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New evidence that the old "3,500 calorie rule" may not always work

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In studying exercise physiology, I have suspected that the old formula of 3,500 calorie deficit=1 pound weight loss formula may not always work. A study done recently shows evidence that there are so many factors, including current body weight, body composition, and physical activity level, that must be taken into account with weight loss and body composition change.

Here is the article:

www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/health/20
brody.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=gener
al&src=me


Here is the abstract of the study:

www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/ar
ticle/PIIS0140-6736%2811%2960812-X/abs
tract



I have been kind of working on a blog on "calories in-calories out," and this information helps debunk the old thinking about the 3,500 calorie deficit formula.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 9/27/2011 10:56PM

    Such a good article - I love their point about taking weight off slowly to keep it off (although I know there are people who shed it fairly quickly and are quite successful at keeping it off - I am not one of these), and how few calories can add up over time to either increase or decrease weight. Thanks, as always, for the excellent info.

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MUSICALLYMINDED 9/24/2011 12:14AM

    Maybe I'm a little slow, but the second link didn't seem to say much (or it could be using wayyy too many big words, lol) that I could understand. So technical for someone who doesn't understand much about energy expenditure, etc. So essentially what was it saying? The more you work out, the more you have to eat to keep losing weight at the same pace??? And I realize that "adiposity" is referring to the amount of fat on your body (I think I remember that adipose is fat)...so the more fat your have, then it takes longer to lose the same amount of weight as someone who has less fat on their body? Is that what it's saying? Is that why my so called "binges" every once in a while cause me to lose weight more rapidly?

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CAMOGIE3 9/23/2011 8:56PM

    Interesting! Thanks for the link!

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GIANTPANDA 9/23/2011 8:53PM

    Thank you for this. I have long thought there was more to the story than this!

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HIKINGSD 9/23/2011 5:55PM

    Thanks for sharing :)

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PAMELA6289 9/23/2011 12:15PM

  Very Interesting, thanks for posting, Hot Mama! emoticon

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DANLENO1949 9/23/2011 5:14AM

    Thanks for the info, I look forward to your blog. Dave emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/22/2011 11:42PM

    THANKS FOR INFORMATION AND IT ONLY MAKES SENSE!
HOPE YOU ARE DOING WELL...TAKE CARE.
MARY emoticon emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 9/22/2011 11:35PM

    Interesting stuff! Thanks for posting the links.

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EMRANA 9/22/2011 10:53PM

  I have always doubted that 'easy' formula. If it was that simple, a lot more of us would be already at goal!

There's so many factors that can affect weight loss ~ I can't wait to ready your next blog about this!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/22/2011 10:52PM

    Very interesting. I saved it to assimilate the info better.

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FRAN0426 9/22/2011 10:49PM

    I knew that there had to be more than watching everything you eat and the exercise you do. I too just don't lose weight, add on comes so much easier, I presume some of my problem stems from taking a lot of medication every day to help with all my medical problems. I do work out and watch and record what I eat and most of the time I'm in range---thanks for the info.

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LHLADY517 9/22/2011 9:11PM

    Thank you for sharing this. It describes me totally.

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APIRLRAIN888 9/22/2011 7:40PM

    wow as I read its what's happening to me! Thx!

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MERRYMARY42 9/22/2011 7:36PM

    I agree, I have not lost any weight in almost a year, and I did gain 5 pounds last October, November and December. I measure my food, keep track of it, and expend way more than 3500 calories per week, It was relatively easy to lose my original weight, then I thought I could eat more and maintain, Not so, I am 69 so I know my metabolism is way slower than it was and should be, but, I am about to give up and hope to maintain, about where I am, I will be reading both of these articles, I find it all very interesting, because I would never say I do not cheat ever, but for heavens sake, one year and I can not lose? and I get so very much exercise in, I walk daily, over 10,000 steps, and swim 2 times a week, aerobics class 2 times a week and work out on machines at the gym 2 times a week.

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MYBULLDOGS 9/22/2011 7:24PM

    emoticon

i agree. it all depends on your body chemistry.

find foods that work with your chemistry. i created this meal on my own. i can't seem to loose weight if i eat any grain products. so one day i experimented.

i make this mixture for breakfast , lunch and dinner. i have lost 31 pounds in 16 weeks. i cook

4 large portabella mushrooms sliced, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 4 large onions sliced, 2 large green peppers, 3 cans green beans, 1 can rutabaga and 5 sliced chicken sausages.

it makes enough for at least 4 days, three meals a day. total cost is 12 dollars. i buy the mushrooms and chicken at sams club. sounds crazy but it taste good and most importantly it's working. i'm not hungry . if i feel the urge to cheat i go get a fork full of my mixture. i chew very slowly as to enjoy my meal.

i have added a small banana and grapes for my snacks and to be a fix for my sweet tooth.

you can add other foods into your menu. just know what works with your body chemistry.

I have gone from 198 to 167 pounds. i can now fit into a size 14 comfortably. i feel so much better. think of carrying a 2 year old around your waist every minute of every day. no i am not done. on the obese chart i have gone from being obese to just plain fat. my goal is to drop another 22 pounds. then i will be happy, healthy and never allow myself to get in this condition again.

one might say eating the same food every day would get boring. not true. when you look in the mirror and can see the difference it's totally worth it. once i reach my goal i will change my menu. not until then.

portion sizes are critical to your success. exercise has to become a way of life. good luck

emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 9/22/2011 7:23PM

    I can't wait to read the blog you are working on! Great articles, thanks for sharing! It is so interesting, because my husband is a postal worker, and he walked 12 miles a day. When he began his job, he lost a lot of weight. Now, it is actually functioning in reverse and he has gained, despite walking that much. Basically, his body now identifies that amount of calorie burn as "his level". The body is fascinating, and solutions really do depend on many factors.

I am subscribing to your blog to see the next one you write! Awesome!

Karen

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The Week In Review: Me Me Me Me Me!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."
-Nol Coward



There are very few friends who we know we can truly depend on during the best and worst of times. I have a friend who I met at a job 7 years ago, and we have been good friends ever since. She could call me in the middle of the night with her relationship woes. I called her out of the blue when my cat was dying and she came right over to drive me to the emergency vet. I helped her move when she lost her house, and she helped me clean my house when it got out of control when I was in school and working full-time. We could tell each other anything without judgement. She was a true friend. I have been cleaning house with toxic people as of late, but I'm disappointed to find that some friends may not be who they once were.

