Thursday, February 02, 2012
I have known for years that I need to lose this weight....and was doing great for a while and then put back on almost 50 pounds of what I lost. I have lost over 20 of that in the past couple of months, but it is not enough. I think that I have finally had my wake-up call!
My mother has been in the hospital for a little over two weeks now and is in very bad shape. On January 18th she had a bad heart attack....I know no heart attack is good, but hers is bad in that it is not a light one. They took her to the Cath Lab and put a stent in a 100% blockage. She also had a 70% blockage that they were going to deal with at a later date to give her body a chance to recover. On Monday, January 23 she was released from the hospital and had to be readmitted 30 minutes later because of shortness of breath and pressure in her chest. On Tuesday her blood work had some elevated levels so they took her back to the cath lab to make sure her stent had not failed...it hadn't, but her 70% blockage was now more like 90%....sounds like a blood clot to me for that much difference in six days. On Wednesday the 25th I was called at work at 2:30 and a nurse told me they thought my mother had had a stroke.....her heart threw a blood clot. I rushed to the hospital and by the time I got there she was no longer responsive. They took me in to see if she would respond to me; she didn't. She was paralyzed on her right side and I could see her face drooping. A few minutes later a neurologist arrived to check her out and told me that her best chance at recovery was a drug that might kill her. I was told that without this drug she would be permanently paralyzed and might not ever get much better than she was at that moment. We had to make a decision on the spot...there is only a three hour window of opportunity for this drug to be administerd and the sooner they got it into her system the less brain damage there would be if it worked. It was one of the most dificult decisions I have ever had to make. The drug did help her....the paralysis was reversed, but it didn't break through the clot quick enough to spare the part of her brain that controls speech so her words come out all mixed up and she makes no sense.
I was exhausted by the time I returned to work on Tuesday the 31st. I practically lived at that hospital while she was in ICU and the first two days she was back in a room in the coronary care unit. Now I go to work until 3:35 pm weekdays, go to the hospital until about 10, go home and refill my insulated lunch bag with water, cottage cheese, fruit, etc. for the next day's meals, sleep and get up and do it all again, until the weekend when I spend all of my awake time at the hospital with her. It is becoming a routine that leaves no time for exercising, cooking healthy meals, or anything else.
My mother is looking at long term care in a nursing facility that offers physical and speech therapy. Our hope is that she will recover enough to go home again....but I am afraid that isn't going to happen and she is going to spend the rest of her life in a nursing home. My mother is only 66 years old. :(
Now for the rest of the story. My mother has been an insulin dependent type 1 diabetic since she was 16 years old. She has lived much longer than most type 1 diabetics. In addition she did not take care of herself when she was younger. She ate too many carbs, too much candy, and never ate on a regular schedule. She has never gotten enough exerise...which also helps control blood sugar. Her blood sugar has been unstable as long as I can remember. She has just never had it under good control. I have seen her blood sugar be over 400 one evening and be 50 the next morning. Her blood sugar has always bounced all over the place. She is also in the later stages of kidney failure and is on dialysis so in addition to trying to recover from a heart attack and stroke, she is having to go for dialysis three days a week and for anyone that has never had dialysis or known anyone that did, dialysis drains you; it is absolutely exhausting! If all of this isn't enough, my mother has also been overweight most of her adult life, but her weight has just spiraled out of control since she had to have her right leg amputated because of a staph infection she got following knee replacement (a case of a totally incompetent doctor on EVERY level!).
It is so hard to watch my mother go through this....my poor mother has been through more than her share. It is a helpless feeling. If something doesn't change, this will be me in a few years....I will be 50 in just 9 weeks and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes almost four years ago. I know that I have to lose this weight. I know that my life depends on eating right and being more physically active. I have to stop sitting in the recliner with a computer on my lap and keep myself busier with more physical activities. One thing I know for sure is that even if I don't lose the weight I have to eat right and keep my blood sugar under control. I don't want to end up in the hospital with a heart attack and stroke facing months of physical therapy and someone else having to take care of my personal hygiene for me!
So, I have returned to my pre-hospital eating as much as possible. I just don't have the time to cook right now...I am only home to sleep these days. I am back to packing lunch to work rather than grabbing fast food because it is easier. Today I had a boiled egg and large apple for breakfast, 1/2 cup cottage cheese with a Del Monte fruit cup and a nectarine for lunch and I have another boiled egg for a snack after work. I also have four 16.9-ounce bottles of water in my insulated bag to get me through the day. Boiled eggs with lean ham will be my breakfast most days and cottage cheese with fruit will be my lunch most of the time...they are just easy to prepare and easy to pack and take with me in my insulated lunch bag. I am determined to avoid the unhealthy foods served in the hospital cafeteria on most days. When my mother is well enough I will try to work in more physical activity....even if it is just pushing her around in a wheelchair so that she can get out of her room from time to time. I know I have to do this...one way or the other....because for the past two weeks I have been looking through a window into my future!