Saturday, April 20, 2019

but God...

I have wrote some very hard to write posts on here, (besides the obvious of the BI) there have been seizures, Child and Adolescent Treatment Centre, moving out, trips to the ER, calls to the RCMP, abuse from others, drug abuse, alcohol abuse… my list here is so long!

BUT I have had a few posts of celebration: seizure free days/week/years, new jobs, new meds, wonderful doctors, new friends, old friends… that is list just as long…

But… BUT… this post is so amazing, so wonderful, such a beautiful God story that I am struggling to write it as I don’t want to miss anything!

It seems to have started in March (8-9 to be precise) when Dennis, Isaac, Sam and a few guys from church when to a Promise Keeper’s seminar in Winnipeg. And our Sammi stood up and laid all his worries, stresses and life at the feet of Jesus!! (My heart still yells Hallelujah AMEN! When I think of this!!) Then a few weeks later, some major life stresses came down and Sam hit rock bottom …

…he put down his shovel and started the first step of a new journey that will start out to be a year long but last a lifetime!!

He voluntarily entered the Adult & Teen Challenge. You can learn about the program HERE.
He started a ball rolling for his future that was so  inspiring and so God directed that it just leaves us amazed and shaking our heads - not in disbelief but in love and wonder!

I will try to share as much of this fantastic God story as I can remember:

Even after rededicating his life to Jesus and trying to connect with church and God; he was still walking in the life of addiction and not the best of outside influences... which brought us to  Sam having a bad night with some pretty major happenings, which resulted in a bad anxiety attack: crying, throwing up, shaking... and him being so fed up with these attacks and all that went with them -- so how this all played out:

We received a phone call around midnight and we had to go and pick him up in Neepawa as he was stranded for a couple of reasons. He asked to speak to our pastor -- so I had to call and wake him and give our pastor as much of the story as I knew. Sam was still talking to him when we got to town. on the way home, Sam explained a few things of what had happened ... which lead to him being sick... sick and tired... 
When we got home, Sam talked more to us about things and when we asked if he was wanting help via Adult and Teen Challenge (TC), he said "yes". 




Our prayers were answered and our son slowly came back to us that night! 

The next day, we called TC and we knew there could be up to a year long wait list. We were told (Sam and Dennis and I) to read the TC handbook for men and then fill out the application, get all the paper work in order (medical and criminal record check) and do whatever is needed to be done to be ready... just in case he was able to get in. 

It was an amazing week! Normally it is pretty hard to get into the doctor but when we told them what it was for, he got in right away for his physical. All the paper work for his criminal records check was done pretty quick. Sam called and told him work what he was doing and way and they were so wonderfully supportive! 
Then TC called and the admissions officer said that due to Sam's brain injury that it might be best if they met him in person, THEN!!! 

THEN... he called again and said that a phone interview would be fine because he had a good GOD FEELING about our Sammi! After the interview, Sam and I  went shopping, so we were ready when we got a time sorted for Sam to enter the program - this was Friday (5 days after his anxiety and admission of needing help.) While in Brandon, we went to the TC Super Thrift store for clothes and we spoke to one of the wonderful ladies working there (who also happens to be finishing the year long program) and she told Sam to stay strong and not give up on the program. I think her words and her demeanor helped to calm Sam's nerves. He was much more relaxed and calm when we left the store. (Praise God!) 

After another phone call,  TC said that they would like to see him in the program the early next week, so Sam said Tuesday so we could finish a few paper work things (and I was in Winnipeg with Hannah and a separate appt and needed to get home with the car!) I got back to town in time to help with the local running and paper work needing to be done and that night he packed his stuff up and got himself ready for the Tuesday.

There were so many awesome people who stepped up and into our lives -- not just Sammi's that week - those wonderful beautiful Visible Angels!  There was so much support for Sam and his decision to make a huge step, one that was all faith, ALL GOD! It was amazing and continues to be as our new normal unfolds and we not only look forward to all that is going to happen BUT when we look back and see where God was in it all.... simply amazing!

our Sammi saying "See you soon"
 to our immediate family snapchat group <3 br="">
With all this said, leaving our boy, my baby, at the TC centre and walking back to our car and driving out of the city was one of the hardest things I think we have ever done. Please don't get me wrong, we KNOW he is in an amazing place of recovery in ALL aspects for his life - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, but to leave and know that we can't see him for two weeks, then it starts with a phone call.... then visits ... all limited... very hard.

