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Crazy medical week.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My 87 year old Dad, who lives alone, fell Monday morning, knocked his TV off the table, and hit the table with his ribs before he hit the floor. He doesn't like to ask for help, so, he lay on the floor for over an hour before he felt up to crawling to the recliner and somehow getting into it.

His neighbor called him after noon and willingly came over to get the walker out for him, put the TV back on the table, and get Dad some Tylenol for the pain. We are all so thankful for this very good neighbor!

My sister, the nurse, and her family are in Hawaii on vacation. She called Dad, found out what happened and called his Doctor. They all agreed that Dad should just stay home and rest rather than sit in waiting rooms for X-rays that wouldn't change the treatment even if there were broken ribs.

I found all of this out at 5:30 PM when I got home from jury duty. My diabetic Dad had eaten nothing since breakfast, and was in lots of pain. My husband and I picked up some dinner and drove 1/2 hour to Dad's, where we fed him and gave him the stronger pain pill the Dr. said he could take. (They were on a top shelf he couldn't reach.)

Tuesday I had to return to the jury, which finished its service that afternoon. Dad said he had slept well Monday night and was doing OK, so he didn't want me to come since I was planning to come Wednesday.

Wednesday I got to Dad's to find him in serious pain. He said he could feel something in his side grinding when he coughed. He didn't want to get addicted to the pain pills, so had only used Tylenol and had gotten no sleep. He wanted to see the Dr, so I got a pain pill into him, and was his chauffeur to the Dr and X-ray lab. He has 4 broken ribs, and is now convinced he HAS to take the pain pills or it will be harder for him to heal. He's rather discouraged about the 6 week recovery period.

Today I went over to do the taxes I didn't get to do yesterday, and found he had slept well but had not taken any insulin yesterday nor breakfast yet at 10 AM! Yikes! He's usually so good with his diabetes that we don't have to monitor him. I'm the "financial daughter." Medical stuff intimidates me.

He is back where he is supposed to be in food and medicine use. I have to keep at him to eat. I want my sister back! She's a great nurse and calm repository of medical knowledge. She's also better at getting him to eat.

There's such a fine line to walk between allowing independence and cramping his style to make sure he is safe. For now I'm just reminding and showing up often to do what needs to be done. He doesn't want to move or have anyone move in with him.

I need to remember this if and when my advanced age causes my children to have concern about my behavior! Maybe I'll be able to not worry them so much?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUEENIEBELLE 4/1/2014 11:11AM

    My heart goes out to you and your family- including your wonderful father, bless his heart. We miss our parents so much. We went through this with my mom, and my husbands parents. (my Dad passed away at age 64 back in the late 80's) All of them have passed now and we don't regret a moment we spent with them during the difficult years. It was tough because we were all still working and had so much to juggle. It's heartbreaking as they are so fierce about their independence. Ours finally gave in and went to assisted living and were content there. Is there any possibility your Dad might go for having a visiting nurse or a home health care practitioner (that the family hires) come in 2-3 times a week to check in on him? Really it should probably be every day but that would be pretty expensive. Still it's less costly and less traumatic than moving. SIGH. Lots of decisions for you and your family. God Bless you. Your family's love will find a way. emoticon emoticon

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OOLALA53 3/31/2014 8:22PM

    He gets to draw the line on his choices, and you get to draw the line on yours. That's the best we can do. We are already very blessed in this country, IMHO. I've lived where people die every day from a lack of a fraction of the resources we take for granted. No matter what happens, we can drive ourselves crazy with what we think should have been. One of my spiritual teachers says we can fight with reality but we'll lose 100% of the time. The serenity prayer makes more and more sense to me every day.

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TRAVELGRRL 3/31/2014 3:06PM

    I am so sorry to hear about this episode!

I hope you can have this concerned "talk" with your dad when your sister returns. Dealing with aging parents is so stressful. My husband's parents refused to go anywhere while they still could; now they can't and the three children that live in the same town spend all of their free time checking up on them, doing housework, bills, bringing food, taking them to appts., etc. etc. etc.

It's very sad, but we'll all be there someday. Like you, I hope I do a better job planning for my old age so my daughter isn't put in such a position.

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JANTHEBLONDE 3/28/2014 12:01PM

    Sending you lots of hugs!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 3/28/2014 9:50AM

    It is very difficult to balance the independent spirit of the aged person and the need to take care of them. Your dad is an independent person who to his credit tries to stay off addictive medicine. However, painkillers may speed up his healing and I am glad he sees this. His diabetes does need monitoring.

You have done a great job of being a caretaker and trying to help him while your sister is gone.

