SBECKER526's SparkPeople Blog SBECKER526's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community New Normal Bob passed away on August 9, 2017. I was his acute caregiver for 5 years. We had almost 45 years of marriage. Yet, I am at peace. His body had weakened. His mind was sharp. We did what we could to keep him going. <BR> <BR> I am now defining the new me. I have a few plans. Time will heal. I am being guided by God and not seeking any specific timeline or things. Sat, 2 Sep 2017 19:51:56 EST Hanging in Bob and I are hanging in. He refused surgery for a stuck kidney stone. He is a high risk person for surgery. He currently has no pain. I am his caregiver. My residents at the Highlands are offering help to me. Some will sit with Bob. Others offer errand running. I am blessed to have so many people reach out to help. <BR> <BR> I am glad I have a chaplain and social worker who reach out. I am trying to keep normalcy in our lives. Sat, 15 Apr 2017 15:36:02 EST Coping I read the book, When Breath Becomes Air. My life with Bob is so similar to the book. We are discussing many deep issues. He has been weak and unable to eat. He rallied this evening. He has been on dialysis for 4.75 years. Today I attended a talk and discussion by the widow of the author. This was so meaningful for me. Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:41:07 EST Hanging in Caregiving and taking care of me. Bob is slightly stronger. I tracked walking 84.62 miles in January. Still training, spinning, and swimming. Cat, Snaggles, is a charmer. Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:09:00 EST Making Progress My husband had his medication sensipar increased to a 90 mg tablet per day. He began to have splitting headaches, nausea, and other problems. The doctor kept him on the he medication despite his complaints for over 4 months. My husband also had a fall and thought that he had a concussion. Bob was desperate. He lost over 10 pounds and seemed so ill. He could not go to the dining rooms. We tried "to go" meals during this time period. <BR> <BR> He is getting better since I told him to h... Sat, 24 Dec 2016 00:29:59 EST Made a big step I decided to stop taking my drug, anastrezole. My feet were so painful. Neuropathy was setting in. I noted ease of weight gain and more. My cancer was caught early. The drug therapy was a prevention. I had to weigh pain that caused less quality of life or take a drug that would give me 1% less of a chance of recurring cancer. I chose quality of life. <BR> <BR> I can now do 8,000 steps per day. I did Qi gong and Zumba this morning. I still have numbness and/or pain in the feet, but I... Sat, 29 Oct 2016 14:41:18 EST Sticking with Gratitude Each day I am thankful for 24 hours to do something good. I am grateful for all of you who also want to help others. Today I received good news that I may safely stop a drug that was suspected of giving me more foot pain. Tomorrow begins my test without the drug. <BR> <BR> I know that I am seeking balance: Spiritually (prayers and readings), Emotionally (support group at BCSS and friends night out on Tuesday), Intellectual (classes and seminars), Nutritionally (selection of foods, prot... Fri, 14 Oct 2016 23:54:27 EST Moving Onward <img src=""> <BR> Bob's dialysis is working again. Our dialysis team found the proper solution. Thanks for comments and kind prayers. He still has a nasty headache. I am so grateful to you for your thoughts and comments. We are getting our hall lights, fresh paint and carpeting. Here is a view of our entrance to our apartment. Mon, 10 Oct 2016 00:39:15 EST Husband - very ill Bob is exhibiting all the signs of dialysis not working well. Been on the phone with his nurses and with the Baxter staff as well. He is on dialysis now. I am to call nurses at 8:30 am tomorrow. If he is still as bad, I will order an ambulance to take him to emergency. Please send prayers of strength and courage if you are so inclined. Thanks. <BR> Sandy Fri, 7 Oct 2016 00:06:29 EST Good week reconnecting I enjoyed lunch and time with my cousins on 9/16. I had not been in their company for 10 years. Today I connected with 2 friends. We have not seen each other for 50 years. We plan to get together in a month. I connected with another friend on Facebook. <BR> <BR> This is important to me! Sat, 24 Sep 2016 00:26:24 EST Progress My test occurred earlier. The doctor really had skills. I am making progress. Bob has time with physical therapy. He is getting stronger. Fri, 9 Sep 2016 23:34:49 EST Hopeful! Bob still is more fatigued from his fall. He did not have bleeding or a fracture, but has some memory problems and fatigue. The headache is almost gone. <BR> <BR> I have tests on my nerves in my legs and feet. I am uneasy as I don't know much about the test