Evil Begins with One Thought.

I was watching a British show about Sherlock Holmes the other day and noticed that in the story a whole family was destroyed by one person with one evil thought that turned into an obsession.

The story was about three sisters who lived together. One of them got married and one of them wanted her husband. It ended in murder of one sister and the other two sisters estranged.

That day, I also listened to a podcast called, Joyce Meyer’s Talk it Out. Three of Joyce’s friends talk about a subject that affects their lives. It’s a lovely podcast.

They talked about “thoughts” and how when they were first Christians, they didn’t understand that thoughts are not always our own, but many can come from God or Satan. I had felt the same when I was first a Christian. I would have evil thoughts and was horrified by them. I wondered if I was really a Christian. But eventually I came to see that the thoughts were temptations from Satan.

I do know the Bible supports this theory. I will share some Bible verses with you.

How Satan speaks to us:

The evening meal was underway, and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.  John 13:2

 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.

The tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

But Jesus answered, “It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:10-17

How God speaks to us:

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.   Isaiah 30:21

 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”  Matthew 16:23

… some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming!”

But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?  Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”  And the man got up and went home.   Matthew 9:3-7

Jesus said, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. “  Matthew 6:1

How we speak to ourselves:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires, he is lured away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  James 1:13-15

Like the woman in the Sherlock Holmes story, she had a desire. She desired her sister’s husband.

The remedy to these temptations is easy: quote the Bible, as Jesus did, say to God and yourself, “I will not think about this anymore”, and pray for God to help you to throw that thought into the sea.

The quotes I use the most are: “You are a shield around me, my glory and the lifter of my head.”  “May everything that breathes, praise the Lord.” “The Lord is a strong tower I run to and am safe.” “The Lord is the strength of my life and my portion forever.”

Evil thoughts don’t hang around when the Lord is praised.

The Outcast. Mental Illness and Homelessness.

(I give permission for anyone to copy any of my posts.)

I have a sister who lives at a campground. Some of the sites are for permanent residents and the rest are for campers. She lives in a motorhome. After living there for awhile, she found out a man lived on the property who did odd jobs for the owner of the camp and its residents.

She asked this man if he would clean off the roof and do other tasks for her. She got to know him and realized he wasn’t quite normal. She found out he used to be an executive at a large corporation, but his young wife had died of cancer and he had a nervous breakdown. He told her he was in a hospital for a few months and was better for a time. A few years later, he had a girlfriend who also died, in an accident I think.

After that, he was in a permanent depression and just couldn’t cope with life at all. He lost his job and was homeless for a long time. Somehow, he got a small camper and lived in that. He came to the campground and asked the owner if he could live there by doing odd jobs and he told him he could.

My sister knew him for at least five years but told me he was going downhill. He started going to a psychiatric hospital occasionally. Later, when she would ask him to work for her, he forgot or took a few weeks to do it. Eventually, he quit doing all work.

Around that time, they started talking about God. She bought him two Bibles, one a graphic novel type and another regular Bible. She spoke to him of what God had done for her and how she loved being a Christian.

He told her all the Christians he had met were unkind to him, especially two people at the park, one of them the manager. They had promised to pay him a certain amount of money and then cut his pay in half after he was done. He said he had tried to go to churches, but the people there didn’t want him. He said he was surprised she was a Christian because she was nice to him.

A few months later, she found out the owner and manager had kicked him out because he wasn’t working enough and his site was messy. She doesn’t know where he went.

When I think of that man, I think of the word, “Outcast.” Then I think of Jesus, a friend of outcasts and who became one himself. I also think of mental illness and how misunderstood it is.

As I’ve written before, I have a mental illness and my sister told me most of the homeless people she met have had either a physical or mental illness. They are people no one knows what to do with. They are without a rudder in this cold world. People look down on them and ask, “Why aren’t they working? They look healthy enough to work!”

I’ll tell you why. They probably can’t concentrate, they may be terrified of people (like me), they are afraid to work because they know they will make mistakes and people will yell at them, and they can’t bear the thought of that. (me) Their memory isn’t good. They will forget what you told them to do, or misunderstand instructions. (me) They don’t have a car, bus fare, clothing. They are sometimes so nervous they cannot speak. (me)

If I didn’t have a husband to support me, I’d be homeless myself. Well, my daughters would take me in. I am blessed that way. My family understands my illness and loves me.

