“Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’
“So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord.”
Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
David said to the young man who brought him the report, “Where are you from?”
“I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite,” he answered.
David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?”
Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’”
- 2 Samuel 1:9-16
Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest. They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away.
They had gone into the house while he was lying on the bed in his bedroom. After they stabbed and killed him, they cut off his head. Taking it with them, they traveled all night by way of the Arabah. They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”
David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”
So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.
- 2 Samuel 4:5-12
Here, with two stories about what people thought David might consider good news, they lost their lives. The first lied about killing Saul, but he paid dearly for his falsehood. As David said, he made himself guilty by saying he killed the Lord’s anointed.
Our “good news” is not nearly that good or bloody. We did not kill anyone. No one died.
My wife went to her neurologist the other day. He said in the past couple of office visits that her memory struggles had made remarkable improvements. Sure, she had times when her head would get fuzzy, but he said that she had progressed much better than he would expect from the dementia medication that he had prescribed. He is now back to his original idea that she had a bit of depression which was exacerbated by sleep deprivation. She was tested for sleep apnea, and it was determined that she does not have that, but especially now with a smart watch that tracks her sleep each night, he knows that she is not getting adequate sleep.
He proposed an experiment instead of releasing her with a clean bill of health. She was to go three weeks without taking the medicine. If at any point her memory was worse or she felt that her head was in a fog, she was to restart the medication immediately. If she felt better after the three weeks, absolutely do not take the medicine again. Someone who does not have dementia does not need to take dementia medication. He made an appointment for six months, but he said that he hoped she is feeling so good that we cancel the appointment.
On the surface, that is great news, not simply good news. But what the doctor hinted at was scary. Dementia patients do not just simply get better like my wife has done. With medication, they can slow down the descent, but most get worse, even with the medicine. So, if the doctor is now wrong and we notice her getting markedly worse in only three weeks, that amount of being worse could be permanent.
It all relies on my wife telling me the mistakes that she makes, for I may not notice many of them. I am downstairs writing a lot. She has already made three mistakes the first day, but in forgetting how to set up a video chat with her endangered patient nurse (COPD, open-heart survivor, diabetic, and kidney failure – thus on a special list), she eventually remembered – only after the nurse called on a normal cellphone call to ask why she had not used the link for the video chat, something she had done many times.
But I assured her of her test that she had passed the day before – the test the doctor gave her. She hesitated, but she said what month it was. She was asked what day of the week and she told the doctor that she had just gone to dialysis, so that narrowed it down to three days. She hesitated for a few painful seconds and then said it was Thursday. (This post was written a week ago and I might have updates by the time it is uploaded.) The doctor was very pleased. He then asked what day of the month it was. She said that she could not remember, but before he started to write anything down, she said that the next day was a grandchild’s birthday and she subtracted one from that and got the day right.
I think what impressed the doctor was not her memory, but how she spoke her mental process out loud to figure out answers that should have been automatic responses.
As I said, this is being written as the three-week test begins and we will be over a week into the test period by the time anyone reads this. If I forget to give an update, make a comment.
But she wanted desperately to not take that one pill. It represented too much that was scary. Now not taking it is scary. What if she gets worse, and that trip goes downward on a road that cannot be recovered?
I am proud of her progress and maybe prayer has been more of the answer than a little pill. So, I am asking for even more prayers.
It is sometimes very scary when you get good news. When we got home from the doctor, my wife froze in the middle of the kitchen and said, “I’m scared.” I put my arms around her and told her I was with her, and we would get through this together. She added, “And God is with us, too.”
And as of four days into the experiment, she is doing fine, even remembering things that I forgot. But she is still scared, thinking that she is falling apart by simply going to the store, with me driving, without her wallet. I explained that I have been paying for months, remembering a wallet is a new behavior, not forgetting an old one. I think she is getting better after quitting the medicine. Thank all who have been praying.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.