My birthday, September 11th, has been overshadowed by 9/11/2001 for the past 10 years. I lost a family member, so it tends to be a sad time for my family. I don't mind being in the shadow of my cousin Bobby at all, but with my friends, I should be able to just have my birthday without any drama. I wanted a pretty low-key birthday. I had dinner with my mom and brother on Saturday the 10th, which was nice. That night, I had plans with friend to get together, which we had made the day before--she was going to come over, we were going to go for a walk, and then hang out and exchange massages. When I called her to see what time she wanted to get together, she said she had actually made other plans with someone else, but that I was welcome to join them. The friend she made plans with is a drug dealer and a shady person, and needless to say, not a person I wanted to associate with. My immediate reaction was to say I really didn't want to do that. She said, "Okay, well, you can come if you want." I told her I would call IF I decided to come. I called her a couple of hours later and told her I wasn't going to come. "Okay!", she responded cheerfully. After a pause, I said, "Well, have a good night," and she responded that I should have a good night, too.

At first I felt like a jerk for not going, but then I asked myself: Would I do this to someone on their birthday? Or really, ever? No, I would not. Even if I'm not thrilled about what a friend wants to do for their birthday, I would still go. Dammit, it's MY birthday and it was rude of her to change plans, leaving me with nothing to do. What did I do instead? I wrote a blog about my cousin Bobby, and ended up drinking wine and crying by myself. Yes, it was as pathetic as it sounds. At least I got in some good practice time on my saxophone--huh, I actually play pretty well when I'm pissed off!

Although I am trying to kick toxic non-friend people to the curb without a second thought, I am certainly not inclined to dump a long-time friend over a few indiscretions, at least not without a fight. I wrote her an e-mail telling her that it hurt my feelings that she ditched me on my birthday, and that I feel she has been changing plans or forgetting about plans a lot over the past 6 months or so. I told her that I really value our friendship, and that if I have done something, I would like to talk about it so it can be remedied. I asked her to write back or call me when she had a chance.

The reply? Nothing. It has been a week. I know she is on Facebook all the time and she must have seen the message. I am going to try to call her today (not to confront) and see what happens. If she is truly the type of person who would just stop talking to a friend of 7 years for no reason, well...she's probably not the type of person I need in my life. I don't do passive-aggressive well, and if she doesn't think enough of me as a human being to tell me what's going on with our friendship, then there may not be a friendship there at all.



"Being stubborn has helped, being selfish is not a bad thing."
-Herbie Mann



I was actually glad that my reaction was to immediately get pissed off when she changed plans on my birthday. I have been bowled over by a lot of people throughout my life without realizing it. I don't really feel anger at her as a whole person, but rather at her actions. I didn't used to get mad at the actions of others; I used to blame myself for not going out of my way enough to accommodate them. I finally know that it's okay for things to be about ME sometimes (let alone on my birthday). I am there for others whenever possible, and I deserve the same from my friends.

Sometimes I accommodate too much to the demands of my subconscious, too, allowing it to overrule what I actually want and need. I decided that I would make this week about ME, and allow my brain to naturally decide what it wanted. I would do the first thing that came to mind and just follow my gut. I was going to do whatever my brain asked for, but it had to be the first thing that popped into my head. I was pleased with the results.

I started by thinking, "What do I want to eat?" The first image in my brain was a big bowl of veggies, including the spaghetti squash, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers from my garden, all cooked and steaming in the bowl, ready to eat. My mouth watered. Then, tiny voice whispered, "Don't you want pizza?" I shut that voice up, because it wasn't the first thing that popped into my head. I cooked my veggies and ate them, and they were delicious.

When I was sitting around the next day, I asked myself, "What do I want to do right now?" I immediately pictured grunting while lifting a heavy weight, sweat dripping down my nose. A little voice countered, "Wouldn't you rather sit around and watch T.V.?" I popped in my STS DVD and started my workout. No, I did not want to just sit around.

Another night when I got home from work, I had planned on doing a kettlebell workout. I asked my body and brain what they REALLY wanted. I pictured myself in my recliner with a glass of red wine and a plate of chocolate chip pancakes. That's what I really wanted, so I did it (by the way, they were protein pancakes, and were very satisfying!). My mind and body needed the break, so I gave it to them.

So, this week was about ME, and I needed to stop and listen to my brain long enough to find out what I really wanted. I wanted to have a friend celebrate with me on my birthday, and I was upset when that friend backed out. I felt so selfish trying to demand what I wanted from another person, and felt a little bad standing up for myself, but I now know that I shouldn't. If she's my friend, she should have no problem doing what is right. I felt a bit self-absorbed asking myself all week, "What do I want, and what is best for me right now?" But I also know that I'm no good to others if I'm not taking care of myself. I don't want people to bend to my will, but I want give and take from my friends. I also need balance within myself to support that give and take in friendships. Balance is working out hard when my body wants to, and sitting in my pajamas under a blanket spacing out at other times.

My body and brain instinctively know what's best, so I need to listen up. Sometimes it needs to be about "Me me me me me!"



"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live."
-Oscar Wilde

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYWATCHERRS 9/23/2011 3:57PM

    Erin, you're awesome. I'm so happy that you are learning to find balance for yourself and in your relationships. I relate to many of your blogs - it seems we are on somewhat similar paths. I find it comforting to know someone else is going through stuff like me. "What do I want and what's best for me" - good mantra to live by.

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JITZUROE 9/21/2011 9:18PM

    Thanks for writing this. I also can relate! A 'friend' emailed me and asked if I would meet her in the city for dinner (which she KNOWS I cannot do due to chronic pain). She then sent me a few (!!!) text messages telling me to hurry up and reply since she was making time for me and needed to know ASAP, and gee it was too bad I was not willing to go meet her, etc. HELLO?!?! I was mad. mad mad mad. BUT I decided to make her wait wait wait for a few hours, which I know she didn't like, but it was 3 days away, sheesh!
Where was I gonna be? Same place I always am, at home, and in bed by 8:00 p.m., NOT at a restaurant, eating food I am likely allergic to, etc. I told her in an email that she needed to back down and not come off as so manipulating, and if she could not carve out some time to come see me, then I would not drag her over the coals for it. I would see her perhaps another time. I have not heard from her since. It hurt, but it needed to be said. And it was a long time coming. Same thing for you. you NEEDED to probably stand your ground and get ANGRY a while ago.
I am sorry it hurts, and you deserved SO MUCH MORE on YOUR day.
And I am so thankful you didn't meet up with her and her 'friend'. You are too valuable to let anything happen to!

: )
Bren

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PAMELA6289 9/20/2011 12:58PM

  Oh Erin, I'm sorry your birthday was less than fulfilling, but I applaud you asking yourself what you wanted. And for listening! I say keep it up, girl, it shouldn't be just a birthday week kind of thing!

My birthday is very close to Christmas, and I've had a lifetime of getting used to people just being too caught up in the season to celebrate with me. I've learned to be okay with celebrating at another time or getting together for the 'holidays' on my birthday. At the end of the day, as long as I get to spend my birthday with people I love, I'm OK with never mentioning my birthday.

You are doing great, chickie! You are my SHERO!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/19/2011 9:58PM

    Your "friend" was very inconsiderate. You deserve better.