I sympathize with you. My mom who is 94 suffers from exhaustion because her iron is low and she will not take her pills.

Take care of yourself . You are a wonderful daughter.

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WORKNPROGRESS49 3/28/2014 9:48AM


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TERI-RIFIC 3/28/2014 9:15AM

    That's rough. I hope he heals quickly and gets back to normal. But it is a wake-up call to have plans in place just in case. emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 3/28/2014 7:20AM

    You're lucky to have a sister to share this with. I'm an only child and the ONLY time I've missed having siblings was as my parents got older. The decisions were all mine.

Perhaps your Dad would get a medical alert system? Especially if it was presented as a way to reduce YOUR worry. He could still be independent but help would arrive in case of an emergency.

My Mom lived with us for 10 years and after a fall when she hit her head, we got one. It cost $30 a month with no contract or anything. It gave me peace of mind so I could go out knowing that either I (or 911) would be called if the need arose.

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ILOVEMALI 3/28/2014 12:52AM

    I hope that your dad is feeling better. This getting older stuff stinks.

What I learned when my father was failing is: long term care insurance.

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WATERMELLEN 3/27/2014 10:17PM

    I've got this Tshirt too . . . and it's a tough place to be for sure. You are doing all you can to be a good daughter, in so far as he will permit you . . . and unless his doctor says he lacks capacity such that his choices are a danger to himself, then (probably) he gets to choose . . . even if his choices aren't those you would choose for him.

(A good time to make sure his will and his powers of attorney for property and for personal care are in place, up to date, what he wants . . . ).

All best.

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MEADSBAY 3/27/2014 10:15PM

    The last chapter of many folks lives is the hardest, and yes, indeedy, it is not easy finding that fine line of caring for them without taking their independence from them.
How nice that you and your sister have been able to divvy up the work like that.

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PHOENIX1949 3/27/2014 9:55PM

    Been there, done that. Bless you and all the caregivers. Not sure who is going to humor me as time passes by (no children).

PS - a reference I found helpful to me was

'Can Mom Live Alone?: Practical Advice on Helping Aging Parents Stay in Their Own Home' by Vivian F. Carlin, Ph.D.

Comment edited on: 3/27/2014 9:59:27 PM

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A Sense of Urgency

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I've finished 21 days of the video series on mental toughness. I face the future without a daily dose of tough talk from the coach. His parting words:

~Life is fragile. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed. Your time is limited.

~Don't wait to pursue your dreams.

~What are you waiting for? The "correct" time will never come. Take action now!

~Finish what you started. The old habits will try to come roaring back. Don't let them.

I do have a greater sense of urgency concerning what I eat and how much I exercise in order to maintain my weight right where it is today. I am anticipating some travel this year to some national parks we've long wanted to visit, so I have to make plans to take care of my maintenance during travel and in those new settings.

This isn't the end of being mentally tough. It's the beginning of applying it for myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANJEAN6 2/2/2014 7:52AM

    lots of goals to strive for--good for you!-Lynda

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BESSHAILE 2/2/2014 7:50AM

    Finishing what I start is the hardest part for me. I'm determined to get stronger with that one.

I am positive you'll plan healthy trips to those beautiful parks. I hope you'll post some photos. You ALWAYS look so beautiful when I click on your page, btw. It makes me smile just to see your pictures.

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CUTENHEALTHY 1/28/2014 10:37PM

    Just keep tracking on vacation! If you have a cell phone you can use Spark's mobile tracking app:)

Awesome for going through the 21 days!

Comment edited on: 1/28/2014 10:38:22 PM

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/27/2014 9:24PM

    emoticon on making it through the 21 days. This has been a good journey, seeing one another's reactions / input on Siebold's take on it. Life *is* fragile. Seen too much in mine not to appreciate that. We are blessed. Savor those trips!

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WATERMELLEN 1/27/2014 9:19PM

    Thank you for the "finish line" goodie: as you say, we're just getting started on something new! I've really enjoyed reading your fatloser blogs: together we all get more out of the series, each of us with a slightly different take-away!

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TRAVELGRRL 1/27/2014 3:11PM

    Can't wait to hear about your trip! We too are hoping to get west to do some national parks. We enjoyed Acadia in Maine and Shenandoah in Virginia immensely!

Do you have a Senior Pass? And a National Parks passport book? We have found sooo many places in the passport book that we otherwise never would have known existed.

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BOPPY_ 1/27/2014 1:08PM

    National Parks are great.

Enjoy yourself.

Celebrate your accomplishments, by being the new you.

