When troubles come in abundance, I function in the moment and then it all washes over me. This past Sunday, Jan. 4th, I received a message when I got home from church. My parents are both in a nursing home together. My mom had been assaulted by another patient and was on her way to the hospital. If I could only begin to tell the number of times I’ve been to the hospital for my dad, foremost, and my mom. When my sister died 8 years ago at age 53, I was called to the hospital then. My experiences with hospitals go from tragic to life changing, as with the birth of my 2 biological children. But that phone call always brings fear to the pit of my stomach. This time I was astounded. My sweet mom attacked by another patient in the nursing home? Unbelievable.
The short story is there is a patient who appears mentally unaware, who had come into their room uninvited. As she was showing him out, he tried to trip her and shoved her, causing her to land on her head. The CAT scan and x-rays turned out OK, but her oxygen levels were low and they began doing blood work to follow her congestive heart condition. She was admitted after 7 hours in the emergency room. I had to go see dad at the nursing home because he can’t hear well enough to talk on the phone. He was so concerned and was reassured by my visit, even though mom was staying what turned out to be 2 nights. As it turns out, she suffered a microscopic heart attack with damage to the heart muscle. I have spent all week on the phone with lawyers, the state investigation unit, an ombudsman (look up that weird word!), but very little with the nursing home itself. They have done nothing to try and resolve this situation. As for the patient who assaulted her, EMS would not take him for a mental evaluation so he is still there. Down the hall from my parents. Supposedly with a staff member with him at all times. This, after he previously assaulted a nurse. This is a case of righteous anger from my point of view. I am angry. And doing everything I can to keep from feeling helpless. It is my job to take care of my parents as best I can. Mom is back “home” and time will tell how this incident will affect her physical health. But she and dad are back together. For that I’m grateful.
So with 2 children at home with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) any change in life circumstances throws them in a whirlwind. I knew it was coming, but exhaustion and stress left me very little room for the setbacks I knew were coming. I totally blew it one night with them. (I blow it more often than that, but this was a big one!) So three nights ago we started “cuddle time” again where I rock them separately in my lap and feed them chocolate, so they associate sweetness with their mom. And we talk and I look lovingly in their eyes to reassure them. Sometimes I’m a saint, sometimes I’m a sinner. This week has had some of both! Just keeping it real.
But even with all this chaos, I know there are so many going through trials much worse, facing uncertainties and fear. Fear is a tool of Satan to distract us from God. Don’t let him. God is our constant source of strength, as He showed me this week when I was at the proverbial end of my rope. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. I’m so grateful for that.