Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Color my speech red

We have started school. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin. We have a few kinks to work out but I am hopeful that we will emerge alive at the end of the year. I think I will keep my goals simpler this year. Our major course of study may of necessity be "elderly care."

A friend suggested I lower Mom K's bed so that if she does fall, at least she doesn't have far to drop. Initially, I felt this would not help. Both her falls have been in the bathroom thus far, but the bed idea stuck in my mind. Mom K is so weak that if the bed is low, she won't be able to get out of it. She will HAVE to call for help which is what we have been begging her to do. I talked to the Home administrator about that and he felt that was a great idea and said he would take care of lowering her bed that afternoon.

Now to go warn Mom K what was going to happen....She is getting stronger, the Physical Therapist said, and that is the problem. She can walk further, and do more, but she is not steady enough to do it safely. With her returning strength is her feistiness. When i told her we would lower the bed to make it safer, she caught right on.

"But then I won't be able to get out of it myself!" she said.
Ohoh. Subterfuge wasn't going to work. I was going to have to come clean.
"Actually, that's the point. You are not supposed to get out of it yourself. Not till you can do so without falling. You need to push the blue button and the nurses will come help you."
Well she didn't like that idea at all. She says she is up and down all night. She can't be bothering the nurses.
"Mom," I wailed, "Look at your arm!" It was black and blue and swollen from her fall two days ago.,"We are so afraid that the next time you fall will be horrible. You are paying those nurses a lot of money to help you. That's why you are here!"
"But I won't be able to get out of the bed if it is lower!" she said.
"Yes you will, every single time, by pushing the blue button which is what you are supposed to do."
She glared at me.
"Look Mom, when you go to a restaurant and order a hamburger, you pay them a lot of money for that hamburger, right?"
"Yes, too much money!"
"And you don't go in the restaurant, slap down all that money, and then walk out without getting your hamburger, do you?"
"No, no, of course not!"
"Well this is the same thing. You are paying a lot of money so that the nurses will help you when you need to get up and so you won't fall. That is why you are here. That is what you are paying them to do."
She shook her head and growled a little.
"Well ok," she said, "But I am not happy. I won't be able to put the bed back up so I can get out of it."
I moaned, "But Mom, we don't WANT you getting out of the bed alone! That's why you have the call button to call the nurse!"
I am not a good teacher.

Later I ran into the head nurse. She suggested we talk it over together with Mom K.
"Gert," she said, "How about if I order a hospital bed? Then it is just one button to push to bring it up higher for the day so you can get in and out more easily when help is here, but bring it lower at night so you are safer and will call for help. Would that be ok?"
"OK," she said, "But how much will that cost?"
"I think medicare will pay it," the nurse answered, "But I will check that out first and tell you."
"OK," said my surprisingly sharp and feisty mother in law, "If it is paid for, I will get it."

I rode my bike home, glad that one battle was averted. Meanwhile, back at the homefront, Nathaniel Hawthorne was threatening to overwhelm us on our first day of school. I love the classics, but sometimes good writing is almost impossible to understand. We were supposed to get to Chapter 4, but the introduction had us both stymied for most of the remaining afternoon. I am not a good teacher. Helping my daughter with that was almost harder than talking Grandma into a lowered bed. I don't know if I have a year's worth of stamina if every day is like this.

I thought about the greatest teacher I know. I read His words every day, and I find great strength and comfort in His admonitions and teachings. What does He do that guides so well? Maybe if I could just be more like Him, my efforts to guide those in my care would be more effective. I know exactly what I need to do.

I need to speak in red letters!

I always sit up and pay attention when the Bible changes to red. I know it is Jesus speaking then, and I know it is critical that I figure out what He is saying. Somehow I need to color my speech red. After all, we are commanded to be like God, to imitate Him and walk in His Word and Power. I looked to the Bible for guidance. How do I color my speech red?

1 Corinthians 13:1,8,13 (NIV)
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. [8] Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. [13] And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

-save a dog- hollowcreekfarm.org

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