Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Doing What We Can for Each Other

Since both my wife Deb and I have been disabled since childhood, we are limited in what we can do for each other. She'd love to prepare meals for me, but since she physically can't do that, she does all she can to see that I eat healthy. She finds good recipes online, modifies them to fit my dietary restrictions, then prints them out so her attendant can shop for the ingredients and cook the meals for us.

She knows I like old movies, so she browses online and picks out ones for us to view when they come in the mail from Netflix.

She knows I enjoy driving both our chairs at the same time when we're out and about, so she often lets me do that even though she's quite capable of operating the joystick of her chair by pushing on it with her head.

It is a privilege and a pleasure for us to do what we can for each other.

During the storm that just came through, when Deb's regular attendants couldn't get here, I helped out a bit more than usual. Back-up attendants aren't as familiar with how things are done so I helped out with explaining things and assisting when I could.

Most days, unless I'm sick, we have lunch and supper by ourselves. The food has already been cooked and frozen, so all I have to do is thaw and microwave it. We both like it that way, rather than having the extra company of an attendant sharing the table with us. At lunch time we even usually have music playing. DebbieLynne picks out music she knows I like and plays it on her computer.

In the morning, after my attendant gets me up, and before DebbieLynne's attendant gets her up, we usually have time to pray while I massage her feet for a few minutes. One of Deb's feet has especially poor circulation since (for some reason) she doesn't ever do any walking. Even my massaging that foot in the morning hadn't helped much. But yesterday the back-up attendant explained that if the lower leg isn't also massaged, the blood pooled in the foot won't have any place to go. So we tried that this morning and her foot looked much better after just a few minutes!

Deb and I can't do a lot of things for one another. But what we can do, we are so glad to do. You see, after just over ten years of marriage, we're still very much in love with one another.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Storm Named Sandy Stayed Away From Us

Folks in New Jersey and New York were severely impacted by hurricane Sandy. Deb and I are praying for them and the workers who are striving to rescue those who are stranded, and repair the damage that was done to their property and lives.

Here in our apartment on the third floor of our building we saw the trees blowing back and forth by the strong gusts of wind. From time to time there were torrential downpours, but they didn't last very long.

My mom, who lives in another part of  town, lost power for a few hours. DebbieLynne's evening personal care attendant wasn't able to come because driving wasn't safe at the height of the storm. Deb's morning attendant couldn't come this morning due to a tree having fallen on her car while it was parked in her driveway.

But our building only lost power for less than a minute. DebbieLynne was helped out last night and this morning by a woman in  the building. I got help from the guy who normally helps me who also lives in the building.

We also got phone calls from people offering to come to our aid if needed. But we were safe. We didn't need to use the water that we'd filled the tub with. We didn't need to use either the electric lantern that we bought or the one that had been given to us by a friend at church.

Thank you for those who prayed for us. Now lets pray for those who are recovering from the damages inflicted by the storm named Sandy which did not do harm to Deb and me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A View of the Custom House Tower in Boston

Two days ago Deb and I took advantage of a mild late October day to venture into Boston. We visited the Granary Burial Ground where the graves of John Hancock, John Adams, Paul Revere and other patriots are located. We shared a turkey burger at a healthier than most hamburger restaurant. Then headed for Haymarket to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables.

Just before getting to Haymarket we passed by Quincy Market where I took this picture since the fall colors of the foliage looked nice with blue sky and the Custom House tower in the background.

The Custom House Tower can been seen from many locations in Boston. It's not the tallest building in Boston, but it is very distinctive. It does have an observation deck but the day we decided to visit it we learned that the deck has high walls and so those of us in wheelchairs wouldn't be able to see much.

Even though we've never been up in the tower, I always enjoy seeing it, and from time to time take another picture of it. It so good to be able to go out and about with DebbieLynne and see interesting sites.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I So Appreciate the Help Deb Gives Me

Gen 2:18  Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." ESV

 I need help. I get to be reminded of that quite often. For example, just yesterday I was letting the day go by without calling the paratransit service to request transport for DebbieLynne's doctor's appointment today at noon. After all, the office is less than a half mile away and the weather forecast was for no rain until late afternoon. But DebbieLynne reminded me that it would be good to request the trip, and in the morning cancel it if the weather was indeed what it was forecast to be. So I called.

