Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jerry REPOST from 8/07

Today at the mental health care center, one of my regulars called me over just before I was to start. He asked me if I pray for people. I said yes and asked what was wrong. This man has told me countless times how he got saved at a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting years ago. He always talks about having Jesus in his heart and that we have to do that before we can go to Heaven. He knows a lot about the Bible, too. This day though, he was having delusional thinking. He said that years ago when he was a rock star, he caused hundreds of people to disappear from a football field and a concert hall. He was so upset because he said that he was going to go to hell for that when he dies. He said that Satan deceived him into doing it. Okay, I thought...the only thing I can address is his salvation. I know nothing about him, although he does dress like a rock star from the 70s or so, and he has been to college. Anyway I told him that when we do something that displeases God, all we have to do is repent of it and ask for forgiveness. He said he had prayed but he was still going to go to hell. I told him that if Jesus came into his heart when he in college, then Jesus is still there. He fretted about those people who had disappeared and I assured him that God knows where every one of those people are and they are under his care. So finally, he said, "Ohhh. Because I asked Jesus to come into my heart, when I die I will go to Heaven! I said, "Yes, Jerry." He smiled and thanked me.
What a blessing that he felt he could talk to me about such a personal thing.

Monday, August 27, 2007

'Tis over

This morning I saw Spot asleep by the trash can on the patio. I took out a piece of turkey to see if she would eat it. She let me drop it in front of her but she didn't seem interested. I had backed off some like usual so as to not spook her. She got up, walked over to me, and rubbed on my legs. Never before has she deliberately approached me and rubbed against me. The few times in the past week or so she had rubbed against my legs, she was anticipating being fed. This time I picked her up and held her and she didn't even struggle. I petted her and placed her in the carrier. She didn't fight at all. She complained a couple of times in her low manly voice but that was all. My hubby drove us to the humane society. I got her out of the carrier and held her and petted her for several minutes and then the vet just gave her a shot in her tummy. I held her for several more minutes and then lay her down. The vet checked her and that was it. I wrapped her in a towel and carried her home and buried her in the backyard.

I've seen vets shave the leg and place a needle in a vein, all while having to hold the animal down. This was so much better and easier for both of us. I appreciate the opportunity to get to love on her like with most cats. She didn't seem terrified at all. A few weeks ago she would have not come near me at all. Why after 19 years did she become friendly and unafraid? I think the time was perfect. I'm sad but relieved.

Discarded people

I watched a "Masters of Science Fiction" show Friday evening. It was futuristic in that the freaks and abnormal humans were placed on a space ship sort of environment, in outer space. They had been relegated there by the authorities on earth as misfits. Granted, some of the characters had extreme problems. One had an extra head extruding from his shoulder, one had a huge 10x normal left arm, etc. They were the unfit, unloved, and untouchable in normal society. They were visited by a ship from earth and were given the opportunity of getting to go back to earth (they had been there for 27 years). The "disease" had spread on earth and the scientists had discovered that a serum made from the blood of these misfits would stop the spread. In return they would be returned to earth and would be accepted by society. The leader refused, saying that it was a lie. He was killed and the others agreed to do it. They gave blood and then waited until the ship came back for them. The ship came back but, instead of taking them to earth, it brought another load of discarded people.

This show disturbed me greatly. Don't we see this in our society, even today with all our enlightenment, our disabilities acts, our equal opportunity, etc.? Sunday afternoon, during our church services at a local mental health care center, I watched each and every face there (again). I thought...these are still discarded people. Of course, none of them have the abnormalities that the ones on the show had, but they're not "normal". Well, guess what? They're better friends to me than many of the people in my church, my community, etc. They love me and are always so glad to see me, and so thankful that I've come. It makes me feel so good to visit there, that I feel selfish. Am I doing it for them, or am I doing it because it is such a blessing to me?

One particular man stood and listened to the service. He usually never stays still long enough for anything, but he really listened. I looked closely at his face for the first time. He usually is walking in and out and on the go, talking loudly and disrupting things. He has light blue eyes and a rather handsome face. I could see something in his eyes I had never noticed before. I believe he has probably been mentally ill all his life. Did he have family that loved him at one time? Does he now? What does he think about God? Does he know he is considered insane? Does he care? Is he capable of making a decision for the Lord? Would he even be able to listen long enough? I have seen God clear the minds of people long enough for them to understand and get saved. Pray for Robert, please.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Crisis coming

Just when my old cat has finally started actually rubbing against my legs and letting me reach down and pet her, just when she doesn't run every time she sees me, and just when she purrs when I pet her, she is having difficulty eating again. She still is eager to eat but her face is bleeding again so apparently it hurts when she eats. Can it break my heart any more to take her to the vet now? I don't know. Can't until Monday anyway. Is she feeling comforted by my petting her? After almost 19 years of only getting to "accidentally" touch her (so she'd think it was her pal Gilligan rubbing against her), it pleases me to be able to pet her and hear her purr. As my daughter Kay said, who knew she would be so easily bought (referring to the deli turkey meat).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Who would have thunk it?

