Advent season and Christmas Blues

The youngest is still sleeping well and doing well after his recent hospital visit. We are still apartment shopping; hoping to find something affordable, close to his work and on a bus line even if he can’t (right now) ride a bus or  even stand at the bus stop without sheer panic setting in. And I am second guessing every step and finding myself in pools of tears for no apparent reason. Hubs and I met with the youngest’s  counselor on Friday and again I found myself weeping without reason, even now tears are forming and threaten to drip all over the screen as I type. 

I am sure part of the distress is coming from me rehashing this year of ups and downs and pausing to consider if this is really the right path. I am stuck in the knowledge that my son’s brain is fragile; so fragile that missing a night’s sleep can send him down the road of constant wakefulness and hyper anxiety. His brain is so easy to teeter into high anxiety and exacerbation of his fears that it is scary for me to watch. Even scarier knowing that I can only point out observations, make suggestions and pray. 

In my devotion today Laura Storey posits that we should be asking God questions- just not the why questions. And I admit I am full of why questions. She says to instead ask the how question- how can this trial be used to glorify God. But in all honesty I still want to know the why. And I am not sure I will ever see as it says in Romans 8:28 “all things work together for the good of those who love Him.” But then maybe I am not meant to, but the hurt is real and the grief remains, deep and weighty , tears flowing. So it’s a good thing that tears are prayers too. The first Sunday of advent is tomorrow, and it is Hope. I am not in a place of hope right now, I see little hope and I am raw and tired of hoping only to find that I have to lower my expectations once again and throw another dream in the trash. Perhaps I should just stop dreaming. 

So for today my prayer is that hope returns and that I find a way to dream again for now it is a vague and cloudy thing that is like mist – there but IAM unable to grasp, or hold onto it. But God remains in all things, over all things and through all things. AMEN

Advertisements

Next steps and home again

   So we are home finally. It has taken all day it seems. Check out of the hospital, go by vocational rehab, pick up clothes and meds, eat lunch then off to see his counselor, and finally home. This journey started eight days ago and now we are home for the Thanksgiving break. 

   As we left the vocational rehab, one of the counselors there suggested that Joe come home and apartment search from home. It is all very foggy and unclear. But transitions are generally unclear and this disease makes even clear things feel foggy and disoriented. 

    So our next step is to sit down and decompress. Think about what we have learned over the past year and what are the positives and negatives, as well as what the youngest wants to happen. This means serious talks about budget, work and continued follow-up with counselors and doctors. And hopefully with the voices currently gone the youngest can and will participate in this conversation with his best brain in gear and his dreams and hopes vocalized. 

So my prayer for today is one of thankfulness. Thankful for the doctors and nurses who help those in need. Thankful we have access to this facility which is close to home. Thankful for those who work with people who have mental health issues. Thankful for prayer warriors who stand in the gap and pray when asked at a moments notice, via Internet, email, and list serve groups , thankful for the Sovereign Lord who bends His ear and listens to petitions and prayers and who works all things together for the good of those who believe and love Him. Thankful most of all that this Sovereign Lord remains faithful, remains loving, remains present and a presence in all things over all things and through all things . Amen

Hospitalization

   Yes, the youngest is in the hospital. This was not unexpected. The weekend was rough and raw and deep down I knew that he was headed back (at bare minimum to the ER) to the hospital. Monday came and went and I let the doctor know that I thought he would be in the ER sometime this week. Late that evening the youngest texted “if I don’t sleep tonight I am going to the ER.” We had a conversation about not using the ambulance but calling me or letting the vocational rehab folks know would be the best option and that I would keep my phone at bedside , just in case.

   Tuesday early (I was drinking my coffee) the youngest let me know that he was going to the ER, that he had not slept, and that one of the counselors would take him. So after getting dressed and collecting myself I went and found the youngest in the ER. I had come prepared for a long wait, and knitting a pair of socks, we waited. The ER psyche doc talked with us, decided to talk with the youngest’s outpatient doctor, hopefully to see if she could see him that morning. We were hopeful this would be a short ER visit.

