Starting Sunday I will be moving in with my mother to care for her while my sister returns to her home in Santa Fe for three weeks or so. This has been a big struggle, a daunting potential, something I felt averse to, didn’t want to do, was advised not to do, but rather put her in some sort of facility or get 24/7 in home care.
The thing is, her situation keeps changing. No one really can pin down what’s causing her problem, which is no longer high blood pressure but low. She’s been fainting once or twice a day for several days now, even though she’s doing better on keeping hydrated (drank 8 glasses of water yesterday). Yesterday we visited the doctor and he cut both her blood pressure meds in half. He said he was more concerned with the low blood pressure readings (which some nurses and helpers have considered “good”) than the 175/80 readings. My sister’s been taking her blood pressure throughout the day and the low readings account for about 90% of them. And then, after the visit, as we were consulting with the nurse, my mother fainted.
My sister leaves, as I said, on Sunday and I take over. I have no idea how it will go. I signed up for some in-home care if I need relief, but turns out they have a four-hour minimum. I was hoping for a two-hour minimum, which is more in line with what I’d see myself needing. The home care agency also don’t operate on the immediate “as needed” basis I was given to understand it did. To get a good match they need not only several days notice, but want us to commit to some sort of regular weekly schedule. Right now, that doesn’t seem quite what we need.
On Monday I’ll take Mother for a PET scan. On Tuesday, we go to a local hospital for an ambulatory blood pressure monitor that she’ll wear for 24 hours, then return to the hospital. Meanwhile the physical and occupational therapists will continue to visit and work with her.
She’s way better than she was last week. Except for when her blood pressure drops, she’s quite alert and mentally sharp. Still gets tired easily and naps several times a day, but that’s to be expected after her hospitalizations.
For me, the picture ahead is a big blank. I have no real idea what to expect, but I’m seeing it clearly as God’s will and an opportunity to trust Him to handle things rather than driving myself crazy trying to project possible scenarios and solutions. I’ve been in this situation countless times before, especially when writing. Abramm’s experience in the desert (in Return of the Guardian King) where he had no idea which direction to walk in, only that he had to walk, is a good parallel. Plus, more and more I’ve been aware of the fact God’s been leading me to do things, of how He orchestrates things down to the second, and how, even though I have no plan for how I am going to get something accomplished, somehow it ends up happening.
It seems like I’ll suddenly “get an idea” to do something and do it and only afterwards see that it’s exactly what I was supposed to do. But I had no preconceived idea that I would do it. No plan that at 9am I would do such and such. In fact, sometimes I’ve got an entirely different plan for 9am… So really this is a tremendous opportunity to trust Him and relax.
And last night, after all the drama of yesterday and continuous conversations with my sister about why Mother might be fainting — all speculations, since no one can say for sure and though, the doctor advanced several possibilities, he also added that trying to get the blood pressure to stabilize in situations like these is really tricky — last night, in going through earlier entries in my journal I came upon this statement from Pastor McLaughlin, who of all people has had abundant experience in dealing with medical crises: “Give up worrying about medical stuff! Like, ‘Did I eat the right thing? Take the right meds? Am I doing the right thing?’ God will handle it.”
And further, we’re told to “cast all our cares on Him.” We’re told “Trust in the Lord with all your heart (system of thinking) and do not lean on your own understanding (human viewpoint, human good, worldly medical practitioners’). In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
The best way to bring glory to God is to trust Him. And it’s in situations that challenge us in this regard that we have to ask ourselves, “Do I really believe what the Word of God has to say, or do I not? Because if I do believe, there is no place for worry; and if I am determined to solve the problem and fix the situation on my own, then I’ve shoved “believe the Word and trust in Him” right out the door of my soul.
I just wanted to write and…and what? To let you know that these posts about what you are going through touch me. I know that this is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak on trusting God. The way you are walking it out is so ‘real’. I am sorry that I do not have the proper words to encourage you but I do not think you write these posts for that purpose at all. I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That sounds so trite when you say that to someone who is going through such a traumatic time, but I know that it is not trite to you. And in fact you are walking it out in front of me…and many others,(through this blog)even though that is the farthest thing from your mind I am sure. (I feel like one of the watchers in Arena as I read this blog) It’s all about your mom and your realtionship with God so don’t spare a thought about what we think as blog readers but I know that someday you will reap some great strength and wisdom from going through it WITH GOD. That is the crux of it all. I am sorry you and your mom are suffering. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks, Kelly. You’re right — I can’t spend too much time thinking about how the blog affects readers or I’d probably psyche myself out of writing at all! LOL! But I appreciate your encouragement, even so.
I’ve just been catching up a bit on your blog and wanted to let you know I’m praying for you as you go through this tough time with your mom’s health, and the upheaval and pain that brings. Thanks for sharing what God gave you on suffering; His timing is so perfect! Praying that you will continue to be strengthened through this and that you will be and encouragement to your mom as well.
Thanks, Loren. I appreciate it.
Hi. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now. I appreciate your love for the Lord and for your mom. I also wanted to mention that it sounds like your mom has a lot of the symptoms of an autonomic dysfunction with her heart, especially with the fainting spells, the tiredness and the blood pressure going up and down. Hang in there. God is being glorified by your faithfulness. You and your family are in my prayers.