Thursday, October 31, 2013

Change of Venue

Today, I brought Trent to a hospice facility.

I struggled a little with this decision.  I first had to reconcile to myself that I would have to make this decision without his input.   I want to do what is best for Trent and what he wants.  Those 2 things don't always mesh.  I look at him and watch him grow weaker every day.  I think about the logistics of our house - tiny doorways and walkways, tiny bathroom.  I wonder how much weaker he will get before this is over.  Even if I can handle his care now at home, will I be able to if he gets much weaker?  Honestly, I just don't know.  I see how hard even a little bit of noise and motion are on him, and I know it is not realistic to expect the kids to be silent and still all of the time they are home.  There is also the factor that at home I am more than just total caregiver.   I am also Mom, and there are dishes and laundry and phone calls and clutter and homework, etc. - all while keeping things quiet and still.  When I am spread that thin, am I really doing anyone the good they need?

I know my kids need me.  Trent needs me, too.  I can meet my kids' needs and still have them feel secure using the help that has been offered to me.  Trent has requested that I be with him - that is what makes him feel secure right now.  His needs are for a brief season.  I have put much prayer into my decisions and have gotten counsel.  I know some people may disagree with my choices, but the fact is that I have to make the choices that I feel are best, and I am at peace with the decisions I have made. 

The plans were set in place yesterday.  The social worker ordered an ambulance transport, but when she said that, I saw a look on Trent's face that I really hate to see -- It was a look that tells me he feels things are being done to him rather than for him.  He also thought that I was sending him away and not going with him.  I stepped in and told her that I would bring him in our van.  She really never agreed with me, but it is my choice; and I want to do what makes Trent feel the best as a whole - physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Dr. Illig agreed with me, too. 

I have had to talk with Trent several times about this decision -- he doesn't remember many conversations.  I talked to Trent about the facility and told him I thought we should give it a try.  I talked about the fact that it is a little bit more like home - definitely less clinical, but offers advantages we don't have at home -- an easy-to-maneuver set-up and less busy-ness.  I did tell him that, if he really doesn't like it, we don't have to stay.  I felt badly because he really never agreed to this - I think he just resigned himself to it.

Even though he has had much confusion lately, he was surprisingly lucid this morning.  He could answer all of Dr. Illig's questions.  He knew where we were going and why.  He said to me, "So this is where I am going through the end of my life?"  Oh, how I hated to answer that question!  I answered that it did seem likely.  Then he asked, "Is that why you've been so quiet about it?"  I told him I had been quiet about it because, first of all I hated to see him upset about it; and the second reason is that I don't like to think about it because I will never be ready to say goodbye.

The emotional weight of the day has been great.  The conversations were heavy.  There was a great deal of finality in leaving the hospital.  I really have no words to describe the emotions of bringing Trent here.  Many times today I have cried out to God to strengthen me and to direct my focus and to rule my emotions.

I don't know that I've said it here, but I have told friends that this has been such a journey of trust and surrender.  Trust that God has a plan, that He will give the grace and strength that I and the kids (and the rest of the family ) need, that He is in absolute control.  Surrender of our plans, surrender to His will, and to His timing.  When I purpose to trust and surrender, then I can have His peace.  It is God's grace and peace that carry me through each day.


  1. Each post encourages more prayer. Love, Francie
    Psalm 142:1-2

  2. I knew Trent in college. We had to make the same decision for my mother in law 4 months ago and it couldn't have been better. Praying for you and your family and that you have the same wonderful hospice family that we had to help through this time.

  3. Betty and Jim HenryNovember 1, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    My heart is breaking for you and your family. We used to go to church with the Freutels back in the 80's but have since moved back to Indiana. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. Just know that many, many people are praying for you, Trent, your children and the entire family. God will give you the strength you need to do all that you have to do. Trust in Him!

  4. Praying for you and your family. Praying for just the right staff to be there to minister to all of you. Keep relying on your friends and family there to support you. God brought them to you for just this time and blessings will be received by all.

  5. Forever will I hold pour mutual love and fellowship of those college years. I have no words now. I am simply in Heaven's Throne Room with you.

  6. Praying for you and all involved. Do not worry about what others think of your decisions! You are the only one that has to give account to God for them. Most people standing in judgement have never had to make these decisions personally.

  7. Donna Erickson ParkNovember 1, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    My heart also aches for you Elizabeth, Trent, your children, Trents parents, etc. I think you are doing an amazing job working your way through this difficult and unwanted journey. I am from Long Prairie, MN. I have never met you or Trent, but my parents were great friends of Webb and Lois Fruetel and I know Carol, Butch, Laurie and I also knew Kathy. I am also actually a distant relative of Trents; his great grampa Clarence Bateman and my grampa William Bateman were brothers. Anyway, it's because of these connections that I have been closing following your blog. We have devotions every Monday morning where I work here in Long Prairie and we have been praying for all of you for several weeks now. My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6. That's the only advice I have for you and I think you're already doing that to the best of your ability. You are making the best decisions that you can in this difficult and heart-wrenching situation because God is leading you and carrying you through something you never dreamed you have to go through. God Bless you Elizabeth, Trent and family. Know that there are people all over the place that are lifting you up in prayer. May you feel the love, peace, comfort and presence of Jesus as this journey continues.

  8. you have made the right decision that is for you and your family as well as Trent. Never doubt your decision because I am sure God laid it deep on your heart as to what HE wants you to do! We are continuing to pray and I will pray also that you will feel a deep abiding peace in the decision you have made for your family which includes Trent! Becky
    Take some time and climb up into Jesus' Rocking chair and let HIM hold YOU!!!! Don't forget you are not any good to anyone if you don't take care of yourself also! You are loved and there are hundreds of people out there including his parents and siblings who want what's best for all of you! Remember:
    John 14:27
    King James Version (KJV)
    27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
    We love you!!!

  9. Elizabeth,
    You don't know me and I don't know you. I read your blog through several mutual friends we have. My sister and I just completed our journey of cancer with our dad. He passed away on Oct. 7, a day before his 69 th birthday. My sister was his main caregiver and I stepped in as often as I
    could for living 6 hrs away. It was very difficult and heartbreaking to watch this disease debilitate him both physically and mentally. How much harder it must be to travel this road with your beloved husband, being his main caregiver and mother of three. Your blogs are such a blessing! I can relate to just about everything you've said. I remember so well the feelings when making the decision to move to hospice. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Your husband is truly blessed to have a loving and godly wife by his side. 2 Cor. 12:9&10

  10. Hello Elizabeth,
    I just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you, Trent and your family. I knew Trent in college - he always had something upbeat to say. As he prepares to enter Heaven's Glory and see our Great God face to face I will pray that he has peace and grace.
    Di (Colby) O'Berry

  11. We dont know each other personally, but we have mutual friends from PCC. I have been following your story and I just want you to know I am praying for you and your family. I know this must be hard to watch the end coming and not know when. Your love for God through all this has truly been a blessing to me.