This is dementia. It's not just a memory problem.
What you read in this blog is purely my own personal experience in dealing with Lewy Body Dementia every day.

This is not meant to offer any medical or legal advise.
I have no professional training in care giving or experiences in formal writing.
I'm just a woman that loves her husband deeply and wants to provide him with the best quality of life he can and chooses to have.
My prayer though this is "Lord, What am I learning from this; how can I use it help someone else and to glorify You?"
If just one person finds comfort in this public blog. I will feel like it was a success.

Showing posts with label Devotional. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Devotional. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stinky Fruit

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 I think fruit baskets are so pretty. Big, roomy, beautiful, intricately hand woven baskets. I imagine that inside them contain edible goodies of
 Apples, red, green and yellow, with deep colors. Some sweet, others tart, Some crisp some a little softer to chew.
 Peaches plump and tender with that fuzzy baby soft feel to them. Once bitten into a syrupy sweet juice rolls down the side of your mouth.
 Bananas safely swaddled in their yellow cocoon protecting their delicate sweetness.
 Pears smooth yet soft to the touch.
 Strawberries bright red capped with their star burst leaves.
 Oranges round with their bumpy outer layer encasing the sweet goodness of those small juice filled capsules.
 A tangy lemon that can leave you with a sour looking "lemon face" but beckons you back for more.
 Lest we forget the raspberries or cherries or blueberries or the plethora of others fruits each with their own delicious flavor and appealing looks.

As I envision this beautiful basket my mouth waters and desires to have some of this goodness and upon seeing such a basket I'm sure some of you would even be tempted in wanting to partake of  it's bounty.

 As a child of God and believer in Jesus I consider my body a vessel or basket if you will allow me, for the Spirit to reside in. This does not make me perfect by any means. My basket although intricately woven is pretty bent and lopsided. The fruit inside that I desire to have is not always fresh. Many times my fruit begins to turn. The fruits bare spots of brown. Many times I overfill my basket with sourness and bitterness. Some fruits of the not so appealing kind I have a tendency to throw. Other fruits I completely ignore leaving them to become molded and rotting. As such my basket begins lo leak and ooze leaving a messy trail. Sounds gross, feels gross, smells gross.

Stinky Fruit!

Lewy Body is certainly a strange  and complicated disease. Not only to and for the person that it has been afflicted but also to those who love them.
As a spouse and a full time caregiver I try so hard to be loving and supportive. I have Hubby's best interests at heart and I advocate for a better quality of life for him.
I love Hubby. He is the other half of my life. During the time of our 17 month separation I realized that I had not many adult memories that didn't include him in one form or another. I couldn't find much that didn't involve him.

I was joyful he returned even though he was soon diagnosed with Lewy. I still am. I make it a point to look for something daily to find joy in. With Lewy some days are easier than others.

I try and keep an inner peace for both of us. Hubby has a difficult time processing lots of information. We tend to always eat at the same place for the familiarity. The crowd of people, although he is familiar with many of their faces, and their conversations has a tendency to confuse Hubby and he will usually sleep a few days afterward whenever he is overstimulated. We try and remain a drama free zone.

I am fairly patient person. I learned NEVER pray for patience as it's just asking for trouble. Tribulation worketh patience. My lessons learned! Why don't people realize that? LOL! So, it takes at LEAST 2 hrs for us to get ready to go anywhere. So, I can wait 30 or more minutes for Hubby to finish a meal before we leave a restaurant. Yes, it takes Hubby an extremely long time to answer a question or say a sentence. We won't even mention the time it takes to walk from the bedroom to the bathroom. I have nothing else of great importance to do, and if I did, I would have made different arrangements to accomplish my task.

I make an effort to treat everyone with kindness. Hubby is no exception. Kindness goes a long way, even with Lewy.

I seek to do good for Hubby in ways that will make him more comfortable and his life more convenient and less stressful.

I remain faithful in advocating the best care for Hubby. I promised better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness and health until parted by death. I meant it, I mean it. I will do my best to keep Hubby home for care. I do know the day might come that placement in a care facility may be the best thing for him. Should that day ever have to come I will know in my heart that I did everything in my power to afford him a quality of good life and placement does not mean giving up and forgetting.

It is my desire to handle Hubby with gentleness not only in touch but in word.  I let Hubby do the clinging to me if he needs support for walking, standing or whatever. His muscle tone is so weak and skin so delicate that a tight grip can leave a bruise or a mark. I try to speak in gentle tones as not to startle Hubby. Often though he is startled by me whenever I say something to him. Sometimes he even makes me jump.

There are times when Hubby can do or say things that can leave me annoyed or frustrated or angry. Much of the time I have to treat things like water off a ducks back. Sometimes I can remember that becoming immediately upset only leads to frustrations for both of us. SO I take a split moment to ask myself, how much self control shall I apply? The usual answer is a ton!

Now the BAD news. I finds that there are times I get sucked into the rotting fruit category.I don't check the basket for signs of decay and place heavier items on the tops of delicates leaving them squished a unrecognizable by the time I choose to dig them out and engage in a food fight. Sometimes I throw the entire basket. Sometimes I completely trip and scatter my fruit unable to find it. Much of the time because I chose not to really look that hard for it.