I said something about if and when my poor cancer-stricken old cat's behavior changed, I'd reconsider my approach. Well guess what? Since I've been feeding her deli meat, her behavior has changed. She has come running across the yard a couple of times, has actually come when I called Kitty, Kitty, and spends more time hanging around the patio door. (Of course, that might be because I feed her whenever I see her sitting at the door). She eats really good and with much eagerness. I think it doesn't hurt her anymore to eat. You know, how a 4th degree burn can be less painful than a 1st or 2nd degree burn because the layer of skin where the nerves are most sensitive has been destroyed, or something like that. It appears I lengthened her lifespan after all. I don't know if that is good or bad.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Decision Made

As long as my poor cat is gobbling down oven-roasted turkey breast from the deli, I will feed her as much as she'll eat. As long as she continues to move around, drink water, and potty, I will leave her alone. As soon as she starts showing signs of distress or stops coming to eat, I will reconsider. I feel better. I can't believe how stressed I have been over this decision. Thanks for your comments.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


The funny thing is, the kitty doesn't even act sick. She is thin but she does all her same things. She follows her companion cat around, rubs on him, goes to her various hiding places, even trots across the yard at times. She is eating better now that I gave her some oven-roasted turkey from the deli (of course). She gobbles it down. She seems as interested in things as she always has been. I thought about having the vet come here but the only thing she would be spared would be the car ride. I'd still have to grab her and shut her up in a carrier, otherwise I'd never find her when the vet got here. I'll just go day by day I guess. Thanks for your comments.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A learning experience

Years ago when my church first started a nursing home bus ministry, I wasn't very wise about certain things. I let the people sit wherever they liked instead of having us all sit together where I could have a little control. One lady (from the mental health facility) stood up in the middle of the sermon and yelled, "Happy Mother's Day, everybody!" I was clear across the auditorium from her. I discussed it with her but still didn't have her sit with me. (DUH) The next time she got it right. On Mother's Day, she stood up and yelled, "Happy Mother's Day, everybody!" We had a "dinner on the ground" after church that day. Someone asked her if she'd like some macaroni and cheese. She said, in her very loud voice, "I can't eat cheese! It makes me con-sti-PATED!" Needless to say, she didn't come on our bus again.

Cruel vs cruel

You see, I have a very old cat who has cancer in her nose and it is digging into her sweet little face. She has been so timid and fearful of people since day 1. The two times I have handled her much were when I got her neutered, and when the neighbor dogs played volleyball with her and I grabbed her to take her to the vet. I have fed her twice a day for about 19 years and she still acts like I'm going to kill her. So...do I grab her, shove her in a carrier, take her in a car, have other people handle her, give her a shot, etc., and put her down? OR, do I let her continue to lose weight (although she is still hungry and following her old companion around), get weak, and die in her own time in familiar surroundings? Both seem bad to me but it breaks my heart to think about terrorizing her for the last hour of her life. I want her to just go off and die on her own but I don't want her to die! I have such mixed feelings when I think she's not going to show up to eat, and then I have other mixed feelings when she does show up. My husband thinks I don't have the courage to take her to the vet. That's not the point. It's the idea of terrorizing her for the rest of her life that bothers me. What is wrong with me!!!

Reunion correction

Not my husband's mother's side of the family. I meant my husband's family, sister, nieces, nephews, etc.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Reunion run wild

Tomorrow is the 36rd reunion for my father's side of the family. Tonight, in my sister's front yard, there sat about 13 people from my mother's side of the family. Some more are expected tomorrow. Over the years it has gradually become a two-family reunion. The daddy side and the mommy side have folks who grew up together more or less anyway. There are also family from my husband's mother's side so it is becoming a three-family reunion. It is interesting to try to introduce people and explain how they are related.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Like minded people

Kay said that she has recommended my blog to a lady who is interested in church ministries to the mentally ill. Our church has had a nursing home ministry for nearly 34 years. One of the homes is the place I mentioned in another story. The church goes once monthly but I go weekly to do a "Bible Study". I put that in quotes because it is not a traditional study. I tried that with the sitting around the table and everyone finding the scriptures. Even with the Gideon Bible (so I can just have them turn to a page number to find a specific scripture), it took so long to make a point. It was"what page again?" "What page did you say.", etc. over and over. More and more wanted to come and we needed more room so we have to meet in the dining room. It is no longer practical to try to have everyone search and read the scriptures. Right now we are going through the book of Matthew, with as much participation as possible. I do the reading of the scriptures and make commentary. I encourage them to participate by asking them questions and letting them share their ideas. Some of the people know a lot about the Bible, however, some just think they do (just like any church). There is a common connection between schizophrenia and religious fanaticism and I see some of that, but, for the most part, we have a pretty normal session.

Two or three times a year we take the regulars to our church for a cookout or a lunch. Attendance at the Bible Study is expected in order to go to the cookout. Residents with behavior problems can be managed quite well by using the gain or lose privileges system.

You know, when you get right down to it, they just want to be treated like normal people.


I was wrong. I know Kay and Susan (not Sue) read my blog. This Susan doesn't show a profile so she isn't the same as Accidental Poet. SO, I do have three people at least. Thanks!