The Good, Bad and Ugly, Plus an Amazing God.

(If anyone wishes to copy or print my posts, they are welcome to do that.)

I haven’t posted for quite awhile because when I thought about things to write I realized I had already written on that subject. I felt perhaps I had shared all I had to share. And I might be right about that. So, if I don’t post much, that is why.

My husband’s stroke was a little more than a year ago and he is still recovering. Since then, he has had a bleeding ulcer and an incisional hernia (a thirty-five-year-old abdomen incision had burst open.) Those two events have set back his progress. But he is still doing very well.

I was thinking about King Saul from the Old Testament. When an evil spirit would plague him, he called for David to come sing for him and the evil spirit would leave. I believe Satanic beings cannot stand hearing songs about God. They also hate it when we praise God out loud. I have found in my life that when I am depressed or despairing singing and praising God lifts me up and out of sadness.

My sister in Washington is still waiting on God to tell her when to leave her home and live in the mountains. Meanwhile, she has learned so much about God and being a Christian. She has learned to depend on him and hear his voice speaking to her heart.

I am sorry to see all the division the Covid vaccine has caused. It is tragic people are at each other’s throats about it. I have some family members who live far away who will not get the vaccine. My immediate family is different, we have all been double-vaccinated. I accept what my other relatives are doing; I don’t agree with their position, but I respect their right to decide for themselves. Even though my husband is waiting for surgery and can’t have it because the ICUs in the hospital are full.

 I heard that recently a man who worked for a Christian organization wrote an article in a newspaper on why he decided to get the vaccine. He was fired the next day, even though this organization says they believe in “freedom of speech.” Well, they don’t really, do they?

New Podcasts and an Update on My Husband’s Condition.

I thought I would share an update on my husband’s condition. It’s been 9 months since he had a stroke and he is doing very well. His mind is working well, it isn’t like before the stroke, but honestly, I can’t tell any difference in him except he forgets to turn lights off. He says he can’t think quickly like before, but now he is retired he won’t have to. When he came home, he couldn’t keep up with conversations among the family, but he has no trouble with that now.

Physically, he has muscle weakness, fatigue, a spasm now and then and he still gets numbness and tingling in his legs, arms and hands. His hands are especially weak. He is using a walker, but he says he won’t need it soon as his legs are getting stronger.  We are both happy he is alive and we are now able to spend our days together.

I have discovered some podcasts that are new to me and I’m enjoying them so much I wanted to share. I appreciate those who produce Christian podcasts. They encourage and teach me as I follow Jesus. I pray God will bless them and their work for him.

I’ll begin a list of the ones that are new to me and end with the older podcasts I have listed to for more than a year.

Our Daily Bread

How to Study the Bible

Theology in the Raw

Compelled

Timothy Keller Sermons

Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women

Walk it Out with Tricia Goyer

Ask NT Wright Anything

Deep Talks: Exploring Theology and Meaning

Chicken Soup for the Soul with Amy Newmark

Okay, now for the old ones I’ve listed here previously.

Pray Every Day

Don’t Make Me Come Back There

The Paul Tripp Podcast

Front Porch with the Fitzes

Joyce Meyer Enjoying Everyday Life

That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs

The Faith and Mental Wellness

Passion City Church DC

The Ponder Podcast

Go and Tell Gals

Joyce Meyer’s Talk It Out

Worry and Its Remedy. Anger and the News.

I give permission for anyone to use my posts for any reason.

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.    Philippians 4:6,7

I can’t count the number of times this verse has come to my mind when I am upset or worried. I say it to myself and immediately feel relief. God leaves nothing out of this verse. We are to worry about nothing.

I was listening to a podcast where the woman quoted this verse and then asked, “How do we do this? She says the remedy to worry, after giving it to God, is in the next two verses:

“Finally, Brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Verses 8,9

I know that when I listen to Christian podcasts or music that this is hearing and thinking on good things. I am so happy to hear of the good things God’s people are doing in the world. It encourages me. And songs of praise lift me up to the skies where God abides. These things bring me joy.

