I’ve been lying in bed almost 3 months now. I am feeling so agitated. I’m so used to getting up every day and getting into my wheelchair. I love having the freedom to go outside, to be able to smell the fresh air and look at the flowers in bloom during this time of year. I love leaning my chair back and letting the sun warm my face. It feels so good, and I miss it. I was unable to use my wheelchair at the hospital, and now I’m at a new place one hour from my home and my wheelchair has not yet been transported here. I look forward to finally getting it next week.
What I’ve been looking at every day are the sterile walls of hospitals and nursing homes. When I was at Duke they didn’t bathe me or brush my teeth unless I requested it. Then they used these wipes that were similar to baby wipes that you use to clean up after a dirty diaper. I didn’t feel clean at all and I was there for almost 3 weeks. I was lying in the bed dirty, hair oily, with yucky teeth. I was really depressed.
Jonah 2: 7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.
Jonah 2: 3 You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. 4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’
Jonah prayed these prayers in the belly of a fish. I’m sure it was dark and slimy, and that he felt hopeless. But he found a way to praise God.
To get through these past weeks, I’ve had to find a way to praise God. In the midst of my troubles, I just wanted to stare out the window and think about nothing. I didn’t have my laptop at the hospital so I couldn’t look at Scripture. Reading The Word always helps me to get focused and it increases my faith. Without it, I had to fight just to concentrate enough to pray. I am thankful to now have my laptop and have been digging in The Word once again. It certainly makes any burden I have lighter.
Right now I’m in a facility that is an hour or more away from most of my friends and family. This is the only facility in the area that would accept me. It’s tough these days for those of us on Medicaid. We don’t make money for facilities and so they give our beds up to better paying customers.
This new facility isn’t terrible, but it’s been tough getting adjusted to the CNAs. Some of them get annoyed when I ask them to brush my teeth. Others get frustrated with how many requests I have. They don’t think about the reason why – that I am completely paralyzed and can’t do anything on my own. I have faith that things will turn around and believe that we will come to an understanding of one another. God is good in that way.
The last facility was my home. I was there for almost 5 years and the staff there was my family. Not going back there was heartbreaking. There’s a small chance I can go back there in the future, but I have to wait a little longer and stay in this current facility.
Jonah 2: 5 The engulfing waters threatened me, deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. 6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.
Like Jonah, I truly have been redeemed from the pit. I have been released from my former life when I felt aimless and without hope. I have been liberated from the time when I was drowning in alcoholism and choosing to have sick relationships where I sometimes feared for my life. Yes – I am grateful that I am no longer in the pit.
Thank you God for relieving me of the anxiety I felt every morning when I woke up in my former way of life. Thank you for breaking the chains of shame and guilt that were wrapped around my neck, choking me and causing me to sink into the abyss of darkness. I praise you for what I learned from that time; for the gratitude I feel now that I am no longer trapped in what felt like quick sand.
Thank you God for allowing me to have a specialized wheelchair, that cost as much as a car. You moved the hearts of generous friends to get the resources needed for a purchase.
Thank you for friends and family that sometimes drive long distances just to encourage me and keep me grounded. Thank you for the prayers of these same people. I know that their requests to you are answered, according to your will.
I have so much to be grateful for and I don’t have to dig deep to find it.
Psalm 13: 1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
v.5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.