or the possible problems. I have constant pain (burning) in both feet. I have a tightness in the skin. The skin is shiny as well. I trust that I will find out by Sept 28. I did fracture my right ankle and had surgery 10 years ag... Sun, 4 Sep 2016 23:09:50 EST Challenges seem to follow me My husband had a nasty fall. I am working with him so that he recovers. He had a mild concussion. I am slowly getting relief for the radiation burn like problem on the soles of both feet. I am returning to SparkPeople minus the ads. I use Sparkpeople on my phone. The amount of data irriated me with downloads. Yeah! Tue, 16 Aug 2016 10:55:29 EST Exercising during a flare I want to keep exercising when I have a Rheumatoid Arthritis flare, but do not want to cause more joint damage. I also changed my exercising routine to adjust to limitations. <BR> Sunday - Line dancing for 1 hour <BR> Monday - yoga flow and training <BR> Tuesday - golf <BR> Wednesday - walking, cycling in apt on spin bike, pool <BR> Thurs - aqua class, walking <BR> Friday - line dancing, weights <BR> Saturday - QiGong and Zumba gold <BR> <BR> I do bouts of walking - 250 steps per hour from ... Wed, 13 Jul 2016 23:47:56 EST Feeling more connected and happy I am having less pain if I limit what I do. The newsletter is almost done. Printing for my organizations is done. My mailing committee needs to accomplish two small mailings. <BR> <BR> I can only work at the computer for 30 minutes at a time. I am spending less time on Facebook and Sparkpeople. I get 250 steps per hour during the day. <BR> <BR> Exercise is so important. Socialization means much also. <BR> <BR> Bob seems to maintain his health. We have not heard anything from his te... Fri, 8 Jul 2016 23:07:11 EST Need to Simplify My Life Further Dear Sparkpeople Friends, <BR> I am needing to spend more time at home with the cat and husband. I must cut back my technology time. It appears that I need more rest. I have been cutting back. I am doing fine. I feel blessed and face the future with gratitude. <BR> <BR> Bob has some tests ahead. I have more hand pain. I will check in from time to time. My thoughts and prayers include each of you who offered so much support. <BR> Sandy Wed, 29 Jun 2016 01:43:33 EST Grateful for so many things My heart is so full of gratitude. I value the relationships I have. I feel the love flowing. <BR> Bob and I are aware that his body is changing. He faces challenges. We are so calm about this. He is listening to all his doctors and even me. All three stanzas of the Serenity prayer come into being. <BR> <BR> I am accepting, prayerful, hopeful, and filled with love. God is with us and helping us to be stronger. Sun, 19 Jun 2016 22:55:09 EST Time to follow my bliss Joseph Campbell wrote about following your bliss. I am adjusting well to life at the Highlands. I have a solid exercise program with many options. I have activities that I enjoy and many people I care about at the Highlands and in my organizations. I do not always follow my bliss. I need to meditate and see where my bliss is. It may have changed in this year? Time to pause, reflect, and make small corrections. Fri, 10 Jun 2016 21:06:05 EST Enjoying walking in the park I went out walking this afternoon in the Wyomissing Park from door 5 of the Highlands and went down Parkview to the parking lot. I then walked the entire trail thder the pines. I got to the barn and then the farmhouse. Up, Up past the Villas to the putting green. Over to the doors by the main lounge. What fun to be able to do all that without knee pain. <BR> <BR> The swelling is reduced in my hands. I still am taking it easy. <BR> <BR> I am so proud of Bob. He realizes that he cann... Sun, 29 May 2016 22:46:57 EST Enjoying home It is great to be home. I love sitting at my writing desk and looking out the bay window. Rain is pelting the window. The cat left the window sill and is sleeping by the balcony doors. <BR> <BR> I tried on a suit I bought 6 months ago. It fits better. The joy of working out each day is great. <BR> I plan to attack paperwork later. More fun to watch the rain and gusts of wind. <BR> <BR> Happy Saturday! Sat, 14 May 2016 15:45:22 EST quiet times I am enjoying a time of planning. I will be facilitating a discussion on the book, The Faith Club for our residents. My team consists of Barbara Hetrick, Chaplain Carl Wenzel, and me. We will present this program to the residents at the May Town Hall. I am very happy to be involved. <BR> <BR> I have several things I always wanted to do coming up....Flower Arranging, Putting Green Social, Everybody's Birthday, and more. Having fun and learning more! Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:04:45 EST Feeling close to God I feel so blessed in my life and content. I feel God's presence in my dealing with others. I am a good friend/listener to several people in my new community. I feel God is drawing me closer to them. My life experiences guide me. I am at peace and hence can listen with love and kindness. Sat, 23 Apr 2016 20:47:44 EST New thing for me I have a new desire to explore the Wyomissing Park. I went on a bird watching walk. I got to the creek and then walked along it. The sunshine was super. We saw many birds. Their sounds and colors were beautiful. I felt so relaxed as well. I was walking for over 2 hours. Great experience...want to do it again! Sat, 16 Apr 2016 13:10:58 EST Keeping relationships strong I have been caught up with the move and health concerns. Several groups of friends understood. This past week I made certain I got in touch and had time with them. I met my golf buddies on Tuesday evening. We talked about church, golf, and so much more. They are my family. <BR> <BR> I met with my Breast Cancer Support Services group for an elegant luncheon. What fun to celebrate our volunteers. Worried about one of my friends and her headache. <BR> <BR> When I retired I met a group... Fri, 15 Apr 2016 16:28:59 EST Fitness Surprises for ME! I felt so stressed and in pain around January 1st. Then things changed in surprising ways. <BR> 1. We found a buyer for our house. Settlement occurred on March 11th. <BR> 2. The shoe inserts relieved foot pain. <BR> 3. Did the Vionic sponsored Spark Challenges and decided to try their action shoes and sandals. Wow, what a difference for me. <BR> 4. Worked on quality of sleep after I used my fitbit flex. <BR> 5. Moved to a Blaze so I could do more. <BR> <BR> I now walk almost 10,000 st... Wed, 6 Apr 2016 10:31:02 EST Thrilled with the Highlands Each day I find more ways to celebrate our move into the Highlands at Wyomissing. Bob and I have a secure environment. We are surrounded by well-educated people. There are so many things to do with art, music, history, the seniors college at Alvernia, and movies. The food is super. Trips abound; community service opportunities are frequent. <BR> <BR> The facilities are great. The swimming pool is salt water filtered (not clorine). The fitness center has pneumatic machines to adjust we... Wed, 30 Mar 2016 21:08:25 EST Holidays at our community I am grateful for the warm, caring environment at the Highlands. Bob and I had Easter dinner in our favorite restaurant. The servers were adept and got our dinners to us. There was a server who ran the dinners to kept them ultra hot. I grew up with a father who always had leg of lamb for dinner on Easter. We have not had lamb for sometime. I had sliced leg of lamb today. It was soo good and steeped in memories of Easter passed. My husband chose orange roughy. The fish was done perfec... Sun, 27 Mar 2016 20:43:12 EST New focus and lift Bob and I have a more relaxed attitude. We feel less stress. We are enjoying time in our apartment and checking out the buds on the trees. Snaggles had his squirrel look at him from the balcony. A baby cardinal chirped at him. I read a book and the Sunday paper. <BR> <BR> We had a good meal in the Wyomissing Club restaurant. I did some volunteer work on the computer. There is so much that I want to do. <em>137</em> Sun, 13 Mar 2016 19:49:39 EST House is sold! <em>12</em> The time finally arrived when all the paperwork was in order. Our settlement happened at 4 pm on March 11th. Our realtor, Tom Degler, represented Bob and me. Everything went smoothly today. <BR> <BR> The couple who bought our home has 4 children and 2 dogs. They are delightful and hardworking. They will give our former home character and love. Ali stated he wants to be there for a long time. We are thrilled to know that they will live there. <BR> <BR> It was a positive ... Sat, 12 Mar 2016 02:20:37 EST Accepting the delay My husband and I really want to have the settlement on our house occur. Fellow residents shared that they had similar delays and problems. My real estate agent shared that the new law on mortgages states that hand written comments and changes cannot be made. If something is found to be done incorrectly, it must be mailed to the buyers. The buyers have 3 days to respond. <BR> <BR> We are trying to be patient. Not real easy....We have expensive vacant house insurance..... Sun, 6 Mar 2016 19:30:11 EST Mixed emotions tonight We will sell our house soon. I walked through the house today. I remembered when we bought the house 43 years ago. I remembered cooking meals as a new bride. Thank God we did not smoke alarms then. I remembered my first holiday dinner that I cooked for my parents and subsequent dinners for family and friends. <BR> <BR> I remember how Bob and I retreated to the family room when we had to study for our master's degree comprehensives. I remember working