#YourStory: Tracy Crump
By Tracy Crump
Night after night, thoughts whirled through my mind like a relentless wind, scattering my prayers. Something was seriously wrong with my mother.
“Dementia,” the doctor proclaimed after doing a quick mental test.
But that didn’t explain the other odd symptoms she exhibited.
During the day, I researched and prayed for wisdom with no results. Each night I tossed and turned.
I’m a nurse. I should be able to figure this out. But no insights came. I couldn’t even offer up a coherent prayer. Every time I tried, my mind started churning on the problem again. Exhausted, I began quoting Scripture to turn my thoughts.
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams . . .
Psalm 23:1-2 NLT
Streams. Water. Maybe she has a urinary tract infection. That can have strange effects on an elderly person. And I was off again.
Meanwhile Mom continued to decline. One doctor did an MRI that was inconclusive. When asked if she was dizzy, she said, “Maybe a little, sometimes,” so he sent us to an ear specialist. Hundreds of dollars worth of tests later, the otolaryngologist diagnosed a balance disorder and prescribed special exercises. Mom faithfully did them with no results. Still her memory seeped away. She gave up reading, her lifelong passion, because she couldn’t follow a story line. Cooking and driving became impossible. She also did strange things like leaning to one side without realizing it and walking on the side of her foot. This wasn’t simple dementia.
What’s wrong, Lord? I need your help. I don’t know what to do, where to go.
Mom became increasingly confused, going to bed and getting up an hour later thinking it was morning. Or searching the house for her mother who’d been dead thirty years. A series of falls put her in the hospital and finally into a skilled nursing facility. She deteriorated to the point that she gave only one or two word answers to questions and lost the ability to walk altogether. Her memory was nil.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 NLT
We continued to visit doctors looking for answers. I continued to pray for God’s guidance. Each night was the same. I turned the problem over to God one minute and took it back the next. Surely I could find an answer, something to help her.
Then one night, I gave up. Lord, I can’t do this anymore. I’ve asked for help, but I don’t have any answers. I quit. I fell into a peaceful sleep.
A few nights later, three words came to mind: normal pressure hydrocephalus. Twenty years earlier, a friend’s father had started falling, and doctors found he had a treatable condition in which his brain did not reabsorb cerebrospinal fluid. Without surgery, the pressure buildup would have killed him. The next morning, I researched NPH and began pushing for a specialized test that would determine if Mom had it. She did.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23:6 NLT
Three days after Mom had a shunt inserted to drain the excess fluid, she began making complete sentences. Her memory improved as did her ability to walk. We brought her home where she lived for another three years, three years we would not have had her if God hadn’t given me the answer.
O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.
Psalm 40:5 NLT
About Tracy ~
Bio: Tracy Crump loves to delve into God’s Word and shares thoughts in Upper Room and other devotional magazines. Her stories have appeared in nineteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and as co-director of Write Life Workshops, she conducts workshops and webinars and recently recorded a class for Serious Writer Academy on writing for Chicken Soup. She also edits The Write Life e-newsletter, which has inspired many writers to move forward with their writing, and serves as registrar for the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference. But her most important job is Grandma to two perfect grandchildren. Visit her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Serious Writer Academy.
do you struggle with rejection?
Subscribe below to receive the 3-day devotional Removing the Sting of Rejection in your inbox for FREE. Use this devotional to build your spiritual muscles to counter the sting of rejection.
Thank you for sharing my story, Kristy. God is always faithful.
Always. Thanks for sharing, Tracy. <3
Caring for an aging parent now myself. This story gave me the hope and inspiration I needed. Thank you for sharing! God is indeed faithful!
Thank you, Valerie. You’ll never regret your devotion to caregiving. God will redeem the time. Praying for your situation.
Tracy, this is an amazing story. So glad God gave you the answer you needed to share a few more wonderful years with your mom!
Me, too, Cheryl. When a neurologist and a neurosurgeon both tell you you’re wrong but the test proves you right, you know the answer could only have come from God.
Wow this is so moving. God is so good and I am so glad you were blessed to have those extra 3 years with her. It makes me thankful for my own mom when I read this. God bless you!
Thank you, Meghan. You’re right—God is good! Enjoy your mom every moment you can.
Beautiful story, Tracy, of surrender and God-given wisdom! What joy to see His hand at work in your life and your mom’s.
Thank you, Kristi, for sharing such a beautiful testimony of how God works in and through us!
It is a beautiful testimony, isn’t it, Crystal? Thanks for stopping by.
Thank you, Crystal. God always has the answer. Now if we can just live like we know that!
Wow, Tracy, what a testimony. What a gift that you weren’t robbed of those three extra years with her…and that she was able to live them fully engaged. Beautiful testament to His presence, His healing, His love and grace. Thanks for sharing that, Tracy, and thanks for sharing Tracy with us today, Kristi. xoxo
It’s a pleasure sharing Tracy, Brenda. Thanks for visiting. <3
Thank you, Brenda. Every perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights. Her healing was certainly a gift.
Tracy, what a beautiful story, and what a gifted story-teller you are. What a precious gift God gave you: three more years with your mom. So amazing how He revealed it to you.
Thank you, Betsy. God IS amazing!
Thank you for sharing your story. I can only imagine what it was like. Thank God for His never ending love and comfort. You are an inspiration for you strength and faith.
Thank you, Lux. I’m glad God increases our faith because mine was mighty small when I was trying to figure things out on my own.
Wow. What a beautiful story. So often, God just wants us to give it to him. Our trust in his faithfulness unlocks the door to answers and provision. Thank you for sharing!
It’s so hard to give it to God and leave it there. I tend to want to take it back and fix it myself!