Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Perfect Solution

We recently passed the six-month mark for how long Dean's been in what's called a "long term" or "extended care" nursing facility. I thought at first that Dean was the only one having a hard time dealing with the reality of his increased medical needs, but I'm finding that it's just as hard for me to adjust to this unnatural living arrangement.

It was hard on me physically, taking care of Dean before his diagnoses of diabetes and COPD. I can only imagine the toll it would take on me now if I was having to add insulin shots, oxygen use, diet restrictions, and the continued, increased fall risk he's become.

None of these treatments alone would be out of the realm for a normal person to handle, but one must take into consideration his dementia from his TBI years ago. It's extremely difficult getting him to comply with all his treatments and restrictions. Even the nurses at the center have limited ability to treat him properly. I'm sure my success would not be any better than theirs. He would ultimately be making too many trips to the hospital, and they would be recommending his placement to be just what it is now.

Then, there's the factor of my own declining health. My pulmonary limitations cause me great fatigue and lack of energy. It's hard just taking care of myself! Adding another person would make me go down even faster. And how would that serve my husband?

It helps alleviate my guilty conscience somewhat to document these reasons, but unfortunately the heart does not always listen, and I find myself constantly questioning whether I could indeed have kept Dean at home longer. And whether I should not at least give it another try.

But then I remember how hard it was to find his current placement. There's no guarantee that we'd find such a perfect location, with such top-notch nurses and care that he's being provided now. I'd hate to burn that bridge by attempting it at home again.

So, what does this caregiving dilemma provide me as far as educating my faith? It has allowed me to see the difficulty our Father God has in leaving us in the temporary care of the god of this earth. Oh, how He must long to sweep in and return us to our former happiness in the Garden of Eden. But the long term results must be considered. In order to return us to that glorious place, we must temporarily remain in another caregiver's hands for awhile. It doesn't appear right now to be the perfect solution, but someday we will see how it was the only one.

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