Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Break in Routine

I can't believe my last post was about how smoothly our routine was becoming. Well, this past week woke me up to the possibility of excitement that always exists when you care for someone with chronic problems.

All of us were seeing signs of something going on with Dean's health for a few days there, but none could identify exactly what it was. He was sleeping more, was showing more mental confusion, calling me at different hours of day or night or not at all. He even had a couple of falls at the care center. They first did a urine analysis, which came back OK.

But, finally last Sunday they decided to send him to the hospital. His blood pressure had dropped and he was not looking good at all by the time he got to ER. Come to find out, after many tests, he had pneumonia, fluid in his lungs. So, after three strong antibiotics delivered intravenously over the next few days in the hospital, he was able to return to the skilled nursing center.

For me, this meant five long days of being there in the hospital with him (well, from 6-8 hours a day). The only thing I can compare that to is if you were to sit in a doctor's waiting room for hours on end. It gets rather old, even though there are intermittent episodes of excitement. Like when Dean decides he's getting up, despite the fact that he's hooked up to umpteen monitors, oxygen, and IVs. And, of course, he bellows at me for going out to find a nurse to help. His bellow seemed to work faster than his call light, so guess he knew how to get service!

When he wasn't being exasperating though, he was also quite entertaining, at least when he was awake. Only an old man can get by with telling nurses how pretty they are and asking them if they are married. Of course, if I was in the room, he'd always point out my beauty too. "You're almost as pretty as this other lady over here. She's put up with me for 41 years." And on and on...he knew how to engage even the shyest ones and get them talking. That's just Dean's style.

So, it isn't all monotonous drudgery being a caregiver for my Montana cowboy/truck driver. Looks like we may have a few more years to put up with each other, now that we've cleared this latest health hurdle and are back to our not-so-routine-after-all routine. God is in control!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Abundant Life

After almost three months at the Waverly Care Center, there does seem to be more routine to our lives. Much more routine than Dean would like, of course. I've had him home for short visits and I make sure he gets to church every week, plus an occasional doctor visit. But life is naturally regimented at the care center more than he'd like.

My daughter and I both make sure we visit him once during the week, in addition to seeing him on Sabbaths. He still calls me pretty regularly with his cell phone throughout the day, and he is participating in the social activities they offer there at the center.

And now a report on my life, since it seems more like my own these days. I, too, have fallen into a routine. I keep relatively busy, as busy as I'd like, with my blogging, watching the grandgirls, church activities, and caregiver advocacy meetings.

Starting tomorrow, I will join a special phone conversation with several church friends, called "40 Days to the Cross". It's a discipleship-training event, consisting of forty consecutive days of short phone conferences, and I'm excited to be included this time around. We will share our insights on selected Bible verses, and I've been told it's a thrilling way to grow spiritually.

There are many ways to inject some newness to our lives, both physically and spiritually, no matter what our age. I hope you are looking for ways to heighten your life experience this new beginning of a new month and a new year.

Jesus has come that we might have life, and "have it more abundantly." John 10:10 That will look different for each of us, but it is attainable for each of us as well. Looking to Jesus is always a good place to start.