Tuesday, August 23, 2011
9:47 p.m. Today's project was to take Steve to Riverside Community Hospital for an EEG test of the electrical activity in his brain. His neurologist is looking at all possible causes for the spasms he suffers from, which can vary from a simple sudden hand jerk, to a full body slam that awakens me from the other side of the bed.
This evening at a restaurant, Steve's hands were moving around randomly in dozens of tiny tremors, making it hard to pick up his carne asada burrito. With almost a will of their own, his hands would try to pick up a bit of dropped meat when his mind had intended to lift the whole burrito to his mouth. I was watching, paralyzed with shock. I wasn't sure he'd get to eat a single bite, so I snapped out of it and helped him cut off the extra tortilla wrapped around the end, then he was able to begin eating. It was a very long few minutes of nerve-wracking frustration for him and fright for me. I like for Steve to be as self-sufficient as possible, but it was evident that he needed active assistance rather than the verbal directions which usually work. Later, when we were putting gas in the Jeep, Steve unscrewed the gas cap to get ready while I ran our debit card. When I returned, he had put it back on again! I think that somehow he imagined that we were already done...
Imagine your hands moving in the opposite direction from where you desire them to, or to have your hands move when you are just sitting still, holding a cup of water or coffee!
Dr. Sovory gave him a prescription for Clonezipam (sp?) to control the spasms but we were not to fill it until after the MRI, because it would have an effect on the test. It must be very powerful, because, according to her direction sheet, Steve is to take only 1/2 a tab for the first week, then 1/2 tab twice a day for the second week, gradually working up to two a day in week 4. I dropped off the prescription tonight at CVS, but they have to order it, so the pills will be in after 3 p.m. tomorrow.
If it weren't for the Lord holding my hand, and Steve's, we would be walking bereft of comfort or hope in this new scary, treacherous territory, now that he is exhibiting physical symptoms along with advancing mental confusion.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil... Psalm 23:4a
One way the Lord provides comfort and hope is through others who have walked this path before me. Today, I was helping a friend from our Alzheimer/dementia caregivers' class with her foundation color at her home, and she shared some of what she has gone through with her 85 year-old father, now in the Encore care residence facility. Her description of the "opposite" issue really spoke to me, whether in personality, habits, or physical control. It is just so sad to see Steve pick up something to lift to his mouth, then put it down suddenly, only to recover and pick it up as originally intended. One decision concerning eating in public is coming up: it may not be an earth-shaking matter, but I wonder if he'll be able to attend Home Fellowship this fall, where breaking bread with the group is a key part of the gathering. This last term, I already was bringing him his food and drink, because making choices in a buffet line is so confusing for him. I will certainly ask the Lord what to do as the time approaches.
Be anxious for nothing, Phillipians 4:6 says, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And I am incredibly thankful for Steve's and my 30 years as husband and wife, especially for each day we have together now.
In this spiritual warfare in which anxiety and dread of the future are the enemy's weapons of choice, I choose the peace that comes with trusting God and rebuking mental and emotional jabs that Satan sends each day in the all-powerful, almighty Name of Jesus! Philippians 4:7 continues,
...and the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.