Sometimes a Writer Must Work and Wait

I have been working to read and then copy out selections from Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” That book had a huge impact upon me years ago when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. For those who have followed this and my other blog I mentioned the book a while ago. Since I continue to age (better than the alternative) and the future is uncertain regarding this shoulder, which means our summer, and then our trip to Cape Cod in the autumn, and on and on it goes in uncertainty – seemed like the right time to take up the project. I had ordered a used copy of the book but it was SO old that pages were crumbling as I read. So I got a newer copy and have completed the part entitled Experiences in a Concentration Camp. Now this might seem totally depressing to some, but Frankl is worth reading. He writes from the viewpoint of a psychiatrist and a prisoner about what happens to humans when choices are removed. This chapter is about 145 pages in a smaller paperback, so not too difficult to accomplish. He actually writes from experience. Bob’s Dad was part of the Liberation Army in WWII and set some of the camps free. I have wondered if he was one of the soldiers who freed Doctor Viktor Frankl?

Frankl focuses repeatedly on the fact that the last of human freedoms is the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstance. Hopefully, my synthesis of his insights will come forth in future blogging.

The attitude choice has come home to me again personally as I wait for diagnosis of the problem in my shoulder after the fall in the living room. I get to choose my attitude. I am NOT always sweet and kind and uncomplaining. When I get weary from pain and frustration I often want to just go crawl under a rock where I will not hurt anyone with my misunderstood tone of voice or sour attitude. Today I will focus on what Scripture says about waiting.

 Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!  I say: The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.  The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.  It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the LORD.

Lamentations 3:22-26 (HCSB)

His mercies never end – even when we are irritable. His mercies are new every morning – He knows so well I will need a daily dose! His faithfulness far exceeds mine.

The Lord is my portion, therefore I put my hope in Him. Well, what else can I say? I trust the doctors and MRI, but He is my highest and best hope, my most thorough Physician. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him. I wonder HOW many times we are admonished to wait for Him in Scripture? Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. In returning and rest I am saved; in quietness and trust will be my strength. Be still, and KNOW that He is God.

Jeremiah ends with “It is good to wait QUIETLY for deliverance from the Lord.” I know a woman who is waiting for healing from a second back-to-back Shingles infection. I know a man waiting to find out if the purchase of the home he wants will go through. I know others waiting to heal after surgery, waiting for back pain to let up and be healed, waiting for a church dedication and celebration after hours and hours of hard outdoor work, waiting to plant their crops after history-making flooding. Some are waiting for asylum in America fleeing violence in their homeland, another waiting to finalize a divorce after a miserable marriage.

As humans we do not generally wait well or quietly. Perhaps remembering His mercies are new daily and His steadfast love for us never changes can help carry us over the bumps and crashes of our dreams in life.

When your particular house of cards comes down, remember that no one EVER said “I want to be ill this summer”, or “I want to be waiting weeks on end for an answer .” Ever. So along with me, rest, wait, hope and watch for a manifestation of His love in our presence.

Treasures in Plain Ear

Acts 2:2 (NKJV) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

For almost one year my husband has had to sleep with a cannula and 2 liters of oxygen each night. He does not like that, but tries to be compliant with his pulmonologist since the health crisis of January 2018.

Last night he awoke hearing something and asking “Is that You, Lord?”

His cannula had slipped in the night and was in his ear instead of his nostrils.

img_2885

He awoke wondering what the sound was. He did not want to post that on Facebook, so I said I would need to use it for the blog. Written here with his permission!

 

Success!

Bob is spending the night in the hospital for observation, but the pacemaker procedure went off with no complications. Thank you so much for your prayers and good wishes.

At one point I had to go move the car from valet parking to the regular lot. When I got in the car the radio was playing this song.

Hoping like Dan said, this completes the circle from that terribly illness that began January 4, 2018.

Stay well!

Weary Molly

 

A Calendar Quote

From my 2018 calendar produced by Sounds True, this quote from Kelly McGonigal:

“Our capacity to notice suffering, be moved, and respond is not just a form of caregiving or love – it is a form of courage.”

