Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Sigh.

This one has me stumped.

I have been dealing with the effects of the people from a church that my mom's friend attends. These folks are some brand of "Full Gospel" Christianity, very much into "healing and miracles".

They have somehow convinced my mom that "if enough people pray for her," and "if she prays enough", she will be healed of her emphysema, her depression, and her diabetes. This belief has affected her ability to make good medical choices regarding her chronic illnesses. At this point, I don't believe she has been foolish enough to stop taking her meds, but I wonder how much longer before that becomes part of her thought processes.

Meanwhile, she continues to deteriorate and her depression is taking on aspects that are worrisome in terms of whether or not she is taking her meds or eating properly, having social interaction, etc. She lives 40 miles away and has no intention of moving up here.

She's not that old. She's only 70. But a half century of two packs of cigarettes a day took her to a place where simply to live, she is on 4 liters of oxygen 24/7/365. She has lived through two less than stellar marriages; one to a philanderer, and one to an abuser turned philanderer. She wanted to live the life of June Cleaver, but when you marry James Dean (twice) it's not likely to happen. She lived within eyeshot of her mother for less than a decade of her life, and, quite frankly, my late grandmother dominated her. At this stage of her life, she is incredibly angry that I am not living across the road from her and taking care of her "the way I'm supposed to be doing." Her immediate family is down to two people...her and me. So in some ways, I can see where the promise of "instant healing" is attractive for her.

It's difficult. It's not that I don't believe in miracles. It's not that I don't believe in healing. I just don't believe in "God the celestial Coke Machine" where the prayer quarters go in, and the can of Coke comes out. There is plenty of healing for her to be had, but it is not likely to be the reversal of her emphysema or the disappearance of her diabetes. She insists her belief "makes her feel better" but what I am seeing speaks to the contrary. She withdraws further and further, and waits and waits for God to do what she expects from him, just as she waited for her abusive husband to see the light and stop beating her, or her domineering mother to stop her demands. I am sad that her version of God has become just another cruel abusive figure in her life, and I am angry at her friend for feeding her this stuff.

I pray for her to experience "healing"--it's just not for the exact form of healing that she expects.





3 comments:

I wish I knew what to say, Kirk. I'm finding caregiving to be a greater challenge than being a parent, these days.

My 82-year-old grandmother lives withe me. She's still pretty independent, but she's diabetic, with high blood pressure, and she recently had a very small stroke---and neglected to tell anyone about her (non-obvious) symptoms, because she hates doctors!

Prayers for you, your mom, stubborn old people, and caregivers everywhere...God bless us, every one.

Oh, hell, I suppose I'll be a stubborn old person myself some day, God willing.

I went to check on her today b/c she seemed a little "loopy". After looking at all her meds on the kitchen table, I discovered some duplicate medicine families. Seems that she has not been telling her FP what her pulmonologist and her gastroenterologist have been putting her on and vice versa and verse visa. She also was not necessarily discontinuing the old med with a med change. aaagh

I called her FP at home, poor guy, and said, "I'm gonna read off all these meds and you tell me which ones to flush down the john." We pared them down somewhat, for sure!

Prayers for you and for mom. I can understand the appeal of miracles... and I even believe in them. However, your celestial coke machine analogy is what is at issue here.

It is so hard. My mom was 43 when I was born and was ill (that whole smoking and bad living bad husband thing also) in her 70's, when I was in my 30's... I was ahead of the curve on parent care. It is hard.

I wish I had some words of wisdom, but all I have for you is presence and prayers... and not the coke machine variety either.

Peace brother.

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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