Wednesday, April 1, 2009
~This, too, Shall Pass~
I always find myself closer to God during difficult times. I first realized this during my senior year of college. Kneeling in a dark, musty confessional, I confessed to a priest that I was guilty of not being as close to God as I should have been. Hey...I was a Dean's List college senior carrying 21 hours & finishing up my student teaching, a Resident Advisor on a dormitory floor of 40 freshman girls, and working part-time. Yup...I wasn't praying as much as I could have been. The priest said something that set me on my heels: "The fact that you are worried that you're not as close to God as you should be, tells me you are MUCH closer to Him than you think." I've never forgotten that. He was totally spot-on.
As I travel through these difficult days with my Mom, I find I am leaning on Him for dear life. Is there any other choice? Faith is easy in good times. It's brutally hard in bad times. But those are the times I am the closest to God. He's the last thing I think of when I fall off to sleep, and the first thought I have before I open my eyes. I wake up many times throughout the nite, and pray that He is holding my Mom...and us....in the arms. She can't do this alone. Neither can we.
Mom is still in the hospital. Her delusions continue. She imagines she is at work. Everyone's left and she has no way home. She says someone's stolen her purse, and she has no money. This scene is played over and over. There are no phones, so to make calls, patients have to convince someone at the nurse's station to call for them. They try to control the frequency of these calls, and as you can imagine, they have many more important tasks to perform in the busy geriatric unit. But she convinces them to let her 'call her daughter' whenever she can. These phone calls are heart-wrenching. They asked me if I wanted them to stop the calls. I told them, "Absolutely not". Can you imagine how you would feel 'locked' in with no way to reach your loved ones?? And so, whenever the phone rings, I find myself praying that it's not Mom. Sad. Very sad.
The unit is locked. No one in or out without a code. No phones, tvs, no cords, strings, foods outside the dining room. You have to 'check' eveything in when you enter. They ignore the patients' questions. Many of them babble incessantly. It's like a white-walled prison. A giant padded 'cell'. Depressing for sure. We've all agreed that any of us would go crazy if we had to stay there as a patient.
But Mom's already in her own kind of 'prison'. There's a monster raging inside her that the doctors have yet been able to calm down. They've tried 3 medications so far. They haven't worked. She is still in this fantasy-hell. She begs to be taken 'home' every time we visit. Visiting hours are limited: 6-8:30 each evening. By 7:00, Mom is exhausted. Exhausted from the delusions. From the begging. From the monster. It's pointless to try to visit with her after that hour.
We did get a smile from her on Sunday: We brought her a Frostie!
And so....we continue on, fervantly praying that today is the day they will figure out how to help her calm the monster. It's been 7 days. Will they succeed? And what happens to this dear woman if they don't? Will she ever be able to go back to the assisted living facility she knows as 'home'? What if she can't?
At certain moments of the day or night....these questions become monumental, depressing unknowns. Eating is near impossible. And when I do....it comes right back up, so what's the sense? Praying is the only calm. The rock. God is here. I know He will make things okay. I just wish He'd hurry.
**Thank you all for your prayers, your comments, emails......for your support. We are so so grateful for them***