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CANNIE50 9/19/2011 8:02PM

    I agree with JSalerno - if she is choosing to spend time with a drug dealer instead of honoring special plans with someone as wonderful as you, she has something wacky going on and it says WAY more about her, than you. You not only play sax beautifully when you are p.o.'d, you write just as beautifully when you are upset - that blog about your beloved uncle was INSPIRED. I am sorry this is happening and I hope your friend comes to her senses before she loses a lovely friendship (which she will come to regret, I promise you). You deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and appreciation. She may be a wee bit intimidated by you - you are strong and talented and your lifestyle and choices are healthy and require strength of mind and body and spirit. This can be scary to someone who is not feeling strong. I like that your approach is to do just that, approach and listen, not to fight. I hope it resolves and that she makes amends (because that is what you deserve, dear Erin).

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HIPPICHICK1 9/18/2011 11:15PM

    Thanks for this. It seems to be epidemic...these "frenemies" of ours!
On Saturday I went over to my friend's house because it was her birthday. I took over a bowl of homemade dark chocolate pudding because I know how much she loves it. I also took a beautiful birthday card telling her just how much our friendship means to me. Do you know what I found out from her husband? That she was at her birthday party hosted by another friend. I had not been invited.

It hurt to find out that I was not invited. Part of me let it slide. Another part of me hopes she feels super guilty about me being excluded from the guest list especially when she finds the chocolate pudding and the sentimental card. Another part of me wants to confront the hostess of the party and tell her that I was hurt by being excluded, and yet another part of me KNOWS that I would not have enjoyed myself at this party.

The things these women have in common are this: they smoke and I don't. They drink copious amounts of alcohol and I don't. Everyone takes an opportunity such as this to eat super fatty foods and white pastries or bread and I don't. I don't enjoy their humour and I don't like gossip, but I would have gone anyway and spent some time with people I don't really care for (all except the one friend whose birthday it was) to honour the birthday girl.

Perhaps the hostess knows this and that is why I wasn't invited, but I also get the feeling that she generally doesn't like me.

Regardless of the motivation behind leaving me in the dark, it hurt like a boot to the stomach. To be purposefully left out in this small community in which I live made me re-think my friendships all day today - who do trust? In whom can I confide? And I finally realized that I need some new friends with whom I share more in common and just as I thought this, another neighbour/acquaintance called me up and suggested that we go for a power walk on Wednesday followed by yoga practice. I was like, "Yeah! Now yer talking!"

When a door closes....
emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 9/18/2011 11:15PM

    Thanks for this. It seems to be epidemic...these "frenemies" of ours!
On Saturday I went over to my friend's house because it was her birthday. I took over a bowl of homemade dark chocolate pudding because I know how much she loves it. I also took a beautiful birthday card telling her just how much our friendship means to me. Do you know what I found out from her husband? That she was at her birthday party hosted by another friend. I had not been invited.

It hurt to find out that I was not invited. Part of me let it slide. Another part of me hopes she feels super guilty about me being excluded from the guest list especially when she finds the chocolate pudding and the sentimental card. Another part of me wants to confront the hostess of the party and tell her that I was hurt by being excluded, and yet another part of me KNOWS that I would not have enjoyed myself at this party.

The things these women have in common are this: they smoke and I don't. They drink copious amounts of alcohol and I don't. Everyone takes an opportunity such as this to eat super fatty foods and white pastries or bread and I don't. I don't enjoy their humour and I don't like gossip, but I would have gone anyway and spent some time with people I don't really care for (all except the one friend whose birthday it was) to honour the birthday girl.

Perhaps the hostess knows this and that is why I wasn't invited, but I also get the feeling that she generally doesn't like me.

Regardless of the motivation behind leaving me in the dark, it hurt like a boot to the stomach. To be purposefully left out in this small community in which I live made me re-think my friendships all day today - who do trust? In whom can I confide? And I finally realized that I need some new friends with whom I share more in common and just as I thought this, another neighbour/acquaintance called me up and suggested that we go for a power walk on Wednesday followed by yoga practice. I was like, "Yeah! Now yer talking!"

When a door closes....
emoticon

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HEALTHYL1 9/18/2011 1:13PM

    Thanks for posting this blog as it is just what I needed to hear. I also feel like some of my friends change plans on me. I always just brush it off like it's ok but really need to start telling people that it's not really "ok". It is good that you sent her an email about it. I had a friend that I had made plans with to go out one night, but he told me he was sick so was probably not going. I ended up seeing a picture of him out that night. Unfortunately I never brought it up but I wish I would have found out what was going on. And for some reason I still talk to this person....I need to stop talking to people who obviously don't care as much about me as I do them. ANYWAYS, thanks for posting!

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FUSCHIA6 9/18/2011 12:53PM

    I remember complaining about a friend & someone said, "If that's what you call a friend......" I thought about it. She often put me down & insulted me. It was a case of feeling powerful by destroying someone else. I decided that was enough & I don't regret the decision to end it.

I have a friend who was born on Sept. 11. She has picked another day to celebrate her birthday. The thing is, no one forgets her birthday anymore.

I also want to wish you a belated Happy Birthday. May this be a fantastic & successful year for you; full of sweet surprises & personal growth.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SYZYGY922 9/18/2011 9:41AM

    I'm sorry about your friend. Friendship should come so much easier than it does. Good for you taking care of yourself.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/18/2011 12:42AM

    YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO EXPECT TO BE TREATED WITH CARE AND COURTESY, JUST AS YOU TREAT OTHERS. I DO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL AS I HAD A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE NOT LONG AGO AND I WAS SHOCKED AND SADDENED, AS I NEVER EXPECTED IT. BUT AFTER TRYING TO FIX THE ISSUE AND KINDLY APPROACHING THE SUBJECT HOPING IT WOULD CHANGE I FOUND IT DID NOT. THE FORGETTING OF MY BIRTHDAY WAS JUST THE START! I AM NOT SURE WHERE THIS PERSON WAS HEADED BUT I KNEW IT COULD NOT BE WITH ME AND CUT ANY TIES. IT STILL FEELS BAD, BUT THAT IS BECAUSE I TAKE FRIENDSHIPS VERY SERIOUSLY AND AM DISAPPOINTED WHEN I FIND SOMEONE I THOUGHT SHARED MY FEELINGS BUT CLEARLY DID NOT. TAKE HEART, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE/WILL BE A TRUE FRIEND AND YOU ONLY NEED A FEW TRUE FRIENDS FOR HAPPINESS!! HANG IN THERE AND, AS YOU WERE DOING, BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND!! emoticon
MARY emoticon emoticon

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UTMIZ_2000 9/17/2011 10:39PM

    I'm glad you decided not to join her. I can only think hanging out with a drug dealer would lead to problems. I worry for her. I am proud of you for your approach to everything. You are important and you should treat yourself with respect. So glad you are taking this time and learning more about yourself. Look at you and how your brain has made that shift to the light. Veggies!! A big Woo Hoo to you, my friend.

