I’m so very moved by some of the things in the news the last few days. A young football player lost his life, a sheriff is shot and may lose his sight in one eye…devestating tornados in Missouri today…this all rips at my heart as I know how your life can be ripped away in an instant…how fast things can change. All the things that used to be so important only boils down to one thing….relationship…with God first and with others… and really I am not sure there is even one more thing in this life that matters…not even one…
So I had this question today while my mind was wandering about in all the “things” and whether they matter or not… I want to spend my energies on the things that are eternal.. why spend it on anything else? I thought of the scripture – laying up treasure in heaven…and how our works are tried to see if we used wood, hay and stubble; or if we used gold and things that will stand in the fire….how do we build treasure for eternity? It cannot be simply going to church – or even feeding the poor – it cannot be healing the sick or even raising the dead…how do we build for eternity? How do we build what really matters?
…sorry no answers here yet… but at least I am thinking about it.. and I will let you know if I come up with something! lol! I want this cave experience to drive me into His presence…I am thinking that’s the key. And not some flakey shakey all over the church feeling that doesn’t bring about real change in my heart and life…but an intense knowledge and understanding of God and His ways.. that effectively brings about eternal changes in me… changes that last…changes that effect eternity…in me…just thinkin’…
We have finally got everything except my room unpacked and I’m making a little progress on it each day. (as I need things I’m finding it..,. if that counts! lol!) Chris has adjusted very nicely to the new place and is just doing so well. He is more alert all the time and awake pretty much all the day. So today I decided to take him out. I had figured that I would do so once a week and that was all until I could get used to the getting him in and out of the car.
Friday we are scheduled to go out to Ronella’s for a little while and so that was our one trip. But then today I decided he really needed the outside stimulus. I finally decided I’d take him to Sonic. It’s a drive through and I could leave the chair here. So we did… and it was awesome to just go run around a bit! And he ate quite a few bites of his soft serve that I got him. I on the other hand ate the entire hot fudge sundae! And when we got home he got out of the car fine!! That’s very encouraging.
Taking him out like that is very emotional for me. I see other’s stares…and I know they wonder things like was he born like that? was he is an accident…. and it’s okay – but I’d rather they just asked really! Anyway – the good side is it helps us feel a little normal – and a little more independent. We can get out. Although we can’t do it too often yet – I want to go slow with Chris and let him get used to it a little at a time.
The emotional part for me that is really heightened when we are out is seeing other guys about his age. I think of how he was just a few years ago. He was free, loving (most of )life and enjoying himself too. He liked to drive with the windows open, music blaring and a cigarette in his hand! He wore shades because they were cool and he went where he wanted when he wanted. And just watching others makes me go back to all that was lost in a single split second…
But when my emotions crash in like that I have to try to figure out a mental way to escape. This time I began to dwell on where we’ve been and where we’ve come from and how far we’ve come. We went by the nursing home to get some papers from my sister and Chris tensed up…he remembers…it hurt my heart again. I promised him he would never go back that I was going to take care of him and we were going home. Then he slowly relaxed again. And he wasn’t treated badly there… not at all…so I started thinking of all the really cool people who have seriously helped us on the journey — I’ll say that God sent them just to help us on the journey.
The nursing home in Bernice has to top the list. They actually let me stay in the room with Chris. That’s going way above and beyond! They took care of me too pretty much. lol! And we met Ms. ChiChi there too. She was 97 at the time (nearly 99 now) and she came to the nursing home a couple of afternoons a week to have coffee with us… and Ms Marie was there too. We had coffee with Ms Marie every afternoon at 2:30. And sometimes her sons came…they were a hoot!
A funny story about Ms. Marie…when we were leaving Bernice to go to New Orleans to rehab she called me down to the nurses station. She said come over here by the window and show me which truck is Chris’. I thought it was real odd that she cared. I went into the visiting room with her and started trying to point out Chris’ truck. She said, “Honey you know I can’t see a thing, I just wanted to give you this and no one know.” And she pulled out an envelope with money in it to help with our expenses!
I could go on and on – so many people He sent along the way…
So after we got back from Sonic – I got the chair and Chris just basically gets out of the car! I had to help him get stood all the way up but it was obviously better even than last week! I am so proud of his desire to improve…he is doing so good… I’m so proud of him!
Sorry for not posting for a few days but we were getting everything moved!! And we did it! My family came through and helped get everything moved. And my friend brought us all a huge pot of delicious stew for supper! With all the help we got it all done in an evening! And the last couple of days has been spent trying to put everything away. The funny thing is that I was like so overwhelmed with getting everything back in its place and I thought I didn’t feel like this last time I moved. Then I was like duh! when I moved into the last apartment almost a year ago I had nothing! Now it’s taking me days to get everything in its proper spot! I realize how much God has provided and blessed! Even though my head is still spinning with all the activities!
Chris seems to have had virtually no adjustment problems at all. That’s a real blessing. And his chair fits perfectly in the hall…doesn’t touch at all going around the corner! That almost made me cry I was so happy it fit as that had been my foremost concern with taking this apartment. It really is perfect for us right now! It’s got the back yard with flowers already blooming that we are thoroughly enjoying every day! The basic colors are greens – that’s my favorite! (thank God it wasn’t pink! lol!) And it seems huge after the little bitty unit we were in. In that apartment I could see Chris in his bed from the kitchen! It seems very spacious and comfortable… I am a happy camper….
Chris has done remarkable really (which helps my morale). I wondered yesterday if getting him into his own room helped him feel less sick. I don’t know – just thinking…I also got to take him out on the trail in the little “park” behind the apartments. It’s a nice paved trail with trees and a frisbee golf course. It ends up at a little park with toys kids can play on. He did real well with it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Chris. Yesterday was an exceptional day for him. He did a lot and that was great. I wonder though if he dreams in his sleep. I’ve wondered does he remember who he was. He has no sense of needing to do anything. Like he doesn’t worry about finishing school or studying or practicing…all that seems so far gone.
I’ve thought a lot about some conversations we had about how he just wanted what God wanted. And if God wanted him to sit on the porch and rock that’s what he wanted to do. He was so willing to lay aside the drums and everything else that defined who he was. He told his girlfriend that he was her Isaac and she’d have to put him on the altar. Boy, he had no idea. Some of his thoughts the last few weeks seemed so detached from life and we were very concerned about him… and now the wanting to give everything up to know God – makes sense…it hurts like hell, but it makes sense.
I am so curious to see how God is going to unfold things from here on out. Even though there have been so many changes the last week – the new vehicle (which means we can get out some ) and the new place…but we still deal with the day-to-day. Everything seems new in one sense – but I still don’t have my son back…So everything isn’t new – yet—
I have not given up hope that God will fulfil His promises concerning Chris. It’s all in the waiting from here on out…still waiting on GOd. I may read that again if I can find it in one of the boxes!! lol…