Sunday, March 30, 2008

This morning

I awake this morning knowing that the most constant presence in my life is gone. There's a part of me that desperately wants to fix my mom a cup of coffee that she said I made better than anyone and just sit and talk to her, but my heart knows that she is at rest and better off than any of us that are left here. For those of you that maybe didn't know her, I'm truly sorry for you, because everyone she came in contact with developed an affection for her. Here are just a few things that you might not have known about her.
She was the type that pretty much everyone called Mom or Grandma.

She loved to read (James Patterson was a favorite) and loved to talk and learn about Jesus. I was not unusual to find her studying that bible at 3 or 4 am.

She spoke her mind, whether it was appropriate or not. I used to tease her that she had an opinion and everyone was entitled to it.

She loved lottery scratch off tickets.

She loved her kids and her grandkids and would do anything for them.

In the past 6 months she battled several falls, a separated shoulder, MRSA, e-coli and staph infections, a partial foot amputation, c-diff bacteria, arthritis, some depression.

She loved to do search a word puzzles, watch game shows, Law & Order, CSI, Without a Trace and John Hagee.

She was a dynamite cook (her carrot cake was legendary).

Mom, I miss you and will always love you.

Ruth Estelle Douglas

Feb. 16, 1935 - March 29, 2008.
She and my father dance with Angels now.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


They moved mom to ICU yesterday morning. She was having problems with her blood pressure dropping and was retaining a lot of fluid. In a regular room they couldn't give her any medication to help drain that fluid because of the low blood pressure and the fear that it may drop further. To be honest the move to ICU sent my mind on a whirlwind of fear and doubt and since I was by myself I felt very alone and helpless. I prayed, actually cried out to The Father, and talked to some family and friends through those tears. The arrival of my wife eased the lonely feeling and began a process of God showing me that he is still in charge and his hand is upon us.

Since 2 of my brothers live in other states and are approximately 10 hours away, I was concerned if I needed to tell them they needed to be here. I got to talk to Mom's doctor around lunchtime and ask her if my brothers should come. And her response was "actually she's improving." As the afternoon went by, little bits of good news continued to trickle in. Her white count is down, which means the infection is clearing up. Her blood pressure is still a bit on the low side, but the medicine to clear the fluid has not caused it drop to the previous low levels and she is draining some fluid. Her heart rate and oxygen levels are good which means the fluid has not cause the onset of her Congestive Heart Failure. Her mind though is still fearful and full of distrust. Please pray that God will calm her mind while her body continues to heal.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back and Forth

My poor mom has had a rough few days. On Tuesday the nursing home took her to the hospital and she was admitted with what is a very bad Urinary Tract Infection, thankfully her foot is showing no signs of infection. Yesterday morning she was in a lot of pain and agitated with her arthritis and was also dehydrated from battling diarrhea. When I left last evening her mood had settled, her fever had broken and she was sleeping soundly. I pray that God continues to heal her and get her to the point where one day we can all glorify him through this.

In his Easter sermon my pastor talked about an author who had written a book about her husbands bout with cancer and the author ended the book with the line "there is no eye on the sparrow." While I don't agree with that author, I can certainly understand. There have been times these past few months when I have questioned my faith down to the very core. It has been extremely difficult to watch my mother, who to my knowledge, has done very little to harm anyone go through what must be some very difficult and painful things. I do know that God has been there through this. I have seen Him in my wife, in my church family, in my immediate family and in other ways to numerous to mention.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Away for the day

Yes, I know it's been a while. The good news is, there is a lot to catch up on and hopefully this post will be worth the wait.

First of all, mom continues to improve a little everyday. The hardest part for her is being away from home and there are days when she desperately wants to come back. The good news is, those are becoming less frequent and I think she is keeping her mind focused on getting better so she can eventually be home instead of just wanting to come home. We know that she will be home eventually and are trusting God's timing for that.

I had asked several of you to pray for wisdom and guidance for me as I tried to negotiate the process of applying for Medicaid assistance with her hospital and nursing home bills. I had heard all kinds of horror stories about dealing with West Virginia DHHR and after seeing the list of forms and things I needed to provide to apply I was not at all looking forward to the process. My appointment was yesterday at 9 am and I had all the forms they asked for, with the exception of 2 that I just couldn't provide. I prayed before I went over and tried really hard to trust God and not worry, but I had my doubts and fears. Well at 9:30 the case worker called me back and asked for 4 of the 4,000 (well maybe not THAT many) forms I had with me. I happened to look up at her degree and noticed her first and middle names were Dana Lynn, which just happen to my brothers first and middle name. I took that as a sign and was able to relax a bit. So we talked and joked about that and really hit it off. I also noticed that she was in a gospel singing group and since I manage a band and love Christian music we were able to have a great conversation about that. She was extremely friendly and took the forms back to copy and says "well that's it." And I asked "so she's approved?" and she chuckled and said she definitely qualifies. The really awesome thing is the approval is retroactive to Feb. 1 and will cover most of her hospital stay and surgery. My friend Terry used to say a lot times when we asked God for something, he'll say here's what you ask for and, oh yeah, just a bit more. So thank you to all of you who prayed and are continuing to pray for our family.

Shasta and I decided to take today and just get out of town and take the day for ourselves. So we went to Weight Watchers ( I lost 5 lbs and am down 20 since January). I picked up coffee and dropped in to visit mom for a bit and then we headed out. We stopped in to see one of the kids Shasta is a nanny for play basketball and that was fun and now we are in Germantown and Shasta is catching up with her good friend Mamen and we're gonna do lunch and maybe catch a movie at the theater were we had our first date and just relax.

Keep your eyes peeled because Song Lyric Sunday will be back soon.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Various and Sundry Items

Ok, well Mom is doing well. She is really anxious to get home, but she still has a way to go with her rehab and it's probably gonna be a few more weeks. So pray that she'll be able to relax and trust God's timing through this whole process.

Just got done watching Idol and for the most part I think the top 12 are the right ones. For some reason I haven't found one contestant that I really like this season, maybe once we get to the real competition that'll change.

So we've started watching New Amsterdam which so far is a very interesting series. The plot is that the main character is over 400 years old and was saved by some Indians using a spell that will keep him alive tell he finds his one true love. No, it isn't some sappy soap opera love drama thing. It's actually more of a crime drama. Although if you're going to watch I would recommend starting soon, it's the kind of series that is probably gonna be hard to start 5 or 10 episodes into it.