In truth, I have bumbled through by praying day by day and sometimes moment by moment, and the Lord has just been very gracious to my mother and me. I'm too bleary eyed right now to remember and record a complete list of the ways our challenges have been met over the years, but the most recent bears sharing.
A week ago I was stricken quite suddenly with a painful case of strep throat followed by debilitating flu-like symptoms. I was unable to enter Mom's apartment, and felt frantic. Our backup caregiver could not be exposed to my flu because her husband has COPD, and my daughter is newly pregnant and has two small children. Since Mom's recent UTI she had required high maintenance caregiving of the sort my husband was unable to provide; she had become completely incontinent and worse, had lost motivation to make those important trips to the bathroom to change her clothes after an accident. She would not get out of her bed or her chair without physical help.
The only solution I could come up with was that we might call 911 and send Mom to the hospital, then once the necessary recommendations were in order to satisfy Medicare, to place her at the nursing home we'd toured last month. I made a list that outlined exactly what needed to be done for Mom and handed it to my poor husband. He entered her apartment with fear and trembling, only to find she had gotten up for the day without being helped, and had toileted herself, bathed, and dressed. "Where's my toast and coffee?" she inquired perkily.
Overnight she had gone from having to have physical help to stand and navigate to the bathroom, and returned to independent behaviors we'd not seen for two months. She had changed her adult diapers by herself 4 times in the night. And she had dressed without being asked to do so, a behavior we haven't seen for over two years.
While I was too sick to enter her room, Mom's bed was dry each morning and she continued to take daily sponge baths and to toilet herself independently. A week later, she continues more independent behaviors than before I fell ill, though not quite to the degree that she exhibited that first night.
I'm still recuperating and haven't assimilated all that's happened, but I do know beyond doubt that the Lord has met our needs. The word "miracle" keeps tickling my befuddled brain and I'm not so sure it isn't accurate.
One thing is certain, the relatively carefree way we have sailed through this most recent challenge has nothing at all to do with me. I guess I need some sort of a contingency plan, but where does one find a backup caregiver who is trained to do the really heavy duty stuff and is also willing to be exposed to strep throat?
Better just to keep trusting the Lord. He hasn't let us down yet.