But we don’t have to bury our heads in the sand on the bad things going on all around us. As we all know, reading the news is discouraging. Yesterday, I read there will be supply shortages due to the cargo ship blocking all traffic in the Suez Canal. The article said that toilet paper (Lol) might become scarce, along with other goods. I live in Canada and all our toilet paper is made in China.

I no longer get mad about politics. There is nothing I can do about that and the craziness that is going on. But I still get mad when I read how all our supplies come from China or some other country. Global Trade and the Global Economy has ruined the lives of millions of people, at least that is my opinion.

I live in an area that is chock full of apple orchards. We have an apple juice factory here. But when I buy apples at the grocery store, I see a tag saying, “Washington Apples.” I live just over the border from Washington State. So, we buy their apples and they buy ours.

How is that good for the people of our country? I have to pay $1.84 per apple. Why? Transportation costs, I would guess. Why do we do this little dance? I have no idea except to say that everything is about making more money for companies.

They say, “We can’t take in refugees. There are no jobs. Well, why are there no jobs? Global Trade. If we had lots of factories we could take in thousands of refugees. The poor here, who can’t find a job because of lack of education, could work in a factory.

We have all been screwed by the rich and powerful and this is something that has happened since the beginning of time. Read the Old Testament. God speaks of it often.

Yep, this is a subject that infuriates me and I need to pray about that because anger is an ok emotion if you can remedy a situation, but if there is nothing you can do, you might as well let it go. I did write the government about it and that is my part. I could protest about it in the streets, but I’m old and sick.

So yes, I need to lay all this aside, all the bad news, all the hatred, all the racism, all the politics and lay it all before God, and then do what I can do, and that is write. I can write about God’s love and write about Man’s hate and greed and hope it makes a difference.

Fibromyalgia and the Brain.

I have had fibromyalgia for 25 years. I have fiddled with my eating habits for a long time in order to find foods that make me feel worse and then eliminate them from my diet. I have found a low-histamine diet works best.

I came across some interesting information about fibromyalgia and the brain:

Fibromyalgia Pain Linked with Glutamate and Histamine – Wellness Resources

(What I have copied and pasted below is just a part of what is discussed on the site above.)

Two neurochemical compounds altered in fibromyalgia amongst others include the excitatory neurotransmitters glutamate and histamine. A significant study pertaining to fibromyalgia and the neurotransmitter glutamate was just released in the Clinical Journal of Pain in October 2017. In this systematic review, it was confirmed that elevated levels of glutamate are present in several regions in the brain (posterior cingulate gyrus, posterior insula, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and amygdala). High glutamate levels were also associated with amplified fibromyalgia symptoms. Those who follow fibromyalgia research may not find this completely new, but the review study confirms just how big of a concern it is. This makes management of elevated glutamate critical for fibromyalgia management.

Glutamate is a powerful excitatory neurotransmitter that is released in the brain by nerve cells and is necessary in small amounts for brain function with learning and memory. However, excess glutamate damages nerve cells. This occurs either because too much is produced or nerve cells are overly sensitized to “normal” amounts. Too much glutamate exposure leads to high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and provokes oxidative, inflammatory stress to the brain. Symptoms of excess glutamate may lead to increased pain, anxiety, restlessness, sleep disturbance, depression, restless legs syndrome, increased itching, poor focus, and other decreased cognitive skills.

There are many reasons for too much glutamate in the brain. Elevated glutamate may result from neurodegenerative diseases, concussions/traumatic brain injuries, stroke, hypoglycemia, and noise stressChronic, sustained stress is another reason for elevated glutamate as the stress hormone cortisol triggers a release of glutamate in the brain. Stress refers to anything (physical, mental, or emotional) that upsets the body’s normal homeostatic balance.

