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ABUTTERFLYWISH's Photo ABUTTERFLYWISH Posts: 186
3/5/13 3:02 P

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Azul,

I saw that your fathers surgery is schedule for today. I do hope everything goes well and that your caretaking will go smoother than you thought that it would.

It may be hard but it wont last long. The care wont take forever and if you feel you need a break, call your cousin in anyway. I bet your dad would like the company and if your mom doesnt like it, then shell get over it. She is in need of care and sometimes you dont get to choose your help when you treat people badly. Shes so blessed to have care at all by what you describe!

I wish you, your dad and your mom an easy recovery and quick recovery time! What a wonderful man to do such an unselfish thing for his wife. He is to be applauded!

Please keep us updated on what happens! It helps to talk to others, even just to vent. If you need to vent or someone to talk to, feel free to message me.

~Angela


"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

Norman Vincent Peale


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AZULVIOLETA6's Photo AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (65,689)
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3/2/13 2:42 P

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I have mentioned this in other places, but I forgot to update this thread. The transplant was postponed because my father had a minor virus. They didn't want to risk things, so the surgeries were rescheduled.

Since I had already taken a bunch of time off in February, I decided to flip things around and move earilier than I had planned. So I am in a new city, now fully moved, uppacked and settled. Tomorrow I go up to Portland and the transplant is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5.

Wish us luck! Fingers crossed that I don't strangle my mother in the next two days...she is being a massive PITA. She is somewhat entitled, I suppose...

Edited by: AZULVIOLETA6 at: 3/2/2013 (15:23)
Dances: salsa (standard/LA), casino, rueda de casino, cumbia Colombiana, bachata, mambo, cha-cha-chá, merengue, reggaetón.

Currently learning: Mexican cumbia, danzón, Cuban rumba

Dances to Learn in the future: flamenco, tango Argentino, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, ballroom rumba


 current weight: 212.0 
 
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AZULVIOLETA6's Photo AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (65,689)
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1/14/13 8:49 P

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Thanks to everybody for the positive thoughts. Now that this is a reality and we have a concrete date scheduled, I am feeling enormous dread about the whole experience. It’s just one of those things you have to buckle down and survive, I guess.

Other than the kidney issue, both of my parents are in extraordinarily good health. They have fabulous insurance and the financial means to deal with this without a problem, so none of those things are worries. I expect that after my dad fully recovers (around ten days) he will be able to take over most of my mother’s caretaking with me as a backup until she can go home. In other words, the situation could be MUCH worse, and I expect that I really only have to get through about a month of dealing with this.

I’m a very nurturing person, and even though I’m not a medical professional, I’m good with this sort of thing. I can manage medication schedules, act as a patient advocate, give injections, etc. I have taken care of friends after surgery and illness without a second thought, and even though helping my father after a knee replacement last year was hard on me physically, I was happy to do it. My mother on the other hand…to be honest, I just do not want to do this for her even though I owe her and there isn’t anybody else around to take primary responsibility. We have such a deeply fraught relationship that I know it is going to be torturous. I love her because I am obligated to do so, but I really don’t like her as a person. If we weren’t related, we would not be friends. She thinks that she “gets” me, but she really doesn’t at all. For example, she was shocked to know that we do not have same Myers-Briggs personality type…in fact, we only have ONE letter in common. She thinks that we are close, but that is just not the case.

My mother is a retired nurse/medical researcher and she is VERY fastidious and critical. I fully expect that after this is over, we might not speak to each other again.

Actually, I don’t have other things in my own life that need taken care of, at least not in the short term. I can focus entirely on this for those first two critical weeks and give it most of my time for the whole month of February. I’m really lucky to have a job where I can decide how much I want to work and when. It also travels with me, since I work online. I’ve blocked out the first half of February entirely and just scheduled myself for half days after that…and if things are still bad, I can cancel those shifts without a problem. I am not married and do not have children or a house of my own, so I don’t need to worry about any of those things.

I just need a darn hour to myself each day to work out. Both of these cousins have the time and flexibility to help and are more than happy to do it…I don’t have a problem with it, my mother is the one who does. It is not a practical problem, it is a control issue. One of my cousins is a very smart woman (former biotech scientist) who is currently a housewife…her husband is on the road for work most of the time and her one son is a responsible teenager--she is trustworthy, has tons of free time and lives about 5 miles from the med school. The other cousin is an executive at a health insurance company. He works just a couple of blocks away and has a fairly flexible schedule. Neither of them would need to do any real caretaking—just hang out with my dad and be around to call 9-1-1 if he has any problems.

