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Friday, June 17, 2011

Update 15, June 17

"Wrestling" by Stu Mendelson

Greetings all from the land of Stroke Recovery……….what a strange and unfamiliar landscape!   Hoyer lifts, draw sheets, wheelchairs, hospital beds, and a thousand other new-to-us accommodations.   We are adjusting.  Stu is much more himself these days-----I visit on a daily basis, and have been able to have wonderful talks with him about how to get through this.  With all the upheaval, it is a marvel to me that the core of our relationship is still intact.  Not everyone is so blessed-----I think of the folks coping with dementia, and send up a little prayer for their peace of mind. 

Brief progress report:  He’s eating all three meals now, in the dining room or often, when I’m there, outside on the patio.   I was able to confer with his Care Team yesterday, and they can see a time when the feeding tube can be removed.   They are also developing a weight loss plan------he’s always said he needs some kind of intervention, guess he’s getting itJ   Physical Therapy:  Tex (his pt guy) reports very slow progress-----Stu is uncomfortable in his wheelchair,  complains about pain in his tailbone.  That impedes therapyL   Tex has been using electrical stimulation on  Stu’s left arm and leg, but Stu doesn’t like that feeling.  That impedes therapy, too, since they can’t insist, they can only encourage.   Same story with meds------sometimes Stu will ask for something to help with his anxiety, and they have to honor that request, even though it can dull him to the point where he can’t really do his therapy.  Do you see a pattern?  I do-----once again, the conviction has to come from within Stu.  It’s really very humbling, isn’t it?  This is between God and Stu-----no amount of worrying, struggling, scheming on my part is going to change that.  And yet, an encouraging word from a friend can be more powerful than the electrical stimulation Tex is using-------it’s our way of reminding Stu who he is,  just as the therapy is trying to remind his paralyzed limbs what they’re for.   

Meanwhile, back at  Studabaker’s……..well, June is halfway over, and I have not returned to Grower’s Market.  That has been very hard to accept------in some ways harder than the stroke itself, since I had to wrestle with my own self about it!  Or maybe it’s more like my self wrestling with God…….one good thing about a match with God, though,  what may seem like losing ends up being a win for you.  He’s always right.  Ha!  “Sue, I don’t want you to try to support yourself-----I will pick up the tab.  Rest and trust in me.”  Me:  “What??!!!  What a horrible idea!   I can’t do that… will it work?”   God, big grin:  “You’ll see”    Me:  “You’ve gotta be kidding----nobody lives like that!”  God, gently: “That’s my point.  It’s my great joy to take care of my children, but they so often resist that and depend on their own efforts.   Stick with me.  Trust me.”  I am blessed with a pastor and a wonderful group of women friends who remind me of this truth regularly, and a church that brings God’s promise to life by supporting me.  Wow.  Powerful stuff.  

That’s not to say that I can’t still have some fun with my bakery----after all, the main message of Studabaker’s has always been celebration.   It’s joyful to me to make good food, and joyful to see people enjoy itJ   To that end, I’m planning a Bakery Open House/Barn Sale/ Mid-Summer Celebration here at the house on July 2.   There will be yard sale items, some of Stu’s art, and bagels, cookies, scones, etc.  Free coffee and drinks.  If you want to put in an order, it’ll help me decide what all to bake. 
(I have not stopped baking, by the way-----I still have several small accounts, and take special orders as they come along.   Just no Grower’s Market for the time being)

Hope I will see some of you there!   I’ll keep you posted on times and details.

Finally, Stu and I have started reading the book of Job together in the evening, his request.  If any of you would like to join us and ruminate on what God is saying to us through that book (obviously Stu’s situation gives it some fresh application!)  let me know.    I’m thinking Monday evening, 6:30 might be a good time for a weekly get-together. 

Until next time


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