We know you will,

Lee emoticon

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SUSANNAH31 1/27/2014 11:49AM

    I am happy to have shared this video series with you.
Siebold's final suggestion to keep the urgency is a good one. It will be difficult, I know, but I plan to stick to my total commitment for 90 days.

I do not have any plans for my next big goal. That will take some more thoughts. Right now, I'm focusing on achieving this one.

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WORKNPROGRESS49 1/27/2014 10:22AM


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KANOE10 1/27/2014 7:34AM

    Congratulations on completing the 21 days of videos and thanks for sharing your insights with us. Maintaining that sense of urgency is so important for maintenance. It must be a daily focus and effort. I know you will figure out ways to continue maintenance when you travel!


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OHMEMEME 1/26/2014 8:48PM

    Congrats on being tough!

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QUEENIEBELLE 1/26/2014 8:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You have done great so far, and I know you're in it for the long haul and will continue doing well. I am so glad to be reading your blogs and learning about maintaining. It all begins with maintaining the loss of that first pound in a way. I really appreciate your sharing.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/26/2014 8:19PM

    I've come along on those 21 days virtually with you and other sparkers.
Now we look ahead.
Maintenance is harder when "on the road" but not impossible.

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PHOENIX1949 1/26/2014 8:14PM

    Here's to beginnings!

Sparkling apple cider in these glasses, ha.

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Plateau, Season of Pain, and Payoff

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 20 of the video series deals with plateaus and the last 2 stages of success.

When you've been 100% compliant but the scale doesn't move, you've hit a PLATEAU.
Plateaus are the body's way of self-regulating to make sure you aren't losing too fast.
They are temporary.
Frustration and your old way of thinking are obstacles to your success when plateaus happen.
You have to stay alert and on track to overcome those obstacles.
Plateaus are part of the season of pain.

Review time: the stages of success are:
1. excitement,
2. season of pain, and
3. knowing.

The "SEASON OF PAIN" is the mutiny of your old thinking patterns and habits against the new ones you are trying to put in their place. You're tempted to go back to the old, comfortable ways, but the old ways won't help you to your goal. You are most vulnerable in this stage. You're enduring an emotional storm. The suffering is caused by not KNOWING that you'll succeed.

Siebold suggests the following to help yourself during the SEASON OF PAIN:
~Get enough sleep. Fatigue is dangerous during habit change.
~Remind yourself of your ultimate goal. Visualize or post pictures. Tell others your goal.
~Repeat beliefs that lead to the actions you want to become automatic.
~Watch motivational speakers. (YouTube or CDs)
~Avoid negative news in the media at this time... negative emotion is contagious. Guard your consciousness.

He describes the KNOWING stage as:
~You're convinced you're going to succeed.
~The game is won, you're just waiting for the checkered flag.
~The effort seems easy.
~The Payoff is massive and certain.

I'm in the knowing stage right now. I'm maintaining right where I want to be. I think, like others viewing this series, that it's not a stage that is permanent once achieved. Keeping in mind the coping strategies for the season of pain so I won't sabotage my efforts is worth while...I'll be needing them again!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 1/26/2014 8:39AM

    great summary. How nice to be in the Knowing stage and realize that you will keep this weight off. You have already developed good strategies in the season of pain if they are ever needed again. Enjoy the happiness of knowing you will keep this weight off for good.

Way to go on completing Day 20!

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WATERMELLEN 1/25/2014 9:02PM

    Great summary. And it's wonderful that you've worked through to that "knowing" stage: while anticipating and planning to deal with recurring "seasons of pain" if and when . . .

My this has been fun!!

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TRAVELGRRL 1/25/2014 2:07PM

    I don't think anyone's weight is static, so of course you'll be needing the coping strategies again! But you definitely are in the KNOWING state and how great is that?

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PHOENIX1949 1/25/2014 12:35PM

    I especially needed to hear "Plateaus are the body's way of self-regulating to make sure you aren't losing too fast." In the past I would have blamed myself for not doing something right and easily slipped into complacency about the weight loss goal. Taking in this definition of plateaus doesn't excuse me from evaluating my trackers (unavailable in my pre-Spark days) and thinking critically about what may have influenced the plateau (objective reality).

Edit was to correct a typo.

Comment edited on: 1/25/2014 12:36:47 PM

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/25/2014 12:35PM

    Of course you will maintain. Even when the fatloser series is over, you'll be hanging out here with us - the place to be for successful maintenance!

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QUEENIEBELLE 1/25/2014 12:26PM

    Excellent. Thanks for sharing! You are armed.

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Core Beliefs About Diet and Exercise

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 19 of the video series was a review of the fact that belief precedes action and an inventory of core beliefs about diet and exercise.

