Locked down

I need Melissa to help me with this, but she’s medicated for awful pain and, God willing, sleeping peacefully next to me here on the couch. She is doing this kinda cute thing, tickling my leg with her toes every so often, but she’s out.

I won’t do a TMI dump here, but she has a chronic condition and it clobbered her on Thursday.  The pain and symptoms were so bad that the phone advice nurse told us to head for the Emergency Room.

The reason I wish she could collaborate on this is because I am about to whine about the “locked down” situation that care giving creates.  I want to write this in the midst of it, so you are going to get more detail on what the situation is doing to me at the moment.

But the most important thing to share is that both the care giver and the person cared for are in the same place.  Both are locked down in a situation that neither wants to endure.

I took Thursday – thru – Monday off from both of my jobs.  Initially, the plan was to go hunting with a friend.  But there was stuff piled up that needed my attention, and our autistic son was not behaving well.  So I bagged the hunting trip instead of a mountain lion, not easy after Melissa gave me an excellent pair of waterproof, insulated boots for Christmas.  (It’s OK, they’re still great for taking the dog out in the snow).

Things started off well.  Having time at home with a slower pace was a treat.  Melissa and I did some great brainstorming together, talking about our hopes and priorities and putting them on our calendars for the coming months, so they wouldn’t be pushed aside by all the other stuff that comes our way.  And we had some time with our son, home from college and newly engaged.

Then Melissa got laid out.  She’s been uncomfortable at best and in agony at worst.  Some meds are helping her sleep between sessions of pain.

Needless to say, my catch-up-on-stuff agenda is in tatters, as were some fun social opportunities for the days off.  I’m mostly just standing by, using vacation to sit and keep the dog and the kid from waking, poking and otherwise tormenting Melissa so she can heal up.  Sure, it gives me a chance to blog this… but minus her voice, which is critical to what should be said here.

Days like this used to put me over the edge emotionally.  I would be whiny, angry, despairing – just awful to be around.  No help to Melissa, no matter how many tasks I might do for her.  I would be a walking dark cloud.

But my spiritual reading of the last few days keeps connecting me to the fact – not fully understood and accepted but real and somewhat comforting – that being locked down in an unpleasant reality is part of the way God works to heal his world…

 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin…

…Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth…

… Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  (from Hebrews 11 & 12, ESV Bible)

4 thoughts on “Locked down

  1. Praying for all, take care Tim. My dad had a major stroke when I had just turned 16, he and mom were starting divorce proceedings at the time. We brought him home paralyzed on left side and brain damaged. He was a precocious 8 year old. We had so many experiences, frustrating to funny. Stay strong.

  2. Mike and I were discussing the “locked down” feeling and reality of our situation. I do not feel free to just do my thing–ever. What ever I do(sleep, eat, shower, work, play), it is always done with Sarah in mind. Can I hear her? Can I see her? Does she need something? Will she need something in my absence that I can anticipate and take care of before I leave? She is old enough that we are having discussions now of her possibly living not with us. The idea of the freedom to walk out the door without thinking of taking care of Sarah first is very enticing. But only for a moment. The emotional, irrational side quickly takes over and tells me that I must take care of Sarah first. Her needs come first and mine sometime later. Perhaps someday…

    And BOO seizures. Get better soon, Melissa. This too shall pass. And what is this vacation thing you speak of?

    Darlene

    • Tim here. Yeah, wondering what vacation. It just means not showing up at one place where I’m running behind so I can run behind some other place.

      Folks seem to be on the mend this a.m. but we’ll see. Thanks for your vivid description of what it is like as a care giver for someone with special needs – I hope folks read and appreciate that. Every moment can be taken over… you develop a “twitch,” reacting even when the person you care for is in good hands at school or a program.

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