There is GOOD news. Human as I am with emotions and feelings of the stinky oozing nature I still covet to have good fruits. So instead of beating myself up over and over about the things I did in a food war I can ask for the loving Grace and forgiveness of my heavenly Father. He, the master gardener and healer purges the bad fruits from my basket. Making it whole once again and replaces it. He plucks the thorns and rocks I have collected. Sometimes it hurts when He does. Sometimes he shows me that the things I have placed in my basket weren't really fruits at all and I hope that I have learned to distinguish them from the real thing the next time I see them. He balances the sweet with the sour and arranges them once again in my lopsided basket.

If I learn something from Lewy I hope it is how to polish those fruits and share them with others. My desire is that others WILL want to partake in the bounty of goodness.

I also hope the Hubby is the recipient of many of those good fruits, just not by having them thrown at him

I serve a loving God who knows how to take care of stinky fruit.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Driveway Devotional

We have experienced some of the worst winter weather Arkansas has seen in a while. 12" of snow.
How can something so beautiful be disliked so much?

Armed with a flat end shovel, a heavy sweatshirt and jeans, sunglasses, gloves and monitor so I could hear Hubby if he needed me. I spent the last 2 days trying to shovel out 200+ feet of driveway. Wide enough of a path that I can get out of the driveway and Hubby's aide or anyone else can get in. I am very tired and sore.

As I was shoveling I took the time to look around at the beauty of the snow. The glistening as though diamond dust was scatter across the yard when the sun was shining on it. The big fluffy clouds passing by at a fairly quick pace. The warmth of the sun beating on my face and the sounds of the ice dripping and snow falling from crackling tree branches and the house eaves. Birds taking flight against a beautiful blue sky leaving behind a trail of the white powder floating off into the air to be evaporated or to find rest somewhere else.

Gods splendor.

Looking through the trees my eye captured a pine tree that had been weighted down by the heaviness of the snow given release from the weight as the sun melted just enough to give it a bounce back.

Shaking the powder from its branches and looking back up to the sky. A moment washed over me as I thought about those trees and the weight they bore.

Some trees branches were mighty and withstood the load of the snow with little to no effect.

Some tree branches and shrubbery were so burdened down by the load and laying in the driveway.
The tangled mess of prickly bushes have prevented one tree in particular to grow awkwardly and bear sparse leaves and branches. The poor tree has never had the opportunity to develop to it's full potential. I doubt it ever will be anything more than a weakling surrounded by prickly bushes.

Some branches are weak and bear no life in them. They are nothing to really look at but you can tell that at one time they were strong and mighty.

Others that are smaller and bare no life, succumbed to the weight and fell off.

The pine trees were my favorite to watch.
Even the tallest and more regal of the pines were not immune to the barrage of flakes. Some withstood quite well. Perhaps losing the weakest branches.

The smaller trees could do nothing but bow down. Some leaned to the side as in an effort to avoid all their branches from being covered. Some succeeded and have yet to straighten out completely. I wonder if they ever will without help.

Some just snapped giving up completely.

Others shouldered the snowfall and appeared to be burdened by the weight.
The wind was at first helping to keep some of the snow off of them but eventually it stopped blowing and the snow fell anyway. I wondered how long they could endure.

Standing there looking at the pine tree I thought how heavy that burden must feel. Many of the branches touching the ground. Then as if God spoke I watched this pine tree shake and then the snow fell off many of the branches. Those branches in their release from bondage stood erect and renewed. A tad dusty but strong and ready for the next round. I laughed when I saw this.

I was struck by the thought that in many ways we are like trees burdened by the weight of snow.
We have a great many burdens to bare. Some of us that have been around a while and have weathered many things still stand tall and regal.
We suffer a great many losses though our lifetime, we see much new life in it also. We have learned how to bend and sway and continue on until our time here is done.

Other trees with dead branches producing no foliage or fruit surrendered to the will of the Lord. For He knows the plans he has for us. Plans to give us a future and a hope. Making room for new productive growth in our lives.

Some of us surrounded by prickly bushes that hinder our growth and effectiveness. Never getting out of the situation mostly because we don't know any better and the prickly bushes have become our way of life. Complacent to do nothing.

Then the pines.

Some of us try to run and avoid the inevitable. Depending on others (the wind) to save us. Leaning away from Lord leaving us bent and deformed.

Some of us leaning so far that we give up and break.

Then there are those of us that keep standing as still and tall as we can. We say we shall not be moved.
We gather our friends (the wind) to help us with the burden. We are ever so grateful knowing we are loved. Yet still more snow falls on our lives and more until we find ourselves heavily burdened by it and we wonder, whatever shall we do, or why me or how much more can I bare? Then just when we think we shall never hold up under the weight and our knees (branches) have been touching the ground for some time, feeling lonely and cold and concerned, we surrender to the will of God.
It is then that God's love shines on us.
He melts the burden bit by bit to reveal the beauty of his creation. Renewing our strength so we too may shake the powder off and spring upright declaring His wonder and love.
Perhaps there is a branch removed from our lives, and He is using that space filling it with good things.

All I know is that there are days I feel like the burdened pine. I shall not be moved.  On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
I wonder why things happen but mostly I wonder what I am learning from my experience as a caregiver and how can I use it to help others and declare the love of my Lord and Savior?

So I enjoyed my driveway devotional. I love how God picks the most interesting times and things to talk with me about.