Monday, April 2, 2012

Mixing in some joy

8:29 p.m. Today's project was to take Steve for his initial consultation at the Anderson Clinic in Redlands. I had discovered these researchers when Dr. Constance Welebir spoke at our Caregivers' Support Group meeting in March.

The office is on the western end of Redlands, so after a cosmetic follow-up appointment and a hastily devoured seafood salad I'd had leftover, I asked the caregiver to help Steve into the car, and off we went, arriving in only 20 minutes.

Steve and I had a painstakingly slow walk into the building,with me kind of pulling him along by the hand. He has begun hanging his head down, almost doubled over, so he barely moves forward. By the time we stepped into an elevator, went down a long hall, and he finally lowered himself with much encouragement into a seat, I was ready to sit down, too! He had to be awakened when his name was called. This constant napping is a development of the last few months--despite getting 10 hours of sleep a night!

Once we were ushered into Dr. Welebir's office, Steve was given the same Mini-Mental exam of basic questions, like his age, the city we live in, the day of the week, that he's failed twice before, with the long term care insurance company nurse and again with his neurologist. After the nurse's exam here at home, he left the room in hysterics; after the neurologist's exam, he was in tears and tried to escape; today, he got up from the chair twice, but the doctor touched his arm, reassured him and got him to sit back down. She spoke with me about the promising Case Western study and gave me some web information, so Steve and I left in a decent frame of mind. I felt somewhat hopeful that Steve appeared to be eligible, because I had feared his disease was too far along. So that was a positive! Proverbs 13:12 says,

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is
  a tree of life.

To give Steve--and me--something to look forward to, I had planned a visit with my dad in the other end of Redlands, to give him some pictures of Kriss' new son Clark. On the way, we stopped off a minute for me to hide Pavel's birthday present at his and Heidi's house, just a few blocks away from Daddy's corner on the same street. We enjoyed some good conversation, that is, Daddy and I did, because Steve drifted off to sleep shortly after we arrived.

My next inspiration was to traverse the orange grove areas eastward to the grand city of Mentone, where my oldest son Sean and I lived before the two of us knew the Lord, when I was an divorced single mom and he was a preschooler.  Mentone is a hamlet that is your last stop before heading up Highway 38 to the mountains. The Jacinto produce stand was my destination, because they sell Fuerte and Bacon avocados, the kinds you can't buy in supermarkets because the Avocado Growers' Association has blocked out all but the Haas variety. Haas avocados make me burp, seriously, and they don't have the buttery taste of the smooth-skinned varieties.  On the way back to my dad's to give him a couple of Fuertes, I regaled a nodding Steve with my high school late night drag racing through the groves in my dad's 1966 Ford Custom. That baby had a huge powerful engine that they don't even put in sedans today!  Of course I was the only girl with the glad God has used that courage for His purposes since 1980.

As we headed back home through the San Timiteo Canyon on an absolutely gorgeous day, enjoying our car snacks and music, I could bless God for mixing in some joy for both of us!

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