Elevated thyroid hormone levels, like chronically elevated cortisol, may raise blood glutamate levels. Elevated blood glutamate levels may be problematic for the brain if the blood brain barrier is dysfunctional and leaky.

Elevated Histamine Levels:

Histamine, like glutamate, is another excitatory neurotransmitter that is also released by stress and is elevated in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis patients. Histamine is involved with the immune system, skin, and digestive tract, but it plays a major role with wakefulness, blood pressure, satiety, and numerous other brain functions.

The brain and body contains histamine in immune cells called mast cells. Mast cells release histamine in response to various signals, like an allergen or other immune stressors. A major storage site of mast cells in the brain exists in the thalamus, which is located next to the hypothalamus. This region is the sleep-wake center of the brain.

When mast cells release high levels of histamine in the brain, it signals the hypothalamus which leads to wakefulness, disrupted sleep or insomnia. The release of histamine within the thalamus/hypothalamus is thought to lead to impaired sleep quality seen in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Histamine release also perpetuates central sensitization or chronic widespread pain as histamine releases substance P and glutamate that causes oxidative stress, wind-up, and chronic tissue irritation.

Some individuals do not process histamine well because of the DAO gene variants. Others may have a diet high in histamine foods that the body cannot handle in significant amounts. Sources of histamine in the diet include fermented beverages and foods like wine, champagne, beer, kombucha, kefir, vinegar, yogurt, cured meats, and vinegar containing foods.

Mast cells are also highly abundant in the skin, which is why histamine release in the skin creates itching. Fibromyalgia patients have been found to have 5-14 times more histamine in their skin than others. Mast cells in the skin provide an immune defense in the skin against outside pathogens.

(You can read about Glutamate here.)  What Is Glutamate? Roles, Benefits, Foods and Side Effects – Dr. Axe

(You can read about DAO here)  Diamine Oxidase (DAO): Benefits, Dosage, and Safety (healthline.com)

I hope this information will help someone with fibromyalgia. I have found that digestive enzymes (DAO) help me as does antihistamines and cold pills.

Waiting on God and an Update on My Husband’s Stroke.

Andre Murray

I allow anyone to copy and publish what I write on this blog, “Who is God?”

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Those who wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the land.”   Psalm 37:7,9

Thank you for your prayers for my husband. He is slowly recuperating from his stroke. This morning he said he noticed his brain isn’t as foggy as it used to be. He is walking and doing hand and arm exercises. His blood pressure is normal and his head doesn’t hurt as much when on the computer or watching TV.

It has been hard for him to wait patiently for healing. It is hard for all of us to wait on good things to come. Feeling impatient is just the way human beings are.

I recently bought a book called, “Waiting on God,” by Andrew Murray. I bought it because I was finding it hard waiting for Jesus to return. I long for the sin and pain of this world to be over and to see him face to face. The book has been a great help to me and I highly recommend it. I thought I would share part of it with you.

From Waiting on God: “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire.”   James 1:4

“Such words of the Holy Spirit show us what an important element in the Christian life and character patience is. And nowhere is there a better place for cultivating or displaying it than in waiting on God. There we discover how impatient we are, and what our impatience means.

We confess at times that we are impatient with men, and circumstances that hinder us, or with ourselves and our slow progress in the Christian life. If we truly set ourselves to wait upon God, we shall find that it is with Him we are impatient, because he does not at once, or as soon as we could wish, do our bidding. It is in waiting upon God that our eyes are opened to believe in his wise and sovereign will, and to see that the sooner and more completely we yield absolutely to it, the more surely his blessing can come to us.

“It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.” Romans 9:16

We have as little power to increase or strengthen our spiritual life, as we had to originate it. We ‘were born not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God.’ Even so, our willing and running, our desire and effort, avail nothing; all is ‘of God that shows mercy.’

All the exercises of the spiritual life, our reading and praying, our willing and doing, have their very great value. But they can go no farther than this, that they point the way and prepare us in humility to look to and to depend alone upon God Himself, and in patience to wait his good time and mercy.

The waiting is to teach us our absolute dependence upon God’s mighty working, and to make us in perfect patience place ourselves at his disposal. They that wait on the Lord shall inherit the land; the promised land and its blessing. The heirs must wait; they can afford to wait…”

“Give God his glory by resting in him, by trusting him fully, by waiting patiently for him. This patience honors him greatly; it leaves him as God on the throne, to do his work; it yields self wholly into his hands. It lets God be God.

From the book, “Waiting on God,” –  Day 11: Waiting on God: Patiently.

Aftereffects of A Stroke: A Sense of Great Loss.

 (All of my posts are free to be copied and used in any way.)

My husband said to me last night, “I’ve lost myself.” I said, “No, you’ve lost some of yourself, but not all. You are just the same as you always were, you just have to do things and think things slower. Your character and who you are as a person is the same.”

“Really?” he said. I don’t feel the same.” I asked him in what way. He said, “When I went to the hospital today for my cancer treatment, (he has carcinoid tumors) I felt different around the nurses who know me. I couldn’t talk as much and joke with them as I always have in the past.”

I told him I was sorry he felt that way. I told him I believed he would get stronger physically and mentally. The doctors just said it would take a long time. I hope that helped him a bit. I told him I was glad he was sharing about his feelings, something he rarely did before.

His head has been hurting more, but I think it is because of the cancer treatment and the time it took to get him ready to go there. I also think he was embarrassed to be seen in a wheelchair being pushed by my granddaughter.

My husband has always thought of himself as a strong man, which indeed is how all the family sees him. He was not only physically strong; he was strong mentally. He stuck with me through my mental breakdowns. He tried to lift my spirits and never seemed discouraged by my disabilities. He many times said the wrong thing in trying to make me feel better, because he isn’t a psychologist, but I understood that.

Now he sees himself as weak. He worries if I leave the door unlocked, he can’t protect me. He worries I might fall and get hurt (I have a balance problem. One time I fell into the Christmas tree. Lol). He didn’t used to worry so much, but I guess he sees how fragile life is and how quickly things can go wrong.

I’ve always known that. In fact, I’m surprised and thrilled when things go right. I tend to look at the dark side of life because of my childhood abuse. My husband was abused too, in a different way, but he took that experience and told himself he would be strong and then he would be okay. He told himself that if someone didn’t like him, “It’s their loss and my gain.” Lol.

He was really surprised about having a stroke. I wasn’t because we are both old, 69 and 70. I’m surprised I don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure and a bad heart! But my husband was incredibly optimistic about everything. Overly optimistic, I thought.

He woke up this morning and seemed more cheerful. I told him we need to do some mind games, so we started a puzzle. He didn’t last long until his head started hurting and he wanted to stop. I am going to phone his Occupational Therapist on Monday and ask how hard I should push him. They used to push hard at the hospital, so I have to understand this part of his recovery.

The low-salt diet is going very well. It turned out at first it was going too well. His blood pressure started to drop down to the 90s. Apparently, 120 is ideal. So, I started letting him have a bit more salt in his diet and it is now between 100 to 123. I found a recipe for tomato sauce that is low-salt and he loved the taste. I didn’t like it at first, but after sitting a night in the fridge, it was pretty good.

No more fast-food. Pretty well all of it has tons of salt. One meal is more than enough salt for a day. I found out the salad I usually ordered had more salt than a hamburger! I usually hate cooking and we used to order in a lot, but I have found, with God’s assistance, I don’t mind the cooking and it is going very well.

This is just an update of my husband’s stroke. I thought it might help those who live with and take care of someone who has had a stroke. Thanks again for your concern and prayers. God is here with us helping, comforting and strengthening us. May God be beside all of you doing the same.

Home After a Stroke.

(I do not use my husband’s name in my posts at his request.)

