Watching a loved one fail in health is heart wrenching. I love my mom with all my heart and if possible would move the world for her. My mother was and still is a strong & loving woman, who beat cancer twice. About 35 years ago she had colon cancer that was misdiagnosed as hemorrhoids, but thankfully another doctor decided to run one more test. She then underwent surgery and they removed 8″ of her intestines. About 3 years ago she was diagnosed with stage 4a small cell lung cancer, a very fast growing type of cancer. Chemo was rough, but she made it. Preventive radiation treatments were administered on her brain to keep cancer from going there. These treatments are partially to blame for her present condition of Dementia/Alzheimer w/seizures.I believe this disease is harder on her in so many ways. The most upsetting to her is, she knows that something is wrong. It frustrates her when she forgets things.
I’m going to give you the medical meaning of these diseases. A short idea how it effects families, and I will also give you some methods to cope. My intention is not to draw attention to me or my family, but ways to cope.
Medical Definition of Alzheimer’s & Dementia disease http://ads.pubmatic.com/AdServer/js/showad.js#PIX&kdntuid=1&p=26151
Alzheimer’s disease: A progressive degenerative disease of the brain that leads to dementia. On a cellular level, Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the finding of unusual helical protein filaments in nerve cells of the brain. These twisted filaments are called neurofibrillary tangles. In the brain, Alzheimer’s disease involves degeneration of the cortical regions, especially the frontal and temporal lobes. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but new medications and therapies appear to slow its progress and improve the patient’s ability to function.
Dementia is a broad description which includes many different symptoms, including memory loss, word-finding difficulties, impaired judgment, and problems with day-to-day activities, which are caused by injury or loss of brain cells (neurons).
From what I have read it is better for the patient & family (if possible), to be home. It is suggested to make sure you can get some help or you will burn out.
I’m going to call the patient (mom) from here on out as it is easier for me.
My sisters and I, have discovered that mom has so many mood swings. Some of these moods swing anywhere from happy to mean (mom never was a mean person). Sometimes she gets mad at my dad for not being there (he passed away over 3 yrs ago). Her mind might be in the present or back to her childhood or ours. Sometimes we cannot get her to wake up; she wants to sleep. Then we worry if she is ok or not. This is all compounded by COPD & MRSA Pneumonia.
This disease is emotionally hard on mom & our family. On one of mom’s stays in the hospital, I found her sobbing because she thought we were going to put her in a nursing home. You can imagine how hard it would be to see your mother crying. I reassured her that we were not going to send her to a nursing home. Thank goodness I have understanding bosses, because I called off. No way was I leaving my mom in such a low state of mind. This happened a short time before being diagnosed.
My youngest sister lives with my mom. Mom went through a short spell of refusing all medications even her breathing treatments. My sister checked on mom one evening during this time, and mom took her by the hand & asked her where her friend Lisa was, because she didn’t have too much time left & wanted Lisa to be there to support my sister. She then told my sister she would take her breathing treatments, because she didn’t want her to feel guilty about anything. I cried all the way to work because sometimes people do know when their time is up. I debated should I go to work or should I stay home. That evening she started to do some better. One never knows.
My sisters each have had their fair share of crying also. It’s very hard on each of us, because we have always been close and it’s hard to watch your love one suffer. On the bright side, mom also has good days. We have learned to enjoy the good days and tolerate the bad days.
Here are some ways I found to be positive:
- Turn it over to GOD! Psalms 55:22 – Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
- Pray for God’s will to be done, not yours
- Pray for God to comfort her
- Pray that she will not suffer
- Pray he will be merciful with her
- Pray for caring doctors, nurses, caregivers, family
- Laughter – whenever we can lighten the mood and make mom laugh she does so much better & so do we! Proverbs 17:22 KJV A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
- Don’t talk to her like she dumb, talk respectfully! Ephesians 6:2 KJV – Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
- Take time to listen
- Sit on the bed
- Hold & rub hand
- Don’t argue
- Don’t raise your voice
- Sometimes you just have to go along with her and say I know, I know & soothe her
- Whatever you do, DO NOT take it personally
- Remember she is still your mother, who loved you and cared for you ALL YOUR life
- She is sometimes trapped in her mind & very, very frightened
- She needs you
- She loves you
- She needs to be re insured of your love
- She wants to feel safe, loved & cared for
- Never feel that it is a duty to care for your mother. Duty makes it a job! Love makes it from your heart. Love makes it easier for them and for YOU!.
