31stJanuary

Crabby Patties

DH qualifies.  He’s one cranky, crabby ass these days.  I know he feels miserable but he is NOT a good patient. Yesterday, I was worried because he spent all day in bed.  The day before that was an all day sleep and the day before that.  This morning, he’s up and mean as a snake.  I finally told him to go back to bed.

He wants to vent and I understand that.  But he also needs to understand that this is not easy for me either. Since DH has been sick, he’s letting a friend use his car so we only have my car.  He woke up this morning and was griping about Steven having jury duty.  I don’t know why it was a problem this morning.  I’ve been dropping DH off for radiation, running Steven downtown for jury duty and getting back to pick up DH as soon as he finishes radiation.  Steven was supposed to be at jury duty at 9:30 this morning instead of 9:00. DH starts complaining that he’s going to finish radiation and have to wait and he doesn’t feel good.  Steven suggested I go ahead and drop him off at the regular time but DH wanted to argue about it for some reason. He said that wasn’t necessary and yet he continued to complain about the situation.  So I suggested DH go ahead and go to radiation (which is a ten minute drive from home and only takes 10 minutes) and I would take Steven to jury duty when he got back.  Steven might have been 5 or 10 minutes late but he said that wasn’t a problem since he’s just sitting in the jury pool.  DH went to radiation and then called me and said he was heading home and to have Steven come out to the car when he got there and he’d run him downtown. Although it wasn’t a problem for me to take Steven and I was dressed and ready to go, he insisted on taking him.  After he returned, he griped about how bad he feels and how hard it was on him to take Steven all the way downtown.

In other words, he’s looking for things to argue about.

The hand and foot syndrome has spread to his face and it looks like he has a sunburn.  He was applying the lotion to his face and wanted me to do it.  So I started applying it and then he got all upset because I got close to his mouth and he said it tasted bad.  I never even got near his lips and yet he insisted that he could taste it.

Next, it was on to complaining about Steven not putting the toaster away or hanging up his towel and a ten minute search and rant about an insurance card that he said I’d misplaced.  It turned up in his coat pocket.

And on and on and on…until he said, “I might as well just go back to bed!” and I said, “Please! I agree.  Go back to bed.  You’re driving me crazy!”

They’ve cancelled DH’s last chemo treatment which would have been tomorrow since he’s having problems with the hand and foot syndrome.  I guess he’s at about the worst point in this series and I hope he starts feeling better soon.  Hopefully, the effects of the chemo will begin to abate and he’ll get his appetite back and his hands and feet will get better.

Now the house is quiet and I can get some cleaning done.

30thJanuary

Living in Limbo

Sometimes I’m struck by the date.  Can’t believe summer is over, can’t believe it’s Thanksgiving.  Wow, is it really Christmas day?  It seems like I’ve been in a daze since Mom got sick last July.  Dealing with her slow deterioration and then Donnie’s heart bypass surgery followed immediately by his cancer.

Then my brother developed heart problems and I went to stay with him and care for his girlfriend, Kim.

And then Mom passed away.

I just seem to float through the days and hours and it feels like I’m stuck in limbo.  Losing track of the movement of the days and weeks and months.  Now it’s the end of January.  Feels so strange.  I wonder if things will ever get back to normal?

A friend posted on Facebook yesterday:

“have you and your family ever had one of those days…..Sick yesterday…Not feeling great this morning. Went in played politics…don’t like politics….stayed late counting computers (long story) went to grandson’s game…it was not a happy game…daughter and I discussed politics….talked to both sons who had problems…then came home to dark house. Neighbors lights were on…Don was in the house in the dark and mad at me because he had been waiting since 4. At 4 I just leaving Valley for Stuart. Call REMC…Girl argued with me and told me to check our fuse box. That thing has been replaced to to last outage. Explained Transformer outside house had a lose wire. This has happened several times…Squirrels get in transformer and get electrocuted and our electricity goes off. The come out with a long pole, knock off squirrel and reset transform. Now don wants me to call REMC and tell the girl it was what he said and not what she thought. Bed sounds good about now.  What a sucky day!  Can’t get much worse than this”

I had to stop myself from commenting about how much worse it could get.