On September 30 I wrote a post about my husband having a stroke. We brought him home Thursday, October 13. He made tremendous progress while at the hospital rehabilitation unit. He can now walk on his own, dress himself, and even check things out on the computer.

He has a bit of trouble with his short-term memory and his whole body feels numb and tingly, which is very uncomfortable. He is taking pain medication for that and it really helps. He is also extremely tired and lays down for most of the day. They said his cognitive abilities are at 85%.

I am supposed to help him by playing word games with him and giving him tasks to do, such as tying knots, picking up buttons, putting screws into nuts etc. Fine motor skills are what he needs to learn to do again. I noticed the longer we played the word game the harder it became for him to think up answers. His head starts to hurt too, so we will be more careful next time.

I want to thank all the doctors and nurses who cared for my husband. They were super kind and thoughtful and of course they were instrumental in saving his life. Many of them told me how much they adored my hubby.

And I want to thank everyone for their prayers. So many strangers told me they were praying for him; I’m talking about the people on the phone who I had to call about finances etc. The people I used to see and say hi to as I walk out to the parking lot knew Dan had had a stroke and told me they were praying for him. It was just lovely to know that.

We are so grateful to God for letting Dan live. As I’ve said before, I know that isn’t always the result of prayers for the sick. But I also believe it is God who chooses when each person will die and I guess my husband has more work to do for God.

My two daughters came and stayed with me the whole time he was in the hospital. I didn’t realize how much that would help me until they came. My granddaughters were running errands for me and giving me support. My grandson came over to see his Grandpa the day he came home and started quietly crying when he saw how good Grandpa looked. I guess he had googled “stroke” and was afraid for him.

There were two other men in the hospital room with my husband who had had strokes. They were both doing very well, even the man who was 47 and had gotten an infection in his brain after his stroke. He was healing very well; could walk and talk and looked perfectly normal. The other man was 89 and the hardest thing for him was missing his wife who lived in a far-away city and couldn’t come because of Covid-19. But he did talk with her 3 times a day. He was improving too.

So sometimes a stroke isn’t as bad as it may start out to be. My husband is on a low-salt diet and blood pressure pills. We have a cuff to monitor his blood pressure and we do that about 4 times a day. He has had perfect numbers since he came home.

Thanks again for your good wishes and prayers.

(Everyone has permission to copy or use my posts for any reason.)

My Husband’s Stroke.

Two weeks ago, my husband had a “massive stroke.” The doctor called us and told us to prepare for the worst. They told my daughters, who live 6 hours away to, “Leave now.” So, they did. We called all our family and all his family. Everyone started praying.

Because I have been a Christian for 50 years and there have been other deaths in our family, I believed God knew what he was doing, (which wasn’t always the case.). I told God I knew my husband was in his hands and I trusted him to do what was best for all of us.

My husband lived for a day, and then another day and began rapidly improving. The doctors were stunned. His speech was slurring slightly and his face drooped a bit, but he could move his left arm and leg, which had been paralyzed.

He seemed to have all his past memories intact, but his short-term memories would come and go. He wasn’t sure why he was in the hospital each morning and he had forgotten about the pandemic. He asked me on the phone why I hadn’t come to visit, so my daughter made a sign to hang by his bed which explained about Covid-19 and that we weren’t allowed to visit.

At the beginning, when the doctors thought he was dying, they allowed me into the ICU to see him. In order to get past the front desk of the hospital, I had to say, “My husband is dying.” Those words felt strange to me, as if I was lying to them, as if it couldn’t possibly be true.

I held my husband’s hand and we spoke awhile until he fell asleep. I was glad he knew who I was and could respond. He was shocked he had a stroke. He thought it was carcinoid tumors, which he has had for over 20 years, that had caused this illness.

The next day, he seemed worse, more tired than before and barely spoke. I didn’t expect him to live much longer. But lo and behold, the next day he was joking with the nurses! He was weak, but alert. It was wonderful to see. They moved him out of ICU a few days later and put him in a regular ward.