Not having a lot of info about what and how this will all work over the next year and having to have a quick bandaid style goodbye...Then satan wanting to work (and working hard!) in my head and myself being so incredibly tired - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually... 

After a talk with our pastor and some dear friends, I am working to work on my own healing journey as well. I have been looking after and then once he moved out - worrying so much about  Sam, that I lost me and my well being (but then again if you have been reading this mess of a blog for any amount of time, this is no surprise! lol) I am trying to take sabbaticals whenever it is possible. I shut out life for a bit and try to just sleep, rest and do what is needed to regain my health. I was told by a wise man (our pastor) that I need to get ready for the future issues that can and will arise... and I know this is true since very time we have had a new normal there is always something that jumps  up to surprise us. We know there will be challenges and we have been faced with a few already but we know that with God as the author of this story we have no reason to worry. He holds it all in His hands, and we will follow where ever He leads! 

As a family we have a lot to learn about the program that Sam is in and I believe we all are ready for it.  And I know we are  excited to see where God is going to take our Sam. He already had such an amazing story to share... it will only get better here on in!

There is so much more that I could write and say, but i'll leave it here for now.

Sam's home for the next year

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

last week ...

last week daddy had been sick. I ad gotten a phone call from the care home saying he had a very high fever and they assumed he had aspirated which was the cause it not only the fever but the raspy, rattling chest noise. Each time he gets sick I am preparing myself for the end of this journey that we have been on with him for the last 24 years. I pray that his pain and discomfort are slight and that if it be is quick, for all involved (dad, the care home aides that work with him and us... me). It is an exhausting time when he is sick, because I feel such pressure being the only one to do anything with him. I don't call any family.. they all live far away and only one (my aunt - daddy youngest sister) that keeps in contact with me. so it sits with me. I wrote this last week while sitting ... once again, with daddy. 
He is better now (or at least he has had no fever) and the next few days again will tell if he is actually "better better" or if there will be another round of meds, if the chest has cleared... until the next time he aspirates or an illness goes through the care home.


Once again I am sitting here listening to your breathing, so rough and ragged… your bed humming from the weight of you on the mattress, a Frank Sinatra movie on the tv and the day to day noises of the care home. Your spirits are a bit higher than they have been other times but you are still sick.

Yesterday afternoon I had a call from the care home that you were not well. You had a high temperature and your breathing was raspy. They think you possibly aspirated so there was a call to the doctor and medications ordered as well as the nebulizer. So we wait to see what the meds will do. And this morning when  I got here to hear your fever was down and you ate a bit at breakfast, so we sat, I read the bible to you, I prayed for you and I sat and we watched an old Dean Stockwell movie and you look so frail and tired.

Now it is afternoon and you are back to bed (you look exhausted). I tried to get you to sing a bit (something that you love to do) and you didn’t want to. You said you wanted to sleep for a while. 

So here I sit…




Reminiscing in my head. Thinking of all the times we were riding in the semi’s, eating at McDonald’s (and me ordering those extra thick chocolate milkshakes that you hated to hear me try to suck up!), the songs we would sing, the driving lessons, the shopping mall adventures, the laughing over the burnt pudding and fish cakes. 

My memories are all so vivd, and yet the one thing I cannot remember for the life of me is your voice. 

I cant hear your laughter and calling me “jo”… I wish I could. I would love to hear you roll over and say to me right now “Jo, lets sing some Merle Haggard.” Or  “lets go for a drive and see what we can find.” I can't hear you and haven't been able to for years and I miss that.  I can't wait until we are in heaven and we can talk... two sided conversations! 

I love you, daddy... 

I miss you...

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

still a work in progress (as always)

this week (well more the last few weeks) have been ones of working towards my own healing.

December will be upon us tomorrow and I am still after 24years a mess this time of year. Crying at stupid Christmas songs, weepy when I think of setting up the tree, basically non-energetic about anything Christmas-y.


I have started a new wellness regime that will hopefully be something that will get my hormones straight, get my ass moving more and most of all work out the issues in my head.

