Fighting the Dark Side

What do you do when you write a blog that is supposed to be funny, light and encouraging and your life becomes serious, heavy and discouraging?  Well, you don’t work on your blog.  And when I say “you,” I mean me.  It’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted.  To get this post done I had to drag myself to my computer and handcuff myself to it, which isn’t a good idea because it’s really hard to type like this.  And, during the struggle I think I broke a nail, which means I had to go out and have a complete manicure, which of course pushed my work time back once again.

Let me begin, my husband Bob I spent our summer with trips to the emergency room, hospital visits, doctor appointments and securing a nursing facility for his dad’s rehab.  It all began on June 8 when his ALF (assisted living facility) sent him to the ER.  The next five weeks it was touch and go with his dad in a delusional state and unknown infections plaguing his ninety-year-old body.  The fact that he is legally blind complicated things.  We constantly had to reassure him that he was safe and in the hospital.

I’ll spare you the details, but currently he is recovering and regaining strength in preparation for returning to his ALF.  Meanwhile, Bob and I have been carrying a heavy load and it has taken its toll on my sense of humor.  I have gone over to the dark side.  After much consideration, I vetoed changing the name of my blog to “Life on the Darker Side.”  I was afraid to open that can of worms.  I was afraid of the comments.  I was afraid I’d constantly be quoting Star Wars.

Now that life is quieting down, I have enough perspective to share some things from these past two months with you.

It has been reinforced in my mind, my husband’s mind, and everyone I’ve come into contact with at the hospital that my plan to not pursue nursing was a good one.  My gag reflex is alive and well and has to be suppressed while discussing medical procedures, smells or bodily functions.  We all agreed that I should leave the room if his body were to start producing errant functions as one person to clean up after is sufficient.

I can get hospital support faster by screaming at the top of my lungs than by pushing the “call” button, which I had to do in the early days when Dad had physical strength to get out of bed but not strength enough to stand up.

Hospitals, even Christian-owned ones, have some hang-ups.  For instance, there is no 13th floor where my father-in-law was being cared for.  I’m not sure if this is for the peace of mind of the patients or the staff.  Either way it was challenging to explain to my grandchildren.

We started this journey at a hospital that we didn’t like.  Their procedure for patient care involved drugging the patient.  I spent days there as Dad’s advocate and protector.  Though amusing to think about now, it was disturbing when I witnessed a nurse come in and say, “Good morning, Mr. Anderson.  How are you today?”  No response.  Then she waved three fingers in front of him and asked, “How many fingers do you see?”  I looked at her and said, “He’s blind.  He can’t see any.”  We discharged him against doctor’s orders and transferred him to the superstitious hospital, thinking our luck would be better there.

On a serious note, we met some amazing doctors, nurses and support staff.  We are grateful for their care and concern for Dad and us.  It was wonderful to see Dad regaining his mental footing after such a rough road.  When he became lucid again, he asked for a Bible to be read to him.  It was gratifying to read the Word of God to him and see him respond in a way I hadn’t witnessed before.  We had talks about Jesus and prayed together.  This is what pulled me out of the dark side – Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  How blessed I am to have shared that news with my father-in-law.