I’m writing this because I wish so much that the world would do something for these people. I know how complicated that is; although I did read about a city in Canada that built apartments for all the homeless and made it a law they couldn’t live on the streets. It has worked out wonderfully and is actually saving the city money. Maybe it isn’t as hard as we think. We have a terrific Premier in BC, where I live. He is doing a lot for the homeless. I admire him.

Well, I said what was burning in my heart tonight. Here are some verses from the Bible about outcasts.

The blind man Jesus healed:

They answered and said to him, “You were born entirely in sins, and do you teach us?” And they cast him out. When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, He found the man and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

 “Who is He, Sir?” he replied. “Tell me so that I may believe in Him.” “You have already seen Him,” Jesus answered. “He is the One speaking with you.” “Lord, I believe,” he said. And he worshiped Jesus.   John 9:34-38

A parable of Jesus:

So, they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.   Mark 12:8

Verses about Israel:

If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will take you.  Deut. 30:4

I will make the lame into a remnant, and the outcast into a strong nation. Then the LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever.  Micah 4:7

Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.   Zeph. 3:19

Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age.   Isaiah 60:15

Treatment of the poor:

What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.   Isaiah 3:15

What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws.

They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among my people.

They prey on widows and take advantage of orphans.

What will you do when I punish you, when I send disaster upon you from a distant land?

To whom will you turn for help?

Where will your treasures be safe?

Isaiah 10:1-3

It is a perilous thing to take advantage of the poor.


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.

Our Past Follows Us.

(I give permission for anyone to copy my posts for any reason.)

My husband loves the dozens (actually, a lot more than that I think) of Christmas movies that are found on Netflix and Amazon Prime. He has always liked action movies too, but lately he has focused on these Christmas movies. I find most of them sappy and badly written, but some of them are really good.

Last night, when we were watching one, my husband said, “I like these kinds of movies because they show happy families. I grew up in an unhappy family so it’s nice to see.” I’m so glad he told me that, because as tough as my husband is, and anyone could tell you he is a tough guy, I wondered why he liked these movies.

I know someone who loves crime shows. But she only likes the ones where the criminal is caught. She wants to see that person go to jail or executed. I think she gravitates to these shows because in her childhood, her life was threatened by a family member in the middle of the night. She would wake up with a sharp knife at her throat.

I like to read books or watch movies about real people who have overcome great difficulty: abuse, neglect, an illness. I think I am always searching for answers how to overcome my past.

Years ago, I used to have a recurring dream. My father and I were in a bus; he was driving and I was in the passenger seat. I looked over at him and he was laughing maniacally while speeding along the highway. Then I would wake up.

After years of therapy and talking with God I began healing. One night I had the same dream, except this time I was driving and he was in the passenger seat. I was feeling peace.

I have healed quite a bit, but I’m not cured of my mental illness. I still have problems with how I see myself. I still have automatic thoughts that plague me. But I am better, by the grace of God who helps me every day.

I have to ask him for that help. I can’t sit back day by day leaving God out of my life. I need him. If I don’t give myself to him each day, I start waking up wishing I was dead. I start getting depressed and hopeless. He keeps me from all that by prayer so that even if these thoughts pop up, I know he will help me. I just say, “God, I don’t want to think that. Give me something good to think.” And he does.

May God help all of us who have psychological problems. They can be devastating, but may God give us strength to walk through them.

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.

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.

A Neighbor’s Corona Virus Story.

“Therefore, my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.”  Psalm 143:4

The verse above is from a prayer by David.

Today, a neighbor talked with me while I was getting my mail. We were careful, standing at least 15 feet apart. She poured out her heart to me about her mother-in-law, who has all the symptoms of Coronavirus and nothing is being done for her. They aren’t allowed to take her to the hospital, even though there are empty beds. She is suffering at her home, all alone. She is quarantined and in pain, gasping and trying to get her breath. She is 83. The hospital told her family, “It isn’t time yet.” My friend told her mother-in-law to dial 911 (which they did once already and no one came), when she felt she was dying so someone would come get her body.