Well, sure enough this morning we woke up and it was raining. Not heavily, but enough to have soaked DebbieLynne and me if we're tried to get to and from the doctor's office in our power wheelchairs. It was still raining both when the van took us to the office and back home again afterwards.

Deb also helps me eat healthy, which is so important for somebody like me who's had cancer and a heart attack. She finds healthy recipes online and adjusts them to fit our dietary restrictions.

She also helps me improve the writing for my blogs. She's an excellent writer and has even served as an editor. Now that I'm blogging more, she's giving me points to help me communicate more effectively.

She also helps me be a better husband. When I blow it as a loving husband, she helps me try to do better. She also forgives me, and that, too, make me want to do better.

She also encourages me to be a more godly man. Even though we very much like to be with each other while at church, she's happy for me to spend time fellowshipping and praying with the other men.

I thank God that Deb is my wife. I can never thank Him enough for that.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Almost Not with Deb on Her Birthday

During the week leading up to DebbieLynne's birthday, one day we had a stuffed baked potato from a cart on the Greenway in Boston, then a canoli from Mike's Bakery in the North End. On another day we took a Freedom Trail walk, had lunch together in a nice restaurant, and I bought her a pretty skirt she saw that she liked.

Her actual birthday is on the 30th, which this year is a Sunday, so we made plans to go to a Mexican restaurant after church, inviting a couple from church to double date with us. Sunday was also the day I planned to give her a double dvd set of one of her favorite movies, Citizen Kane. It was going to be such a nice day.

Well, the day before her birthday things went downhill for me. DebbieLynne noticed I was somewhat bloated that morning, but I felt OK and had breakfast as usual. But by lunchtime I was more bloated and didn't feel up to eating anything.

As the day progressed things weren't going well for me and, at DebbieLynne's suggestion, I called my primary care doctor's phone number and talked with the doctor covering for her. He told me to call back if things got worse, which by evening I had to make the call. He said he would notify the emergency room and that I should get in there as soon as I could.

While waiting for the ambulance to arrive I told DebbieLynne about the Citizen Kane DVD set since it was very unlikely I'd be able to give it to her the next day. The last time I had similar symptoms I was in the hospital for 6 days. It was even possible that this could be more serious than last time if they decided it was necessary to go in and find out if whether it is something other than an ulcer in my intestine that is showing up on CAT scans.

The ambulance came and took me to the Emergency Room, and that's where I spent the night, getting prepped for and then having another CAT scan, answering questions, discussing the situation, and letting staff members know that my wife's birthday was that day (by then it was after midnight so Sunday had begun).

The scan showed that there was a blockage but that it was further down than the last one and might be treatable with a heavy duty enema. The two glasses of solution that I'd drunk to prepare for the scan also have a laxative effect, so things progressed along with the recommended treatment and I got to feeling a lot better.

The heavy duty enema worked extremely well, and they said if I could drink a large glass of water without any adverse reaction I should be OK to go back home. I never wanted to a glass of water so much since it would mean getting to spend DebbieLynne's birthday with her.

When the water caused no problems the call for my transportation home was made. When I arrived back at our apartment I got to wish my darling DebbieLynne a Happy Birthday in person. My being there to spend the day with her was the best birthday present I could give her.

An extended birthday and every day gift to her will be if I can keep out of the hospital. My nurse in the Emergency Room recommended I add a certain kind of yogurt to my diet to help keep things moving successfully through my intestines. That will be in addition to all the other things I'm doing that are recommended by my doctors and learned from researching things and discussing them with my doctors.

I thank you for your prayers for us. Doing all the right things to guard my health isn't enough. We need God to sustain us. So I very much appreciate your going to Him to look after us.