Our World Gets A Blanket

We sit looking at this view out our living room window.

Today we have a snowstorm in progress. We must be on the edge of it because there is very little wind, just a lot of heavy wet flakes. The temp is just above freezing, making the roads hazardous. Our caregiving help has the morning off because I did not want them to travel the 20 miles to us.

I put Dennis in the recliner (I feel like a 3 year old, “did it all by myself!”) and pushed him up to the living room window. He had his sips of coffee and is sleeping again. I have been outside making sure the bird feeders are full and taking pictures. It is a beautiful snowfall but I am afraid it will break some limbs off the trees. Sitting together, watching the snow – what a gift it is.

Monday we had a video visit with our primary care doctor. I am so thankful that virtual appointments have become a thing done well. I guess we have the last few years of pandemic to thank for that. Our visit with her resulted in our second attempt at getting Hospice help. There are at least two Hospice organizations in our area, and soon to be a third. Some are “for profit” and others are not. Apparently being refused by one does not mean refusal by all.

One characteristic of Hospice is the speed in which they respond. Monday afternoon I got a call from a nurse and an appointment for Tuesday morning.

Dawn, the nurse who evaluates and her trainee Julie spent about an hour meeting at our house with us yesterday. They left feeling that it was possible for us to get on their program and they promised to get back to us after presenting it to their superiors. Again, because of the feeding tube, Dennis has to have special permission in order for Medicare to grant payment. I guess whether or not it happens is not very important to me anymore. I’ve chosen the path we’re on and I know we can handle it without their help if we have to. It will be okay.

I have heard from so many family members and friends, in town and far away, and thank God for all the prayers and words of encouragement. Daughters Julie and Esther are making plans for a visit in the next few weeks. Dennis’s birthday is the day after Christmas. Our 50th anniversary is coming up in January. I have so much to look forward to! A kind neighbor sits with Dennis and allows me to get out for appointments and a walk now and then.

I am finding ways to take care of myself so I can take care of Dennis. So many of you have been encouraging that and I hear you. As a nurse, I have frequently said it myself to others and I know it is important. I think I’m doing well on that account.

Most important are your prayers for us. It means so much to know that our God is hearing our names mentioned to him by others. The accumulated effort of his people is influential and carries weight with God. It’s not that he needs a magic number of prayers before he can take action – he is always acting on our behalf and we feel unusual favor in all the places we’ve been. But I believe he is delighted when his people act like they have gotten his point – we are here to learn to love each other and care.

Miraculous healing is not the point either. It’s sometimes a wonderful encouragement and evidence of God’s power, but what we are promised is that we will die of something in this imperfect world. I’m okay with God deciding when and how. He knows so much and makes the best decisions! That’s how I look at our situation, and I know Dennis agrees with this too.


Thinking It Over in September

Now September is more than half over. As often happens when a large, mind-consuming task is done, I’m left wondering what to do next. All the things that I haven’t thought about while concentrating on our trip to Mayo Clinic, are probably still there needing to be attended to, but I’m not sure I’m remembering them all.  That is my most frequent prayer, that I would be reminded to do things at the right time – that nothing would fall through the cracks.  Things that do fall through the cracks unnoticed create bigger problems later.

We are becoming a little more devoted to our keto eating plan now that the husband is motivated to protect his brain cells, keep those mitochondria healthy, and all.  It is a good diet for neuro-degenerative conditions, as well as cancer, diabetes and heart issues. Since I wrote about his condition of Lewy Body Dementia I have received lots of suggestions of things to try and things to avoid. We already know about some of them but will probably try them all eventually – none are ridiculous, or lacking in a good success story. 

Which brings me to the point of how different this disease can be from one person to the next. Each individual kind of paves their own way down this path. There are some common traits, but even those come and go.  While it is interesting and hope producing to read stories of cures and great improvements, it can be equally devastating to read about unsuccessful outcomes. I would rather think that the husband’s story is his own and it’s not been told yet. Let’s just live well and watch what unfolds.

We can do this.

Thank you to all our friends who have responded lovingly, given us encouraging words, and have let us know that you are praying for us. A health threat is a bad reason to be drawing attention, but because of it we are newly aware of people out there who care.  I think that we could relieve your fears for us if you could be around Dennis for a while. I think you would be reassured that he is still himself, and thinking well. Circumstances are troubling, but God pays no attention to circumstances since they do no control him in any way.  It only makes sense to us to trust God and try to think like he does.

Tomorrow we are making a fun trip to the nearest “big city” of Duluth, MN. We are seeing some friends and then going to my favorite department store, Sam’s Club (lame, but true). We are looking forward to it. This weekend is Fall Fest in Hayward. It’s also the start of the Feast of Tabernacles. We intend to enjoy both. Life is good. We are not downcast. But don’t any of you stop praying, okay? Just sayin’…