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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And she prayed




May I come in, Ms. Lewis? I asked, after knocking on the resident’s room door. 

“Please, come on in” she answered cheerfully. 

Ms. Lewis was making her bed.  Although she was advised not to walk in her room by herself, she was ambulating around the bed, straightening out a beautiful bed quilt. 

“My daughter made this comforter,” she told me with pride. 

“I see you like to make your own bed.  But remember, the girls can help you,”  I reminded her.  I was concerned about her risk of falling.  Ms. Lewis had sustained several falls at home, and a couple at the nursing home, since her recent admission.  

“I know.  I had a fall today.  I won’t get to go back home. It’s all my fault,” she replied, in sad tone of voice.  
“Ms. Lewis, it’s not your fault.  I know you are feeling stronger and you prefer to do things by yourself.” 
Ms. Lewis lived with her daughter.  While her daughter was at work, Ms. Lewis remained in the home by herself.  For a couple of years this routine worked out quite well. But the arrangement became complicated when Ms. Lewis started showing forgetfulness and confusion, and more so when she had falls which resulted in her hospitalization.  

Going back home was not an option for her.  Ms. Lewis’ daughter and other family members had discussed the subject at length and come to the conclusion that, although Ms. Lewis came to the facility initially for rehabilitation services, the family had already planned for her to stay on long-term care. 

Ms. Lewis had showed great motivation in therapy. She talked constantly about wanting to go back home. But she still faced health challenges, and her acuity was not improving. During her stay, she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia.  

Tears began rolling down her face.  I drew closer to her, and as I hugged her, I saw some Guideposts magazines and a Bible on her bedside table. 

“I see you like to read inspirational stories, Ms. Lewis.” 

“Yes, I do.  I also read the Bible, and I pray God every day.  I pray that I can go back home.” 

I looked back at Ms. Lewis with compassion.  It broke my heart to see her pretty eyes turn teary again.  Knowing that her going back home was not an option pained me even more.  

But who am I to have doubtful thoughts?  I criticized myself.  

I immediately realized that Ms. Lewis’ predicament was actually teaching me a lesson of faith.  

“You are working hard in therapy, Ms. Lewis.  Keep your motivation.  And don’t give up on your faith.”  It was strange but I truly didn’t think of the words I said to Ms. Lewis.  It was as though my words just came from my heart.  Ms. Lewis smiled.  

Several weeks later, Ms. Lewis’ daughter came to my office, quite anxious.  

“I know my mother is almost finished with her therapy.  We don’t think she can go home, but she thinks she can.” 

I called for a meeting with the Interdisciplinary team.  We met with the daughter and other family members.  Ms. Lewis was invited as well. 

I noticed Ms. Lewis was quiet.  She sat on the back of the room.  

I am sure she is praying, I thought. 

The meeting started with some turmoil when family brought up safety issues if Ms. Lewis were to go back home, staying alone during the day while her daughter was at work.  I glanced at Ms. Lewis.  She remained quiet, and calm. 

The therapists explained that Ms. Lewis had actually shown remarkable physical improvement.  As the meeting progressed, it began to turn into one of the most amazing meetings I had had with a family.  The therapists explained that her dementia was not going to go away, but if she had someone with her at all times providing supervision for her safety, she could definitely go home. 

Unexpectedly, her granddaughter stood and said: “Grandma, I'm going to quit my job to help you at home.” 

We sat in silence for a few seconds.  Everyone was astonished.  Then smiles blossomed on everyone’s faces.  Especially Ms. Lewis’ face.  She lit up with an expression of hope restored. 

The logistics for Ms. Lewis’ discharge were discussed, and a tentative date for her to go home was scheduled right away.  Her guilt-ridden family members showed signs of evident relief.  Soon, the meeting joyfully adjourned.  

As we were leaving the room, Ms. Lewis, walking with the assistance of a walker, managed to get close to me.  She looked at me, and smiled.  I smiled back.  

“Your prayers were answered, Ms. Lewis,” I whispered to her. 

“Yes. They were.” 

33 comments:

Joanna St. James said...

God moves in mysterious ways

MTJ said...

Hi Doris,

This post reminds me of how I have viewed a circumstance with my own predictable outcome without considering God in the equation. Both you and Ms. Lewis realized that it would take Godly intervention for her to return home; prayer does change not just things but our perspective too.

Thanks for sharing this testimony Doris.

Blessings and peace.

MTJ

Autumn Lynn said...

That was beautiful, thanks for sharing.

Ann Best said...

Dear Doris: I love coming over here and reading your inspirational stories. What a dear, dear woman Ms. Lewis is. Such strong and simple faith!! Thank you for letting us meet her.
Ann

Karin said...

Very well written and a wonderful story of God's love and grace. Thanks for sharing it!

Amrita said...

Your posts are such a comfort to me Doris. I will your blog link with friends on FB and on my blog and with my sister and BIL who are managers at a retirement home.

Carol-Ann. said...

Lovely story!
There are more options than we sometimes think!

David said...

as a care giver, I so appreciate this story. my mom is at home with me. we have good days, but difficult evenings and nights. God is with us in it all

David said...

Amrita referred me here

Mariette said...

Dearest Doris,

That was one more of those touching stories you've written. Prayers being answered, as they were in Chile where a nation came together in Faith and where miners bonded and never gave up hope. A miracle happened in the country where my husband and I received our matrimonial blessings... just see my blog about it. That's why I'm late reading yours. I had to let this out.

