My heart is overflowing tonight! This afternoon I visited with Momma, and she was awake and able to acknowledge and talk to us!! She looked pretty good! She tried to talk but we could only understand a few things. She was very hungry, because it was right before dinner. She smiled so big when she saw Melody! She kept saying I Love You over and over. I told her the Cowboys had their draft, and then she started saying Cowboys over and over, and said she was ready for the game a few times. This is the first time in over a month that I have been able to see her when we was awake and alert. Praise God!
Today we made the decision to apply hospice care to Mom’s regular care at the nursing home. Maybe you’re like me and the thought of “hospice” has always meant that you are “giving up” on them. Well, it is not that way any more. Hospice care simply means 1) the main goal now is to keep Momma comfortable and meet her needs as much as possible, and 2) there is now an extra layer of care added to the regular nurses and doctor that normally tend to her. I have been impressed with the nurse that we have met with, named Ann New, from Hospice Advantage. She is genuinely concerned for my mother and wants to help her as much as possible. They work closely with the nurses and attendants. The same doctor that has seen her for the past few months since she has been in the nursing home is in charge of hospice in this facility. Therapists can still see and work with Momma. She will stay in the same room for now, although she could move to a room shortly where she would not have a different roommate periodically. David, Carol, Angie and I all feel that this is the necessary step that needs to be taken at this time. If we see do not like hospice, all it would take is to sign one form and it is revoked. If they see that she can “graduate” from needing this type care, they will consult with us about taking her out of it. Thank you for your continued prayers!
As regularly as possible, I will be using this blog to update my mother’s health, so that you can go here at any time and get the latest news. Below is a version of a letter that I sent out to several people who I wasn’t sure that knew how Momma was doing. It will get you caught up until now.
This is to update you about my Mom. You may or may not know – she has developed severe dementia over the past 12 – 15 months. Then in January, she suffered a stroke. At that time, we were forced to move her from our home to Brandon Nursing Home and Rehab Center, which is only about 5 miles from our house.
Up until around April 1, she was doing ok and enjoying the friendships there at the home, as well as participating in groups activities. Of course, she was not able to remember or to tell us about any of them when we would visit her in the evenings. She also was doing pretty well at her physical therapy sessions each day. She was able to eat very well with some assistance.
About a month ago, she became very agitated, to the point of being unruly and violent to those around her. She was taken across the street to the Senior Care Unit of River Oaks/Crossgates Hospital, where she has been since then. Visitation is only allowed there one hour a day, and it is the middle of the day when it is hard for us to get there. At this facility, they are trying to regulate different medicines to see if they can comfort her. So, she is usually either hurting and yelling and hitting something or someone, or is so sedated that she is asleep. The problem is compounded because she cannot communicate with the doctors or nurses to tell them what is wrong or what is hurting. The doctor thinks this is because the dementia has gotten progressively worse. So, we are preparing ourselves for the idea that she may not come out of this phase, to get any better.
For that reason, the doctor has advised us to consider hospice. This facility, located inside of Brandon Nursing Home, is designed to simply keep her as comfortable as possible for whatever time she has remaining here on earth. The doctor doesn’t know for sure that she needs this at this time, because Momma can’t tell her what is going on; however, she is just asking us to consider this as an option. Of course, this would mean that there is no rehab; just a time to try to keep her comfortable. The goal is still to get her back to a regular schedule at the nursing home. But that grows dimmer as time passes. So, as you can see, this is a huge decision – one that there is no coming back from. So we are asking God for guidance and wisdom as we seek to make these decisions.
David and Carol have been great. We have talked through everything as we go and they come down from Tupelo whenever they can get away. They have been so supportive and helpful.
We know that Momma loves the Lord, and that there is a better Place prepared for her once this life is over. She has told me several times that she is ready to go, and that she wondered why God still has her here. We don’t want to lose her. But our prayer is that she would continue to have a quality of life, or that God would carry her safely home.
Of course, we do not know what each day holds, so things could change at any time. I would love to keep you informed. If you have an email address, please send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you ever go to Facebook, I try to update there regularly. I will also begin to update everyone here at my blog. Know that we love you, and that Momma would tell you that too if she could talk to or see you. If you have any questions, I would love to answer them for you. God bless, and we hope to talk with or see you soon!
From Max Lucado:
God will speak to you differently than He will speak to others. Just because God spoke to Moses through a burning bush doesn’t mean we should all sit next to a bush waiting for God to speak. No, God reveals His heart personally to each person. We learn His will as we take up residence in His house and seek to listen to him every single day.
Want to know God’s will for your life? Then answer the question: What ignites your heart? Forgotten orphans? Untouched nations? The inner city? What is the fire that consumes you? Mark it down. Jesus comes to set you on fire and he will speak to you. The fire of your heart is the light of your path. Fan it at your own delight. Blow it. Stir it. Nourish it. Disregard it at your own expense! Your delight is God’s message to you!
God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. Ephesians 2:10
From Dr. Charles Stanley:
Is God in Every Circumstance?
Read | Genesis 50:15-21
The Christian life is to be characterized by growth, which becomes evident as a believer progresses from spiritual milk to solid food. Once we absorb the elementary truths of our faith, we should then begin to chew on more “meaty” ones. The question of whether God is in every circumstance falls into this latter category, because the answer conflicts with human thinking. You see, God is in the tragedies as well as the triumphs of life: He either sends or permits them to happen.
When we ponder the deeper teachings of Scripture, it’s important to start with the Lord’s character and promises. For example, in meditating on the fact that He does allow some extremely hard times, it is critical that we remember:
• God is good (Ps. 145:9), as are His purposes and everything He does.
• God is sovereign (Ps. 103:19), so there’s nothing that is outside of His control.
• God promises believers that He will work all things together for their good(Rom. 8:28).
• God keeps His promises (2 Cor. 1:20). These facts form a filter through which we can seek to understand the Lord’s presence in every situation.
Consider Joseph, who was betrayed by his brothers, falsely accused by the wife of his employer, and imprisoned unjustly. This young man was powerless and in many ways forgotten. But he refused to be swayed by circumstances—he grasped the deeper truth that God had orchestrated it all for good.
Whether the Lord sends a trial or permits one to occur, He has said He will use it as part of His plan for our good. Do you believe Him?
It occurs to me that one reason that we don’t stay “fired up” for Christ is that we tend to focus on what He did when He came for “the entire world”. We think of His place in history, or His place in the society of the day. The real meaning of Christ’s sacrifice is not in the form of a story, or the as a means of historically how He accomplished God’s will. But it is meant to be EXPERIENCED in mine and your heart – and how
He became the sacrifice for the sins that keep us away from Him – so up and close and personal that it totally changes who we are. Then, because of 1) the joy that of knowing Him personally, and 2) discipline on our part to daily give Him His rightful place in our daily walk, gives us a continual exuberance for Jesus that causes His Light to shine through us. That is a natural reaction, instead of a chore. And it is the way that God brings the world to Himself. Praise God!
I would appreciate a simple sentence prayer for an eye surgery I have Friday at 10:00 AM. My aim is to be back up and running over the weekend . . . and blogging again by Monday! Thanks for your prayer support – even if it’s just a short whisper.