Some days I hear things that literally feel like a punch to the gut, and when I double over in pain the next news knee kicks me in the face. Essentially placing me upright again. But likely unconscious.
Today I went in to work expecting that a person I went out to see last week would be in the hospital and a care plan in place for some rehab and strengthening care. For help to go in to the home and assist with independence.
I’m told this person has advanced ALS.
Lou Gehrig’s disease.
This person hadn’t seen a doctor since becoming ill, and losing motor skills a year ago. This person had no insurance. This person feared two things:
Running up a debt that the family could not pay.
Being taken out of the family and home environment.
This person is now home. With a terminal and incurable, cruel disease.
There is good news. There is family that loves and cares for this person. There are services that thanks to some fast acting and concerned professionals will be in the home by tomorrow.
I know we all must go the way of those before us. But sometimes the suffering, though short lived compared to eternity, is more than I can bare to watch.
I got out of bed this morning and rode my bike on a trainer. I did my push-ups. I went to work. I ate a bagel. I had some coffee. I kept busy with phone calls and reporting. I had people to talk to. Last week when I had to go to the ER I could pay my copay and I had insurance so all I had was a copay. Tonight I drove home and am getting ready to go to a class to work with some kids and adults who want to learn something that I can teach them.
What, exactly, is it that I ever have to complain about?
I don’t know.
There is some joy in the news that I heard today. In following up with the family I found out something. In the hospital this person cried. I had told them all I would do what I could last week to help them come back home. I feared there would be tears in the hospital. Even after the news they received, this person, came home. Happy to be home.
There is shame in my complaints. But there is grace in accepting, acknowledging, and recognizing the gifts that matter. I am very happy that this person-is home.