Thursday, November 17, 2016

Friends to the Rescue

It's time I update my readers on Dean's new living arrangement. He was in a far-away town, much too far for me to feel comfortable driving in the winter, so after a week I was able to have him transferred to a closer town, only eight quick miles up the road.

The real bonus is that I am much more comfortable with this latest move. Everyone has given me good feedback on the care someone they know received at the Waverly Care Center. They really seem to be conscientious and caring there. I am quite relieved knowing that he's in such capable hands.

His blood sugars seem to be climbing, even on the diabetic diet they have him on, and I guess that's my greatest stress factor right now. Just where this will lead, I have no idea, but it doesn't sound promising.

I do know God is overseeing it all though. The first weekend I couldn't be with Dean in that town farther away, some church friends unexpectedly took it upon themselves to drive clear out of town to visit Dean and we both appreciated their gesture of love so much. Yes, God, I know you are watching out for Dean--wherever he is, even when we're not together.

...enjoying the breakfast Paul brought him the next morning--thank you guys, for taking care of my man!
Notice the little cell phone, hanging around his neck, I got him so he can call me whenever he wants. It does help, almost like prayer (our link to God, now that we are separated from Him on this earth)...

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Our "Riches to Rags" Story

It's with a heavy heart that I report our sad story about Dean's new level of care this past week. In our minds we could see it coming a couple of months ago, but when his move finally became a reality, the emotional impact has hit me like a ton of bricks.

Dean's anger outbursts, although not different from what they were at home--just brief verbal profanity, followed by remorse and apologies--were not accepted or understood in the upscale assisted living environment he's enjoyed for the last three months.

This was not the fault of anyone; the staff there did their utmost to make it work. This particular setting was just not a good fit for Dean, which none of us could foresee. Dean appears so independent, mobility-wise, that we thought assisted living was worth a try for him. But most of the residents there were elderly women, and they and their families were understandably concerned about this lionly man, who proved capable of some very loud roaring at times.

(Even with the lack of socialization he eventually encountered there, I'm grateful for the three months of quality care this assisted living center provided for Dean during this difficult transition.)

Our search for another living arrangement was made even more challenging due to his being on Medicaid (there are only so many Medicaid beds available). His diabetes, still showing very high blood sugar levels, has made skilled nursing seem all the more appropriate for him.

In addition, I'm sure his anger issues resulted in many places also deciding against his placement, as he would have to be a good fit for a roommate. Medicaid does not pay for a private room.

We eventually found a facility that accepted him though. Unfortunately it's in a neighboring town, thirty miles from our home, which will prove quite a barrier for me to be able to see him as often as I'd like. Especially when winter hits, with Nebraska's notorious driving conditions on the smaller highways.

What was most depressing for Dean and me, however, was the fact that this particular skilled nursing center seems to be the final placement for many of the most severely disabled. I had visited many places in our hometown, so I wasn't expecting anything close to the luxuriant accommodations we were coming from, but nothing prepared me for the run-down conditions I witnessed where he's at now. It's a far cry from the environment Dean just came from.

Often this week my mind's gone to the Bible story of Joseph. Poor Joseph repeatedly fell from riches to rags, the opposite of a "rags to riches" story. First, as Jacob's favorite son, he found himself being dragged as a slave down to Egypt. Then after enjoying years as Potiphar's chief steward, he was sent to a filthy dungeon to suffer for a crime he didn't commit.

Fortunately, there was a happy ending for Joseph. And I'm sure God has a happy ending in mind for Dean and me too. He's preparing mansions for us in heaven. And they will be assisted living at its finest.

Thank you, Jesus, for offering to leave your beautiful surroundings in heaven and come down to this severely disabled planet. Your resurrection proved that our stories always end in riches, when we come to you for placement there.