- Children-Don’t be afraid to let children visit. Most patients love children, they brighten their moods. Mom just loves her grandchildren.
- Don’t feel guilty if you occasionally get a little down hearted, you are human!!!
I sincerely hope this blog has helped someone to cope, even if it isn’t the same disease your love one has.
Do any of you have any suggestions to give to loved ones/caregivers? Maybe how to acquire support & help? Things you may know & want to share. PLEASE comment below, it would be a blessing to anyone who is going through this.
Psalm 101:5-8 (KJV) 5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. 6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. 7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. 8 I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord.
Sometimes we tolerate things outside our homes that we know are wrong. Has a workmate or acquaintance ever talked badly about someone and maybe you joined in? Yes, of course you have. Sometimes you feel awkward and at loss for words or you just do not know how to handle the situation.
The very best way to handle gossipers or troublemakers is simply speak up. You might say something like, “I would rather not talk about this” or “she is a good friend and I’m uncomfortable with this conversation” or simply say “let’s talk about something else”. Sometimes you might just change the subject yourself without commenting on the gossip. If you do not feel comfortable with gossipers and do not want to speak up, then you need to walk away when conversations turn to gossip.
In Psalm 101:5-8 God comes right out and tells us He does not like slanderers, the proud, the deceitful or liars. He said he will cut them off. We too should cut them off. We should lead by example and not be sucked into bad conversations. We should seek out other faithful people and hang out with them. You might say that is rude! Not if you do it right. You don’t want to be condescending, because you want others to see Jesus in you. You need to be friendly, but not participate in gossip.
It has always amazed me that people confide their most private secrets with gossips. It’s true that most deceitful people are very personable and outgoing. They seem like they are your very best friend and they trust only you with their juicy tidbits. Are you really that gullible? If they are telling you things about other supposedly friends, then you better believe they are also telling others about your secrets.
There is an old and very true saying, “If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all”.
We as Christians should uplift and edify each other. I hope we will search our souls and spread love and truth. Let’s not be talebearers, but bearers of love. May we act more like Jesus and less like Satan!
I’m sure many of you have had experience with gossips & troublemakers. I’ve only listed a few ideas. What advice would you give Christians, to help them handle these types of situations in their homes, and in public.
Pastor Jon Stitzel, was a former Pastor of my church. He and his wife Brenda, were not just our spiritual leaders, but close friends. Jon & Brenda have been church planters for many years. They have touched many lives through their ministry.
Jon has a whole line of devotions on his Facebook page Jon Stitzel check them out! I’m sure you will be blessed.
Our highest priority in life is to love God. We will do this only when we begin to understand the depth of God’s love for us. LIFE begins for us then. Every man that has ever been conceived will exist forever. God clearly lets us know each and everyone of us will come to the point of acknowledging His existence. At that time they have a choice that will determine where they will spend eternity. There are only two choices; Hell or Heaven. Existence in Hell won’t be living. God calls this existence death. But choosing to love God guarantees us LIFE with Him. How awesome is this promise.!!!!! LIFE begins at the moment we choose to receive His love by accepting the penalty paid by His Son. We, moment by moment choose to love Him by gladly choosing to obey Him to demonstrate and grow our love for Him.
