Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friends



If you know me or read anything I have written here or on care pages, you know I have the most amazing friends. I’m not sure what we did for God to bless us with these people but we never take it for granted and we also pray for them and their children and now their grandchildren since it is one of the things we can do. I was doing a project where you put the cards that people have given you and you get some rings and make it into a book. Well, I am a thrower. I read a card and place it in my heart and throw. I have about ten cards from friends that I have kept over the years and I decided to make a book. I had cards that I kept from my friend Cathy that has since passed and I could not find them. I knew I had kept them and I even knew what they looked like. I tore my house up and cried and tore my house up again. In the insanity of searching I came upon Easter eggs and note cards that one of my best friends had made.
 Debbie had made Dennis these note cards when he was in OU Medical Center because he could not talk.  She is the kind of person that does everything with pure love attached to it.  While we were at Houston she took on the task of overseer to paint my huge bedroom from a dark plum to a lovely sage green color.  She had people of the community write uplifting words and she put them in Easter eggs and placed them around the house.  We kept finding eggs 6 months after we got home.
I have talked before about how I read Psalms 30:5 every night before I went to bed during the five months we were gone.  “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”  When I walked in my bedroom Debbie had made me this pillow. 

She did and has continued to make our life as joyous as she can and I will love her forever for being the friend she has been.  As a caregiver, sometimes you feel out in limbo, and if you feel that way I hope you are blessed with a “Debbie” in your life. 


Friday, September 16, 2011

Going to the Chapel!

Dennis and I get to go to a wedding tomorrow of a girl, woman we have known for 30 years.  We both love her like a daughter and have prayed for her for her entire life.  We are beyond happy to see one of those prayers coming to a reality tomorrow.  She has found her "Mr. Right" and he had better treat her like the princess we know she is.  As they say their vows tomorrow I always wonder if people realize the "for better or worse" part and the "in sickness and in health" part of the vow.  I think most of the time couples don't have a clue, I know I didn't give it a thought at the time.  But you have to take the vows you say before God very seriously and there will be better times and worse times, and there will be health and there will be sickness.  You don't get to have an "out" if your spouse gets Alzheimer's or gets cancer or has a motorcycle accident.  There are no do-overs because your life has gotten a little inconvenient.  You are now one flesh in God's eyes and you have promised to love and cherish those people.  Our biggest prayer for Haley and Blake is 3 John 1:2  Beloved I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Unknown

I remember when 9/11 happened one of the scariest feelings was the fear of the unknown.  Would another attack happen?  How many people were deceased and how many were missing?  Is the life we were comfortable with over and would we ever feel safe again?   As a  wife and caregiver when my husband had his accident those very same feelings came into play again.  Would I ever feel safe again?  Was our comfortable and happy life over?  Would we ever feel normal again?  Those feelings of the unknown every time I walked into the trauma unit at OU medical center still haunt me.  I can remember those alarms like it was yesterday.  Then the feelings of the unknown when we had to go to Select Hospital and had to get to know new people and a new routine and new surroundings.  And then the feeling of the unknown when I had to accompany my husband on a plane to Houston, Texas and live for two months.  The unknown is a scary place and I still live in it a little today.  But the one constant I had was knowing that God was sitting beside me even when I didn't feel like He was there.  I knew He was watching over us,  guiding my decisions and helping us reconstruct our destroyed lives.  We still get those little nudges of what if's or this will never's but when that happens we go straight to the Word of God and get our shot for the day.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing......

Monday, September 5, 2011

End of A Long Hot Summer!



I usually am a little melancholy when I know summer is winding down.  It means the end of gardening, sitting outside in the evening  and going to the pool on Sundays with friends, and it means cold weather is on the way.  This year, however,  is another story.  We have had the hottest summer on record and I am ready to move on to the next season.  Two days ago the temperature was 105 and yesterday it was 80.  I love the 80's!!  I can already see the changes in people and animals alike. 



Our swimming pool was a buzz with activity two days ago and now it is empty.  My dogs are actually outside.  My dog Toby wants to live next door at Sandy and Jason's house so he just sits there all day. 





Deacon who is the master of the house is black and he is very glad we have cooler weather.
 


But best of all Dennis, who has been inside all summer because it has been to hot,  got to be outdoors most of the afternoon and bask in the much cooler sunshine. 



I just hope we get to enjoy this weather awhile, and then have a long fall and not hop right in to winter!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Caregiving 101




My husband has done really well for 5 years since his accident.  Minor mishaps here or there but nothing major.  But we can’t say that anymore because since April it has been awful.  Worse than awful.  His breathing has deteriorated and he has developed an ulcer with gastritis.  His pressure sores on his elbows have gotten worse and worse.  The wound doctor at one of the hospitals we were at gave us some advice and some stuff to put on them.  Worse.  Now, 5 months later it is still going on.  Dennis can’t breathe without oxygen and he may have to have a procedure on his elbow pressure sore.  He has lost 45 pounds since this started and he doesn’t want to eat because it hurts his stomach.  But this is not what I’m blogging about.  What the patient goes through is terrible.  What the caregiver goes through is terrible also.  I look at my husband trying to breathe on his own while sitting up and he can’t.  He feels defeated and your heart breaks.  I see him struggle to go without oxygen and he can’t and he feels defeated and once again your heart breaks.  He can’t talk because not enough air flows over the vocal cords so he has to repeat everything.  He can't visit with friends and he feels isolated.  You feel like every time you go to the doctor and they weigh him they think you are starving him to death.  His pressure sore is so horrible so they look at you as if you have just not done a thing about it, when the people who are taking care of him everyday are trying everything they know to do.  My mom asks him everyday what sounds good?  Would you eat this or that.  I finally got him some muscle milk and he is making himself eat.  My daughter told me I had to use the tough love approach.  So we are trying to get everything well and see how he feels when the UTI is gone and we got a good report on it today, the pressure sore is healed, the ulcer is healed and the gastritis is gone.  As a caregiver who works everyday I think it is a lot like working mothers, you feel guilty if you are not there, you feel guilty if you are tired etc.  I have found out that I have a lot of friends who care and they mean the world to me.  I also have one feisty little daughter who is ready to take on anyone who makes me feel bad and I love her for it.  As we always say it’s one day at a time and we have to know that God has us in His hands.