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1HAPPYWOMAN 9/17/2011 8:12PM

    Way to go, beautiful Erin! You're listening to yourself and honouring your own needs!
I once had one of my oldest friends cancel plans on New Year's, and I was heartbroken, thought I'd never get over it. We've resolved it and she is still a very important part of my life.... She had some things going on, and we each learned a little bit more about each other.

What your friend did completely BLOWS, and you deserve to have only the best people in your life. However, there may be a resolution in future, and it sounds like you care about her enough to wait a bit and leave the door open for her. Good friends are precious, and sometimes the people we love just need some time to sort through their issues before they get back to being themselves.....

Love, love, love,

Tara

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 9/17/2011 6:09PM

    You've got the right attitude. If you don't take care of you, who will?


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HIKINGSD 9/17/2011 5:43PM

    I am proud of you for fighting. Please know that you have done all that you can and if she doesn't come around, you might be better off without her.

Hugs.

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JSALERNO 9/17/2011 5:39PM

    IF SHE IS HANGING OUT WITH A DRUG DEALER SHE MAY HAVE A PROBLEM. SHE MAY HAVE A PROBLEM AND NOT EVEN REALIZE IT. PEOPLE LIKE THAT CAN CHANGE BUT ONLY IF THEY DECIDE THEY WANT TO. I'M GLAD YOU MADE THIS WEEK ABOUT YOU. ITS GOOD FOR YOU TO DO. ENJOY YOURSELF AND THE REST OF THE WEEKEND.

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ABB698 9/17/2011 5:17PM

    Sorry you have to deal with all the friend drama, and on your birthday to boot, but you know looking out for #1 is most important, so continue to do that. YOU are worth it! emoticon

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MISTYBLUE716 9/17/2011 4:48PM

    sometimes people change and aren't who we thought they were..I hope thats not the case with your friend....and GOOD for you for doing things for YOU! What YOU want...thats awesome!

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APIRLRAIN888 9/17/2011 4:47PM

    Hugs.....I have rid of toxic and sooooo much better!!!

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Bittersweet Birthday: A life celebrated, a hero remembered

Sunday, September 11, 2011


My second cousin Bobby, in his younger years.



My mother, brother, and I used to take frequent trips to New York City to visit our family there. Robert Mattson was my mother's cousin, but in our family, he was known as Uncle Bobby. He and my mother were very close. He worked for Fiduciary Trust, and his office was located on the 96th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. I had been to his office several times, peering down from the dizzying height of the floor-to-ceiling windows. Bobby lived in New Jersey, but was a typical New Yorker, having been born and raised on Staten Island: always on-the-go, to-the-point, and moreover, humorous. I looked forward to visiting him, especially when we got to go to his office. He would whisk us around Lower Manhattan, chattering away. I could barely keep up with the man, but we would tag along, smiling as we listened to his thick New York accent. My brother and I could barely get a word in edgewise as Bobby and my mother caught up with each other, laughing between sentences until they were almost on the ground. I admired Bobby, and my family shared the sentiment.

Bobby was recognized in our family for his heroism. He had been awarded a Bronze Star for his bravery in Vietnam when he was in the military. Then, in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, he chose to stay behind to help a pregnant co-worker get to the roof to be evacuated by helicopter. Bobby always chose the well-being of others over his own, whether it be a stranger or family member.

I woke up early on my 23rd birthday, Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, and started to get ready for school. My mother came over to drop off a birthday present. My brother called: "Did you see the World Trade Center? Bobby is missing, no one can get a hold of him." I was still groggy and had no idea what he was talking about. "Turn on your T.V." We turned the T.V on to see what everyone else was seeing--the towers of World Trade Center in flames. My mother and I were speechless. Then, a few minutes later, the South Tower tumbled to the ground.

The South Tower was the second to get hit by the plane, but the first to fall. We found out later that Bobby had been near the 90th floor near the time of the collapse. I had watched as the building crumbled, taking our family member with it. Bobby remained among the missing from the World Trade Center, but was presumed dead. We found out later that he had been, once again, doing his best to help people get out of the building, according to several of his office mates who made it out alive.

A memorial service was held in early October, 2001, but I was not able to get to New Jersey to attend. Several months later, some of Bobby's remains were found on Staten Island, just blocks from where he had grown up. Although there was finally some closure, it was still melancholy news.

My birthday has become a very bittersweet occasion for me and my family. Now that the sadness isn't quite as fresh, I feel I can now celebrate my life and Bobby's at the same time. Since Bobby has been gone, I haven't felt any occasion to go to New York City. I have not been to Ground Zero; it has been over 10 years since I've been to New York. As exciting as New York is, I realized the true reason we went there was for family. I didn't visit New York for the World Trade Center, but rather, for who was lost on September 11th, 2001.

I had been hoping to post some family pictures, but my mother couldn't find the disc with the digital copies. There were some news stories about Bobby and his heroism; here is one of them:

www.legacy.com/sept11/Story.aspx?Per
sonID=111479&location=1





Robert "Bobby" Mattson, of Rockaway Township, New Jersey, died on September 11th, 2001, at the age of 54. Bobby, I will always miss your humor, kindness, and dedication to family.







Image from http://thm-a02.yimg.com/nimage/1164f9d8479
45a9c



In loving memory of Robert Mattson, and all others killed in and affected by the events on September 11th, 2001.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABB698 9/16/2011 10:39PM

    What a true hero. So sorry for you loss. His lovely memory lives on in your heart! emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/14/2011 4:35AM

    YOU WROTE A LOVELY HEARTFELT TRIBUTE TO YOUR DEAR UNCLE BOBBY!!
I AM SURE IT WOULD HAVE MADE HIM PROUD AND HOW YOU STILL THINK OF HIM SO FONDLY! I AM SORRY WE LOST SUCH A GREAT MAN! THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY WITH US, IT MADE THIS 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVEN MORE MEANINGFUL!!
MARY
P.S. AND I WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY; MAY YOU HAVE A GREAT, HEALTHY AND HAPPY YEAR AHEAD! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CANNIE50 9/13/2011 7:17PM

    On the occasion of your birthday, let me just say, when you were born, the world gained a blessing. What a tremendous gift for you to have known and been related to such a handsome, brave, charismatic hero. I wish I could have known him, and after reading this gorgeously composed essay, I feel like I do know him a bit, and I am grateful. Your words gave me chills, and brought me tears, and a sense of inspiration and gratitude. What a tremendous loss but oh what a legacy he left. Bless you and your family.

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JITZUROE 9/13/2011 5:39PM

    I too am sorry for your loss. Your beautifully written blogs shows the outpouring of love you had and continue to have for him...
Bren

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/13/2011 1:19PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. He was a true hero.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/12/2011 2:19PM

    Such a loss!! At least the monster responsible for the crime has been punished.

I hope you were able to have a good birthday.

