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Ever Had A Drive By Diagnosis?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
September 7, 2023 3:30 am

Ever Had A Drive By Diagnosis?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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September 7, 2023 3:30 am

Drive By Diagnosis

The term "Drive-By Diagnoses" accurately captures the shared experiences of countless caregivers. It's as though passersby morph into experts, leaning out the window to offer advice on caring for loved ones, irrespective of their connection or expertise. Comments like "Have you considered a new drug?" or "I know someone who swears by this" often emerge. One might even stumble upon stories of the latest extract from a miracle plant thriving solely in some guy's backyard in New Guinea.

Worse still, discussions occasionally veer into divine judgment, implying wrongdoing as the cause of affliction. "What did you do that God would do this to you?!" 

Despite many of these drive-by assessments arising from an unfortunate blend of ignorance and hubris, a few spring from well-intentioned hearts - albeit with clumsy delivery. Navigating unsolicited guidance proves a challenging path for caregivers. Fueled by desperation for relief, caregivers often teeter on the precipice of panic, and it takes little to drive them to yet another mirage in the desert of suffering.

However, caregivers gradually realize that genuine comfort doesn't sprout from the latest potion, pill, or charismatic figure waging war on television against the "demon of sickness." Peace emerges when embracing difficulties with measured acceptance while selecting the companionship of those who walk alongside with compassion and humility - rather than merely hurling suggestions as they drive by.

Scriptures remind us that even walking “…in the valley of the shadow of death," fear diminishes in God's presence. Yet, while God offers assurance, many opt for speculation and suggestions. Life remains rife with pain, suffering, solitude, and heartache – inescapable facets of the human journey. The book of Job teaches that more is going on than we can possibly understand – and hearts find strength, and circumstances become bearable when intentional companionship transcends uninvited consultations.

“Unsolicited advice is the junk mail of life.” – Bernard Williams



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What do you say to a caregiver?

How do you help a caregiver? I was talking to this billing agent at the doctor's office and said, how are you feeling? And she said, oh great It's Friday. And before I could catch myself, I said Friday means nothing to me. Every day is Monday. And I felt kind of ashamed of that and I'm sorry for that, but I realized that whole principle of every day is Monday. What that means for us as caregivers, we know that this is going to be a challenging day. And I wrote these one-minute chapters.

You literally could read them in one minute. And I'm really proud of this book. It's called A Minute for Caregivers, when every day feels like Monday. It's filled with bedrock principles that we as caregivers can lean on, that we can depend upon to get us to safety, where we can catch our breath, take a knee if we have to, and reorient our thinking and the weight that we carry on our shoulders. If you don't know what to say to a caregiver, don't worry about it.

I do. Give them this book. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. We're so glad that you're with us. Want to give a big shout out to American Family Radio for leading the charge with this program to go to the isolation that caregivers feel. As one of the most crippling things that we as caregivers struggle with is isolation. And you could be isolated in a crowded room.

You could be isolated on a crowded pew. Isolation is not just physical. Disease and affliction and illnesses of all types tend to separate us. We saw that globally with COVID.

But caregivers have been dealing with this for a very, very long time. And this program goes into that isolation. But there's a greater isolation. That's our spiritual isolation. As bad as our physical and emotional isolation is, our spiritual isolation is more severe. And God made a way. And the gospel is, is that he penetrated into our hopeless estate.

Our isolated estate. And that's what the name Immanuel means. God with us.

It means he's going to be with us. He came to dwell among us. And he calls us by name and we hear his voice and we know him. And we are understood by God.

That's the gospel. And everything we talk about on this program is a subset of that. If you're not a family caregiver, you're going to get something out of this program.

But this program is not designed for you. It's designed for those who are putting themselves between a vulnerable loved one with chronic impairments and even worse, disaster. And I'm here to go to that person who feels so cut off and so lonely and so discouraged and let them know, whoa, first off, you are seen, you are heard, you are understood. Far more than than me seeing it, God sees it. And this is where we start. Okay? I want to pivot real quick. There was a term that Rush Limbaugh used many years ago. He coined this phrase, drive-by journalist.

He used to mock the media in this country and call them drive-by journalists. They would just drive by something, lean out the window and write a commentary about it or opine about it, but not bother to get out and investigate. They just kind of, oh, okay, now I understand.