Part of the issue for me is that I have a hard time drawing the line between making excuses and cutting myself some slack. I tend to not let myself make ANY excuses for not sticking to my health plan. I *could* probably track my food while all of this is going on—I will have access to my laptop or iPod Touch the whole time and there is wi-fi everywhere I will be. Whether or not it is worthwhile when I can’t be totally accurate about measurements…I’m not sure. My favorite Vietnamese restaurant is in the area, so if I do any non-measurable overeating, it is likely to be things like vegetarian Pho with tofu…not the end of the world. The real question is whether or not I will have a moment free to track and whether the added stress is going to be an issue.

Maybe what I will do is to give myself a 2-week food hiatus…relatively careful eating, but no tracking or stressing out about food. I absolutely do need to continue exercising though or I just will not have the energy for everything I need to do. There is a good workout room at our hotel and a pool that looks almost big enough for laps, but I am thinking about joining the gym in the med school too so that I have access to Zumba because that is such a big stress relief for me. My mother thinks that dancing is for sluts. Oy.

The next six weeks are going to be VERY long.

Thanks for letting me vent and talk this through.

Dances: salsa (standard/LA), casino, rueda de casino, cumbia Colombiana, bachata, mambo, cha-cha-chá, merengue, reggaetón.

Currently learning: Mexican cumbia, danzón, Cuban rumba

Dances to Learn in the future: flamenco, tango Argentino, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, ballroom rumba


 current weight: 212.0 
 
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ABUTTERFLYWISH's Photo ABUTTERFLYWISH Posts: 186
1/13/13 3:22 A

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Hi there!

That is quite alot of responsibility on your shoulders! Ive had to look after my mother when she had back surgery twice. The first time was rough to say the least. The second, not so bad because I learned alot! First of all, go ahead and look into a visiting nurse(medicare/insurance will pay for this) to come visit for an hour or two each day or every other day.
This gives you an hour or two to get away, buy some healthy food/snacks, good mental health time, etc. They can do anything from bathe and feed or cook to just simply sitting with them while you are gone. Explain ahead of time that you will be doing this so that you get a break and not get overwhelmed and that everyone needs a little time away.
Your health is the most important here...if you arent healthy, they wont be able to be cared for by you because youll be out nursing yourself. It is very, very important to keep your mental health in check too by taking some time away. That is, in my opinion, the most important thing you could do because caring for someone such a long time with that much care involved is rough on you(despite the fact that you love them, its still tough) and thats what visiting nurses are for!

I wish you the very best with this endeavor. Itll be tough but just make sure you take care of yourself. We are here if you need us!

~Angela


"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

Norman Vincent Peale


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SYZYGY922's Photo SYZYGY922 SparkPoints: (32,450)
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1/12/13 5:31 P

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I was my mother's primary caregiver for years before she died, and she was a kidney transplant patient as well. It was very difficult so I really feel for you, especially with the other situations.

I was in the worst health of my life at the time, so I understand your concern. I would just do what you can to at least maintain and plan as much as possible. I had a similar situation where my mom would guilt-trip me about leaving her even though I needed to take care of things in my own life. Just remember that you are important and as deserving of your time as she is. Maybe your cousins can help more than they've let on? Are there any family friends?

Juliana
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners."
-- William Shakespeare
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"I never change, I simply become more myself."
-- Joyce Carol Oates
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Every woman is a rebel."
-- Oscar Wilde



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MS_SWEETHEART's Photo MS_SWEETHEART SparkPoints: (49,242)
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1/12/13 5:12 P

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I know how you feel. My mother is an amputee, and after her surgery I became her caretaker. I have a brother and a sister, and they didn't help me at all. I took leave from my job so that I can take care of her. So between taking care of my home and her and her home, I was exhausted. So, take your hour, and don't feel bad about it. I got my break when my mother's nurse came. My mother is actually the one who suggested it. She told me that I was looking drained and she was afraid that if I didn't take a break that I would end up in the hospital. At first I felt guilty about leaving her, but after taking some time for myself I realized how much I needed that break, so I began taking them daily. So let your cousins sit with your father while you take some time for yourself. And as for the eating, just do the best you can, because eating healthy away from home is a challenge within itself. Try keeping a food journal if tracking your foods will be difficult. Even though I track my food here on Spark, I still keep a journal. Take care sweetie, I'll be praying for the strength you need to make it through this. emoticon

Confidence comes not from always being right, but from not fearing being wrong. ~Peter T. Mcintyre
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1/12/13 5:05 P

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I cared for my parents before they passed away, and although the caregiver role is always a challenge, it was nothing like what you're going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. My best advice is to really take good care of yourself. Stay in touch with your SP community so that we can encourage and support you from where we're at. Easier said than done, I understand, but do your very best to eat right, log in your food, and get exercise, even if it is walking around in the hospital. Your hotel may have a gym, even a small one, where you can use the treadmill or perhaps an inside pool for laps. Stay encouraged, and stay in touch.