Have a great remainder of the week and sunny greetings from Georgia,

MariettesBacktoBasics

Just Be Real said...

This story my Spirit needed to read. Thank you Doris. Blessings.

Toyin O. said...

An amazing story here Doris; thanks for sharing. God's ways are higher than ours. I just also wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and your gracious comment. Have a wonderful day!

हेमंत कुमार ♠ Hemant Kumar said...

Really it's a nice and inspiring story for all--for the prayer's point of view and about a turn or stage of our life also.Every person should know that he will also pass through this age---Any way i will again appreciate your way of presentation Doris.
best wishes.
Hemant

Padraic Murray said...

Hi Doris. I loved your story but it left me slightly troubled. Of course we don't have all the details but I feel as we get older we have to keep a balance between our needs and the legitimate aspirations of the next generations to live their lives much in the way we did. As well as many happy stories in Ireland of young and old living together there thousands of young lives ruined by selfish matriarchs. Getting the balance is never easy. I hope both Ms. Lewis and her granddaughter find happiness and fulfilment in this development. Greetings from the Emerald Isle!

lbdiamond said...

As always, a lovely story!!!!

NENSA MOON said...

Hi Doris,
The story was so touching my heart. it's make me crying...
Indeed, the Lord never sleeps ... he will not abandon His people in grief, while she always pray..
I'm glad the story end up with happiness.

Thanks for telling us the story!
happy weekend, dear friend!
hugs,
nensa

Judy said...

Hi Doris,

It's really nice to meet you. What a wonderful story. I love hearing testimonies like this. And thank you for visiting my blog today, leaving me a comment and becoming a follower. I appreciate it. I am now a follower of yours. Take care and have a blessed weekend.

Judy

Libby said...

Doris, this is a beautiful story, &, right now it's showing me how i'm so close to being at this point if i'm not careful...i fell down & broke numerous ribs a couple wks ago (depending on which dr you tlk to...anywhere from 2 to 5??...hurts either way...), & & my daughter has been telling her dad abt all the dr's saying i shouldnt live alone..got a lot to think bout about 40 yrs b4 i should...

deodate said...

Hi Doris, I just stumbled upon your blog and am so happy that I did. What a beautiful story. It shows up that nothing is ever impossible with God. I am happy for Ms. Lewis and her family, and grateful that you had the faith to give her hope. Your sensitivity is evident, you must be wonderful at your work.
Andie

Terri Tiffany said...

God bless that granddaughter! You choked me up with this story because I know this situation is rare. My father was put in a nursing home last Friday. Two years ago he got out but was found on the floor in his home confused. It isn't where I want him but I know it is time again.
Also wanted to tell you that my current WIP is including an Assitive Living home and residents and how they change a woman's life.

Arlee Bird said...

It has to be so difficult to begin losing control over one's own life and to be unable to do the things one has done in the past. The granddaughter made a wonderful sacrifice that will enrich Mrs. Lewis's final years.

Lee
Tossing It Out

blogginggroup said...

Great story!

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

A selfless act. I'm glad her prayers were answered. Hope the family unit stays strong.

Crown of Beauty said...

Hi Doris,
I appreciate reading this post today. A seeming impossibility turned into a possibility, and even a reality!

How my heart rejoices for Mrs. Lewis...glad that she was able to go back home. What a sweetheart her grand daughter was ... may God reward her kindness and sensitivity.

This is a lesson on faith indeed... never give up hope!

Love
Lidj

Michele said...

my dear father had to go into an extended care facility. he has louey body dementia. he is in the second stage of it. my father before this happened to him, was funny, full of life, strong minded. honest to the core, loved all his kids dearly. he is not the man i recognized growing up. it breaks my heart, but there is nothing we can do about it. i pray that his suffering doesn't last too long. that God takes him at the opportune time. my dad would not want to live this way. he has stated that many times before. so i pray that Jesus takes my dear dad before he gets to the point where he is 100% dependent on other humans to exist.

Ann said...

What a wonderful story! I am all teary as I write this comment. It would seem God does answer some prayers after all.

cyclopseven said...

Faith and hope subtly send strong vibrations to our mind. The continuity of human saga solely depends on the society or the people around. All those in need of special care, need a foundation to base their trust and get their motivation charged. People like you do it better with greater understanding and then the rest is up to the family members to instill love and display some tolerance to get them moving. God bless.

cyclopseven said...

You are on my blog roll:)

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

This reminded me of my grandmother, who never got to go home before she went to her heavenly home. Blessings,

Denise Marie said...

Very sweet story! Dementia is so painful to watch. FIL is struggling thru it too. He is at home with his beloved wife. I'd love to be a social worker but have an Accounting degree. :( Need to start making $$ for our home but rusty from 13 yrs of stay at home momma. I'll hope and pray for the answer to where to work.

Nezzy said...

Wow, what a wonderful inspiration this sweet little lady's faith is for us all. With God all things are possible!!

Ya'll have a marvelously blessed and beautiful 'fall' day!!! :o)

Barb said...

Hi Doris, I'm visiting you from Neesa's blog. Your story reminds me of the necessity of hope and also of faith. Smiles to you.

fire in the hooooole said...

beautiful beautiful. God is so good and He'll make a way where there seems to be no way.