Wednesday, January 09, 2013
First off, I'M doing a lot better than I was yesterday. And thanks so much to all who cared, who prayed, and who thought to remind me to continue to take care of myself and Paul as well as Dad.
His recovery turns out to be a mixed bag. He is too good to be home with us or at his assisted living, with hospice, and 24-hr family care to await an impending death. But I think his ultimate prognosis is good; I think he is a good rehab candidate. Medicare will give 100% coverage for 20 days. He would get a total of 15 hours a week of therapy, both physical and occupational. No need for speech therapy, so the 15 hours is divided just the two ways, which pleases me.
After the 20 days, we can have him home or assisted living on hospice. If he can walk 150 feet (or propel his own wheelchair) he can be at assisted living without us providing the 24-hr care. And, even if he isn't , we can still have him at home. But the 20 days of therapy gives him the best shot at returning to assisted living; and ANY progress makes his care at home less physically taxing.
He is mostly lucid, but has some confusion issues that are too hard to describe to a layman, but would be instantly recognizable to us healthcare people. (I'm a retired rehab RN, for those who don't know that about me). Still, he is both physically and cognitively about 50% better than after his broken hip, when the 20 days got him appropriate for assisted living. So I'm confident that this is a good decision.
Also, the nursing home he'll be in is in our home town. (Hospital is 25 miles away). That makes life easier for us, our sons, and one daughter-in-law who all live within 1-1/2 miles of each other.
So thanks again for caring. Life goes on an will probably get better.
Monday, January 07, 2013
Dad got admitted to ICU with pneumonia early this afternoon. Abrupt onset shortness of breath and chills at the breakfast table at his assisted living facility. For those who never realized, elderly can get terribly sick terribly fast, because their weaker immune systems don't recognize the illness and get mobilized quickly.
I had sent out quick threads on four of my teams asking for prayers. Now I need to update all my SparkFriends in the easiest way possible. Thus, a blog.
He was very critical from about 10-3, because the stress of the pneumonia triggered a congestive heart failure crisis. Also, he was having trouble maintaining his blood pressure - top number hovering at or a little below 100.
He was not incubated ( doesn't want to be) but was put on a breathing machine that uses a snug mask and head straps to keep it in place. Then the machine can blow 100% oxygen in under pressure. His breathing was so shallow that on just 100% oxygen mask he wasn't breathing in enough to make a difference.
But he didn't survive a WWII torpedoing and additional combat time, plus assorted heat attacks, diabetes, etc. by being a wuss. He's one tough cookie! The family decided to treat aggressively for 24 hours and then re-think the situation in terms of his response to treatment.
The IV antibiotics have stopped the worsening of the pneumonia already, so he can begin to actually fight it off. The IV meds to take fluid off his lungs have also worked very well, and he is breathing comfortably off the machine. If he has some trouble tonight in deep sleep, there are a couple of mask options to use and hopefully not restart the machine.
Elderly often don't spike high temperatures even when they're critically ill. So he maxed out at only 101* but is already down below 100*. His heart was racing over 150 beats per minute trying to get oxygen around his body, but he's been in the 90s for several hours now. And his blood pressure is 120-140; just right when he was at his worst, his breathing rate was >30 and now he's stable at 18-20. So all in all, he's doing amazingly well, and I hope he'll come out of ICU tomorrow.
So thanks to all of you who have been praying for him. And in some cases I know you put him on prayer chains. God has been very gracious to him today, and I'm so thankful that he is comfortable.
Of course, we'll still be looking at physical therapy to get some strength back. And it's too soon to know of he'll be able to return to the assisted living he's been so happy in since May. But we'll be taking one day at a time and go from there.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Just wanted to let you know that today was not a total disaster, despite starting off with more than 1000 calories before 1:30am. Protein and carbs were within range. Seven veggies and 10 glasses of water. I came in just under 2000 calories for the day. Of course, fats were 51 per cent and that binge accounted for 53; but such is life! The important thing is that I didn't write off the day as a total loss, as I probably would have done pre-SP.
I still did my easy day in terms of weekly exercise. No attempt to punish myself or even to compensate. And my eating is back on track.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Well, I wrote last night about planning for a Christmas party challenge. And yes, the good news is that I passed that test with flying colors. One small sparerib with BBQ sauce scraped off as much as possible. Estimated 1.5 oz of skinless grilled chicken breast. Three Little Smokies. One unfrosted tree-shaped sugar cookie. One chocolate covered strawberry. I came home happy and almost 100 calories under my max.
