The primary purpose of my vacation was to visit my mom, who had been quite sick since suffering a heart attack in January (she has congestive heart failure and many other health problems; she is 93). So, I mostly spent my time in Portola Valley quietly visiting and helping my mom. She is MUCH improved, and is expected to be released from hospice into regular nursing home care this week. I couldn’t believe how much her health has improved! She was enjoying reading again, her vital signs were good, and she was more alert and awake. She sponsored an Easter party for the children of the nursing home employees, and she was thrilled to have the small visitors (who are from all races and cultures; all were dressed in their Easter best for the Easter egg hunt and carrying little paper Easter baskets).
Her mobility however is much worse. Last month when I visited, she was still struggling her way to the restroom on her walker, with the support of a caregiver. She did NOT want to lose the ability to make it there on her own two feet. Now she is wheeled in (on a wheelchair with a potty seat that rolls right over the toilet – very inventive!), and has accepted the change with equanimity.
The Kindle e-reader has been a real benefit for mom, and for anyone else with impaired vision. She can change any book to LARGE print. She can’t order books herself because the keys are too small for her to read, so I ordered several of her favorite mysteries for her, plus the new Maeve Binchy novel. When reading the newspaper, she can only read the headlines; if she is interested in the topic she uses a magnifying glass. She reads VERY slowly but I am so glad she is reading again.
I was able to run lots of errands for mom, which gave my older sister Pam a break. Pam does most of the work helping mom (errands, visits to the doctor, helping manage money, doing taxes, designated medical decision maker, etc). My younger sister Mindy has accepted a job back east (in Pittsburgh), so she will be unable to help out, and she has been very tied up with the move/house hunt for the past month. It was great to spend time with my family.
Family photos (mom & sisters & brother)
I met my friend Charlie for a hike. We hiked in Wunderlich park in Woodside. The coast redwoods were lovely, but not as big as the giant Sequoias. It is interesting to realize how many of my long time friends were made through hiking! I met Charlie more than 20 years ago through a Sierra Club hiking group in California.
Charlie on the trail
Charlie in circle of redwoods
I also hiked with my sisters in Redwood Park in the Oakland hills – but I forgot my camera. Lots of hills!
Finally -- I had mixed results with my SP goals this month. I met my exercise goals. I met my fruits and vegetables goals. I controlled alcohol. I did not control caffeine intake, and I struggled with stress and sleep disruption. My digestion has been very upset on both ends (stomach and intestinal); probably stress related but it is getting to the point that I need to check things out with a physician. I tracked food intake only approx 50% of the days. My biggest problems with tracking are due to work and family related travel. In March I traveled for 10 days for family, and traveled for 8 days for work – that’s more than half the month on the road. Weigh in was not good; two months ago I reset my weight loss ticker to a reduced weight that I am now exceeding, erasing all my minor gains since the reset. I'll decide whether to reset it again after I figure out whether this is a temporary blip -- or I need to start from a new higher weight. I wish I'd left the ticker at my old original start weight!
I know I can do better. I’ll work on re-visioning my goals and making some changes that work for me consistently – even when I am traveling, working long hours, and stressed.