  But his outpatient doctor recommended he be hospitilized. So boom, now we were officially a psyche patient. All things were taken (including my knitting) and we were placed in a lockdown area. The docs came and talked and the youngest was in negotiations , he wanted to come home, to stay with us to “hang out” until he could get his sleep regulated. But the decision was made to admit him and he was angry with me (or at least that is what it felt like), so he decided he wouldn’t talk with me. As I left for the day, I was prayerful that we had made the right decision.

Once home emails, Facebook posts and more emails were sent requesting prayer , first for an inpatient bed to open as the medicine changes would not start until he was inpatient, second for the youngest to have peace that this was the best, and thirdly for wisdom for the doctors and nurses, and finally for peace for me, endurance for me and wisdom for me. 

Here is what happened. After having been told that inpatient may take a while (hospital code for we don’t know) a bed opened within 36 hours. He has his treatment team meeting this morning and is getting sleep. And on my devotional today up popped Romans 8:28”for we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose”.  Now that my friends is affirmation.

So today is my thankful day, thankful for prayer warriors who step up and pray, thankful for a God who lavishes grace upon grace on believers, thankful that in the midst of trials we can approach His throne boldly with our petitions, that He turns his ear and listens to those petitions. Thankful that He remains in all things , over all things and through all things AMEN

There will be changes

So we are apartment hunting. In our area there is no affordable, convenient housing for persons who have mental handicaps and this makes the search somewhat daunting. But we are in search of something illusive of greater value – my son to have some independence. All the while knowing that I am needy and depending on the Sovereign Lord for His blessings, mercy and grace.  So the search is on and we look at things like bus routes, and grocery stores and as they say location, location, location. It is draining in some ways and yet I feel like I am on the cusp of a new thing, a wonderous thing, which the Lord alone knows.

We are also in the midst of a visit from the eldest and the grand boys,from Nepal for only a short time. And we who are used to the quiet silence of our days have had our ears tickled with little boy questions and baby crying and lots of smiles. It can be a harsh adjustment from the quiet, made harsher knowing the youngest is still in the depths of depression, and lack of solid sleep and rest. We are trying our best and on most days that is enough, but on some day the weariness creeps in and the snippy words escape without warning and everyone needs a nap. Those (naps) are short-lived and not near frequent enough, but we muddle through.

So my prayer for today is for all those who are weary, bone tired, and down. How long oh Lord, how long will you forget us??? NEVER  He answers back strong and bold yet loving and grace filled. Never will I leave you nor forsake you, NEVER.  So praise to the Sovereign Lord who remains in, over and through. Full of Grace and mercy and strength for the day, and for the many days to come whatever they bring, because come they will and often bring  with them unexpected delays, turns, and twists that we can never expect, BUT GOD knows, and has plans, and REMAINS ever faithful in, over and through.

Round 2 hurricane💨💨 and more changes

So number two blew through last week, power outages from Thursday until Monday and lots of downed trees. We were fortunate in that about 20 years ago we put in a whole house backup generator so we had power but many did not including the youngest. So he came home.

We celebrated my birthday the week before this last round of wind and rain and on Friday I received a text from the youngest “Hey, me and Eric are looking from an apartment to move to” “We are graduating.” I have to admit my stomach clinched a bit because I was not expecting this, nor did I know exactly what “graduation” meant to the youngest. We celebrated anyway knowing this was a good thing.

Life happens, hurricanes blow through, sickness occurs. This week we have been non stop as the youngest was sick and there were appointments to get to. The good thing is I spoke with the jobs counselor at the vocational rehab place asking questions about what this graduation meant. I came away reassured and comforted. Both gentlemen were very complementary of the youngest, very confident that this next step would be good and safe for him to take on. So basically he would move from a supervised apartment where he checks in with folks for his meds and such to an unsupervised place of his own. He would have no one except self to get him up , to get his meds taken, no supervision for his medication. He will still have the full range of services and the jobs counselor assured me that they would still have a close eye on the youngest.