I just drove by, now I understand it. And I can offer my brilliance to that particular issue without ever, you know, bothering to do any type of investigatory work. I borrowed that phrase and I modified it to a phenomenon that we as caregivers receive in that same vein. I call it a drive-by diagnosis. And this is to describe people that just intersect with us and they spout off quick judgments and half-baked medical advice and regardless of whether they know what's going on or not, or if they have any expertise or not, you know, and you'll hear things like, well, have you tried this particular drug or do you know about this? Or they'll talk about this, somebody I know who's taken this or this doctor, whatever, they swear by this and you'll hear that a lot. Or you'll hear about the latest multi-level marketing hawks who have the latest miracle extract.

And this one is from a berry that grows in some guy's backyard in New Guinea, you know, that kind of thing. But it's just there's no end to this. Then some of these people will delve into the spiritual. Well, what did you do that God would do this to you?

That this suffering, this affliction that you have is is resulting from some hidden transgression and they want to somehow speak on behalf of the Almighty. You ever spending time in the book of Job? Because that's what the book of Job addresses. These guys sitting around trying to opine and speculate on why Job had to suffer the way he did. None of them ever got it right. They had no clue about what was going on in the heavenlies. And the closest one that got it was the young man who they kind of derided because he was young.

I think his name was Elihu. But at the end when God reveals himself to Job through the whirlwind he commands those other guys to have to make an offering and get Job to pray for them lest he visit this stuff on them. He was pretty upset with those guys for their blathering on about stuff that they had no knowledge of what was going on. And yet we get these drive-by assessments in our life of people who want to somehow make sense out of what they look at in our lives as those of us who care for people with afflictions when they don't get better. This is the 40th year since Gracie's car wreck and she's facing her 86th surgery next week. And people look at this well, you know, why would God allow this? Or they want to speculate on it to us. And we've had many people over the years that have tried to reason out why God did this to Gracie. Now they don't do as much anymore because number one, I'm a second-degree black belt. No, I'm just kidding.

Well, I am a second-degree black belt, but no, I've learned how to deal with those kinds of people a little bit better than I used to. But see we tend to be desperate when we're going through. There's a phase that we go through as caregivers. If you're any kind of long-term caregiver at all, you're gonna go through that phase where you're just clinging to anything, grasping at any straw. People will say, oh you need to try this specialist. You need to go see this doctor. You need to go to this place. You need to try this particular elixir. Or you need to go see this faith healer.

And man, they'll point you all over the place. And if you listen to them, you'll be chasing every mirage out there in the desert of suffering. That's no way to live. And it takes a while, but eventually the narrative changes for us as caregivers. We we stop trying to just survive it. And hopefully, okay, this is it. Okay, we just got to get through this, then we can get on with our life. Well, this is our life. Forty years of this, this is our life. And we're not chasing the shoulds and the must.

And we're not building relationships with people that just want to drive by and hurl things at us. Well, you need to try this. Or you need to pray against this particular demon of sickness.

Or you go see this guy on television and place your hand behind the television and feel the power or whatever. I've heard it all. Done it all. You know? Freely admit it. Don't have any, without any embarrassment.

Because Gracie and I have been in those places of such desperation that we'll clean anything. But we miss the point where we just cling to God. And trust Him in this. I don't want to continue to live teetering on the edge of panic.

You ever feel like you're sitting in a chair and it kind of, you're leaning back in the chair and it almost falls and you catch yourself? You know, that's the way I feel all the time. You know, and that's no, that's no way to live. Scripture is very clear on this.

This is not how we should live. And we will have things in this world that are very, very, very painful. Now, every time we have something painful, do we just freak out? And do our friends come along and speak, you know, well, why did you hit your thumb with the hammer?

You know, what sin in your life did you do that would cause you to stub your toe? You see how ridiculous that becomes when you really play it out for what it is? It's not that we're fatalistic. It's just that we understand this is life.

And God in His wisdom has chosen to allow Gracie and I to live this way. Now, what are we going to do? Are we going to listen to all the drive-by diagnoses that come our way?

Are we going to sit there and fret and fume? Or do we trust Him? To recognize that the One who came to us, who penetrated into our isolation, whose name is Emmanuel, that He's with us in this, is going to sustain us through it and ensure that we arrive in glory with Him.

Now, I rarely speak for Gracie, but I will speak for Gracie on this one. This is what we both believe. That as my mother loves to quote that scripture, the Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty. He shall rejoice over thee with singing. And that is hope for the caregiver.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-07 05:03:36 / 2023-09-07 05:07:58 / 4

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