Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another journey

Two weeks ago my father, who lives with us, went into the hospital. His kidneys had begun to fail, and his blood was so thin we were in danger of a bleedout. Our doctor wanted us to put him in a nursing home. Everyone said "no!" including Dad. By the time he got out of the hospital he was much better, and we brought him home. But the hip he has broken twice is very deteriorated and could easily break again. He's not allowed to use his walker any more; so he has a wheelchair. Home health and physical therapy are coming to our house.

So life has changed, again. We give Dad his pills--he doesn't do them himself any more. My husband Bruce is helping him with his bills, and is home with him most of the time since I accompany Fort Zumwalt South's choirs and I'm pretty busy up there right now. With my bad back, Bruce is the one who transfers Dad from the wheelchair to his bed or a chair. We sleep with a baby monitor so we can hear if Dad needs help.

Dad is afraid he's a burden. He's not, of course. He's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and easy to live with. Bruce has grown to love him like a father. He spent a lot of years taking care of me--it's my turn to help him.

But yes, there's an added stress to life now. I have never had children, so being a caregiver is a new thing for me--the responsibility, the planning ahead so someone is available to come over if you're going out, a thousand little things. But I know now that while I may not have foreseen this, God was preparing me for it for a long time. I didn't realize that until this morning during church. But that's another story.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


After almost eight years of fighting the idea in my head that my back injuries are truly disabling, I've finally accepted it. I won't be able to work full-time again. I have to develop strategies for everything from doing the laundry to doing what I love--teaching and playing the piano. I have to learn how to manage the pain, hopefully without Neurontin. If I stay on that drug, I'm not sure I can ever lose the weight I need to drop in order to make it to age 70!

So, this will be a place where I chronicle my successes and failures in all these areas. Right now, in the middle of a major back flare-up, with the success of my 2009 surgery in question, acceptance is oddly calming to me. I know what the enemy is now. I just have to learn strategies to fight it. Since I can't find any program of fitness/exercise and diet that matches my needs, I'll have to create it myself.

This is a journey, not a dead-end. There are many reasons for me to want to live my life, and live it as well as possible, as long the Lord wants me here. Let's see what happens!