on my computer as I did research f... Wed, 2 Mar 2016 23:16:21 EST Discerning what I want to do Now that the move is almost finished with paperwork and the sale of the house to go, I will spend time discerning what I am called to really do. In the 6 months of living in my new apartment, I see the value of enjoying each day and not being defined by a full calendar. <BR> <BR> I am also looking at organizations that I have served for 10 years now. It is time for the next group of retirees to take over some functions. I love attending exercise classes, wellness programs, and educationa... Mon, 22 Feb 2016 09:51:21 EST Getting closer to settlement My husband and I are 10 days out in the settlement of our house. It will be a huge relief to have that done. I am getting more into the routine of the Highlands. I am making good choices as to what I do. The seminars and exercise classes are great. I may go on two day events. <BR> <em>425</em> We had a 30 inch snowfall and a 5 inch snowfall. A storm with snow, sleet and ice is projected for Tuesday. I am so glad to live in a community where snow shoveling and car clean-0ff is done. Sun, 21 Feb 2016 10:17:42 EST Busier than ever! I have my busy moments. I limit them to two hours a day. I do my phone calls, computer work and meetings. I will not schedule more than two hours. <BR> <BR> I also schedule my exercise time as my ME time. I do mind-body and also strength. I walk and cycle almost every day for cardio. <BR> <BR> I am peaceful and less stressed. The cat helps calm me also. Thu, 11 Feb 2016 20:42:22 EST still exercising I really enjoy exercising. I try to walk 3 miles each day. I am cycling 30 minutes on days I don't get to classes. I do one tai chi class , one QiGong class, one Aqua Class, one Zumba, and one yoga class per week. I hope to work in one pilates class. Mon, 8 Feb 2016 19:10:28 EST Appreciation for all those who helped during our 30 inch storm All o f the people who touched my life during the storm gave of themselves. From the drivers who brought key personnel to our residence to keep us going with food and service. The maintenance and grounds people who had so much to do to clean walkways, roofs, drives, and even our cars. The young servers had fun as they slept over 2 nights. I see so much good in the staff and in the residents. I found this to be an adventure. Wed, 27 Jan 2016 23:21:47 EST Enjoying life I am enjoying meeting new people and to hear their stories. Each of us has challenges and special traits that are great to hear about. I have a new friend who is facing heart surgery. She inspires me with the calmness and faith she prepares for surgery.. <BR> <BR> My housekeeper has strong values. I realize that her cleaning reflects her desire to help others. Faith is deep in our approaches to daily life. <BR> <BR> Others, too, face problems. Their faith and belief gives them grace... Mon, 18 Jan 2016 21:09:20 EST Progress in defining new life My husband and I completed the new resident orientation and found the program to be worthwhile. We understand our new environment and the governance of it as well. I have a deep respect for the planners. My apartment is safe and comfortable. <BR> <BR> Our house has been on the market for 5 months. I was getting down thinking that it would not move. Alas, we have a sale pending on the securing of a mortgage. I am hopeful. Once the house is sold then we can dig into our new life. Fri, 15 Jan 2016 21:55:03 EST Hopes I have many hopes as I look at 2016. Here are a few of them. <BR> 1. We sell our home of 42 years. <BR> 2. We continue to adjust to our new lifestyle at the Highlands of Wyomissing. <BR> 3. Enjoy good health and times with friends. <BR> 4. Work at exercise and proper eating. <BR> 5. Enjoy the small things in life. <BR> 6. Work for peace, dignity and compassion. <BR> <BR> There are always more, but I picked my top 6. <BR> <em>311</em> <em>551</em> <em>381</em> Fri, 1 Jan 2016 14:55:29 EST Getting better Physical therapy and my guide to fitness are helping. I am regaining strength in my knee. Yesterday I climbed the 30 steps to my apartment without pain. I can use the bathtub and get up from the floor after playing with Snaggles, my cat. I am cycling each day and doing all the pt exercises. I do my other exercises as well. I did some classes as well. I am now working on wall squats with the fitness ball and other items. <BR> <BR> This is a wonderful gift for the new year! Thu, 31 Dec 2015 11:08:54 EST Eating and Exercising I now have my plan for exercising in place with low impact cardio, strength, yoga, tai chi and qigong. I try to cycle in my apartment for 20 minutes each day. <BR> <BR> I make sensible breakfasts each day. We have a snack of fruit, carb, and protein for lunch. We then have a 4 course dinner