Many kind and thoughtful people have been sending me messages asking about my mother. Offering their prayers. Offering their help and support.
And I am humbled and grateful to a level that I can’t possibly express – at least not properly.
Since I am unable (or slow) to respond to everyone’s emails and messages, I wanted to write this post to update everyone on the condition of my mom. Many people have asked how I am doing too.
My mother was transferred to a local rehab facility on January 17, in the hopes that she can learn to regain much of what the stroke took from her. This includes her ability to swallow on her own, regain feeling on the right side of her face and body, speak and write again, and to hopefully get a better understanding of just how much my mom can still think and comprehend.
Since entering rehab she has been in terrible pain from her hip, so she has been on prescription pain medication. It’s helped to ease her pain, but unfortunately it’s made her ability to benefit from rehab nearly impossible, because she mostly sleeps and when she is awake, seems confused – both side-effects from the medication. But removing her from the medication will only increase her pain. It’s a double-edged sword.
Also, beyond my mother’s condition, both she and I have been newly exposed to a business – an industry – we both hoped we would never have to face: elderly care. My mother was discharged from the hospital because Medicare would only cover her for so many days. And soon she will be released from rehab, again, because Medicare will only cover it for so many days, and Rehab needs to free up the bed for someone who can make more effort to improve. So, our options at this point are to put her into a nursing home, as a resident, which requires weeks of paperwork trying to get Medicaid, all the while collecting mounds of debt, while she is not covered – or to simply bring her home.
I have chosen Option B. Not just because of the financial nightmare of Option A, but because I have walked the halls of nursing homes in the last few weeks, and quickly came to the conclusion that I do not want to do that. I have viewed, for the most part, residents often ignored in their rooms and babysat with their TV’s turned up super loud, so no one hears their cries for help. No thank you.
So, in one week when my mother is discharged from Rehab, she will come home. Home to an environment that is familiar to her. Home to a room that contains pictures and other memories from her past. Home to a peaceful room, instead of a room that contains blaring noise from TV’s that run constantly, or people from nearby rooms screaming in pain that often goes unanswered.
But most importantly, home to people that truly love her and only want what is best for her.
Will it be easy?
Definitely not. It will be very hard. But with the help of two amazing friends, we will do the best that we can do.
These past several weeks I have come in contact with personal suffering that at times have tempted me into questioning my own faith.
Watching my mother suffer is indescribable and heart wrenching, and has left me feeling mostly helpless to do anything for her.
I am dealing daily with a medical system (industry) that is beyond terrible, and in my opinion with a few exceptions of some kind doctors and nurses, cares nothing for the elderly, and views them only as a liability.
I have lost 10 pounds from stress and I am having trouble sleeping through the night.
The new design firm that I started with two very talented colleagues, that many people from my past initially expressed interest in working with, is struggling to get clients, or earn us a much needed income.
The book I wrote last year, and was so excited about and had planned to publish after the new year, has been shelved due to a lack of time to properly promote it.
I am at risk of having to sell my home, as I am living off my limited savings.
Basically, at every turn in both my mom’s life and my own, it is currently filled with struggle and sadness.
And although it is difficult, I am trying my hardest to focus not on myself, or even the sufferings of my mother, but instead, on God.
Because what I need and what my mother needs more than anything right now, is hope. And for hope to prevail against despair, both my mom and I must give our minds and hearts to God.
Hope is a choice. We must choose it; it will not just be given to us.
During these past several weeks, when I have been tempted to sink into thoughts of despair and sadness, I have worked hard to bring myself back to thoughts of God, through prayer … to bring myself back to Him. Who He is and the promises He has made to me, through His mercy and love. This has helped me to regain my strength and even my composure when I have felt like it’s just too much to handle. This coupled with the prayers and sacrifices of those who are praying for both my mother and me have helped me so much. And I am positive they are benefiting us both tremendously.
In these past few weeks I have asked myself, how do I cope with watching my mother continually suffer? How can I keep hope alive when so much seems broken and doomed?
And then the answer is always right in front of me. It’s with strength from God, and the friends, family and even complete strangers, that give and continue to give their time to offer their prayers and sacrifices that I am able to draw the strength that I so desperately need.
When times get tough with my mother, and the other inevitable adversities that will appear in my life, and the lives of those I love – I will be tempted to forget this fact.
Prayers. Sacrifices. Trust in God. May they be with me and you always, to help us persevere, even in the most distressing and terrible circumstances.
We must always remember that we are not alone. The faithful (the believers) who have gone before us and are united for all eternity in Jesus are a constantly-renewable resource for those of us who still struggle.
Because, as believers, we know for certain that goodness will never be overcome by evil. It may seem that evil has the upper hand at times, but it will never prevail.
The Apostle Paul once said, “For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
I will never give up.