January 25, 2016

Overwhelmed by God's love

 photo Samantha and Corina  Family-0014_zpsvscwebgw.jpg

For most if my life, I've been overwhelmed. I'm prone to stress and anxiety and always manage to put too much on my own plate, not to mention life and it's obstacles... and so the result is an underlying (and sometimes not so underlying) feeling of being overwhelmed. But in the midst of this craziness, most of the time, I'm simply overwhelmed with God's grace and love. Don't get me wrong, and more about this at another time, I still have moments where I'm a puddle on the floor. But even then, its short-lasting and God reigns me back to Himself and His mercies. 

Just this morning, I had to stop and text J because I just can't believe how WONDERFUL you people are. I honestly didn't know I was surrounded by such kind and generous souls and I'm just so grateful. Quick story: I decided to head downstairs when visiting my mom yesterday to grab a quick sandwich. I decided to order the same sandwich I had on Saturday and when my food was ready, the woman brought me my bag and I thanked her. I was on my way out the door and she said "I put a little extra pesto on it, just like you like it." She stopped me in my tracks. Here is a woman that prepares food ALL day for who knows how many people. I'd only ordered from her once before and hadn't even remembered to order extra sauce this time but she remembered me and my order and took the time to comfort me in the way she could. Maybe its all the emotions, but I never knew a little pesto sauce could make me so thankful. I could list 15 more examples like this, but I wont (for now). 

I will however publicly thank J's parents who had us over last night. They fed us, were great company, and managed to get my mind off things for a few hours. When we were heading out, his mom gave me a box of essential oils and a diffuser (which happened to be the perfect gift & something we had been talking about getting even this past week) as well as a giant batch of healthy soup so that we can take a few days off cooking & prepping food for ourselves. That means more time with my sweet mama. Thank God for moms, right? There's really nothing like a mom's ability to love, comfort, and give of herself freely. Anyway... all of that to say that God continues to comfort me and has blessed us abundantly with caring people who really amaze me. 

NOW... about my Mama:
For those of you who read the last update I shared, my mom has been struggling with the medications hospice has prescribed. Honestly, they're too strong. Probably not something most people in pain would complain about, but my mom has spent the past year or so detoxing her body, eating an organic, vegan, gluten-free & sugar-free diet, and has avoided even Tylenol. Her body is what was explained to us as being "opiate niave" and so although she hasn't been in a lot of pain over the past few days, she's been disoriented and has had a hard time moving around on her own to say the least. So last night when the nurse came to switch out her pain patch, I asked them to hold off until we were able to talk to the doctor because I thought it was too strong. Since she went inpatient on Saturday morning and the doctor only comes by a few times a week, she hadn't seen a doctor yet. They were hesitant, but my mom's pain was managed and they agreed. 

In hopes that she would be able to get some sleep (she didn't get any on Saturday night), we gave her a medical marijuana edible (had to fight hospice a little on this but they've been accommodating and eventually approved as long as they're not responsible for dispensing to her) and I am overjoyed to report THAT SHE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! I can't tell you the last time she's been able to get more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep at a time, so the fact that she was able to sleep almost all night is GREAT NEWS!!! And the fact that it wasn't totally narcotic induced is a BIG win for us. I know feelings about mmj are all over the board but I have never been more sure that this is the BEST thing we can do. Now, we're in no way thinking her pain can be relieved solely by cannabis, but we have hopes that it will really reduce the amount of narcotics taking a hard toll on her body. 

But wait! There's more! (I feel like a commercial ;) haha!) We were able to see the doctor this morning. Unfortunately the pain patch still affects the body for up to 24 hours after being taken off, so mixed with the cannabis my mom wasn't able to really speak with the doctor for herself but I made sure to take the morning off work so that I could be there to advocate for her. I prayed hard over my mom and even for the doctor before he came in to see her and maybe hes just genuinely open minded, patient and kind on a regular basis (he works in hospice after all) but WOW. During this journey, we have not encountered a more patient, open-minded, and kind doctor and to be honest, I'm blown away. He took the time to listen to my concerns and address each one. He knelt by the bed and looked me in the eye and didn't show the least bit of irritation when I asked what must have been my 14th question. 

So here's the low-down:
  • They're completely switching up her pain meds. Over the next couple days they'll figure out her pain level and adjust her pain patch accordingly. We think this will help A LOT with mental clarity and independence. 
  • He supports our use of cannabis and wants us to work it into the schedule so that we can get a true picture of what her med schedule will look like when we take her home. 
  • When she left Honor, she had severe swelling throughout her lower body. This is basically gone!! 
  • The nurses expressed some worry about fluid in the lungs or upper body overnight but the doctor assessed and said her lungs sounded GREAT! This is wonderful news.
  • Parasites. My mom has them but because of testing, prescription issues, and 23794 other obstacles, we haven't been able to get her the medication she needs to get rid of them. He listened well, wasn't condescending and assured us that one way or another, she'll get the medication she needs and they'll monitor her while on them if needed. This is one of the biggest blessings so far! Not only have we not even been able to get our hands on this med, but the 3 day dosage can be pretty rough on the body so having medical supervision will give us relief, if nothing else. 
  • My mom has barely been getting enough nutrients and this is something I've been pretty concerned about. We have yet to talk it through with my mom, because its her decision ultimately, but the doctor suggested a 3-5 day dose of a steroid (one thats naturally occuring in our bodies) that would allow her to have a bit more energy, give her the desire to eat, and most likely fight nausea. Win all around, if you ask me. 
Ok, sorry for the long post. Just wanted to share with you all where we're at. All things considered, things are going well and today's visit with the Doctor has left me with more hope and assurance than I've felt in a while. Thank you for your continued prayers and kindness. Feeling truly blessed by each of you.

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