Friday, June 5, 2015

New Normal

Today is packing-the-car day. Tomorrow we head to Tennessee to see our children and grandchildren. More than ever we want to be with them. There is a story unfolding. Here is a piece of it.

Costco Delivery!

Last December the LaRose family all came down with a stomach virus and were sick as dogs right around Christmas. Everyone recovered in about four days. Except for our daughter, Sember, hers hung on for days. A month passed and she was still unable to get out of bed for a full day at a time. More weeks passed until finally she went to the doctor to see if they could find figure out what was going on.
It’s a long story, but she ended up at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale where she was seen by a friend of ours who is pretty much a medical genius at sleuthing and he diagnosed her with Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS disease). POTS sometimes occurs after a virus attack or some other trauma to the body. Here is a link that gives some idea of what life is like for a patient. With one caveat. Young people have a much better chance of recovery. For older adults there is no cure. Dr. Bergstrom compared the quality of life as that of a person having congestive heart failure or kidney failure with dialysis.

The prospect of having another life-long, chronic illness (along with CFS) has precipitated a time of grieving for everyone, but especially for Sember. She feels like she’s on the steepest learning curve of her life as she figures out how to live with her new normal. There are days when she can’t get out of bed because of overwhelming body pain and wicked exhaustion. (In the midst of it she somehow maintains a spirit of kindness and humor.) Parenting, keeping a home, feeding the family and so many other things are now difficult if not impossible.

Their community and church has rallied around them in wonderful and unusual ways. One way was figuring out how to help with meals. It is one thing to deliver a meal or two to someone who has had a baby or has been in the hospital, but to help someone who has an on-going chronic illness? Finding ways to help without burning out is definitely a need? A friend devised a solution by inviting people to contribute to a fund that would hire a person who cooks:

Anne wrote to friends and family: “I have a friend who is a private chef. She cooked for us for a while when we were uber busy, and she is amazing! I would shop for proteins, starches, and vegetables, and then in four hours, she would put it all together and make enough food for several days. She likes to make healthy food and is very knowledgeable when it comes to cooking for people with food issues such as gluten or dairy allergies. Better yet, her food is yummy.”

After figuring what it would cost to hire Cassie for four hours a week, there was enough money donated to make it happen through the next three months! (If there is anyone out there who would still like to contribute – let me know.)

This was such an amazing gift. Who would have thought? I am deeply moved because if it were possible, we would personally remove this thorn from their lives. Impossible, of course. So this solution is a great comfort to everyone who loves them.

All this has meant that parenting five children will be a big challenge for both Sember and Shaun. Our own lives will be changing along with theirs because we have invited our 17-year-old granddaughter to live with us and she will be coming at the end of June. We love her and I think it is safe to say she loves us and is looking forward to life here in Minnesota. 

We didn’t know we’d be joining the ranks of grandparents who have grandchildren living with them. But this could be a very good thing for all of us. In a way it will mean that we, too, will be finding our new “normal.” We look forward to seeing what God will do as we step into the unknown.

If you are the praying sort, we would definitely appreciate prayer. What this will mean for me, I’m not certain. For some reason, as you could perhaps tell by my long absence from this blog, I haven’t been able to write for awhile. But today, I felt compelled to at least put this out there before we leave tomorrow morning.  Thank you for stopping by.


Rebecca said...

Oh Margie, this is rough. I feel the pain on many levels here. I'll pray for Sember when I think of my own beloved family in Chattanooga. May God protect you as you travel.

Ruth said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you all make adjustments and decisions. May His grace be sufficient...

Pat said...

So sorry to hear about your daughter. I remember years ago receiving a note from you after I had written to you regarding an essay you wrote related to your illness and it resonated so much with me because I have dealt with a chronic illness for the last 10 years. In the note, you spoke of illness "being an interesting tutor." I can certainly concur. I ache for all of you.

Prayers going up for you and your family.

Grace and peace.

Amber Bailey said...

I will sure be praying for all of you.

melissa said...

I can't hard! My heart goes out to Sember. Wish I was close enough to bring meals & help. Will be praying for her and the whole family.