DH is in bed.  He’s there all the time.  Chemo has made him sick as a dog.  He developed something called “Hand and Foot Syndrome” from the chemo where it looks like his hands and feet have been burned.  The skin is peeling off and he has sores and blisters all over them.  His heels are bleeding and he can barely walk.  They’ve cancelled his chemo for this Friday and we’ve been using Neosporin, ice packs, and some cream the doctor recommended called “Utterly Smooth”.  Really good stuff.   I can’t believe how much better his hands and feet are this morning.  So glad he’s getting some relief.  I keep trying to get him to eat something but he says everything tastes metallic and makes him sick.  So I eat it.  All I do is eat.  And I don’t even think about it.  Just mindlessly cram food into my mouth.  Two more weeks of radiation and no more chemo for a while.  I keep encouraging him and telling him about how much fun we’re going to have on the upcoming cruise in 22 days.  I hope he’s able to enjoy it.

I told my brother I was staying home this week.  He’s still in atrial fibrillation and I can’t believe his heart doctor hasn’t done anything about it.  Scares me to death.  I’d like to be there to help him with Kim but I need to be here for Donnie.  Gotta be where I can do the most good.  Mike has an appointment with his heart doctor tomorrow and I hope they make some kind of decisions.  It’s been a month since he started meds and he’s not getting any better.

Still, I can’t stay in Limbo forever.  I need to clean house today.  Try to find some semblance of normality in all this.  Think I’ll dedicate my energies to laundry and house cleaning.  My annual weekend with the girls starts this Friday and my wonderful Sistahs won’t let me back out.  We’ve rented three cabins at General Butler State Park.  Plan on going to a casino and having the Crab Leg Buffet Friday night, Saturday will be shopping and visiting a couple of wineries and then a Master Chef contest Saturday night where we’ll drink a bit too much and come up with “God Knows What” for dinner after we’re given our mystery ingredients.  It’ll be so good to spend time with my friends

27thJanuary

One Day at a Time

That’s how I’m doing it.  Dealing with things bit by bit and trying not to dwell on them too much.

Mom passed away last Tuesday around noon.  Mike and I were with her when she took her last breath.  Little sister said she was getting pretty bad and I told her Mike and I would be over in a few minutes.  When we arrived, her breathing was very gurlgy and little sister said she probably wouldn’t make it until the next day. I painted Mom’s nails.  She always liked for me to do that and it made me feel like I was doing something she appreciated.  Painted them a light pastel pink like she liked.  It was obvious that she knew Mike and I were there.  She opened her hands and rested them in my hand as I painted her nails. Her favorite CD was playing, Iz Kamakawiwo’ole’s What a Wonderful World,  Little sister took her to Hawaii a few years ago and she fell in love with all things Hawaiian.

Little sister wanted to leave and pick up a Christian music CD that Mom liked and we told her we would stay with Mom until she got back. Donna hadn’t been gone more than five minutes when Mom’s breathing quieted down.  She stopped that horrible gurgling sound and seemed to breath very easy and shallow. And Mike and I both knew.  I don’t know how but we did.  I looked at Mike and saw a reflection of my own face. Tears silently falling from his eyes onto his chest.  We knew that she wouldn’t be struggling to breathe anymore.  He stroked her forehead and held her left hand and I whispered to her and held her right.  I told her to let it go.  Told her to just rest and let us take it from here.  And she did.  She just stopped breathing. So gently and peacefully.  She just took a gentle little breath, exhaled softly and didn’t take another.  Mike and I just stood there, silently crying and holding her hands and he finally said, “She’s gone, Patty.”  And he didn’t need to tell me.  Even so, neither of us wanted to let go.  We just held her hands and stroked her hair and let the tears fall.  Finally, Mike removed the breathing tubes from her nose and turned off the machine. He picked up her Bible and we placed her hands on top of it and left the room to call Donna and my brother, David.

I felt bad that Donna had taken such good care of her; made so many sacrifices and cared for her so tenderly and Mom slipped away just five minutes after she left.  But maybe that’s the way Mom wanted it.  I don’t know.  At any rate, Donna was okay with it.  She’d already said her goodbyes.  I think she may have wanted to give Mike and I some time alone with Mom.