Well, there was a lot of rejoicing in the family, as you can imagine. We thank God for healing him. I know God does not heal everyone from an illness. If he did, then no one would die and we would be pretty crowded here on earth. Death is a part of life and I accept that. I want to thank him here on this blog, for giving me his comfort, strength and love during this hard time. This is his greatest gift to the world. He gave these things to me when my grandson died and I knew he would do it again.

God’s peace inside me is something I want the world to know, because those who don’t believe in God don’t realize what they are missing. I wish everyone would give God a chance to show them what he can do. He is light, love, mercy, forgiveness, peace, and joy.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”   Isaiah 26:3

Have I always had perfect peace? No. It took me many years to learn to trust God. I had been abused as a child by my father, so learning to trust God was very hard for me. But the longer my mind was, “stayed on God,” the more I began to trust. I used to rage and wail against the dark things in my life, but no more. I’ve found that in the deepest dark I am actually learning and growing as a person. And God is there standing beside me, giving me strength and hope.

God says:

“I have upheld you and carried you since the day you were born. Even to your old age and grey hairs, I am he.

I have made you; I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”     Isaiah 46:3,4

My Mother’s Illness and Death: The Unkindness of the Medical Establishment. (Or to put it bluntly – the people.)

I was listening to a podcast last night and a lady was being interviewed who had a child who had been born very small with some defects. She said a nurse said to her something like, “Been eating the wrong kind of food?”

As if the mother wasn’t devastated already by her child’s illness, which turned out to be a medical condition having nothing to do with the mother. It brought back to me all the disheartening things nurses and aides said to me during the years I looked after my mother.

My mother passed away on June 29th. She was almost 93 and died of congestive heart failure. She had been ill for a long time. She was misdiagnosed a few times, but I don’t expect perfection from doctors. I know they are doing the best work they can. I asked the doctor a year ago if my mom might have congestive heart failure, but she said no, it was acid reflux.

The true diagnosis wouldn’t have made much difference anyway. And I’ve very glad she didn’t die of colon cancer which emergency doctors were 99% sure she had. They didn’t want to take a biopsy as it is a painful procedure and my mom was in her nineties. So, I lived with that scare for a long time. Altogether, my mom lived with us for five years and I’m so happy we had that time together.

But there were two things about my mother’s illnesses and hospital stays that made our journey much harder. The worst was that because of Covid-19 I wasn’t allowed in the hospital to visit her. They said I could come at the end, but it was too late when it happened. They told us a nurse was with her and I am grateful to that nurse.

Mom’s last day at home was a hard one. I just couldn’t get her breathlessness under control with her nitro sprays and she hadn’t been sleeping longer than 2-4 hours. My husband was working from home because of the virus so he was taking care of her in the day and I stayed up all night. But he would be going back to work the next week and I felt I just wasn’t competent enough to keep Mom comfortable any longer. We called an ambulance and they took her.

The emergency people called me and said I could pick Mom up in the morning and I said, “No.” Believe me, they were very upset, but I know my rights and they had to take care of her if I couldn’t.

Four days after putting her in a ward, the doctors agreed I couldn’t take care of her. Well, thank you.

By the time Mom was in the hospital ward her dementia was pretty bad. They said she didn’t ask for the family, for which I am grateful. It hurt my heart to think she might be asking why I wasn’t there.

But she just asked where she was every morning and seemed content with the answer. I believe she didn’t really know who my husband and I were the last week she was home. She rarely spoke and didn’t say my name anymore. She would forget what happened in a TV show a few seconds after watching it. She forgot all the visits from relatives in the last few years. She couldn’t read anymore because she couldn’t remember what she just read.

Yet, she was happy. That may sound strange, but it is true. We just watched TV together and she said she enjoyed each show. Before she forgot who I was, she thanked me over and over for taking care of her. Mom was almost always a sunny and grateful person and knew God. I know I will see her again.

