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Monday, October 23, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 391 - Caregiver, Sometimes Nothing Works {#write31days}

You do your very, very best. You're kind and gentle, you look things up to try to understand your spouse's illness, you follow all of the directions the medical care team gives you...

...you pray.

And things get worse.

And you wonder if it's something you did, or didn't do.

And you wonder if you have enough faith for your prayers to be heard.

Please know this...it isn't you.

None of it. Illness happens, and getting worse happens. The care you give, the support you offer, are actually making things better, even if it seems like you're having no effect.

You see, you're working with one 'test subject'; there is no 'control group' for this process.

You see 'worse', and you think maybe it's you...but what you don't and can't see is how much worse it would have been if you hadn't been there, doing your best.

Rest easy, dear caregiver.

You're giving all you've got...

...and it's enough.

How about some music from the late, great Tom Petty, with Freefallin' ?



My #write31days posts so far are:

October 2 - Talk To A Caregiver
October 3 -  Create A Caregiver Haven

Write 31 Days prompts - 2017

I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.















Sunday, October 22, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 390 - Caregiver, Bring The Light {#write31days}

While it's incumbent on the caregiver to carry the light of Christ to and for his or dying wife or husband, this is about something different...

Physical light.

One of the things I recently noticed during a recent power failure was that not having a light source at hand can be really inconvenient for a patient, and can also be dangerous.

Using the loo isn't a matter of convenient timing for me; if I need to go, right now, then I need to go.

Right now.

And if I did not have a flashlight near at hand, it would have been messy.

And perhaps also dangerous, because sometimes I'm often quite unsteady on my feet, and a fall could cause a setback from which there's no recovery.

So, dear caregiver, some suggestions...

  • Make sure your spouse has access to a light source at all times; you might be away from home, and he or she may depend on that far more than a healthy person would. You can use flashlights, a mounted fixture that will go on when the power fails, and lightsticks (the flexible plastic tubes that glow for about eight ours when you active them by bending.
  • Don't depend on candles. Shaky hands can make lighting a candle dangerous, and a patient can fall asleep (or pass out) and fail to extinguish a candle burning too low.
  • Even without a power failure as the 'driver', increase the lighting you have in areas where they may be needed. Use night-lights in the hallways and bathroom, and perhaps an under-the cabinet light or two in the kitchen.
  • Glow-in-the-dark lightswitches can also be very helpful
There's another aspect to light - and that is that someone close to death may find the dark oppressive. Allow for that where you can; it's very lonely to feel the pain of a terminal illness while waiting out a very long night. ight bring a measure of hope and cheer. This can be tough if your're sharing a bed; Barb now has her own room, partly because of my need for light (she also needs a peaceful place to sleep, and I get up a lot because lying own for any period of time hurts).

Light's important; be the messenger of the Light in spirit, but please look for ways to provide it in the practical sense.

So now over to Kari Jobe, with We Are.


My #write31days posts so far are:

October 2 - Talk To A Caregiver
October 3 -  Create A Caregiver Haven

Write 31 Days prompts - 2017

I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.














Saturday, October 21, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 389 - Caregiver, Give Hope {#write31days}

Caregiving for a spouse who's terminal can feel pretty hopeless. You know the likely outcome, and you can see it in the day-to-day deterioration of someone with whom you'd hoped to grow old.

And the hardest thing is this: giving hope when you have none.

Your spouse looks primarily to you for feedback, reassurance, encouragement, and, yes, hope.

It's unfair. You're the one closest to the situation, and you have to bear a burden of disbelief...for two.

It's unfair, but you've still got to do it, to the best of your ability. Not the Pollyannish "I'm convince your miracle is right around the corner!", nor the other extreme of "Aren't you glad you're saved, you're going to see Jesus soon!"

I've been waiting of that miracle a long time, and it's taking that corner a bit too slowly...and while meeting Jesus is cool, I don't want to die.

So the hope has to be measured...and sometimes all it can be is the encouragement that what you were able to do today, you will be able to do tomorrow...and maybe do something special. Like, for a housebound person, sitting on the porch with a cup of really good coffee, fresh-brewed, watching the sunrise together.

On a chilly morning, nothing's as nice as that warming cup teaming in your hands...

Ah, darn it. I can't drink coffee any more. But weak tea works.

And that measured hope can't include doom prophesying. Even if you knew the current stage of disappointing deterioration was coming, don't share that!

