Archive for October 4, 2007

10/4/07 2:30 pm

Mike greeted me this morning with a thank you when I walked into the room. I asked “what for?” and he said “for being you”. It was another jolt in a week that felt like a roller coaster of ups and downs too fast to process. Our kids were overtired and obnoxious at a family party Sunday night frustrating me with strong dislike for them and the need to instill compassion and obedience, those qualities that are so easy to quickly pummel into them, right? Monday I got the call that we could bring mike in by 7 am Tuesday for that baclofen trial we had been waiting for. Waking early, preparing mike, getting settled in the car, looking for parking, wheeling him & the feeding pump through the parking lots, getting lost in our 6th new hospital in which to master the layout, enduring the slow admitting process before finally reaching a room & bed for the day exhausted us before we even accomplished anything. Mike’s cries drew every nurse on the floor to our doorway as 4 people transported him from wheelchair to bed. I reassured them that he would ultimately be fine, this level of pain & frustration was nothing new on a hard day.

I will confess my other shame of the day. Every hospital asks if you would like a chaplain to visit during your stay. We have felt so loved and supported by the body of Christ at every turn in our own personal day to day community I simply decline the extra help from a stranger. Later on we were visited by this guy and I assumed he was a hospital provided Christian encourager. (isn’t that a ridiculous job title I just made up?) I was too worn to notice, care, speak, respond. He gave us a prayer and I simply didn’t engage hardly at all. Poor mike just gets off the hook letting me carry all conversation all day. Then when I started paying better attention to what the guy was saying I find out he IS from our church in Naperville and I am a complete idiot not recognizing or thanking him for driving all the way out to this 40 minutes away hospital to care for us. He graciously left us and I sat in my own guilt. How convicting to be caught being so dismissive, uncommunicative. People think nice things about me for no good reason and now the secret’s out—I am a jerk. I am rude. Mike got sick of my obsessing and said he would beat me up later so I could stop now.

The drug stuck into mike’s spine didn’t magically make his limbs move but the physical therapist did say that she didn’t feel the muscles fighting against her efforts as she maneuvered his extremities. Mike said he didn’t feel any pain but he doesn’t usually feel pain all the time so we will have to see the impact once he gets the pump and the medicine on a daily basis. I was unsure at first whether it had worked because his tendons and ligaments still hold his limbs captive and stiff. It was a slow sick feeling that began to creep into my gut as I watched her try to stretch his tight limbs. But I could see some looseness in certain tiny ways—his wrists had greater range, his weaker eye was able to open wider. She gave the green light for him to get the pump with the assessment that it could help along with intense therapy. We had to wait until the drug had worn off before we could leave & all hospital discharges go slow. Our hospital visit lasted 11 hours. It ended with good news but we were too numb, overwhelmed or tired to care much. And Wednesday was a mess of fights between us as we disagreed on how mike needed to approach his exercises. We both get angry and resort to inappropriate responses that shame me. So that brings me back to the welcome I got this morning from mike. He was on the edge of tears as we just felt the week’s weight catch up to us. Sometimes our gratitude is oddly enough as overwhelming as the struggles. It is wearying to be so thankful for so much. I think I do feel spent partly from just remembering that our marriage is a blessing, that mean words can be covered by grace, that we never deserved someone’s prayer but they will drive far and get snubbed just to offer it up. I opened 3 days worth of mail today and found the receipt of a $2000 anonymous deposit made to our account. Where do you put all that thanks? I am left with only the identity of our Redeemer who loves infuriating children, vulgar spouses, and cranky situations simply because He is So Worthy. So He is the only one I have to praise, glorify and ultimately rest in.
This is a whole lot of rambling messiness to share. People say they like honesty. Hopefully God can make sense of my senselessness. Amen & grace & thanks, michelle

October 4, 2007 at 2:27 pm 14 comments


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