Monday, October 18, 2010
Monday's woes and blessings
5:55 p.m. Today's project was to take Steve for an appointment with our primary care physician, Dr. Guzman, for a reading of his lab results from two weeks ago. Steve had unaccountably lost 16 pounds, and the lab test were a beginning of the investigation into the cause. His neurologist was puzzled as well, since Steve really hasn't changed his medication, eating pattern or physical activities. In Ecclesiastes 7:24, Solomon asks, "As for that which is far off and deep, who can find it out?" Well, prayerfully, we will be given wisdom by the Lord to get Steve gaining back to his normal weight.
People have been praying for Steve, and are uniformly shocked at the amount of weight he's lost in only 3 months. My girlfiriends have asked more than once, jokingly, "Why can't 16 of my pounds magically disappear? I'd still have plenty to live on!" This has truly been a mystery.
We arrived at the office in a light rain, checked in, and Steve was called back pretty fast. His blood pressure of 113/72 was fine, normal for the 2-1/2 miles of walking that he does daily with the dogs. But upon weighing, he'd lost another 2 pounds! Holy moley...we needed some answers.
Dr. Guzman, an old friend who knows us both well, told us right up front, "I have no explanation for this." The lab reported a slight under normal iron reading, so all I need to do is serve him more red meat and less turkey. No problem--we've just been in the habit of using turkey lunchmeat for sandwiches. Protein was a tad low also, no surprise considering what a carb fiend he is--bananas, other fruit, bread, muffins, cookies, crackers, cereal with whole milk, and chips all day. I'll boost his eggs, meat and cheese. Steve is slightly low on Vitamin D, very odd, because he spends most of the day out in the sunshine doing garden, yard and dog tasks. So I will add an extra Shaklee Vitalea to make that up daily.
With no loss of appetite, plenty to eat, and no added exercise over the last few months, the doctor is looking at what may be using up Steve's calories. His blood sugar is fine, all organs looking fine. We'll need to dig a little deeper!
In this latest trial of Steve's physical health, I know that with Alzheimer's, his mental health is always to be considered, mainly because I will be responsible for any follow-up activites. Even though his brain is using a good number of calories trying to work around his confusion, trying desperately to remember what was said or done even a minute before, it certainly couldn't account for this drastic weight loss, the doctor said. If having a busy brain burned that many calories, many of us would look like we did in high school--99 pounds in my case!
The Lord is showing me another facet of my changing wifely role: health tech and dietician, as many wives are, but I am just at the brink of being a caretaker. Steve isn't capable of planning out--or even remembering--the diet changes he'll need to implement. But as with other duties, the Lord is giving me the time, ability and love to carry out the doctor's orders. God is so good!
And like a dollop of whipped cream onto my day, I met with my prayer partner Monica at the Starbucks on Van Buren, where she treated me to a toffee latte and we were able to encourage one another in our various trials, and in looking for direction from the Lord for our next steps.
We marvelled at God's timing for youngest son Steven's education funding, and His provision for a young lady and lots of family visitors for Monica while her hubby is off to help set up the Seattle Harvest Crusade. She also borrowed my Nave's Topical Bible for the times she wonders what the Lord would say to her heart when she becomes anxious. As I gave her Joshua 1:9 before her medical exam this morning, I'll quote it to myself, and to all Christians in these perilous times and for the daily attacks of the enemy:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Jesus has been with us, is with us, and WILL be with us!