Sunday, November 28, 2021

When is Half?

As happens every year, I recently had a birthday. I have now left my third decade of life and am starting the fourth. When some men, or women, turn 40, they go through a mid-life crisis and often purchase expensive cars or other items. However, how do we really know when we are halfway through life? Who on earth gets to decide?

A quick search said the the global average lifespan for men is 70 and American men live slightly longer to 77. Therefore, looking at statistics, the mid-point for men would be around 35-38. Judging by those numbers, I'm already past the halfway point. Family genetics also plays a part in longevity and both of my grandfathers lived to their mid 80's. They were also completely independent and active their entire life. A big contribution to an individual's lifespan though is health.

I could very easily say my midpoint in life was around the summer I was six-years-old. At that time, I had spent half my life without a spinal cord injury and half with. At the time of my injury, my parents were told my life expectancy would be around age ten. Both of these numbers say my mid-life crisis should have happened in Kindergarten. Current statistics on longevity for spinal cord injuries are harder to find. The last I saw, my injury level would have put me to my early 30's.

Studying statistics and trends can lead to endless speculation and guessing with nothing gained. The One who knows our lifespan, from conception to death, is God. He has told us that this life is like a vapor or a blink of an eye. No matter how many years we are given, it's nothing compared to eternity. That was even true for Methuselah, who lived 969 years.

No matter how many more birthdays I celebrate, I know God has tremendously blessed me and given me a much longer life than others in my situation. I try to spend the time I'm given to serve God however I can and always be aware how quickly time progresses. It's something best learned at an early age and remembered every day.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Where to Search?

A couple weeks ago, I posted that my main daytime caregiver was gone for a while due to medical concerns. That break has continued and my parents have had to cover the extra time. I went with them Friday for another date day for lunch and to a larger Walmart in a neighboring town.

It was a chilly, windy day for an outing, but I still continued my 19-month record streak of going barefoot. While dad loaded the van and moved it to a better location out of the wind, mom and I waited inside. The greeter was gone and I noticed a space heater where they usually stand. I parked nearby to keep my feet warm and smiled as people walked past wondering if I was the new Walmart greeter. It was an interesting excursion, and one that may repeat more often.

Sara was scheduled to return last week after resting her back. However, she had an unexpected problem occur at home last Sunday. After testing, it was discovered she has a tumor on the front of her brain. Sara is scheduled for surgery early tomorrow morning and would appreciate prayers from readers. If everything goes well, she'll be off for a month.

My other daytime caregiver does two days a week, but is also having health concerns. She is unable to take more time and wants to completely retire. Therefore, I need to find a permanent replacement for her and temporary help until Sara can return. Unfortunately, caregivers are hard to find for anyone and especially for situations like mine.

Day hours are covered through the state by a program called CDAC. The pay is low and it takes a month, or more, to get paid. It doesn't require any nurse's licenses, but not many people are willing to take it. My thinking is it's ideal for someone that wants a supplemental income with regular hours a few days a week. I have contacted a few nurse friends for ideas, but not sure where to start looking.

Whatever comes, I will trust God's plan as He knows what my family and I need. After decades in the quad life, I have learned this lesson well. I will see what comes this week and take each day on its own.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Attempting New Reading

In high school, I started reading the Bible every night. In the over two decades since, I have increased the amount I read at night, but always went straight through from Genesis to Revelation. On November 13, 2020, I started again with Genesis 1. I finished Revelation a few weeks ago, but I did not put my marker back to the beginning.

Every morning, I also start the day with an online Bible reading plan that also goes from Genesis to Revelation. Therefore, I have been reading the entire Bible twice a year for at least a decade. Regular readers likely remember hearing about this before. It's a great habit to get into and one I don't want to stop. Therefore, why make a change?

In every type of reading, their are two primary styles to approach a text, casual and study. My morning reading is definitely casual as I'm usually reading while drinking my protein shake for breakfast. Evening isn't much different with winding down for the day and looking forward to sleep. Nothing is wrong with this type of reading and you can learn from it, but I want to try to get into more in-depth study.

At night, I read from The Evidence Bible that has commentary by Ray Comfort of Living Waters. I have read all the commentary provided, but also not with much thought. Therefore, I went back a few books in the New Testament and am reading one book, or several chapters, for an entire week. I first start by just reading the Scripture one night, the next will include reading comments, then reading again.

So far, I've gone through part of Romans as well as Galatians and Ephesians. I think it's a good plan, but my mind tends to wonder off into other subjects and I read more than I'm actually processing. At some point in the next several weeks, or months, I hope to get the study Bible by John MacArthur. I have seen parts of it and heard many people say it's an excellent resource, better than many seminaries even.

If I do eventually get one, then my hope is to be in more of a study mindset for my evening reading. I never know what will happen from week to week in the quad life, but it's sometimes nice to set goals. Winter is rapidly approaching and much time at home to read and study. This week could give an indication of what I can do for the next few months ahead as well.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Making do with few

As long as I can remember, it has been a challenge finding caregivers. However, it has become steadily worse as time has passed and it is now very difficult. Thankfully, I have been very blessed to have four caregivers that cover most of my hours. However, when one is gone for an extended period, it makes life more challenging.

I have two caregivers that cover day time hours. One generally works two days a week and the other three to four. Sara has been my primary day nurse for several years and has been mentioned on here in previous entries. Unfortunately, she has been having increasing medical problems and has not always been able to come. Her doctor recently recommended taking a few weeks off work to try to give more time for rest and recouping.

Sara objected saying that I don't have anyone to cover her hours when she's gone, especially for that long. My assistants help me with everything and I'm grateful for all they do, but I don't want to overwork them either. Therefore, my parents said we could make do and let her have the time off. If she has time to rest and get back to regular activities, it would be the best outcome for everybody.

This past week was the first with Sara gone all of her three days. On Fridays, my parents try to have their "date days" and go out and do their own thing and don't have to be responsible for me. Part of their outings often consist of getting groceries and household supplies. They have not been able to have such a date day for several weeks now, so I went along this Friday.

The three of us left the house around 10:00 A.M. and didn't get back until nearly 8:00. It was fun going up to northern Iowa trying to find any trees with remaining leaves and think of watching trains. Going back toward home, we made stops for groceries and other items at stores I normally don't get to venture to.

I'm looking forward to when Sara can return and my parents are able to get away independent of me again. Times like these in the quad life also make us much more appreciative of the gift of caregivers I have been given. The days may come soon when my other day assistant is ready to fully retire and will need replaced. When that happens, I'll continue to trust in God's leading wherever it may go.