Makes the patient feel kind of  like a lab-rat test specimen, under observation for expected symptoms.

And it's discouraging, because it means that you, the caregiver, have scripted what's to come.

I know this is terribly hard, because, well, who are you going to share your doubts and fears with, if not your spouse?

And that, dear caregiver, is why you need an accountability partner, someone who'll listen to the worst you can see, and who'll hold your heart in trust. A friend, a support group, a counselor...but you need someone.

You can't do this alone.

How about Ol' Blue Eyes, with The Sunny Side Of The Street?


My #write31days posts so far are:

October 2 - Talk To A Caregiver
October 3 -  Create A Caregiver Haven

Write 31 Days prompts - 2017

I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.













Thursday, October 19, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 388: A Caregiver So Far From Home {FMF/#write31days}

Caregiving for a dying spouse can be so very, very lonely.

The person you were supposed to be able to share things with...he or she is, at times, no longer there, and those occurrences are increasing.

The cozy and benevolent God of the prosperity gospel (and its progenitor, the health and wealth gospel) seems far away.

The people who say that you should consider God - Abba - to be 'daddy', with the expectant cry of "Daddy, what's next!" seem to have been smoking something of which you were not allowed a puff.

What's next? Soiled laundry, and a sore back from trying to help your mate to stand...or even sit.

And then you have to help him bathe. (Yes, him, for now it will get personal.)

I see the despair and resignation in Barbara's face, every single day. She leaves for work, and when she returns in the evening, I'm visibly worse. I wish I could hide it, but having skin the colour of parchment makes it hard to hide. So does running into the yard to puke blood, and shrieking in pain.

I think Barb feels very far from her eternal home, sometimes.

I have to help her rediscover it. (The FMF prompt is discover.)

I try. I really do, by sending her prayers and Scripture by email when she's at work (she has the only phone, as I can't really speak clearly any more), and by doing my best to find an excuse to stay positive in faith, hope, and charity.

She is my caregiver, but caregiving, like trust, goes both ways. Her job is recognizably harder than mine. I am fighting for my life, and will lose, but she will carry the memory of that loss, and the memory of the dreadful personal cost that tis has incurred.

It's very hard to remember the good days.

So I have to speak faith, through Scripture an through parables.

I have to speak hope, reminding her of the love that surrounds her, and how valued she is by those with whom she works.

And I have to have a heart of charity, a love that holds to her, but allows her to create the distance she needs to continue the long goodbye. It sounds harsher than it is; do you remember the feeling of taking beloved visiting friends or family to the airport, and the awkwardness of waiting for the flight to be called (before 9/11) or when it was time to go through security?

Dying's a lot like that. it's not that there's nothing to say, but the feeling of time being a cutoff damps down everything.

Distance is needed, because I can't help Barbara across the chasm that my death will open beneath her feet.

But God can. And I can help in this, to release the hold of my heart and let her turn her thoughts from the minutiae of marriage and caregiving to the Might of the Almighty, to those strong Arms that are in word and truth the only thing that will carry her home.

The musical theme is provided by Clemency, with Boys' Choir




My #write31days posts so far are:

October 2 - Talk To A Caregiver
October 3 -  Create A Caregiver Haven

Write 31 Days prompts - 2017

I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.













Your Dying Spouse 387 - A Caregiver's Brave {#write31days}

"I don't WANT to be brave!"

This was Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane..."Please let this cup pass from me!"

It's incredibly trite, and I think a little heartless, to follow this up with something like, "But God had other plans."

I suspect that the truth was that humanity had reached a critical point and there was only one way to save it...and one Person.

Something similar is expressed in a scene from the classic 1964 film Zulu, about the defense of Rorke's Drift by just over a hundred British troops...facing 4000 Zulu warriors. The scene's 51 seconds long, and the important line comes close to the end.


And this is what you are facing, dear caregiver. You didn't ask for this test; it was placed on you by circumstance. God didn't just say, "Hmmm, let's find someone to break today!"

Illness comes with a fallen world, and the requirement for free will. We have to choose to be on God's side, even in the midst of the flames.

What we do isn't brave.

The choice is.


Musical accompaniment is courtesy Amy Grant, with Better Than A Hallelujah.



My #write31days posts so far are:

October 2 - Talk To A Caregiver
October 3 -  Create A Caregiver Haven

Write 31 Days prompts - 2017

I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.