The only problems I had was when I was questioned by nurses who visited and nurses at the hospital and nursing home she had to stay in while recovering from hip surgery.

After the surgery, they thought Mom was well enough to come right home or go for physical therapy at the nursing home. Well, she looked awful and was in constant pain so I told them to take her to the nursing home and I would meet her there.

I left that evening and I thought she would be okay. I came back in the morning and she said she had to go to the bathroom. I helped her in there and waited. A nurse came in and asked where Mom was and I told her. “No one is supposed to help her to the bathroom but us,” she said. I said, “Oh, okay.”

When Mom called out, the nurse went in and asked if she went. Mom told her no, she couldn’t. The nurse put her hands on her hips and said (not nicely), “This is the third time! If you don’t go the next time, I’ll have to use a suppository on you!” She was scolding her. A 90-year-old woman who had just had surgery! I took Mom home.

We got a hospital bed and all the stuff she needed and I took care of her with my husband’s help. Then a few weeks later, I twisted my foot around one of the legs of the hospital bed, which took up almost all the space of her bedroom. I couldn’t even stand on it, so I called an ambulance to take my mother. My husband was working and I had no one to help me take care of my mom. At this time, she was only sleeping for about 20 minutes at a time and I was exhausted.

When she was taken to the hospital the admitting person was angry. She called me and said, “This hospital is for sick people!” Well, my mother was sick and I couldn’t care for her so that’s why I sent her there! They kept calling me to come pick her up but I couldn’t! I know that in Canada they had to take care of her if no one else could, they just didn’t believe anything I said.

Mom was in a ward for four weeks and was injured twice while there. One time a nurse gave her twice the dosage of sleeping pills. Her organs started shutting down, but she pulled through. The other time, she fell out of bed because apparently some people choke to death trying to get out between the rails on the bed. So, Mom’s head had a hole in it from hitting the edge of the dresser and blood was everywhere. It makes me wonder why the nurses criticize family members when they make mistakes too. I could have sued over both incidents, but I would never sue people who are trying to heal people, even if they make terrible mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes.

 I took Shock Wave Therapy for my foot, which healed in 4 weeks. But I still had no one to help me with mother and she wasn’t walking yet.

I came to see Mom almost every day. The nurses thought she was being lazy and hard to get along with because she didn’t want to do any exercises or have them do anything to her. She just wanted to sleep. I kept telling them she was sick, but they didn’t believe me. But they had never seen her when she was well. They didn’t know how different she looked.

 It turned out later she was sick with a bladder infection. I then asked a nurse if Mom was getting her vitamin B12 shots. She told me Mom only needed pills not the shots. I told her that was wrong and she lost her temper at me and walked away. Later her feet had bruises on them and a doctor there told me it was because of a lack of vitamin B12.

One nurse told me I needed to push my mother to exercise etc. I said she is 91 and tired; she needs rest and more sleep. The woman was so mad she turned and walked away too. This was how they treated me the whole time.

Later, Mom started to walk with a walker and was sleeping through the night, so I felt I could take care of her again. When I took her home, I let her sleep as much as she wanted. She slept 20 hours a day at first and slowly she slept less and less until she was down to 9 to 10 hours a day. She recovered, which the doctors did not expect.

The next year went very well until she started getting the signs of congestive heart failure. I was so glad I could take care of her by myself the last two years. I know I did an excellent job, no matter what the nurses said and hinted at.

When she was in the hospital for the last time a nurse called me and asked if my mother had been walking with a walker. I told her no, she had told me she couldn’t walk anymore so I had been wheeling her around the apartment in a small travel chair (it is like a small wheelchair). The nurse said, “Well, she is walking.”

Hey, I’m glad she was walking, but it didn’t really matter here at home. She said she couldn’t walk and that was good enough for me. Frankly, it is hard to get over the unkindness of the nurses I dealt with. I’m sure there are also good and kind nurses somewhere.