Love God more because He has promised to separate us from eternal damnation in Hell. Read Luke 16:19-31 to get a peek into Hell. Mark 9:44 describes Hell as an unquenchable fire. Revelation 20:11-15 describes it as a lake of fire. Hell is very real. Hell is DESERVED by each and everyone of us. BUT God loved us so much He Himself came and paid the debt for my personal sin. I Cor. 5:20, John 3:16-21
Notice how the song writer of Ps. 103:11-12 describes how thorough the debt of our sin condition is paid for; “as far as the east is from the west.” The east and west NEVER meet. This means the debt is paid in full. Not just sins that were unintentional, but even the sins that were deliberate. Sins that He knew we were going to commit before He saved us. He kept His promise to me. I confessed to Him I am a sinner before a HOLY GOD deserving of my sin debt, Hell. I was glad to receive the debt paid by Christ Himself on my behalf. He loved me so much, He who is eternally Holy, innocent, paid my debt in full. WOW. WOW. WOW. If this doesn’t stimulate our love for Him, nothing will.
I hope that perhaps some individual that hasn’t discovered the magnitude of God’s love for them might read these words and become convinced just how much God loves them and in turn will choose to love God. That love begins the moment you confess to God you are a sinful creature needing to have your personal sin debt paid by God himself. Then the rest of this earthly existence we spend growing our love for Him. He is WORTHY OF OUR LOVE. He has delivered us from a well deserved eternity in the fires of Hell. The choice is ours. God has given us the ability to choose. This whole thing is a mystery, but we don’t have to understand it to receive it. By faith we receive it. We simply believe God.
Allow me to caution those that refuse to accept God’s personal love for them. When you die, you won’t have any excuse that will deliver you from this eternal punishment. Romans 1:18-23 makes it clear, everyone at some point in life acknowledges God’s existence as Creator. CHOOSE TO LOVE HIM. HE LOVES YOU. HE DIED FOR YOU. PAID YOUR DEBT IN FULL FOR ETERNITY.
Let’s choose to grow our love for Him, He has delivered us from our eternal debt, Hell fire.
*Has this post blessed you? Do you have any questions regarding salvation?
Feel free to ask Pastor Stitzel below. Your questions & comments are a source of encouragement for you, other readers & Pastor Stitzel.
Ok, I’m putting myself out on a limb here & sincerely hope you do not think I’m a whacko crazy person, and that you will continue to follow this blog. You will not want to miss next week’s special quest blogger Pastor Jon Stitzel. His blog is titled, “God Is Worthy of Our Worship, Our Love & Our Service!”
In the winter of 2013 my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. In March of 2013 he had 1/2 of a lung removed. The first night he was transferred from ICU to a private room; I spent the night with him. Unable to sleep I sat in a chair and took turns looking out over Morgantown, WV & looking at my dad. While doing this, I prayed he would have a full recovery.
About 1 or 2 in the morning I saw a shadow of a man on the wall. It was a side view and I could see very clear features such as nose, hair, neck etc. I thought there must be a logical reason for this shadow, so I checked out the IV stand and other equipment in the room to see if they could possibly be the source. My search found nothing that could possibly make this shadow. My spirit told me it was Jesus and I was afraid, not of Jesus, but of the thought that Jesus was watching over dad & he was going to take him home. I then began to pray in earnest for him not to take my father. A short time later, the shadow disappeared, but my father was awake. I asked him, what are you thinking about dad? He replied, “Jesus & Things!” This brought immediate fear to my heart, because I felt that dad’s time on earth was very near its end.
I do believe that Jesus was there with my dad, comforting him & preparing him. I am positive that was why my dad was in such deep thoughts of Jesus. I also believe that Jesus and dad both, knew our family was not ready to part with dad. In his mercy, Jesus had compassion on us and lengthened dad’s time on earth, but only for a few more months.
I told a few people close to me, what happened that night and wrote a poem, “Jesus & Things”. You can read the poem I wrote on this site under Testimonials.
You may ask, “Why didn’t you tell the world”? The answer is FEAR. Fear of what people would say. Fear that people would think I’m crazy, but I know I’m not. Most of you, if honest with yourself, would have done the same thing.
I would be very interested in hearing if any of you have had similar experiences or believe it is possible. Please comment below.