So now the youngest is apartment hunting with the housing counselor. And though he has been ill this week, he will return to that task soon. Perhaps this affected his immune system, perhaps it was just a cold, but he returns to his safe home was nurtured a bit and will return to work soon. His voices or noises are still present, but he is learning how to ignore them, how to distract himself so that he can still be somewhat productive. This is the way it has to be. There is no “cure” for schizoaffective disorder, and to medicate the voices and noises into silence would make him a vegetable, so he has to learn to cope,  voices, noises and all.

So my prayer for today and I suspect any days hence is for me to have wisdom to help the youngest but not make him dependent on me. My prayer for him is to continue making these small steps forward. My prayer is also for those workers who are patient, kind, yet place resonable demands on those with mental health issues for their strength, and wisdom for each individual they deal with on a daily basis.

I am also thankful so very thankful for the Lord who remains in all things, over all things and through all things. That HE is faithful even when I am not. That HE is patient and wise when I am tired and less than wise. Thankful the HE is present, has been present, and will be present through this journey.AMEN

Breakthrough 💨👍🏻🙏💡💡

So the hurricane blew through and dropped a massive amount of rain which flooded much of the East and southeast of NC. We are still in damage control with more than 300 roads still out of service and many still without power, homes and basics of life. We are fortunate that Baptist Men and Women’s disaster relief is here from several states serving food, doing muck outs where possible and providing prayers. Anyone can donate to this organization and 100% of the donations goes to help the people – no administrative cost deducted.

So with all that going on and the youngest is still making steps forward. He has become sort of an administrative assistant to the jobs counselor at the vocational rehab place. He has sort of created this job for himself and he works at it. This week he was excited because as he texted me “I found jobs for 2 people this week” yes son that is a good thing to help others. On Wednesday he met with his peer counselor, talked about riding the bus, and then later that day actually got on a bus rode it into town and back home. I was stunned, pleasantly stunned but stunned all the same. He rode the bus with a friend not the peer counselor. He admitted that some of the ride was “kinda hard” but mostly was not as bad as he thought it might be. And just like that another wall, barrier has crumbled a little bit. Not a Jericho walls come down but a definite cracking and crumbling and this is what we at our house call a working miracle.

so my prayer today is for the walls and barriers to continue to crumble, for the set backs to be smaller and smaller for the negative self-talk to be replaced by loving koneness self-talk. I will be ever thankful that the Lord remains in, over and through all things. That He is ever present, ever patient, ever faithful even when I am not. For the people who have been devastated by this hurricane to know His presence , for us to be His hands and feet as we can to the best of our abilities thanks be to the Lord AMEN

Aftermath flooding

F5757EE8-ACC0-48F2-8B69-FA2FD5331F27This is NOT my house, I am fortunate. But this house and many others located inland 200 + miles from the coast are flooded. The rains came and came and came. Places that were dry for decades are now knee deep or more in muddy,stinky, insect infested waters. We here in NC are bracing for a long, long clean up. Helping those in our own county as well as those in distant places that have been devastated by floods, many without flood insurance which is onerous, and expensive. We are humbled by the workers who have come from at least 28 other states to help with water rescue and power outages. We thank them all for their dedication.

The youngest went back to the vocational rehab and has been back to his job. He is still practicing his bus stop acclamation but is still scared and having a difficult time, but at least he tries. Even this small step of trying is a step in the right direction.

So my prayer for today is for the linemen, with water rescue people, the post flood muck out people, for the disaster teams that are now feeding and praying and sustaining many in those areas . (If you feel led to give check out Baptist Men And Women Disaster relief , this is truly being the hands and feet of Christ) . Thankful for the fact that God can sustain, will sustain, those in this time and in the recovery time, however long it is. Thankful He is in all things, over all things, and through all things.

Touch and go💦💨💨💨

Praise this morning abounds. Yes Florence hit the coast, yes there are power outages and yes there is still more to come. But I am in praise this morning because this huge storm which was once a cat 4 storm, was a cat 1 when it hit. Praise to the Sovereign Lord who controls the wind and the waves. There will be rebuilding, and renewing to be done that is a given, but our merciful Lord has reduced the catastrophic damages and we can survive a cat 1 – we have in the past and I am thankful for this little respite.