Comment edited on: 9/12/2011 2:20:44 PM

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SMILINGTREE 9/12/2011 12:00PM

    Writing a tribute is never easy. It feels as if the words aren't ever quite good enough to express the reality of the love you feel or the greatness of the person you loved. I'm sorry for your loss, not only of your Uncle Bobby, but also of the childlike joy you should feel on your birthday and for the loss of cohesiveness within your family.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your feelings, and happy belated birthday.

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ELPHYY 9/12/2011 8:47AM

    emoticon
This is heartbreaking. Im so sorry for your loss. Was the memorial held in Rockaway? I actually used to live there.

Thank you for sharing, I only wish that if I were in a situation like that, that I could be as brave and selfless as your Uncle. He obviously had a heros heart.

Happy Birthday! Im sure wherever he is now he's wishing you the same.

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CHAITEAKITTY40 9/11/2011 11:42PM

    emoticon

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KRAWRS 9/11/2011 5:10PM

    "Now that the sadness isn't quite as fresh, I feel I can now celebrate my life and Bobby's at the same time." I loved this. You SHOULD celebrate... your life and his. Happy birthday!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/11/2011 4:47PM

    What a moving and heart-rending tribute to a wonderful man. You are lucky that you had him in your life and I hope that his legacy always keeps you strong, brave, and determined.

"What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind."
William Wordsworth (Intimations of Inmortality)

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ASHLEYVRONEK 9/11/2011 4:44PM

    Happy Birthday!
Thank you for sharing this story. It sounds like he was an amazing man!

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DS9KIE 9/11/2011 3:58PM

    emoticon emoticon Here's to celebrating Your birthday and to your Uncle Bobby's memories.

So just eat some birthday cake and remember all the great things you did with Uncle Bobby.

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LOVE_IS_LOUDER 9/11/2011 2:10PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. This day is a sad one for everyone in our country, but I can't imagine what it feels like for the family members of those who died. I am thinking of your Uncle Bobby and everyone lost ten years ago today.
Your birthday, however, is a reminder that life goes on; to live your life to the fullest, in honor of those who can't. Happy birthday. emoticon

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JULABELLE 9/11/2011 1:59PM

    Happy Birthday - and yes, must be so bittersweet for you and your family. You wrote a beautiful and moving tribute to your "Uncle Bobby". May you cherish your memories and have forgiveness in your heart.
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HIKINGSD 9/11/2011 1:55PM

    Happy Birthday.

Thank you for sharing Uncle Bobby with us. His bravery is amazing and I am sure that ones that he helped remember him and thank him often.

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HOT_MAMA_13 9/11/2011 1:05PM

    My heart weeps to hear of the loss you and your family suffered. But it also smiles at the beautiful memories you hold of your Uncle and to know how much you all loved each other. May that love and those cherished memories continue to carry you through day by day.

In Gratitude & Love,
Chrissi
Hot_Mama_13 emoticon

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STRONGMOMMA2014 9/11/2011 12:24PM

    Although you are not one of my "sparkfriends" another one of my fellow sparkers commented on your blog and I followed the link to read it. I am so touched and so sorry. How lucky you, your family, and friends were to have had him in your life. He sounds like an amazing man. A true hero.

I am sure he would want you to have a wonderful birthday. Happy Birthday to you.

My sincere condolences for your loss. It is these stories that make me so proud and so thankful to be an American. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

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CHRISTINA791 9/11/2011 12:22PM

    Thank you for sharing Bobby with us. This was a beautiful tribute to someone who sounds like a wonderful man.



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ALLISON145 9/11/2011 11:40AM

    Happy Birthday, and my sincere condolences.

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MUSCLEADDICT32 9/11/2011 11:05AM

    That was extememly beautiful! emoticon emoticon My condolences to you and your family! emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 9/11/2011 9:50AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MISTYBLUE716 9/11/2011 9:27AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful man! emoticon

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JENJESS48 9/11/2011 9:26AM

    Sorry for your loss, honey. Stories like this are a big inspiration to me in my day-to-day work and why I do it: I work at the National Counterterrorism Center. Our goal, which I like to think I contribute to every day, is that nothing like this ever happens again. emoticon

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BECKY3774 9/11/2011 8:35AM

    What a beautifully written remembrance of someone who was obviously so special....Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing this with us. emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 9/11/2011 8:11AM

    Deep gratitude for sharing the beautifully expressed tribute to "an ordinary good guy," Erin. I believe that elebrating your own birthday in joy is the best remembrance you can offer your beloved cousin,
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Maha

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APIRLRAIN888 9/11/2011 7:27AM

    Happy birthday and condolences


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INIT2LIVEIT 9/11/2011 4:47AM

    How much pain you and your family must have suffered and still are. Losing a loved one suddenly is never easy, even more so under such circumstances. This is a beautiful memorial, thank you so much for sharing your cousin's story.
Blessings for your Birthday emoticon

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GEMINIAN1 9/11/2011 3:05AM

    What a great man.
I'm sorry that he's gone.
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CHAOSTHEORY635 9/11/2011 2:35AM

    Happy birthday, and condolences for the loss of your cousin.

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 9/11/2011 2:24AM

    emoticon

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SYZYGY922 9/11/2011 2:21AM

    Aww. That is sweet. Happy birthday.

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WOLFKITTY 9/11/2011 2:08AM

    Aww.
Hugs!
Jocelyn

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DIVA-TO-BE 9/11/2011 2:02AM

    This is a beautiful and moving tribute. On this anniversary of your Uncle Bobby's heroism, please remember him with love, and make the good memories part of your birthday celebration. And mend those bridges-life is too short for rifts in family

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BENTONHEALTHY 9/11/2011 1:25AM

    Amen. The silent heros, we will never forget.

Happy Birthday to you.

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The Week in Review: Taco Hell

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty embarrassed about what I'm about to tell you about my binging. It isn't so much that I DID binge, but rather what foods I chose that are embarrassing. I looked back at my emotional eating pattern from late last week/early this week and groaned. The upside is, I caught it before it really got out of hand (as in, jumping of the wagon for a month). I also didn't let the rest of my life get put on hold because of the binging. Usually, if I really get into a binging phase, I cut back or stop exercising because I feel like crap. Then I feel even more like crap because I'm stuffing my face and not moving. Then I get depressed. I think the reason I haven't had a depressive episode in a while is that I no longer fall into this pattern.

Last week my 19-year-old cat Kaia started to seem worse, and I was getting stressed out about having to make an end-of-life decision for her. I was deciding when would be best to euthanize her, which stressed me out. I had already given into a stress binge at Taco Bell last week, which planted the seed to want even MORE.

Then one night, the image of pizza and lasagna entered my brain. Without hesitation, I ordered pizza, lasagna, and for good measure, chocolate cake from my favorite pizza place. I ate all of it in one sitting and felt absolutely ill. I swore up and down, of course, that I wouldn't do THAT again.

