Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Look in the Mirror

This weekend we enjoyed the company of Dean's sister and brother-in-law from Michigan, as they stopped here on the way to Colorado to see his relatives for an annual visit. Amazingly, we were able to enjoy dining out at a restaurant with them, our daughter's family, and Dean and I, by loading him and his hefty wheelchair with oxygen tank, into their SUV.

The evening went smoothly (unlike our last visit, when I believe Dean's temper got the best of him a couple of times). We even stopped by the house here for some homemade strawberry pie before taking him back to the care center. His blood sugar levels have been acceptable now for some time, so we didn't have to stress out about his eating, as the case has been on previous outings. Even his oxygen saturation levels are improving, so that was less of a worry.

I was expecting Lynn to give me some feedback on how she felt her brother was doing. She hadn't seen him for two years, and she would have to notice the deterioration of his physical health, being in a wheelchair now.

Instead, at one point when we were getting out of the car, she gave me a hug and remarked on how much better I was looking these days, compared to two years ago. Really, I was shocked, but pleased, that someone noticed that about me. I hadn't taken the time to recognize any change in myself. But evidently, less stress does translate into something positive.

I'd like to think, of course, that Dean's health has benefited from his stay at the care center too. And I feel that indeed it has. I may have been able to achieve similar results with him at home, but I'm sure it would have taken much longer, at best. And I shudder at what my physical and mental state would have suffered in the process. I would gladly make the sacrifice, but am grateful God has shown me another way.

What a wonderful gift I was given by Lynn's comment. I could look in the mirror all day and not have seen what she saw. I'm glad she felt comfortable sharing it with me. It did my heart good to get "a second opinion", if you will, of how I am surviving this caregiving journey.

I must remember to pass this kind of encouragement on to all my caregiver friends. We sometimes forget to look in the mirror. God is there for us too.
"casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you"! 1 Peter 5:7

Dean and his sister, Lynn--2 years ago

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