I went to Mom’s house that evening.  Went to find clothes for her to be buried in.  I was shocked to find all her clothes were gone.  They were there when I was caring for her last summer.  I don’t know what happened to them.  There were only about eight hangers in her closet and only one nice outfit.  A beautiful rose pant suit with a white silk blouse.  The collar was lace and the buttons were pearls.  It was exactly what Mom would have chosen.  I suppose she got rid of all her clothes at one point or another and I believe she saved that outfit for her funeral.  I went to her jewelry box to find a brooch and earrings because Mom always wore a brooch but, again, there wasn’t anything there.  Just a pair of pearl earrings and a necklace I bought her at least 25 years ago.  It was a silver necklace with stick figure charms.  One for each of her children.  Mike, Me, David, Donna, and Dennis.  Each silver charm held our birthstones.  Mom was really hard to please.  She’d act like she liked what we gave her but then it would disappear.  She’d give it away or donate it.  We learned not to ask what happened to the gifts we gave her.

It hit me like a sledgehammer to see that necklace in her jewelry box.  I held that silly thing and just broke down.  I didn’t even know she still had it.  But there it was.  The only surviving piece of jewelry in the box.

My little brother came in to find me sitting on the floor crying like a baby over that old necklace.  I told him I couldn’t figure out why it was there. Did she want to be buried in it or did she leave it for us?  He said he thought it would be appropriate for her to  wear it in the casket but we’d remove it before she was buried and I could have it to remember her.

I never wanted anything of my mother’s.  She never kept anything.  I could look around her house and nothing held any significance for me.  She never held on to things from the past but was always getting rid of old stuff and buying new.  At some point, all her stuff became meaningless to me because it was like walking into Rooms to Go.  It all looked nice but it didn’t hold any memories.  I still don’t know why she held on to that necklace but it will come back to me and I’ll treasure it.

The funeral was yesterday.  Mom and Dad must have done something right because my brothers and sister and I were all there for each other.  We gave each other strength and stood together the way my parents would have wanted.  We’ve always been there for each other and I guess we always will.  When one would cry, the rest of us would be there to comfort.

Friends came from everywhere.  I was surprised to see that the friends who came were for my siblings and I.  Mom was the last of her family and there’s no one left of my father’s family.  It’s just us kids, our children and a couple of scattered cousins.  Mom could be very critical of others and she didn’t have a lot of close friends but there were plenty of visitors and friends in attendance at her funeral. Donna and I had worried that there would only be a couple of people at the visitation and funeral home.  We were so grateful for the steady stream of friends who showed up to support us.  I guess funerals really are for the living.

I learned how blessed I am to have so many wonderful friends.  They sheltered me like a swaddled baby.  I told them everyone was coming to my house after the funeral and they set to work.  Surrounded me in my grief and wouldn’t take no for an answer when it came to helping out.  Pam went in my house while I was at the funeral and set up two crock pots of soup she made for visitors after the funeral.  Elsie brought enough fruit to feed an army.  Jana bought a deli tray and others brought desserts, drinks, potato salad, chips, lasagna, a ham, and enough food to feed an army.  One of my son’s friends, raised in a series of foster homes, who has always thought of us as his parents came every day to make himself available to run errands, clean house, and do anything he could to be helpful.  I told him I needed to go get some shoes and get my nails done and then decided that I just didn’t have the energy.  He made me get ready, drove me to the salon and waited until I was finished so he could take me home.  He stayed at the house to make sure DH was okay and drove Andrew and Steven to the funeral home.

There were students.  Kids I hadn’t seen in years.  And yet they came.  Not because they knew my mother but because they knew me.  There were friends that I’d slighted and neglected.  They were there for me. And I felt so blessed.

After the funeral, people filed past the coffin and I was so touched.  It seemed like every other person came to give me a hug.  I hadn’t realized how many of Mom’s visitors were my friends and acquaintances.  I’d been worried.  Mom hasn’t lived in Louisville for 35 years.  My brothers and sister don’t live here.  My sister and I were hoping someone would turn out and it did my heart so much good to see the outpouring of love and support that was generated.

It’s taken me most of the day to write this.  I hadn’t really had time to grieve.  I’ve been surrounded by so much love and support that I’ve been cocooned in a blanket of love.  Writing this post has been the first time that I’ve been able to gather my thoughts and actually have a good long cry.  I went outside a few minutes ago and sat in the rain and thought about my mother.  I hope I made her proud.   I think I did.  She didn’t find a lot of happiness in this life.  Most of what she had came from her children.  I think she lived vicariously through us. Sometimes, we resented it.  We’d get angry that she would steal our thunder and resentful that she’d make herself out to be such a martyr and refuse to accept any real Joy or Happiness.  I forgave all that last summer and just decided to accept her for who she is and love her without reservation in what time she had left.  And I did.  I may have gotten a little gruff with her when she decided to give up but I came to realize that the choice was hers and I’d have to accept it.