I think hospitals here are doing this because they have run out of tests for the virus, nurses are becoming infected and she is 83 years old. I can’t think of any other reason they would not even try to relieve her suffering. I see statistics on the news that the curve is flattening here in Canada. Well, that makes sense since they aren’t taking tests and are leaving people to fend for themselves and die alone.  I felt so sad for this family.

My sister and I talk about the virus every day. She lives in Washington State and I live in BC, Canada. We think she has had the virus already. She was very sick a week ago, but is back to feeling awful instead of horrible. She has a lot of health problems and never feels normal.

She and I are both negative people. We have always thought the worst would probably happen to us and people we love. We are “catastrophic thinkers.” Each event, we take to the nth degree of disaster. We don’t want any surprises. This has made life extra hard for us, but we have both been working on turning to God with these thoughts. Believe me, he comes through big-time.

You know how a person gets into that kind of thinking? My sister was threatened by a family member a few times by waking up with a sharp knife at her throat. I was abused by my father. If your life is threatened by someone close to you when you are a little child, you never feel safe again.

But this is where faith in God comes in. Not that we think God won’t let us get the virus and die, no, we just trust him to know what is best. If God doesn’t want you to die, you won’t. And if you are dying, he will be with you. This gives me peace. I wrote about this recently, but I feel I should share this again.

Also, there is hope for new medicine and a vaccine. I just read last night a university in Canada has experimented and found a drug that seems to help people get better from the virus. That made me so happy. I hope they will start using it on patients soon.

The prayer of David, at the beginning of my post goes on to say:

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works;

I consider the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You;

my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.

Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails.

Do not hide Your face from me, or I will be like those who descend to the Pit.

Let me hear Your loving devotion in the morning, for I have put my trust in You.

Teach me the way I should walk, for to You I lift up my soul.

Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD; I flee to You for refuge.

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God.

May Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

This is a good prayer for this time in history. When we feel our spirit faint within us, consider the works of Jesus, stretch out your hands to him. Put your trust in him. Ask him to teach you how to live. Then rest in his love.

God says to all of us,Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you; I will surely help you;

I will hold you up with My right hand of righteousness.”

Isaiah 41:10

Making the Psalms Personal.

First chapter of Psalms: 1370s: commissioned by Queen Jadwiga of Poland

I’ve been going through the Psalms, writing them as if they came from my heart. It’s been a wonderful exercise and I seem to think of the Psalm the rest of the day. Some of them are happy; some are sad. Tonight, I got to the 22nd Psalm and as I tried to enter into the sufferings of David and Jesus, my own sufferings became vivid. Maybe writing out the Psalms is a good way to get the bad stuff out, like I used to do while in therapy when I wrote my life story in a journal. I hope this helps someone.

Psalm 22:

Why did you let this happen? Where were you? A question I used to ask. No more. I accept what happened. This world is a cesspool of evil. But mental pain brought me to you, the Lover of my soul.

Most of my life, I have felt like a worm, not a human being. Because my father molested me, I felt filthy and unlovable. But you, O Lord, are enthroned in heaven. All power is yours. I believe in you. You were there the day I was born. You took me out of my mother’s womb.

People say, “Why are you still thinking about the abuse? Get over it!” They make fun of me because of my social phobia and agoraphobia. Sometimes when I speak, they say I am crazy. They laugh at me when I gasp in terror when someone calls my name, “BELLE!” I peed in first grade when the teacher called my name. Pee filled the seat of my chair, poured down my legs and shoes and puddled under my desk. What happened next? Memory gone.

In high school, boys surrounded me, trying to feel my breasts, trying to take my bra off. Me? I wanted love and babies. But I was snow-white pure; a virgin head to toe. Then in high school, a boy told everyone he had screwed me. I was easy. He said it loud to a crowd of boys as I was walking by. A lie. They opened their mouths wide against me. My father says it too, “SLUT!” as he throws me against the wall. My heart has turned to wax.

But you Lord, are my strength. I want to tell everyone how you have saved me. You have heard my cry for help! One day, all will kneel before you. My children will worship and praise you!