Thursday, June 20, 2013

Trying to be trusting...

       Okay, so we have some test results back on my mom, but still no diagnosis. We know some things that it definitely is not: it is NOT a brain tumor, or Myasthenia Gravis, or a stroke. From her neck, upwards has been thoroughly checked for all kinds of stuff. If it is MS, it's not above her neck. We've seen so many doctors in the past month, I've lost track, and mom has been to the hospital 3 times since May 13 (only admitted twice though, the most recent one they just gave her some steroids, and that helped enough for her to come back home). The two top runners right now, as far as I know are still MS, but also now Muscular Dystrophy. I was talking to a friend/neighbor yesterday, and she was telling me that about 5 years ago, her grandmother was diagnosed with a very rare type of Muscular Dystrophy just before Christmas, and that by April 1 (just over 3 months later), she was gone. Her grandmother's symptoms sounded a lot like my mom's sypmtoms, and hers obviously was a fast progression too. Just over a month ago, my mom was functional, working full-time, and low on energy, and a bit clumsy, but fine. Today, as I type this, her hands and toes are curling in, so that she has to have splints to keep her hands straight, has frequent muscle spasms so strong, that her torso jerks around, which does nothing for the terrible balance she has these days. Her legs, and now hands have started getting mottled (indicating poor circulation), and her breathing is sometimes affected (when she's not on steroids, or a strong enough dose of steroids). Oh yeah, and she's diabetic, so the doctors don't want to just keep her on steroids because they mess with blood sugars! We see another new specialist on Monday, who is supposed to be the BEST diagnostician in the area.

       In the meantime, I've been hoping for months, maybe longer to become pregnant again, and have another baby. Now, I know why I haven't. God knew this was coming, and that I would need the time, energy, and space for my mom. If we had another baby, or if I was pregnant, I don't know what would have happened to my mom, or how I would be able to take care of her as much as I am. I'm the only family she has in this, or surrounding states, and the only brother she's on good terms with, lives in Georgia, with his own family, and his own issues, and can barely find time to even call her. As much as I would adore having another child, I thank God, that we didn't. Not even using NFP (Natural Family Planning) since at least September last year, babies, or the lack thereof, have been totally, and completely, in God's hands.

      Last Saturday, a very good, holy man at our parish, who is a good friend of ours, was trying to give my mom some hope and faith, which she sorely needed. He was telling her that God always gives us what we need, exactly when we need it, and not a moment sooner. In the 10 minutes right before we REALLY need it, when we just THINK we need it, we tend to worry, fuss, and panic, but if we just hold on, have faith, and trust in God, we will get it exactly when we need it the most. I've been turning to that thought a lot lately. He also told us a good story about Mother Angelica (the nun that started EWTN, the Catholic network - 89.1 FM in the Indianapolis area, and also on TV - that radio station changed my life!). He said that one time, Mother Angelica needed a new satellite dish for EWTN to get off the ground, but she didn't have the money. She called the satellite people, had them come out, set it up, and agreed to pay when they got there. When the satellite installation person came, the sisters went to the chapel where she was praying, and told her that the person was there to install the dish. Mother Angelica turned back to the tabernacle, and said "Jesus, your satellite is here, we really need the money for it now". Moments later, the phone rang, and a person she had never before met, or even talked to, was calling from his yacht to make a donation, the size of which, exactly matched what she needed for the dish!

       He was so right! Catholic Charities provided a lift chair (for FREE!!!) for us, so that my mom can go up and down the stairs, without me having to drag her, or carry her (really, not exaggerating...). The day before they came to install it, I was helping her up the stairs, and we were two or three steps from the top, when she had a muscle spasm and started to jerk backwards. Talk about scary! We made it safely, but that was the last time she had to walk up the stairs. God does indeed provide what we need, EXACTLY when we need it.

      So, I'm trying to keep the faith, and trust in God, but I have to admit, I'm scared. Especially, after learning about that Muscular Dystrophy... Since my dad died when I was 13, it's only been me and my mom (I'm an only child), and we are super-close. I can't imagine how I'm gonna get through whatever's coming. I'm trying to keep up my prayer life, but when I DO have time to pray, I find myself distracted, and just going through the motions. I hope God understands, and that I'll have the grace to get back to it soon, without being distracted. I also wish I could talk to a friend about all this, but I'm never without my mom and/or the kids these days, at least until late at night, and then I feel like it's too late to call most of my friends. Feeling kind of alone...

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Pictures!

With everything that's been happening with my mom, I totally forgot to check and see if the professional pictures of Chocolate Chip recieving her First Communion ever came in. They did! So exciting. You won't believe how beautiful these are!

Chocolate Chip being escorted to the altar by her adopted godfather
(she was baptized before I converted)

Ascending to the altar

Recieving Our Lord for the first time!
          Aren't they gorgeous?! It's still such a joy to have both her, and my mom recieve the Eucharist with me at Mass now. I can't wait until it's Emma's turn. I wonder how young they're allowed to recieve? She's already willing to go to confession (not that she's been - I jokingly asked her once while I was waiting in line, if she wanted to go too, and she said yes, and tried to get in line. LOL), but we should probably wait just a bit longer. ;-)