each evening. I keep to 1500-1600 calories per day. <BR> <BR> I also take classes on topics that interest me. I plan to start a walking program on January 2nd. Sat, 26 Dec 2015 21:56:47 EST Beautiful Christmas I am so blessed. Our move to the Highlands at Wyomissing was so perfect. The opportunities and fellowship are great. My friends also contributed so much more. The thoughtful gifts, excellent dinner by Sherry, sangria wine to have next week, holiday meals, and great entertainment. <BR> <BR> Today I had dinner in the Wyomissing Club with Bob. We enjoyed turkey and ham with all the trimmings. The apple pie was awesome. And the lobster bisque. The chef and sous chef are amazing. <BR> ... Fri, 25 Dec 2015 20:24:51 EST Special time in my life This is a special time in my life. My years of working are behind me. All of the stuff we accumulated was auctioned, sold at a flea market, or donated. We have what we need (and a little extra), Our apartment meets our needs. Life is better than when we were in our home. <BR> <BR> My husband and I have more time together to enjoy the sunset from our balcony. We know what matters most and hold the time we have as precious. I no longer feel I must define myself. I know my strengths and... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 16:57:17 EST Acceptance of a new normal I am blessed and happy. I am learning to accept my limitations and to make adjustments. It is okay not to get to a church service at 9 am if my body needs more time to get ready. I also am not scheduling many appointments prior to 10 am in general. Mornings are to say a prayer of gratitude for my day with all its blessings. Mornings are to play with the cat and help Bob as needed. <BR> <BR> My TENS unit is helping to block pain in my knee. I am still actively doing all the physical t... Sun, 20 Dec 2015 15:37:45 EST Blessed and Fortunate! My husband and I are blessed to be living at the Highlands of Wyomissing. We decorated our apartment and started Christmas cards. We are just sending a few as my RA and hands find writing to be a challenge. We are enjoying concerts, holiday parties, classic Christmas movies, dinners with new friends and more. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I entered the raffle and won the wall decoration that hangs in our foyer. I am... Sat, 12 Dec 2015 23:38:13 EST Different Holidays We are beginning our holiday season with dinner in the restaurant we enjoy. The meal will be at 12:30 pm. <em>428</em> We consider that we are celebrating with our new family. I made reservations for Christmas Day. <em>460</em> <BR> <BR> I have new Jewish friends so we will enjoy a Jewish meal on December 10 for Hanukkah. I am experiencing new things. I feel like a kid in a candy store with all that is happening. <BR> <BR> We will attend the New Years Eve dinner, game night and ... Wed, 25 Nov 2015 23:35:34 EST Less is More! I have less space and things. I now can find what I need. I am learning to toss out stuff if I want to replace something. Gifts are really special events or services when I can do so! <BR> <BR> I will do some gift cards to places my friends like. I am shopping at the gift shop at the Highlands, Its a Gift in West Reading, and making the holiday fun. We are planning a trolley tour of the area as well. Bob is enjoying simple things as well. Thu, 12 Nov 2015 15:15:13 EST The during stage I am enjoying life so much more now that I am in my apartment. It helped me purge my material possessions and get my priorities straight. I am still adjusting to the new life. I am enjoying each day. I think many times before I purchase an item. I am trying to determine how much cooking I need to do. <BR> <BR> I had a very swollen and painful knee. Plus my heel hurt. I visited my doctor and got a cortisone shot. That was a good learning experience. I also got heel insoles that are ... Sun, 1 Nov 2015 13:57:12 EST Adjusting to new apartment I lived in a house for 43 years. I did not think a move to an apartment would be a big thing. Yet, I needed to give myself time to adjust. I find the housekeeping schedule to be perfect. The arrival of fresh linens for the bed and towels is super. We visited the 3 restaurants and learned about the differences and options of them. The selection of foods and pricing are outstanding. <BR> I need to get into the rhythm of classes, lectures, meetings, dining with new friends, and much more. ... Sat, 24 Oct 2015 15:06:06 EST On the mend! I had so much knee and heel pain that I was not up to exercising and really felt horrible. My doctor recommended a cortisone shot in the knee. I also got inserts for my sneakers. T.hat was on Tuesday. Today I got to walk 3.5 miles (got a fitbit) Yeah! Still love the apartment. Really happy Fri, 23 Oct 2015 23:27:02 EST