I hope she’s happy now.  I hope she can find all that Joy and Happiness that she denied herself on this earth. I hope she’s back on that farm where she grew up.  Sitting beside the spring drinking crystal clear water.

Goodbye, Mama.  I love you.

This is a really quick and easy recipe for cuts of pork loin.  I originally found it in Cooking Light 87 cookbook so you can see that it’s been a family favorite for more than 25 years.

1 (1 1/4 pound) pork tenderloin, cut into 8 slices
1 teaspoon margarine
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Chablis or other dry white wine
1/2 tsp. beef flavored bouillon granules
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tablespoon water

Trim excess fat from pork.  Coat a large skillet with cooking spray, add margarine.  Place over medium heat until margarine melts.  Add pork, and cook 5 to 6 minutes, turning to brown evenly.  Remove pork from skillet.

Add 1/2 cup water, wine, bouillon granules, fennel seeds and pepper to skillet.  Bring to a boil and add pork. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes until pork is tender.

Transfer pork to a serving platter: keep warm.  Dissolve cornstarch in 1 Tablespoon water.  Add to pan juices, stirring to blend.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened.  Pour over pork and serve.

Yield; 6 servings.  134 calories per serving.

14thJanuary

And here I sit

I dropped my brother off for his cardiac catherization at 6:00 a.m. this morning.  Stayed with him until they got ready to take him back to a prep room and then left.  He was worried about Kim being alone and I don’t blame him.  I never realized how much he does for her until I decided to stay with her while he does whatever he needs to do.  He got her up and I helped her dress and moved her into the living room and turned on the TV.  She’s deaf but she uses closed captioning and loves to watch “I Love Lucy” and “2 1/2 Men”.

I got back at 7:15 and fixed breakfast and coffee for Kim.  Mike didn’t want her to eat or drink before we left because there wouldn’t be anyone here to take her to the bathroom.  Little sister is going to get Mom settled and leave her son in charge while she goes to the hospital around nine.  She’ll stay until noon when Kim’s visiting “aide” (not sure what she really is) comes to be with her from noon to 4:00 and I’ll tag team with Donna so she can go home and take care of Mom for a while.

If Mike isn’t out of surgery or settled in a room by 4:00, I’ll come back here to take care of Kim and little sister will take the next hospital shift.

Whew!  All these sick people!  The doctor said if he gets in there and needs to do a stent or a minor procedure, he’ll go ahead and do it.  If Mike needs something major, they’ll send him to Louisville in an ambulance and do it there.

I honestly don’t know how he does it.  I’ve only been here a week and a half and I’m bored out of my mind.  I guess it’s different if it’s your house and you have things to do but the highlight of the day, for me, is walking the dog.  Kim is able to speak, a little, but not enough to really carry on a conversation.  The house is immaculate, so there’s no cleaning to be done.  It’s 27 degrees, way too cold to go outside, and I wouldn’t want to leave Kim alone anyway.  Kim’s only entertainment is TV so I don’t want to interfere with her watching it but I just don’t get into “I Love Lucy.”  So I:

  • take Kim to the bathroom
  • plan dinner
  • play on the computer
  • give Kim her meds and meals
  • and….
  • and nothing

Come on, big brother!  Get well soon.  I’m homesick.

10:30 Update - Just got a call from Mike.  They still haven’t taken him back but he said he’s next in line.  I hope so, he’s already been there for almost five hours.  Let’s move it, guys!  I know hospitals and surgical suites are not exactly on a rigid schedule but this is ridiculous.  I thought he was calling to tell me the results.

13thJanuary

Traveling Nurse

I’m back at my brother’s house.  Been here for a week now.  I went home yesterday afternoon and spent the night.  Felt good to be back home and get to sleep in my own bed with DH.  Got home around 4:00 and then it was up and on the road at 10:00 this morning so I could be back in time for Mike to take Kim to lunch.  Sunday lunch is one of her few treats and I didn’t want to be late.