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Debbie

"... he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before..."
~anonymous

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." ~John Bingham, runner, speaker, writer

"It's dead-on discipline. Are you gonna do it or not?"
~Rick Mahorn, former NBA player, Detro


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BEESPARKLE's Photo BEESPARKLE Posts: 4,866
1/12/13 3:46 P

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I am left speechless. Your blog is very touching. You have a lot on your shoulders these days and years it looks like.. You have a big work load of caring for your parents at the hospital. They did for you. So your heart is a big one of kindness back to them.


I guess the best thing is try and eat a well balanced meal the best you can durung all this.
Pick snacks in-between that less fattening. See you may need some sugar at this time.

So best to see if you can snack on fruit for the suagar intake . That is natural. Get some milk in you. Some meat for strength , some whole wheat bread for breakfas and a egg some kind for protein. They say a good breakfast will pull you through..
I will pray for you and your parents and your Mom what she must go through at this time and your Dad. Your only one of you so any negative of anyone to expect more of of you what they think you should do more or your Mom. Keep cool. You do not need stress at this time. You dont want the blood pressure to rise up on you.

Swimming would be best for your hour or a nice walk around the block. Dont dwell on your pass not getting along with Mom. Yesterdays gone. You being there is fine for her and dad.. Dont get stressed out what has been like with your Mom and you with relationships. . Live in the now with Mom. She needs you but you do need an hour off for self.

That is my little input and I am sure someone else will have better ideas.

I am a Mom and a wife and a Grandmother. So I feel for you and I hear your emotions in your blog.
I will pray as well. Keep us up today. And I know you will get someone to comment here to your blog.

God bless dear one.!

Beesparkle





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AZULVIOLETA6's Photo AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (65,689)
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1/12/13 2:29 P

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So, my life has been on hold for quite some time while I wait for my mother to have a kidney transplant. My father has been in the process of getting approved to donate to her for quite a while. He is a match (same blood type, 4/6 matching markers) and has finally been approved to donate his kidney. The operation is going to happen on February 5.

I am my parents’ only surviving child, so the task of caring for both of them (and their blind diabetic dog) falls to me. I owe them, since they took care of me for a month after brain surgery eight years ago. In addition, they have done some limited caregiving for me after three other major surgeries that I have had in the last couple of years.

We will be traveling four hours away to a large city for the operations and staying in a hotel suite for at least a month while all of this takes place. Assuming that all goes well, I plan to move to another city as soon as this process is over.

I am not an entirely healthy person myself—I don’t have the energy that most people do because of several metabolic problems. I also feel terrible if I get off track with my diet, with sleep or if miss out on my daily exercise. My father had a knee replacement a year ago, and I was ridiculously worn down after about three days of being a support person while he was in the hospital that time. I had to DEMAND an hour off to go for a swim while he was still in the hospital…after which I felt much better and more energetic.

My mother and I do not really get along, even under the best of circumstances. I can only imagine how hard she is going to be to deal with when she is in pain, on narcotics and taking steroids after the transplant. We are already fighting about the fact that I demand to have ONE HOUR to myself every day for exercise while the transplant recovery is happening. There is a gym in the hotel where we are staying, as well as a world-class athletic facility two blocks away, in the medical school. The biggest sticking point for her is that my father is not supposed to be alone at all for several days after he is released from the hospital. I have two cousins in that area who are willing to come and sit with him while I take a break, but she doesn’t consider this reasonable of me.

I’m also really worried about food. There is a kitchen in the suite, so I can take and prep some healthy foods ahead of time. The hotel has a massive breakfast bar and they (Mariott Residence Inn) have a huge snack bar in the afternoons with all kinds of stuff that I really cannot eat—and it’s all free—a bad temptation. There are several healthy options in/around the medical school, but all of those things are going to be fairly hard to measure and track. I am debating whether I should just take a couple of weeks off from tracking while things are especially busy, but I know that when I do that I don’t generally lose weight.

I’m very concerned about damaging my own health during this process and undoing a lot of the progress that I have made over the last couple of years with fitness and weight loss. Has anyone else been through something like this? Any tips or suggestions?

Dances: salsa (standard/LA), casino, rueda de casino, cumbia Colombiana, bachata, mambo, cha-cha-chá, merengue, reggaetón.

Currently learning: Mexican cumbia, danzón, Cuban rumba

Dances to Learn in the future: flamenco, tango Argentino, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, ballroom rumba


 current weight: 212.0 
 
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