Siebold asked:
What are your core beliefs about diet and exercise?
Are these beliefs helping or hurting you?
What would I have to believe in order to succeed at __________ at the level I desire?

He showed with his own old set of 10 erroneous beliefs how to reframe them into beliefs that would allow him to reach his goal. I liked the one which says "dieting is a light discipline with disproportionate rewards."

The catch, Siebold says, is persistence. It doesn't happen overnight. You will see a difference in 3-4 weeks, but you may not fully assimilate your new beliefs (and thus be automatically acting on them) until closer to a year of practice.

Here are my belief lists focused on maintenance.

About diet:
1. I maintain my goal weight with good food choices and portion sizes.
2. I track what I eat to know the calories consumed are appropriate to maintaining my weight.
3. Temporary hunger is not a crisis. It allows me to savor the next meal.
4. Food is plentiful. I don't need to eat it all NOW.
5. I do not have to eat, or even taste, everything put out for my consumption.

About exercise:
1. It improves my appearance, strength, balance and flexibility.
2. It improves my energy level and mental clarity.
3. It makes me want to move even more.
4. It gives me satisfaction for a job well done.
5. It makes weight maintenance easier.

I'm off to exercise. I want those benefits!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUEENIEBELLE 1/25/2014 12:28PM

    Love this. Thank you!

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OHMEMEME 1/25/2014 11:38AM

    Your blog motivated me to write down my own mantras in my iPad notes and my phone notes to be a constant reminder of why I persevere. I so related to many of your statements that I borrowed them! You gave me ideas that I feel but could not verbalize. Thanks for Sparking!

Congrats on fatloser day 19!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/25/2014 11:38:46 AM

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TERI-RIFIC 1/25/2014 10:35AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 1/25/2014 9:18AM

    Those are a great set of core beliefs in food and exercise. They are making you a successful maintainer! You have made it through Day 19. That is an excellent effort!

Way to go.

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SUSANNAH31 1/24/2014 7:34PM

    You are operating with a great set of core beliefs. You cannot help but succeed with thrm.

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PHOENIX1949 1/24/2014 12:42PM


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JANTHEBLONDE 1/24/2014 12:38PM

    Congratulations on day 19! You rock girl!

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WATERMELLEN 1/24/2014 12:06PM

    Great set of core beliefs about both food and exercise . . . and they are working for you!

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LOSE4LIFE47 1/24/2014 11:32AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Cause and Effect / Belief and Action

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 18 of the video series deals with making the distinction between cause and effect.

This is an important tool in weight loss and maintenance. If I keep trying to fix only the effect, nothing will permanently change. (It's like having a leaking roof and just replacing the floor each time it rains.) I must attack the cause to fix the problem.

What you believe is the cause. Your behavior is the effect.
Change your belief, and you will change your action.
Fight the old beliefs you had by repeating and acting on the new ones.

Siebold recommends getting involved with (his blog's) community. The Sparkpeople community has been a tremendous help to me. It keeps me aware of challenges, pitfalls, successes, topics which require thought, and so much more. Many of the people here have become my friends, and we help each other over rough spots.

Thanks for that! You've helped me change what I believe about losing weight and keeping it off. You've helped me reach my goal and maintain for 10 months today. You've even allowed me to see if I've helped you. This community is tremendous, and I'm sticking around!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CUTENHEALTHY 1/23/2014 11:54PM

    Happy 10 month maintaining anniversary!!!! I agree Spark friends are key!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSANNAH31 1/23/2014 11:25PM

    Congratulations on your 10 months of maintenance.
When I get there - I know it will happen because of the community here at SP that has helped me along all the way.

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WATERMELLEN 1/23/2014 8:18PM

    Congrats to you on 10 months of maintaining. I remember missing you when you left after the first round at Spark, and was very glad that you came back when you wanted a "refresher"! Like you I really believe that sustained weight loss requires addressing the cause . . . not just the effect. This is a great community in which to do that.

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JANTHEBLONDE 1/23/2014 6:51PM

    Great blog! Congratulations on being on day 18 and maintaining for the last 10 months! Way to go girl!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/23/2014 3:37PM

    Good job! I too plan on sticking around. I owe so much to SP and the people I've met here.

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KANOE10 1/23/2014 3:00PM

    Woo Hoo on the 10 months! We can work on changing our beliefs together to stay successful.


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    Nice job maintaining for 10 months! Well done!

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QUEENIEBELLE 1/23/2014 12:42PM

    emoticon for sharing and emoticon on 10 months of maintenance, so proud of you!

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PHOENIX1949 1/23/2014 12:12PM


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