In February of 2018 this was the page on my calendar. As I learned more about my husband’s suffering from a critical illness I also learned more about caregiving, my capacity to notice suffering and the courage required to walk through that awful illness and recovery. Every day the calendar spoke to me and helped me.

calendar-e1546359442601.jpg
Similar calendar page

 

Recently we were made aware of the suffering of a 78-year-old widow. Living alone she had slowly let herself stop eating and drinking, falling into a deeper and deeper depression. When her family discovered her condition, she told wild tales of falling down the stairs. Said she did not want to bother anyone after she fell. She evidently waited three days to tell anyone. Weird thing was there was no bruising on her. No stairways that would let her fall head first, though maybe bounce on her bottom. CT scan showed no brain bleed or other problem. Her isolation, mental habit of worry and fret, lack of exercise and nutrition likely all contributed to her condition. She was hospitalized for several days to rehydrate her and get her stabilized. Then moved to a care facility to work on her strength, physical stability and mental capacity. They will eventually move her to a small apartment in the same complex.
When we went to help the family make sense and put into order her condo, everyone was stunned. The mailbox had not been opened for about 2 months. The dishwasher was overflowing with dirty dishes as were the kitchen sinks and counters. Broken and burned out light bulbs were in several places. When the light was returned to the laundry room, empty bottles of laundry soap, fabric softener and piles of soiled laundry along with broken glass were deep on the floor.
My first response was fear. Oh my! I better get back to walking or being in the pool at the YMCA or this could be my future. Especially if something happens to my husband. Then pity that she let herself despair to this point. I too suffered a bad bout with depression several years ago. When I worked my way out of it with therapy and loving care, I vowed to never let myself do that again. No matter what others do or how they behave, my mental health would be my #1 priority.
Then I was angry at her. And we are not even related. It has taken  a reminder from the calendar quote to bring me back to the point of noticing her suffering and having the courage to go see her. I want to be loving and non-judgmental. I do not live in her head, so I really do not know exactly the components of her suffering.
God help me to respond and be moved with Your love and the courage of the Lion of Judah.

Yep, Been Not Writing!

IMG_2574a

Remember when we took that lovely boat ride and saw those tremendous whales, seals and birds? The next day I got violent vertigo. No signs or symptoms while on the boat. Had been boats before. Rats! This may kill my wish for at least one cruise before I depart the earth!! The illness was like riding the tilt-a-whirl unwillingly! I never did enjoy amusement park rides.

TILT_WHIRL_1024x768

The worst sensation was as if I were lying flat and then like a board, my feet were rising over my head.  Eventually I was diagnosed with two types of vertigo that required medication and then physical therapy to reset crystals in my inner ear….right side. I never even knew I HAD crystals in my inner ear! Did you?

vestibular-system-inner-ear

So they flipped me back with my head turned to one side, therapist holding my head.  My eyes felt as if they were spinning like the fruit on a slot machine. I gripped the table in fear that I would fall off it. When the spinning stopped, the therapist moved my head to another position and had me hold that for a time. Then yet another head position. Then eventually I sat up on the sie of the exam table. My husband was uncertain if this was a treatment or just smoke and mirrors.

The first treatment  I gradually felt worse for 18 hours. It set me back a week and I had to walk in our house with a cane for a full day. Did not seem like progress! I was staggering and stumbling and decided I could not return to California for our second trip which would require lots of walking and no rental car. I had to sleep elevated on two pillows. Not allowed to lie on my right side to sleep. Did lots of resting. Not supposed to look up or down. Made sitting at the sewing machine a no go. Headaches, dizziness, increased weakness – NOT A HAPPY WOMAN.

Second treatment only set me back about 1-1/2 days. Third treatment I was fine. So weird. Husband a believer!

Yep, I missed a few days writing, but hey! Saturday November 3 I drove for the first time since October 10th. I made a new friend who was my shower sitter (present in the house while I took a shower when Bob was out-of-town). A neighbor provided a ride to church while Bob was gone. I met a new PT group where I will return if this ever flares up again.

We may never know if I actually had an inner ear infection, too. At least someone knew HOW to correct this awful experience.