Mike is scheduled for a cardiac catheterization tomorrow morning.  I hope they go ahead and do whatever they need to do while he’s there.  He really can’t take care of Kim right now and I can’t stay here forever.  DH has been very understanding but he’s not feeling too great either and I need to be with him.  The chemo and radiation are catching up with him and his stomach is all out of whack.

I guess you could say I’m certified in Kim Care now.  She needs so much help.  It’s sad to see this beautiful, vivacious woman live her life in a recliner and need assistance for the simplest things.  I guess we forget sometimes, how lucky we are.  She can’t bend her left knee so she lets me know when she needs to go to the bathroom and she lowers her recliner.  I go over, bend down and bend her knee and place her left foot firmly on the floor and either hold it in place or stand on it to keep it anchored.  She gives several heaves and, after three or four false starts, manages to pull herself out of the chair.  She either swivels into her wheelchair or she grabs her walker and begins to walk with her left leg stiff and unyielding.  Her foot is beginning to turn outward and it makes it difficult for her to walk.  Still, she makes her way to the bathroom, grabs the support bar and manages to pull down her pants and sit on the pot.  She knocks on the wall when she’s finished and I go in and clean her up, pull up her pants for her and she drags herself back to the recliner.  She has to back up to it and then I bend down and bend her knee for her so she can sit down.  She reclines the chair and I place a special pad under her knee that forces her left leg to turn inward in an effort to correct the alignment of her foot and leg.

Every woman should have a husband like my brother.  I’m absolutely in awe of him.  Retired military and he keeps this house spotless.  Cares for Kim including giving her a shower every other day, washing her hair and blowing it dry for her.  He’s kind of proud of his new-found talent for hair styling.  He applies her facial moisturizer for her, shaves her legs and underarms and dresses her.  I asked him if it wouldn’t be a lot easier to let her wear pajamas all the time if they’re not leaving the house and he said it’s important to Kim to look her best.  Her appearance was always important to her and he wants her to have as much dignity as possible.  He’s really stressing over her weight.  Not that it bothers him so much but more that it’s humiliating for her.

I don’t know what the answer is.  He fixes nutritious, healthy meals and Kim makes pretty good choices when they go out to eat but she continues to put on weight.  She gets no exercise to speak of although Mike takes her through her therapy every day.  She’s pretty much confined to the recliner or the bed.  I brought my heart rate monitor and we’re going to put it on her and see how many calories she burns over the next 24 hours.  I told Mike she may be able to increase her metabolism simply by moving her right arm in rapid circles or something.  Mike had to cut the tags out of the clothes he bought her last month because he said she’d be devastated to know that she’s wearing 2X and 3X now.

As for me…I weighed myself this morning and found that I’ve lost four pounds this week because there’s nothing to snack on around here!  Cereal and soy milk for breakfast (or yogurt), lunch is the big meal of the day and it’s usually protein and vegetables and then dinner is a salad or soup.  The only thing even remotely “snacky” around here is Kellogg’s Rice Krispy Treats at 70 calories each.  Kim is allowed one per day.  The closest store is about five miles away.  I’m walking the dog every day since Mike can’t walk 20 feet without gasping for breath, pushing Kim’s wheelchair up and down ramps and doing all the lifting and strenuous stuff that needs to be done.

Next time I gripe, please remind me….  I truly am blessed.

9thJanuary

Love my Girls!

Met my girlfriends for dinner last night.  It was wonderful.  I’m lucky to have friends that go back twenty years. We try to meet for dinner monthly but sometimes we all get caught up in our day to day lives and we miss a month or two.  Elsie chose the restaurant this month and, although it really wasn’t my kind of place (fried chicken livers, meatloaf, salmon patties, fried chicken, fried pork chops, country-fried steak), the conversation was great, the waiter was fun and the laughter and camaraderie was the best.  Jana brought me gag gifts.   Emergen-C Immune + System Support tablets, B-Complex High Potency Vitamins for immune system health, Ricola Honey Lemon Couth drops to “fight colds naturally”.  No one understands what you’re going through like your girlfriends.

I almost missed dinner.  My brother is sick and I’ve been staying with him.  Thinks he’s Superman.  Retired military, runs everyday, does a kazillion push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups.  Lifts weights.  He started feeling bad a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t seem to shake it.  Got short of breath, didn’t have any energy. Gained 13 pounds in two weeks.  He took his girlfriend Kim out for lunch last Friday and, while helping her in the van, he almost passed out.  He went to the emergency room and they decided he had a leaking heart valve and was retaining a lot of fluid.  They wanted to admit him and do some more tests but he checked himself out of the hospital because there wasn’t anyone to take care of Kim.  Here’s a picture of Mike and Kim taken just four years ago.