I hope my experience was unusual, but I also wish there were some kind of classes for medical workers to learn how to talk to families of patients.

Fear.

These are trying times for everyone. We can’t see the future and feel powerless over the COVID-19 virus. We are used to having some control over our lives and that seems to be gone. Most of us have lives of trying to cope with problems without the virus; with the virus, life can feel overwhelming.

I am taking care of my 92-year-old mother. The doctor recently prescribed morphine for her because her constant angina wasn’t letting her sleep for more than an hour or two at a time. I’ve been trying one pill, then two pills. If she doesn’t have enough food in her stomach before taking the pill, she gets nauseated and sometimes vomits. I’ve found the solution in giving her a bowl of cereal before she goes to bed; that seems to work the best with one pill at night.

My heart overturns sometimes when I look at my mom. She is so weak and fragile and feels yucky a lot of the time. I wish none of this was happening to her, but I am powerless over her illness.

Each day I pray for God’s strength and he always gives it to me. But last night I watched a video online that showed a woman in her 90s who got the virus and lived through it. I’m so glad she did, but what she described was truly awful and painful. I began to feel deep fear about getting the virus. I’m not afraid of death, but I am afraid of pain.

As I was praying later that night, I was reminded of the many people in the Bible who were close to God and suffered greatly. It felt like the Lord was telling me I shouldn’t expect a life with no suffering; he never promises that.  Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

When I think of how David was running and hiding from King Saul for 20 years, I can understand why he wrote Psalms of sorrow and fear. When I think of Daniel and his friends being taken away from their homes and families in Jerusalem and made to be slaves for the king of Babylon, I think of the long journey there. They were forced to walk for miles and miles before they arrived. Perhaps they saw their parents and siblings killed when Jerusalem fell. Their faith in God was surely tested.

Jeremiah and Isaiah both suffered greatly because they spoke out for God. They did what God asked them to do yet were jailed. Jewish history says Isaiah was sawn in half by King Manasseh. Jeremiah was hunted down and hated by the rulers of Jerusalem. It is only because of the king’s mercy that he stayed alive until the city fell.

In the New Testament, the disciples of Jesus were persecuted and all died from murder except John. Paul writes about the Thessalonians who had all their property taken away because they became Christians. Thousands lost their lives to different emperors of Rome.

These are some of the sufferings of Paul that he wrote about in 2 Corinthians:

In my frequent journeys, I have been in danger from rivers and from bandits, in danger from my countrymen and from the Gentiles, in danger in the city and in the country, in danger on the sea and among false brothers, in labor and toil and often without sleep, in hunger and thirst and often without food, in cold and exposure. Verses 26,27

…in harder labor, in more imprisonments, in worse beatings, in frequent danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea. Verses, 23-25

For myself I can say, I don’t really know what it is to suffer like Paul. Still, I have my own sufferings and I know God sympathizes with me; he walks with me through my sufferings; he gives me strength to bear up under them but he doesn’t always take them away.

I believe Jesus is returning very soon. If that is so, the COVID-19 virus is only the beginning of suffering at this time. I was reading Isaiah chapter 24 this morning and came across the condition of the world at the time of the end:  4-6  

The earth mourns and withers;
the world languishes and withers;
the highest people of the earth languish.


The earth lies defiled (polluted)
under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed the laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.

Therefore, a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
and few men are left.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:21-26 For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.

At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you in advance. )

So if they tell you, ‘There He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

In Daniel 12:1-4, it says “At that time Michael, the great prince who stands watch over your people, will rise up. There will be a time of trouble, the likes of which will not have occurred from the beginning of nations until that time. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.

And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt. Then the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever.

But you, Daniel, shut up these words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will roam to and fro and knowledge will increase.”

One of the best things Jesus said was, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have itself to think about. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:34

I heard something online today that made me smile. It was, “I am not a strong rock, but I stand on one.” Amen to that.