Sunday, September 26, 2010

Is It Thanksgiving Yet?

We've had a lot of things going on in our household this past month and a half - many of them disturbing, disrupting and disillusioning. But things are better!
1. Don survived! That means God loves me and spared me an unspeakable grief.
2. Don is improving. That means his independence is returning and our lives are taking on a semblance of "normal" again.
3. The doctors are amazed at how well Don is doing. That means his life is a testimony to them all of the grace and awesomeness of our God.
4. Lots of friends and family prayed - and they're seeing the result of that fervent prayer.
5. Don's return from death has been an infallible witness to our own children and grandchildren. We believe in God because He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever faithful!
6. I'm thankful. For life. For family. For friends. For prayer. For answers to prayer. And to be right here, right now!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm Not Stubborn, I'm Just . . .

My husband is amazing. I know firsthand.

The other day, the home healthcare nurse was here and was questioning Don about the things he could and could not do without help. He said, "I can walk for short distances with my rollator (the walker with wheels and a seat)." I looked at him with dropped jaw. I was CERTAIN he was no more able to walk with his rollator than I was to fly. Last night, just before going to bed, I said, "Babe, you embarrassed me by telling the nurse that you could walk with your rollator." He looked at me with that impudent little pout he gets sometimes and said, "Well, I can." I stood my ground, knowing I was right.

He said, "Where's my rollator?" I told him it was right beside him. He began to reach for it, and I ran to get a kitchen chair, knowing he would need it to help himself up from the middle of the floor after he fell. "How far are you going to walk?" "Oh, from here to there (indicating a spot about five or six feet away." He would not be dissuaded.

He grabbed the handlegrips with both hands and pulled himself to his feet. There, right in front of my astonished and tear-filled eyes, that man began to take one faltering step after another. You might not call it "walking", at least not gracefully. But he got from "here" to "there", just the same!

I was bubbling with pride and blubbering with emotion. When he plopped back down in his wheelchair, I said, "Honey, how in the world did you do that?" "Just stubborn, I guess!" Well, call it what you will. I call it amazing!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sometimes I Feel Scared

I'm an adult, and you would think that I had gotten past most of my irrational fears by now. But fear of the unknown is not an irrational fear - at least as far as I'm concerned.

Today marks a month since Don's horrible heart attack and all that resulted. The days have been getting better, and I've been praising him and thanking God for his progress. But we've hit a bump in the road.

In the early morning hours, Don began complaining of a "tightness" in his chest. That's the way he describes the feeling of having a heart attack, so I was instantly alert. He tried to get some comfort, but ended up getting up in his powerchair, hoping the tightness would go away. It didn't. We've been dealing with it all day - not bad enough to call 911, but not comfortable enough to rest.

I'm scared. I've faced the unknown before, many times. ALS brings many uncharted and stormy seas. Heart attacks force you to walk down unlit paths. But, sometimes, remembering is the greatest fear of all. Remembering how it feels to see someone you love suffering, and you can do nothing to help. Remembering how it feels to have questions with no answers. Remembering the overwhelming darkness of being alone. Just remembering.

I'm praying this awful chest tightness goes away soon. I've spent the day in dread and prayer - I don't know which I've done more. I'm remembering the days when a hug from mom or dad could make it all better. Think I'll just run to my Father's arms, expecting that same feeling of relief.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

God is great. God is good.

Beautiful day outside, and a beautiful day inside. This seems to have been Don’s best day yet. He went outside a couple times; he loves feeling the sun and the breeze. We took the dog for a short walk over by the school. Tom came over and mowed our yard, so I edged and used my new leaf blower (thanks, little brother) to clean the driveway and walks. Everything looks so nice, clean and neat. We had a supper of liver and onions (AGAIN!), mashed potatoes, carrots and steamed fresh asparagus. Yum. I feel so good knowing I’m helping Don to eat more healthy. Looking for this upswing to continue.