Then, 2 days later, I got home from work with the conversation with my veterinarian friend about euthanizing Kaia. She kindly told me I could come in whenever I was ready and that she fully supported my decision. I felt panicky and wasn't sure what to do with myself, so of course that requires eating a ton of food. Because I was too embarrassed to order from the same pizza place again 2 days later, I ordered from Domino's. Yuck. Nevertheless, I ordered a bunch of crap and stuffed my face. Yes. Because that is how I think through a problem.




Image from http://thm-a02.yimg.com/nimage/1164f9d8479
45a9c



The next day (Tuesday), I wrote my blog about my cat Kaia. I ate another 3 pieces of pizza in the process. It finally sunk in how ridiculous this all was, and I threw out the remaining half pizza. Yes, it was a waste of food (and money). But as my favorite WeightWatchers leader would say, "The food can go to waste, or it can go to waist." If I finished the pizza, I would have just kept going.

I hit the reset button and went to Muay Thai class with my brother that night (Tuesday). It is the first time I had been back to Muay Thai is a couple of years. Muay Thai is Thai kickboxing and uses elbows and knees in addition to kicks and punches. It was a great class and my brother and I had a lot of fun. We both opted not to stay for the hour-long kickboxing class afterwards--me because of my knee and John because of his long run the previous day. I came home and did my STS chest, shoulder, and triceps workout. I lifted ridiculously heavy weights that had me grunting at the end of each set. I then had a protein shake. Then I made some pasta and topped it with some tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs from the garden with avocado oil, garlic, and fresh spinach. I felt truly relaxed and satisfied from the exercise and good food, unlike the binges that I try to justify by saying they make me feel better.

The binges are just my insecurities crying out, trying to tuck me snugly away under a thick layer of fat. I have to remember that it is the anticipation of a binge that I crave. The relief comes from when I say, "Okay, fine, I'll do it, I'm going to eat whatever I want until I'm sick." It's the idea of giving in and telling myself it's okay to eat (X) food that feels freeing--with key emphasis on the FEELS. The relief from binge activity comes before any food passes my lips. I first learned about this concept in Judith Beck's book "The Beck Diet Solution." She suggests learning to recognize that feeling that comes when we've decided to give into a binge (which comes before the actual eating), acknowledge the feeling of relief, and find something else to do immediately. This has made me a lot more conscientious of an impending binge, and that I have the choice to tell myself "No," and to find something else positive to associate with that feeling. If I give in, I try to do it guilt free and immediately return to my normal eating. This week, I had several binges, and I felt terrible about it. That makes a lot of sense, I was eating to try to fix a terrible feeling. But stress eating doesn't reverse kidney and liver failure or seizures in a 19-year-old cat. At least I've learned that much.




Image from http://www.bubbleoptic.com/2011/01/yo-quie
ro-taco-bell.html



Tomorrow is my 33rd birthday, and I hope to make my 33rd year my best yet. Having celebrated my 1 Year SparkVersary in August, I feel like I'm on a roll with working towards my truly healthy self. I feel like I am finally becoming the person I was meant to become, and a few bad days aside, healthy choices come naturally on a typical day. I also think part of being healthy is recognizing the emotional eating and putting it to a stop, even if it isn't stopped completely in the first place. I am just going to say that I don't plan on "conquering" emotional eating or binges. It is not realistic and I would just be setting myself up for failure. Giving in guilt-free on occasion has been the best choice I've made to control the binges, ironically enough.

It's funny, I am trying to decide what to have for dinner at the restaurant with my family tonight, and I am thinking I'll get a big salad...not because I feel compelled to stick to my "diet," but because I am craving a big bowl of veggies that badly. Don't get me wrong, though...I will be having some sweet potato fries...and probably dessert...
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I also have some veggies from the garden, including a volunteer spaghetti squash that I found growing beside my garage. Tomorrow, I think I am going to cook the squash and top it with a sauteed eggplant, pepper, and tomato sauce (including herbs from the garden, of course). My harvest is dwindling down (what little of it there was), but I have thoroughly enjoyed growing some food this year. it has made me really appreciate what it takes to get food on the table, and I can't take that for granted.




My garden's "bounty."



As I embark on my 33rd year on this planet, I am grateful for my family and friends who celebrate with me, and that I am surrounded by such kind and supportive people (that means you, SparkPeeps!). I know how lucky I am.
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"Life itself is the proper binge."
-Julia Child

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYWATCHERRS 9/23/2011 4:14PM

    Thanks for being brave enough to post this, Erin. It's given me some food for thought (haha) regarding my own binging and overeating habits.

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ASHLEYVRONEK 9/11/2011 4:52PM

    Happy Birthday! emoticon
I'm sure you're going to have a great year ahead!

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DESERTFLOWER8 9/11/2011 12:04AM

    YES YES YES YES YES!!! I am cheering! This is, perhaps the BEST analysis of binge behavior that I have EVER read. I subscribe to your blogs, and they are all brilliant; this one had me busting out of my skin with recognition. Thank you for that....

I send you best wishes for a fine year ahead...and for a garden of plenty..



Comment edited on: 9/11/2011 12:05:00 AM

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UTMIZ_2000 9/10/2011 11:01PM

    The thing I like best about the blog feature is we have friends willing to hold us accountable and for me that makes it easier to become accountable.

Get it out in the open and deal with it. And I am so proud of you for throwing that pizza out. I should have done the same thing with my ice cream. You have inspired me to be a better person if I fall into my ice cream trap again.

I am so proud of you. And look at how much better you felt after the exercise. emoticon

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HIKINGSD 9/10/2011 10:32PM

    Happy early Birthday! Don't let the past week or so determine your well being. You are worthy of a happy and healthy life. I am so sorry to hear about your kitty. 19 years...wow, she had a nice long life. Our kitty is 13 years old and I fear the day I will have to make the difficult decision of ending her life. You are stronger than you know.

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HIPPICHICK1 9/10/2011 10:15PM

    Put the past aside. There are better days to come, you can bet on it.
I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. Think quality vs quantity.
Really, if you think about it, quality in all things is the best thing for all of us.
Wishing you a superior quality life this year on your birthday and all ways.
CHEERS!
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MUSICALLYMINDED 9/10/2011 10:04PM

    You're right...it's the thought of giving in to the binge that makes us feel better. After I eat it, I just feel sick and ashamed of myself. It's good that you acknowledged these feelings and got back to healthy eating.

Happy Birthday!!!

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APED7969 9/10/2011 5:31PM

    Happy Birthday! I'm glad to hear you got your binge eating under control, I am quite thankful there is no Taco Bell in australia (or dunkin donuts!) You have come so far, your ability to grasp the mental and emotional reasons for struggles gives me inspiration to do the same. Like you I have lost weight and then gained all of it back (plus some for me) in the past and I occasionally worry that this time will be the same. Then I read one of your blogs and it makes me think a bit harder and I get a grasp on the problems in my head rather than just my problems on the plate. Thanks for that!