Today I will tell you a story. A couple of days ago in the midst of hurricane prep, my second daughter came home to collect some supplies we had gathered for her. The youngest was at home and there was a lot of talk about the storm. The youngest was pacing with anxiety and he just came over to my chair and patted me on my arm. I asked, “are you ok. “ and he said yes and went back to distract himself on his computer. This small touch tells me that he is seeking something. Security, comfort, reassurance. What exactly I do not know, but it also reminds me that he has a serious mental illness, and that sometimes you need touch to have the anchor, to know the anchor is still there, reality is present and that you are on solid ground. He has done this a few more times these past few days including this morning when’s in the kitchen and out of the blue stated “I don’t think I will survive “ I gave him a bear hug, reassure him that we would be ok.

So my prayer today is for safety for those in the path of this storm, gratefulthat is is not a cat4. As I listen to the winds blow, I am also assured that God remains in all things, over all things and through all things, especially through all things as we may be in this storm for 3 days, like Jonah time for reflection as we can’t or have no desire to be out. The radar shows how massive the storm is, but I remember that God is infinite and much stronger than the storm. So Lord, Sovereign Lord wrap your almighty hands around those in the direct path of this storm, help them to understand that You are present with them in this storm and You will be with them when it passes and the cleanup and rebuilding starts. You are the one true Lord of wind and the waves and thank you for Your sustaining presence AMEN

Hurricane😱💨💦

So for the last few days we have been in hurricane prep. The youngest has stated “I hate this” but in all honesty I believe he hates the edginess of the atmosphere not the hurricane. We have been through this before and he was 4 and slept through the whole thing as did the rest of my house, except me, lol I paced the whole night listening to the winds roar!

So today we will do last-minute things like a doctor’s visit, perhaps a blood draw and then we will bunker down and wait. This too is nerve-racking and make the edginess exacerbate. Right now the birds are tweeting and the sun is coming up,there are clouds which belie the danger of this huge storm.

so my prayer for today I’d for those in the extreme danger zone to have sense and evacuate. I am also thankful for those who are staged ready for the aftermath of this storm.  I heard that some of the NYPD were in NC ready for rescue and help as are Samaritan’s Purse, and Baptist Men and Women. I am grateful for the linemen who are ready to redo power lines and I am thankful for the whole house generator we had put in after the last one passed through. Thanks for all the prayers that are being said for safety and for this storm to dissipate quickly in a fashion that will show others that our Sovereign Lord is still in control and remains in all things, over all things and through all things AMEN

Bus stop🚏trials

So the youngest has a task before him and I am not sure how he will deal with it. The vocational rehab wants him to use the bus system to get to various places. This is not  an easy task taking into consideration that he is scared – more like terrified of people,  new situations, and different situations. So he was nudged rather hard by his therapist and came home before the Labor Day weekend angry at the therapist, and remains with some anger. He has not divulged what was said but I have gently reminded that the therapist has his best interest at heart and he agrees with that so we will see if the anger dissipates.

Yesterday I suggested that he practice just standing at the bus stop. Just to get used to standing around with a group of strangers, not interacting with them, just standing there for 3 minutes. He did it!!!! This was a great surprise to me even if he did time it and “run like hell “ when the three minutes were up. He admitted to being scared. BUT HE DID IT AND HE DID IT AGAIN TODAY!!!! 3 minutes which for him feels like days. So today when I was picking him up we talked about ways he could focus on other things rather than time, strangers and his anxious feelings. Perhaps he will take some of those suggestions and work up to 4 minutes lol. This is a hard thing for a Mother to watch, and all the time knowing it will help him grow in confidence.

so my prayer for today is one of seeds of confidence to grow, and seeds of anxiety and fear to diminish. And I say a prayer of thanksgiving for the therapists, and workers at the rehab who are involved and aware of his struggles,  thankful for doctors and thankful for the Spirit who provides me with wisdom and strength when I feel less than adequate to this task of being the mother of one who struggles so. Thankful that the Lord remains in all things, through all things and over all things amen.