Kim had a stroke about three years ago and it left her severely handicapped.  She’s deaf, left side is completely paralyzed, speech is garbled and she’s gone from 103 pounds before her stroke to 250 pounds. Mike is totally committed to her.  Quit his job to take care of her, replaced all the doors in his condo to accommodate her wheelchair, sleeps on the couch and had a hospital bed moved into the bedroom.  Hubby and I went down to see how he was doing last Friday, (a 60 mile drive), stayed a couple of hours, came home, packed my bags, and went back.  I can’t believe how sick he is.  He can’t walk more than a few feet before he starts coughing and gasping for breath.  Can’t exert himself at all and he’s trying to lift and pull Kim.  We feel pretty certain that he’s going to need surgery so I’ve been trying to learn to care for Kim so he can feel confident that she’s in good hands.  Spent the last five days learning how to communicate with her (mostly texting) and I’m learning how to understand her speech a little bit better. Not too good with one-handed sign language but I’ve learned a few things.  Learned how to bend her knee and hold her left foot in place while she uses her cane to get herself out of the recliner and seated in the wheelchair.  Learned how to get her on the toilet and clean her up afterwards.  Learned how to dress her, put on her shoes, and get her in the van.  If Mike has to have surgery or go in the hospital for a few days, we’ve got it covered.

Mike didn’t make any friends when he checked himself out of the hospital.  They wanted to keep him but gave him some meds to reduce the fluid he was retaining and told him to come back on Thursday for an angiogram.  He called them on Monday and told the doctor that he had someone to take care of Kim and could do whatever they needed to do but they seemed totally unconcerned and told him to stay on the meds until Thursday and then come to the office where they’d determine whether or not they needed to do any tests.  I think part of the problem is that Mike doesn’t have a doctor.  He says doctors are for sick people and he’s never sick.  So this doctor that saw him last Friday doesn’t understand that this is NOT like my brother.  He can’t do anything without getting out of breath, can’t bend over without feeling like he’s going to pass out and isn’t getting rid of fluid like the doctor said he would so the meds aren’t working.

Mike knew I had dinner with my peeps last night and insisted that I take a break and go home overnight but I’m heading back today.  Don’t know what would happen if he passed out or had a problem at home.  Kim certainly wouldn’t be able to do anything to help.  So, I’m packing whatever I might need for a couple of weeks and heading back in a couple of hours.  Guess we’ll know better after he sees the doctor tomorrow.

In the meantime, with Mom’s health issues, Donnie’s cancer and heart issues, and Mike’s leaky heart valve, I’m taking my vitamins, Emergen-C, B-Complex and taking all the advice my girls have to give.

4thJanuary

Six Month Meltdown

cough..cough…hack…cough…what the Hell did I do?  I set the oven to clean, went to take a shower and, when I came out, the house is full of smoke.  I put two broiler racks in to clean but I’m wondering if there was something in the oven.  No, there couldn’t have been.  The broiler racks took up the entire space and I would have seen something.  Where did all this smoke come from?  cough…cough…I turned off the oven and opened a bunch of windows even though it’s 34 degrees outside.  Guess I’ll sit her and post while I choke and wait until I can unlock the oven.

I feel like I just finished a six month meltdown/binge/out-of-body experience.  I’m getting used to all the health problems going on with the family.  It’s just been one thing after another. I’ve felt better the last few days.  Starting to come around a little bit.  Donnie has a full day of radiation therapy and chemo today so  I have the place to myself.  I plan on doing some cleaning and trying to work out a little bit.

I weighed myself the other day and I’ve weighed daily for three days in a row.  Shocking. I’m up to 220 pounds.  Wish I could take it off as easily as it goes on.  A lot of the eating was just my way of coping, I guess.  I’d just sit on the computer playing stupid games and mindlessly munching.  I think what made me stop and look around was friends that I haven’t seen for a long time.  With things going on with Donnie, a lot of our friends have come by and I’ve been embarrassed about how I look.  Wondering how I let this happen.  I made an appointment with my GP and told him that I think I’ve hit the point of total incompetency with my weight.  The more I weigh, the worse I feel and the more my ankles hurt.  I’m at the point where I almost can’t exercise.  I told him I wanted something to give me an edge.  Asked him to prescribe phentermine and he shot that idea down.  Told me he did not want me taking it and suggested, instead, that I might want to consider lap band surgery.  He said he never would have recommended it until the last couple of years but he feels like they’ve come a long way with it and I might want to think about it.