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APIRLRAIN888 9/10/2011 5:15PM

    Happy birthday! Awesome garden loot! And hugs for cat and binge

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ABB698 9/10/2011 4:31PM

    So you're human Erin! Good to know :) Binging is what it is, and you allowed it not to take over, so WOO HOO! Happy Birthday tomorrow, enjoy your yummy veggie harvest, it looks delish! Oh, and enjoy your cake too, it is your birthday after all! emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/10/2011 2:00PM

    I wish you a happy birthday and all love to Kaia. I think that many people can identify with what you write. You have a lot of insight which must help you and will continue to help you.



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EMRANA 9/10/2011 1:50PM

  Happy birthday! emoticon

That's a really interesting insight about binging ~ and I definitely understand that craving for salad after you've allowed other foods in too much. I hadn't thought about binging in that way before.

Love to you and Kaia.

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JSALERNO 9/10/2011 1:22PM

    GOOD JOB PULLING THROUGH. FRUITS, VEGGIES AND PEACE OF MIND. I LOVE SWEET POTATO FRIES AND HAVEN'T HAD THEM IN AGES.

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Quality vs Quantity of Life: Professional judgement is easier said than done...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Kaia striking a sexy cat pose.


I was working at an emergency clinic 7 years ago, and one night a couple brought in their ornery 12-year-old cat that had large abscess on the neck. Rather than pay for the treatment of this non life-threatening condition, the owners opted to euthanize her. They signed the papers and were waiting in the room for the doctor to come in and put her to sleep. I asked the vet if she would be okay with me asking them to surrender the cat to me, and that I would pay for the abscess repair and treatment; she was fine with that. I went in and was talking to the argumentative owners about surrendering her, and they argued that they "simply couldn't justify spending that kind of money on a cat, when they could be donating money to children through UNICEF." They told of how the cat belonged to their son, who was now away at college, and that she "had lived a good long life." They told me the cat wasn't nice, anyways, and seemed to dislike them. They were the kind of owners that make me question humanity. I finally pointed out that it would still cost them a couple hundred dollars to euthanize the cat, but if they surrendered her to me instead, it would cost them nothing. They immediately signed the surrender papers and went on their merry way.

I wanted to contact them later and ask if they ever made that large donation to UNICEF. My guess would be no.

The euthanasia solution was put away and we instead performed some basic blood work and clipped and repaired the large abscess that had opened on her neck. Her blood work looked good and she was healthy. I was planning on keeping the cat as a foster and possibly surrendering her to a rescue.

And so began my journey with Kaia, a crotchety, no-nonsense 12-year-old black and white cat. I was going to take her home and provide her post-surgical care until she was completely recovered. It quickly became apparent that this cat would not be "adoptable." She was almost unmanageable, she was so disagreeable. I knew I could not surrender her to a rescue, so I decided that I had a new cat. She didn't let me touch her and she hated my other animals; she had never lived with any other animal before.

After several weeks, Kaia would sit in a high place and survey the room. One day, she casually walked up to my dog and smacked him, and then did the same thing to each of the cats. It was clear who ruled the roost. She became much nicer after that and started to seek attention from me, and would even sleep in the bed with me. She became an outgoing cat. She also got along better with the other animals. It's amazing that a 12-year-old cat learned to like dogs and other cats.



Kaia tolerating the presence of a foster kitten.


About 3 years ago, when Kaia was 16, her routine blood work showed mild kidney enzyme elevations. This is certainly not unusual for a senior cat, and it was not to the point where any treatment was really necessary. We rechecked her values regularly and they seemed to hold steady until last year. Her kidneys were getting bad enough that she was put on a prescription diet. Her kidney values slowly started to creep up, and she started vomiting regularly. I started giving her an antacid to help with the vomiting.

About 9 months ago, I woke up to hear thumping in my hallway and saw the cats freaking out. Kaia was having a grand mal seizure. The seizure only lasted a minute or so. I took her in immediately. She appeared completely normal by the time I got to the clinic. We drew blood and found that she was in the early stages of liver failure on top of the kidney failure. Nothing on the blood work explained the seizure, though. We decided to just keep an eye on it for the time being.

Over the months, her seizures have become more frequent. My vet and I opted not to put her on a seizure preventative, though, because that would probably just accelerate the liver failure. She has also started having difficulty walking and stumbled sometimes. She started having facial twitching sometimes. And now, over the past couple of weeks, she has become incontinent a lot of the time and seems to lose control of her rear legs completely. The best guess is that she has a brain tumor or cancer somewhere in her body causing the seizures, and she may have thrown a blood clot, thus causing the rear limb paralysis. Both my vet and I take the "no heroics" approach when it comes to 19-year-old cats, and therefore I am not going to put her through any diagnostics at this point. Ultimately, treatment would not cure her, and she would be miserable being hospitalized. It has gotten to the point where I need to ask myself if she is happy living this way, and how much worse I should allow her health to get.

She is sitting quietly by my side right now. She seems comfortable right now and seems content a lot of the time. Her habits have changed, though, and she no longer sleeps or cuddles with me and hides a lot of the time. I am afraid of coming home one day to find her having non-stop seizures or in horrible pain, and I don't want that for her (or for me). I am going to euthanize her over the next couple of weeks, because it has truly become a question of quality versus quantity of life. Although I know how I would advise someone in my situation, and I would assure them that euthanasia is the best choice, professional judgement goes out the window when the animal is our own. I want her to be comfortable and I want to remember her feeling relatively well, not suffering. These decisions are never easy, but I know it is the right one for Kaia.



Kaia on a happy day.




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PONYFARMER 10/12/2011 12:18AM

    What a beautiful girl. I am crying again, b/c I know the torment of having to do the right thing. I am so blessed that my Joy-Joy has no real medical problems. She takes meds for a low thyroid and she takes rymadel (sp?) for her arthritis but she is the happiest dog I have ever known and I will know when she is tried and needs my help that one last time.

I think about your girl Kaia, what a pretty name, that she may have been so disagreeable b/c of who she lived with. Two people who could care less about her. She was a problem left on their doorstep that they did not want. She knew, animals know these things. For her finding out that there was a place she could live in peace and love and joy made her put down her guard and let others into her world. Keeping them out in the past was a survival technique that she needed to adapt to her situation.

But finding you she found HOME!

God bless you for taking in a difficult cat who had never before been given the chance to just be who she was, good, bad or indifferent.

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SKYWATCHERRS 9/15/2011 4:56PM

    Sending you and Kaia love. I know it hurts to see them suffer and then to lose them. Kaia is lucky to have had you as a cat-mom and she will be waiting for you.