I was pleased as punch, delighted that I'd finally gone to a buffet and not pigged out. I didn't even go near the "munchy" end of the table - all the crackers, chips, and dips. Paul had scoped out the dessert area, and he brought me back that strawberry (a typically romantic gesture). He also told me what my choices would be and where each was located so that I could decide in advance, pick up one cookie, and leave.
Unfortunately, I also came home proud and self-absorbed. I (yes I-I-I!) had done it!!! Did I thank my husband for helping? No. Did I thank God for strength and wisdom when it came to those food choices? No. It was all about me, and there begins the rest of the tale.
I spent all evening in a smug session of self-congratulating. In retrospect, I think that let me consciously and subconsciously spend the evening thinking about food and my super handling of it. So, no, none of us should be surprised that I set myself up for a fall of equally grand proportion.
So Saturday night continued as "normal." I stayed up to pick my adult son up at midnight from work. I got home a bit before 12:30, took the dogs out, sat down for a bit of SparkTime and maybe some reading to unwind and to be in bed within an hour.
Instead, I got out the butter and some English muffin bread to toast. I also fixed myself another holiday treat - eggnog with Southern Comfort. It tasted so good I just went ahead and fixed myself more of each! Now I don't eat white bread, and I certainly don't eat English muffin bread, because I know I will simply slather it with butter. And I couldn't tell you when I last had two drinks in one day. So that was the bad.
And now for the ugly - the stopping eating, going to bed with a too full stomach and a too heavy heart. The waking up knowing I needed to do some major soul-searching. The scariness of knowing that somehow I would need to find the strength to put this out in front of you.
So where do things stand now? I haven't been particularly hard on myself over the binge per se. That was a mistake, pure and simple. And now I just need to start over. But what led to the binge, the emphasis on myself and my good works at the party - that's what I needed to confess to God and to my husband.
Both, of course, have forgiven me. But sin has consequences, and here are some of them. I have to examine where the initial self-centeredness led me. Did I reward myself with food for my good behavior at the party? Did I have a pity party and console myself with comfort food? Did I sabotage myself because success with SparkPeople is in some ways scary as well as exciting?
Yes, yes, and yes.
I also have to figure out what, when, and how I will eat for the rest of the day. I will have to either go over on calories or sacrifice nutrition. I'm opting for the former, but that means all vegetables and no fruit. It means deciding whether to eat some whole grain (a goal) or not be within carbs (also a goal). It means deciding whether to put the healthy fat of olive oil on some salad (a goal) or limit fat severely for the rest of the day to stay within range there (also a goal). And the matter of protein means I need to scrap today's menu plan and seek out my best sources of low-fat, low-carb foods.
But I will also stand tall as a Princess, a daughter of the King of Kings. And I will consider this the first day of the rest of my life.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Tonight is the family Christmas Party at the assisted living center where my Dad lives. It's at 5:30, which is supper time for me. It's not for a meal, though; the invitation says "finger foods and holiday treats." So I've made my plan and decided to share it with you.
This morning was my usual type of breakfast, including plenty of protein, one fruit and one vegetable, and a whole grain serving. I ate a late lunch today, so I won't be particularly hungry in just four hours. I fixed a BIG salad, with three veggies and a fruit. Added in sesame seeds and plenty of low-fat cheese protein. As you can tell, I'm not expecting much in the way of unadulterated fruits or vegetables tonight!
Now I can keep an eye out for relatively high protein finger foods and maybe some more (whole grain?) carbs. I'll be sticking with water to drink during the party. And that will leave me room for one holiday treat. A cookie? A peppermint brownie? I'll have to decide after I get there, and I can count on my husband Paul's support for my choice of just one treat.
Then I can track after I get home and see where the holes are. I have plain nonfat Greek yogurt and other possibilities if I come home needing anything in particular, I always have fruits and vegetables around if I find myself short on calories or just needing a snack before bed.
So now I'm off for a nap, a warm shower, and plenty of time to dress and do makeup. Planning to feel rested, look great, and have a wonderful time - and all with knowing that I'll still be within the calorie and nutrition goals of my food plan!
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