And I did…think about it.  But I don’t think I want to go that route.  Not real comfortable with the idea of surgery to correct something I should be able to do on my own.  So I’m back in the race.  I plan on continuing with my old workout tape.  Adding a few minutes each day.  I work best by challenging myself, keeping track of calories and blogging.  So, that’s the plan.

Crap!  Finally got the oven open and found that one of the boys left two slices of pizza in there.  What is it with these guys?  They seem to think that any appliance with a door is a food storage unit.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found food in the microwave and oven.  Instead of wrapping it and putting it in the refrigerator, they just shove it in the oven or the microwave.  And I slid the broiling pan right over the top of it and didn’t even see it.

At any rate…I’m going to turn on my workout tape and do it until I’m ready to die then I’m going to walk around the block.

later…

3rdJanuary

Hanging in there

It’s been almost a month since we found out Donnie has lung cancer.  He has radiation therapy every day and chemo every Friday. It’s scary.  I keep wanting him to eat right and exercise and he doesn’t.  I mean, he never did so I don’t know why he’d start now.  Maybe I want it because he seems weak to me.  I know the treatment is going to weaken him and it scares me that he’s so tired all the time.  He sleeps at least 14 hours a day.  Complains that he can’t sleep at night and I feel like saying, “What are you talking about?  You went to bed at 7:00 and slept until 3:00.  That is a full night’s sleep.  Then you went back to bed at 5:00 and slept until 8:00, went to radiation therapy and came home and slept from 1:00 to 4:00.  That’s 14 hours.  What are you talking about???”

I find it difficult to know how to behave.  I want to treasure every minute we have but then I get aggravated about the same old things.  He fixes his coffee in the morning and leaves sweet-n-low packets all over the counter. Leaves the milk on the counter.  Sloshes coffee on the counter and I tell him to clean up his mess.  Then I realize there will probably come a day when I yearn to see sweet-n-low packets all over the counter.

My friends and family have been very supportive.  Of course, there’s not much they can do but they’re there anyway.  Calling all the time and inviting me out.  One friend smoked a turkey and brought it over on Christmas and another smoked a pork loin and brought it over a few days before Christmas.  Haven’t had to do much cooking lately.

Lot’s of contact through Facebook.  My brother developed heart problems and I just almost feel like our family is being tested. Mike is a health nut.  Never smoked, doesn’t drink, worked out daily for years, walks every single day and eats broiled fish and steamed vegetables most of the time.  Saw on Facebook where he was taken by ambulance to the hospital for heart problems.  Not sure exactly what the story is because he doesn’t want to worry me but I know that he was supposed to stay in the hospital because of an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, leaky heart valve, etc. and he checked himself out because there wasn’t anyone to take care of Kim, his girlfriend, who had a stroke a couple of years ago.  He doesn’t ask for help but I may pack my bags and go stay with him for a few days.  I need to learn how to take care of Kim because I know he won’t have any surgery done until he knows someone can take care of her and there doesn’t seem to be anyone else who can do it.

Mom’s not doing well either.  Donna put a picture up on Facebook a couple of hours ago.  Thought it was funny that Mom has never liked cats and Donna’s cat seems to have adopted her and lays on her bed all the time.  I didn’t see the humor in the picture.  I just saw Mom.  Every time I see her I’m shocked.  Here’s a picture from her birthday this spring and a picture from today.

I still can’t get into dieting right now but I did make an effort to get some exercise.  I started walking last Monday.  I know this sounds pathetic but I could only walk ten minutes.  So, I walked ten minutes in the morning, walked ten minutes at 3:00 and walked ten minutes at 6:00.  Then, yesterday, I got out my old Jane Fonda workout tape.  Not likely to finish it anytime soon but I did the 15 minute warm up and then walked for ten minutes three times today.  Hoping to add something each day.  At the rate my family is going, somebody better be able to take care of everyone.  We’re dropping like flies.