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/13/2011 1:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I too believe in quality of life vs. quantity. Kaia's last 7 years have been good ones, and more than she would have had if you had not stepped in to rescue her. What horrible people those owners were! It is always incredibably sad when a loved pet declines.
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MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/9/2011 6:43AM

    What a great story. First the fact you saved this ornery cat (I sincerely think the result of it's living situation..remember these owners raised the son who went off to college, and one wonders what that relationship was about) and it's life turned around under your care! You added a second chapter to Kaia's life, which I am sure was a big change from her former one! She has you to trust with her well being, and thankfully you do know what is best! Having lost two of my three dearly loved rescued cats (and our rescued dog!) in the past year, I totally understand. One of the cats my husband and I did put down (as well as our dear old dog), and if we could do it over would have even done it sooner, as our memory is one of pain and sadness, yet this dear boy had so resisted giving up that we went further than we should. Please know you are doing the right thing and take comfort in the fact we can spare these loved beings a peaceful ending!
Take care.
Mary emoticon

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JITZUROE 9/8/2011 2:50PM

    Ohhhhhh, I am so sad for you!!! When my 19 year old CC fell off our bed in some sort of seizure (stroke? No idea), we raced her to the vet. I was so frantic and pretty much rufe with my demands that they make her better. I had to make a decision to end her life as the vet said she was in a poor state and not going to get any better. I wanted her beter! Free from pain, back to her awnry self that got her to 19, but instead I chose to take her out of pain. Hardest thing I have ever ever ever done. I held her the whole time. I owed her that mch. I kissed her goodbye... And I am stil weepy now just thinking about it. I am sending you huge hugs and hope you make the right decision for both of you...
Bren

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DARKTHOR 9/7/2011 11:36PM

    Thank you for giving this lovely cat a chance at quite a few happy years in your household. You have enriched lives, including your own.

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ANGELWENDYMAMA 9/7/2011 9:55PM

    I have been there and I empathize about this and what a difficult decision it is to make, even when we know it's the right thing for the pet and the family.. It's not easy. Definitely it's the hardest part of pet ownership to put an animal down. Hugs..

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SCHWINNER! 9/7/2011 8:05AM

    Aww...what a sad but happy story! You've already given Kaia a second chance, and I'm sure she is eternally grateful. It's a hard decision, but you know you're doing the right thing for you. You've extended her life by 7 years already!!! SEVEN! :)
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LEAELLEN07 9/6/2011 10:41PM

    A beautiful story. She is so lucky you took her in and gave her a few more happy years. I'll be thinking of you and Kaia, and your story in the coming weeks as you face such a challenge.

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CHAOSTHEORY635 9/6/2011 10:24PM

    *hugs* One of my kitties went through acute renal failure a few months ago. (Fortunately, he pulled through and is perfectly normal now.) It's so rough watching a furry little one go through debilitating illness.

19's a good long life for a cat, and you sound like you've done all you can to make her last 7 as great as possible. Knowing what the right thing to do is doesn't make it any easier.

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WINNIE1978 9/6/2011 8:58PM

    I am glad that you were able to talk Kaia's previous owners into handing her over to you. It sounds like she has had a nice life with you. It is heartbreaking that you have to choose between letting her live with her health problems or ending her suffering. I know that you will make the best decision for Kaia, even if it will be difficult.

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MUSICALLYMINDED 9/6/2011 8:57PM

    I think that's the right thing to do. Especially if she's going to suffer and be in lots of pain.

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HIPPICHICK1 9/6/2011 8:52PM

    It's heart-breaking when we experience life's full circle through the death of a beloved pet. She had 7 more great years of because of you and she gave you lots of kitty love for it...eventually.
I wish you love and light at this difficult time.
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BECKY3774 9/6/2011 8:36PM

    Oh....wow. This is one decision that you have to make for yourself, and the hardest decision to make....just know that we're here for you... and bless you for taking such good care of her and giving her a chance when nobody else would! She's beautiful!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GEMINIAN1 9/6/2011 7:53PM

    I have tears in my eyes for the both of you.
My heart goes out to you both.
I hope that a decision comes to you.
Thank you for taking care of her and giving her extra years that she wouldn't have had without someone as wonderful as you are.
My thoughts are with you my friend.
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MISTYBLUE716 9/6/2011 7:08PM

    emoticon emoticonthinking of you!!! you're right...it is quality over quanity...but you still got a huge quanity! She's beautiful!

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EMRANA 9/6/2011 5:56PM

  May I send Kaia some Reiki to help her feel comfortable? I am a Reiki Master and my focus is animal Reiki. I can do distance healing, and I never charge money for my Reiki, no worries about that. I do it as spiritual service.

Sending you much love and understanding. I have been there too. I know how hard it is, my friend.

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APED7969 9/6/2011 5:22PM

    As hard as the quality versus quantity talk is to apply to our own animals it is true. It sounds like you've done all you can. When clients ask me about signs of pain in animals I often mention hiding but ultimately we are only guessing. I'm sure she's forever grateful for you getting her an extra 7 years of life even if being a cat meant she could never let you know just how grateful she is. emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/6/2011 5:13PM

    What a heart-breakingly beautiful blog and a tribute to your humanity and all that you and Kaia have given to each other. She is so lucky to be around such a wise and loving person.

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KRAWRS 9/6/2011 4:36PM

    Beautiful blog. You are a wonderful person for taking her in and letting her live the life she was meant to! She is lucky, and I'm sure she knows it. A hard decision, but the right one. (((HUGS))

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LEONALIONESS 9/6/2011 4:22PM

    I'm so sorry. :c

With my ratkids (and the catkids, in the future, I imagine) I always prefer to wonder if I went too soon than know I went too late. I've waited too long with some rats, unable to let them go, and the extra time wasn't good time for them. I regret that more than I can say.

When her good days/hours are outweighed by the bad, when she gets that "done" look in her eyes - you'll know.

Have you tried her on pred or dex, in case it is brain tumor? Or will pred/dex affect the kidneys too much?

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/6/2011 4:18PM

    You saved her and gave her so many wonderful years of happiness and a good home. Now you can save her again from suffering and pain. My heart goes out to you. I've done it and it isn't easy. emoticon emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/6/2011 4:10PM

    emoticon

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KKINNEA 9/6/2011 3:51PM

    You are such a wonderful and caring person so I know this isn't easy. Hope you are able to make the decision in peace.

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TWO-TOO-MUCH 9/6/2011 3:18PM

    Oh my, what a beautiful blog. It is the greatest gift we can give our pets, to set them free from any suffering. It is the ultimate act of love. Having been through it twice in 2010, I know it's not easy, but neither is seeing our beloved pets suffer when there is no hope of improvement. Good luck to you and peace to Kaia.

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JSALERNO 9/6/2011 2:54PM

    emoticon emoticon I'M SO SORRY BUT ITS BETTER TO NOT LET THEM SUFFER. I HOPE IF MY CAT STARTS HAVING SERIOUS HEALTH ISSUES I WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION.I'VE HAD HER SINCE SHE WAS OLD ENOUGH TO LEAVE HER MOTHER AND CAN'T IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT HER.

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BECKYSRN 9/6/2011 2:45PM

    emoticon You are a wonderful cat, you know....

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FIFIFRIZZLE 9/6/2011 2:24PM

    emoticon

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DOGSRFIT 9/6/2011 2:18PM

    emoticon

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