Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Six times I have tried

Every day for the past month since Bill's accident, my heart has been overloaded with thoughts and scripture and blog postings that never made it to the computer screen.

Even this morning, six times I have tried to write, and six times I have reversed my direction with the backspace button.  I cleaned the pantry.  (Who organizes their pantry?  A reluctant writer, of course). I mopped the kitchen floor.  I even read a review of a book just published about procrastination.  The one glaring difference between me and the author is that he actually sat down and wrote something.

Life has been very different here in the past four weeks, patterns rearranged, life turned upside down, my energies focused on taking care of Bill and his recuperation from what is still not explainable but for God's intervention..  We are grateful to God for his life.  He is recovering.  And it will take time.

The first two weeks home from the hospital, he was sleeping in spurts up to sixteen hours a day.  He loved visits from friends, but often had to lay down for hours afterward to rest his brain.  It was quiet here.  It was dark.  But even when I was unloading the dishwasher, he would have to go into another room because of the continual noise in his head, so constant that he was able to identify the sound as a high E.

It is hard for a cyclist who is used to riding 40-60 miles a day, a man engaged in a number of ministries and organizations, an active grandpa, to sit quietly in a chair, unable to do anything more than keep his eyes closed. No screens.  No reading. At first, not even music.  He sat on the deck one sunny day, eyes closed and with sunglasses on.  An airplane passed over.  The noise set off fireworks in his head.

But every day he moves a little closer to better.  Two good days were almost always followed by a tough one or two.  The headaches continued, the pain in his jaw woke him in the night.  Because of his jaw surgery, his nourishment is still limited to soup and smoothies for at least another two weeks.  Outings consisted of doctor appointments, which were followups for each impacted body part.  The first weekday we were home, I was put on hold for an hour and 15 minutes just to confirm an already existing appointment.

"So with Bill home, what are you doing all day?"  a friend asked.  "Has it interrupted your life at all?"  I couldn't answer that for a minute or two.  Thinking, praying, thanking God for life and for protection from what might have been, making appointments, driving to appointments, coming up with new soup recipes, inventing Nutella smoothies, filling in the gaps of all the things that Bill takes care of.  I ceased writing.  My brain was moving too fast.  I ceased reading books, other than reading to Bill.  I just couldn't settle on a book.  Someone cheerfully suggested a Netflix account for when Bill goes to bed early.  I smiled and said thank you very much for the idea, not revealing that when he went to bed, I dropped exhausted beside him.  I haven't slept through the night for years, but I have dozed deep every night since he came home.  Even when getting up at night multiple times a night to administer his meds,  I would get up and then fall right back to sleep, previously unknown in my galaxy.

I can tell that he is improving, because he has become so restless.  That is a good sign.  He now kicks me out of the house to go to a meeting, Bible study, for a walk, or to help with the grandkids.  Physical therapy begins tomorrow.  Cognitive therapy scheduled for next week.  And then, more surgeries on his mouth.

Today, he said, "Go write."  I almost forgot how.  Six times I started and tried and erased and then the words came.

It is not that we are getting back to normal, or even a new definition of that word.  But we are seizing God's faithfulness placed ahead of us, grateful for one day at a time.

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