Weight Loss Support - caring for a relative recovering & still eat while losing weight?

02-06-2009, 03:16 AM

well, if it's not enough that I got laid off on tuesday this week, my mother has asked me to go with her to the hospital tomorrow (friday) so she can get one of her toes amputated (complications due to hereditary diabetes, which I have been tested many times in my life for and thankfully do not have).

Stress aside, what kind of meals should I prepare for her in her initial stages of recovery while still trying to adhere to my own eating program in attempts to continue to lose weight?

I already got sandwiches, breakfast foods (i.e. cereal to omelets and scones etc), and a frozen vegetarian lasagna & a frozen vegetarian pizza for her (FYI: she's not attepting to lose weight, I am.)

Any other suggestions?


~ tea

02-06-2009, 03:21 AM
I don't see why her not trying to lose weight affects anything. Healthy eating is healthy eating. Make the same meals you'd make yourself. A good diet is important when recovering from surgery, not to mention the fact she's diabetic so a healthy diet is extremely important.

02-06-2009, 08:40 AM
Ask your mom what she would like to have, and also if she follows a diabetic diet. If necessary you can plan your own meals separate from hers.


02-06-2009, 11:12 AM
This turned out to be pretty good timing for you. I'm sorry that you've been laid off but it's great that you can care for your Mom.

I don't see any reason why your Mom wouldn't eat just about the same as you. Or ... reasonable portions of a diabetic diet are fine for you too.

02-06-2009, 05:28 PM
Yeah I agree with the others, she should be able to eat what you eat. Maybe she'll want a bigger portion than you or some extra sauce or something, but basically you can eat the same thing can't you? Good luck in this difficult time!

02-06-2009, 09:16 PM
Vitamin C and protein are important for healing, as is keeping her glucose levels on an even keel. I'd stick with your diet, and if it is not already made up of low glycemic index foods, try to incorporate this. Having her sugars fluctuating while healing from surgery would be a problem.
Good luck, my own parents house was FULL of sugary crap when my dad had his heart attack. Was tough to be there.

02-06-2009, 09:54 PM
My father died of stomach cancer on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I went back home to my parents' house about six weeks before his death, since the hospice workers had told me it was coming. The house was full of his favorite foods because his appetite had been understandably waning for half the year as the cancer progressed, and my mother would buy anything, anything he expressed a yearning for. All his childhood comfort foods, all his favorite snacks, anything he saw in TV commercials. Everything he ate was dense in calories & also had to have a very smooth texture, with no fiber in it at all, and very few things raw. I told him, "Dad, it's the opposite of the way I've been eating -- I need few calories, as little sugar & bad fat as possible, and as much fiber as I can get."

This was very difficult for me, yes, but what helped me is that I thought of it as "my father's food," as if it weren't even edible by anyone else, or as if it was that artificial food made in Japan & sometimes used in the display cases in restaurants & diners. I cooked everything for myself & tried to get my mother to eat with me, whenever possible. She was trying to eat exactly what my father was eating, partly to tempt him but also in a last-ditch show of unity & family togetherness at meal time. In the end, when he stopped eating entirely, I did get her to partake with me.

The atmosphere in our house with my father staying in a hospital bed in the middle of the living room was, to say the least, incredibly stressful. The floorplan downstairs is open, with just a knee wall between the kitchen & where he stayed. This helped my mother be with him all day & keep an eye on him, but it also made it difficult for me to cook or prepare my meals because he was often exhausted & trying to sleep.

I advise you to make sure you get in your "me" time. Make sure you get out of the caregiving atmosphere at least once a day. I did early in the morning, going to the local gym. It kept me sane. I'd keep my cellphone turned on & lying on the equipment. That was in case something happened with my father while I was out & I needed to be called immediately. I'd cry while peddling the bike, rowing, working the elliptical or even swimming. But it was a great release.

In the end, on the day he died, it was not long after I'd come back from the gym. I was upstairs with my soggy sports bra & bike shorts off, about to get in the shower, when I heard him choking. I had to whip on a robe & run downstairs. (Thank goodness I'd lost weight because I could secure that robe very tightly around me, as people immediately began showing up -- the hospice nurse, a neighbor who's a good friend & is a nurse, the priest, & etc.)

Also I am glad I lost weight & exercised before my father got ill because I was able to lift him on the hospital bed (he'd always slide down to the foot after a few hours) & hold him upright when my mother gave him a sponge bath. I was able to support him when I first got home & he was able to walk a little. If I hadn't been working out & in particular handling weights, I would never have been able to manage all the physical work that caring for a bedridden person requires. I was really able to help him & my mother that way. Maybe it's the most valuable thing my efforts at improving my health has given me.