My bi-polar has been the worse it ever has been in the past 18-24 months. Yes, bi-polar... what an ugly word, makes me think of all sorts of negativity (but then again is there much positive about it??) I have discovered that now that I am in (yet another) new phase of my life... empty nesting... that our life with kids was a huge buffer for me. When those lovely voices started speaking in my head, I could keep them at bay and silenced with the noise of babies, kids and teenagers. Now that they are gone from the home, I find that I have them not even having to yell these days - their whispering is loud and clear ... and scary.
I am not writing this to freak anyone out but to clear my thoughts and put them down and sort them out!

I wrote the above a few weeks ago and walked away... now I am back to try this again... please bear with me...

I have enlisted some very dear sisters to pray for me and these new supplements and so far have noticed some small changes. I am sleeping better, I am not so weepy all the time, I find I am able to focus a bit better on the positive things. So almost a month in and I am going to remain on it for a while more.

Yesterday was a hard day though. We had a care meeting at the PCH for my dad. There are some new changed to final care in our health region and we (more like I) had ate look at it and make changes to his directives. Daddy has always been on DNR  -- right from the beginning, and it has remained so for 24years , but there was a small change that was made yesterday. Not necessarily the best time for me to make this decision with it being a hard time of year as it is....
Also I had met with some of the staff and daddy's doctor about changing his food from puree to mince. So he can be engaged with his eating and possibly less aspiration.  Yesterday we tried to find a happy medium with the speech pathologist, the dietician, the doctor and a few others on the care team.
It was a hard meeting for me in a few ways, first, I had to explain my reasons (which makes sense) for wanting them to make these changes and secondly I had to do it without having a stupid melt down... which I failed at... miserably. I felt like an idiot... I felt a full on, true failure at looking after my dad. I felt like I had dropped balls on so many things and most of them weren’t even ones I knew I was supposed to juggle, that issues that I assumed was being cared for were not and how dare I not know it.
I felt like some of the team was looking at me like I was heartless because I was asking for them to look at his quality of life and not just as a body in a chair that had to eat to stay alive - this is not something I say lightly because in 24 years I have had many, many things said to me out how and why I care for my dad. I have actually had people tell me that I was selfish, heartless or ignorant to have him on DNR, to sometimes wish he had have let go,after the beating so that he would have left and not had to,suffer as he does daily... and so that my memories of him could have been of who he was before my world crashed in on me and have the memories I now have...

I tried to explain that I know daddy would rather be eating food that even slightly resembles food not mush. But the one care worker, kept coming back to how he could choke and aspirate and it would be so traumatic for dad -- which I get but I want his days to be ones that if he is able to comprehend things that he knows he is being treated and respected as the awesome man he was, only I knew as we all sat around that table.
I am so thankful that Dennis was with me because he was able to ask what I was not able too because I was so damn emotional. He asked if there was anything.... ANYTHING ... we can do that can give him a better quality of eating?  I think it was then that the one realized that I was not asking for full time meal changes... just something to give him something to look forward too. It was decided that the home will give him his lunch as mince and his other meals as puree, so that he will always have the chance to eat a full supper if he gets too tired to chew the mince (until he can try to build up the muscles in his jaw)
But it kept being explained how it will look if he starts to choke and what that could entail long term... I wanted to honestly just say YES! I get it!! But lets stop always focusing on "what could' happen and look at what dad may possibly gain from this change!
I was very thankful as well with the social worker who was working hard advocating for daddy and his doctor - who kept saying that he totally gets us looking at his total life quality.
I refrained for saying a lot of negative things (yay me), but it is also so hard with on my mental health to not be able to say what I need to say.
Which brings me back to my circle of sisters that are praying for me. I have tried so hard to be honest and open about my feelings with people but there are just somethings that I still struggle to answer and to ask for prayer for without a full explanation (and possible meltdown)... I am still a work in progress and I am seriously trying to fully rely on God and His promises of mercy, grace and love. I do know that without my prayer sisters and my church family (even though most of them know NOTHING about any of this!)I can't even imagine where I would be. God is good, all the time...

A question that Dennis asked me yesterday was one that I thought I had the answer to, but realize it don't: what is God waiting me to learn from caring for my daddy and going through all that we have gone through and are continually seeming to go through. So if anyone could give me a heads up on this answer (is it possible for God to give someone an answer to someone else question or lesson?)