Monday, May 8, 2017

"The belief that the health-care system will be destroyed unless we cease spending so much money on dying people is fundamentally misguided." ~ Daniel Callahan, Director of International Programs at The Hastings Center, a bioethics think tank

Good morning and I send out a welcome from my world to your world, wherever that happens to be. It is Monday, April 8, 2017, and I'm not so sure I would ask anyone to try and keep up with all that's going on in my world at the moment. On Saturday, I drove over to Louisiana to visit mom in the hospital ICU facility. She was getting excellent care because of being in ICU. They had given her two units of blood on Friday and there she was, pretty much holding her own. Again. I remember some ten years ago at that same hospital when her doctor told me that with her recurring bouts of pneumonia he wasn't sure she would make it. Somehow, with God's help, she did. That is what she is currently being treated for, right lung only. They do know she is losing blood somewhere but not sure where. My sister brought dad down to see mom. I had to go down and help dad out of the car. It's hard to believe that. Surely not. But it is true. His back is totally messed up and he is in constant pain. However, when the two of them saw each other, it was like magic. One of those commercials. She can't hear. He can't hear. But, thus far, nothing can stand in the way of their love for each other. I left there with a tear in my eye. For mom. For dad. But, also with a prayer on my heart because I do know that God knows and He cares. Amen.

We have a private messenger group set up on Facebook for our family. There are over twenty of us who are able to communicate on family matters like the situation being faced by mom and dad. One of the themes I see is how the medical response to older people becomes more and more diminished as time passes by. This is not just with mom and dad, but, with the elderly close to others within in our family. It is a fact of the world we live in today. I think I can deal with it better than some, but, it does hurt when you feel like your loved one is not getting a minimum standard of care. I know I joke about the conversation I had with my doctor when I turned 70 last year, but, it was prophetic in many ways. He explained how the system would no longer be aggressive in doing a lot of the preventative testings that had been done in the past. It's just how the system works. You know. Mathematical models, expense projections, and things of that sort more or less rule the day. I told the doctor that I had enough trouble dealing with reaching 70, did he have to make it sound like I would be kicked to the doorstep? We had a good laugh, but, when you see it in living color, it really isn't a laughing matter. Fortunately, in our family, we have never lacked for strong voices when we see things that need to be addressed. That, along with God's provision, will help in our desire to support our older family members, including the newer club members, like me, myself, and I.

I am a little wobbly this morning. I had a busy day Saturday. I had a busy day Sunday. Now I am back here at my home away from home, beating up the keys on my keyboard this morning. He may be wondering why I have it for him. I am thankful that I am able to get up and go, to drive over to visit mom and dad, to prepare and teach a lesson each week, and to involve myself in supporting others who are dealing with life-related challenges. I have a wonderful wife and family. I have a job that I enjoy. I have a huge extended family. I have the life that God has given to me. And, oh yeah, I almost forgot, I have plenty of obstacles and challenges, just like everyone else. We are currently in that portion of Genesis devoted to the life and times of Abraham, the friend of God. It's easy to see the people portrayed in our Bibles as up on a pedestal but when you read the Book for all it is worth, you discover they are folks, just like us, and they had to get up every day and go about making decisions, taking action, and dealing with all that came their way, one day at a time. That's right. And, we continue that journey today. By God's grace. Amen. ....More later.

No comments: