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Archive for the ‘health’ Category

I can’t see my Dad this week. My daughter needed me. She called, I travelled. Anytime one of my girls say they need me takes precedence over everything. I do feel bad because my Dad is not doing well at all.

It started Monday. My Dad has been feeling very anxious because he can’t remember things. Because of the anxiety he is not eating and is sleeping at odd hours and not for long enough. He is on anti-anxiety medicine but it is too recent to be completely effective.

I called him on Monday to let him know that I will not be visiting him this week. I had to be out of town. He sounded awful, didn’t know it was Monday, and I am pretty sure I woke him up (it was 10:30 in the morning). We are talking to Hospice to have them come in and help make him comfortable.

About 7:45PM Dad called me. He was very confused and having a panic attack. He woke up from a nap and didn’t know where he was. I had him push the call button and got the CNA to get the nurse for his medications. I also texted my siblings what was going on. He kept saying he was scared and didn’t know what to do. Luckily my niece A was in town and able to see him. They got him into his pj’s and to bed.

I talked to him on Tuesday and had a really weird conversation with him. He said people won’t leave him alone to get his work done. I asked what people and what work did he need to do. He said he told him to do the work  and now they want him to take out and change the information he took all morning to input in the system. I asked him what system and he mumbled something and got more confused. I told him it’s ok, the work can wait until later.

The Doctor says it’s time to call hospice. Wednesday B went to see Dad and he wouldn’t wake up. A says that Gpa says the Russians are helping him with his breathing treatments. I have no idea what that means.

This morning (Thursday) he called B. He was highly confused, told B that he is in bad shape (I think that is the first thing he tells everyone these days) and is ready to give up. It is so hard to hear. It makes my heart hurt.

My brother C is going to visit this weekend. We have discussed him telling Dad that it is ok to go be with Mom. None of us want him to suffer anymore. As B said “Honestly I’m kinda praying for it . . . I can’t imagine what he is going through in his mind.” I agree with her. None of us want him to go but none of us want him to stay with the way things are going.

My heart hurts.

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After 30 years a new family will live in my Mom and Dad’s house. I finished cleaning out and cleaning up the house yesterday. I had never seen this house empty. It was a bittersweet day; the end of an era for us. Empty houses hold such promise, I hope there will be lots of sweet for the new people and hardly any bitter.

I stopped in to see Dad before going to the house. He was sleeping. I stood there and watched him sleep for a while like I used to do with my kids. Unlike with my kids watching my Dad made me sad instead of happy.

Even in his sleep breathing is a struggle. He looks so small and the effort to move air is so hard for him. Part of the problem is he lays down flat to sleep. With as bad as his lungs are he should be sleeping sitting up. He has never been able to sleep that way, so he won’t.

I left after a few minutes and went to finish the house. There wasn’t much left and I had everything cleaned and loaded in my car before noon. I checked the house multiple times to be sure I had everything.

Once done I set my timer and sat down on the floor and meditated, remembering the fun times we had in that house. Remembering the sad times we had in that house and missing my family. I cried a little, I smiled at the memories, I left wishing the new owners all the happiness we had experienced and more.

I stopped in to see Dad before I headed out of town. His breathing was still labored and I was lucky that the respiratory therapist came while I was there. Because he was struggling even after using his rescue inhaler she had them give him a prednisone. He is to take it again today if he is still struggling.

He can’t be on prednisone all the time because of the side effects. ‘roid rage is a real thing. Sister B and I have been on the end of some of that and the staff at the home does not need to deal with that if they don’t have too.

Dad’s memory isn’t good. He has a hard time understanding what is happening. He forgets when he took his medicine, he forgets the names of the people who are taking care of him. It frustrates him that he can’t keep things in his head. It also makes him anxious. Brother G said he talked to him today and Dad sounded awful.

We are on the downhill slope. I am still hoping that it will be a gentle bunny hill but it feels more like we are heading down a mountain. COPD is a horrible insidious disease. It is robbing us of our father/grandfather/great-grandfather/brother/uncle.

There are times when all I do is feel. Everything feels raw and right at the surface. Other times I feel numb. Sunday I wanted to cry until I threw up. Yesterday there were tears but not as many. Today I feel rather detached from it all. That inertia is very hard to overcome. I know it is grief. We are all feeling it. I will write about my grief another time.

The end of the era of visiting at the house is over. I don’t know how long we will have with Dad but I am so very grateful for everyday.

Happy thoughts for a happy day!

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I try to meditate every day. I get done with my exercise and take time to just let it all go. I know what you are thinking, oh man all sorts of woo woo new age crystal bullspit. But there is no chanting, no mantras, no anything I don’t want. I don’t meditate in the traditional way. I lay on the floor with my bottom against a wall and my legs up the wall forming a 90° angle. Right now I do this for 15 minutes.

I am working my way up to 30 minutes of meditation time. I just increased the time from 10 minutes to 15 this week. I find that after 12 minutes I start to get antsy.  I will keep doing 15 minutes until such time as I can relax the whole time.

I find this time incredibly rewarding. I just lay there on the floor staring at the ceiling and let everything go. I have a few moments most days of having a completely quiet mind. The voices in my head shut up for a few precious moments. I am hoping as I continue to practice this meditation technique the voices in my head will cease to be so loud and often negative.

We all have those voices that tell us bad things, that we are ugly or stupid or should have or shouldn’t have or blah blah blah. These are the same voices that like to rehash the past or make you anxious about what might happen in the future. I find that through meditating I have been able to make some of that negativity go away. We all need less negativity.

Doing my meditation with my legs up the wall has had a lot of benefits for me health wise. My back feels better, my hips feel better, I have less swelling in my feet from sitting too long, my attitude is better and I think it is lowering my blood pressure.

I am hoping that as I get better at quieting my mind, I will be able to hear the good things it has to say. In the mean time I will lay on my floor with my legs up listening to my refrigerator run, the birds outside my window sing, the wind blowing and for those few precious moments the silence of my quiet mind.

 

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The trouble is you think you have time

– fake Buddha quote, but still relevant

I saw Dad twice this week, Monday and today. I was trying to think of a theme for this weeks blog and then this quote popped up in my Facebook feed today.

The trouble is you think you have time. We all think we have time, more time to take care of things, more time to visit people, more time to take care of ourselves, more time . . .

My Favorite Dad

Gpa

I know I hope I have more time. I am lucky right now that I have the time to go see my Dad as often as I can. This week I was able to see him twice; I am trying to see him at least once a week. But time is against us. I have so many other people I want and need to see as well.

This week on Monday Dad was doing pretty well. When I got there he was in the cafeteria eating lunch. Today he was eating in his room. On Monday I left before 2 because he was worn out and looked like he would fall asleep before I made it out the door. Today he was tired but not as much as Monday and I left shortly after 2.

We were able to begin the process of getting help from the VA today. It is amazing how much paperwork there is to deal with. We are very lucky that our sister B is wading through it. I do not have the patience to wade through forms.

I hate the feeling and the knowledge that we have a finite amount of time left. I hate knowing that he has less time that we want. We had too short an amount of time with my Mom. And now. And now, the clock is ticking louder and faster and I don’t like it.

 

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Happy Monday! January 8th already. I hope your year has started the way you want it to.
 
As most of you know I am a yoga junkie. Love it, love the way it makes me feel when I am doing it and how accomplished I feel when I am done. Yoga alone can be a great workout and when paired with other exercise . . . 💗
 
Yoga with Adriene has a new 30 day program (completely free) called TRUE. I have not properly worked out in nearly a month so a 30 day program will be just the thing to get me back in the swing. I did Day 1- Motive (24:56) today. This is a great starting video. Moves all the muscles without any fancy moves, no pigeons, no crows, no other animals. Just simple moves that are easy to follow.
 
I paired this with 30 minutes on the exercise bike. I kept it slow except for 4 1/2 minutes of 1 minute sprints sprinkled through out the ride (11.5 miles). The last 30 second sprint kinda made me want to hurl but that is good because we need to push ourselves a little.
 
Once this 30 days is done my intention is to get the new Fitness Blender’s 4 week Burn series (only $9.99) and yours forever.
I am in no way affiliated with either of these sites on YouTube. I just love them. I am going to document my attempts at getting healthy, getting a new job, and generally adjusting my attitude.
Oh I have also been listening to some books on tape. I travel a lot because Gpa, lives 3 hours away, Army Girl and fam live 4 hours away, In-laws live 5.5 hours away, Air Force Girl and fam live 8 hours away, and Navy Girl and fam live a whopping 14 hours away. So needless to say I have lots of time for listening. So I decided to make productive use of the time.
So far I have listened to Born to Win by Zig Ziglar, Meatball Sundae – Is Your Marketing Out of Sync? by Seth Godin and You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. I have listened to the last one 3 times in the last week. I will listen to it a few more times before it is returned to the library. I will be listening to a new one of these a couple times a month. I will keep you posted on which ones I find helpful.
 
So now I have a plan for the next two months or so. What is your plan for the new year? Have you started?

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Migraine

I woke up about 2:30 this morning thinking, I am getting a migraine. I knew it was just a matter of time before it became a full blown migraine. As I lay in bed thinking “oh please, no” I could fell it sliding around my head looking for its way in.

Ooooo should I settle in your eye? Oooo this spot on the back of your head is looking particularly vulnerable this morning. While I keep you guessing on where the pain will settle lets get started with the tingly hands  and the numbness in your face. Bwahahahaha

Poor Hubby has to get up so very early anyway and I couldn’t wait I needed help. So I woke him up to get me some Excedrin Migraine medicine. If you take it early enough, before the pain has settled in one place you can stave off the worst of it, most of the time. I usually take two with a Mountain Dew to really kill the pain but I don’t drink very much soda anymore so I don’t have any on hand, I had to just hope the two with some water would take care if it.

I have managed to avoid the worst of the migraine this time. After taking the Excedrin Migraine medicine I slept for 3-4 hours, it has helped. I have the after migraine hangover now. Bending over isn’t an option at the moment, I have that tenderness in the sites where the migraine tried to take hold, and sudden movements are absolute agony but still feel way better than if I had gotten the full blown migraine.

This hangover will pass in the next bunch of hours. If I had gotten the full migraine I would be having pain, puking and light sensitivity today, tomorrow and the next day I would have the hangover and hopefully by the 4th day I am well again.

For me when I get a migraine it is like having a stroke. My face droops on one side, I get tingling and numbness in my hands, the pain is excruciating like someone has taken a spike and driven it into my eye through my head and out the back, then a band feels like it is tightening around my head and if I move my brains will fall on the floor, I become light sensitive and my words don’t work. I know I am on the home stretch and things will start to be less painful when I start to throw up. But while throwing up my brains feel like they are shooting out the top of my head.

A migraine is the worst. I am glad I was able to stave off most of it. It will be a slow careful day for me today. My hope is none of you can relate.

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Hello! This article is about exercise. If you don’t want to hear about what I do, feel free to go to a different one.

I keep my exercise equipment in my living room. Yes I know that is odd. But I have found that when they are in front of me I will use them much more often.

My exercise bike is set up so I can see the TV, my weights, mats, and blocks are in frontIMG_20170426_114940777 of the TV, I have no excuse to not use them.

When I ride the exercise bike I generally try to ride the bike for 20 – 30 minutes. I do this when I want to read a book or watch a show. I average 8-13 miles when I ride. I am working on increasing my pace.

IMG_20170426_114953169

As you can see I don’t have anything fancy. I have some old school weights with the bars and chucks and I have some newer weights. They range from 3 lbs to 22ish lbs. I have a 10 lb medicine ball.

The colored puzzle pieces make a decent mat for doing cardio. I recommend something like this if you have cement floors like I do. I have a couple yoga mats, some yoga blocks and a towel for extra padding.  I do have a workout ball but don’t use it much, it takes up way too much space.

I am a huge fan of workout videos on YouTube. My favorites come from Fitnessblender.com and Yoga with Adriene both of theses sites share free videos weekly. They do have subscription services if you want them. I personally have not done that. I might some day. Right now there are plenty of videos for me to use for free. Each of them have workouts for beginners to experts and they both encourage you to do the exercises at your comfort level.

Finding a workout that feels good, that makes you feel good and that you can progress while doing is huge. I have really bad knees so these workouts, low impact, strength, flexibility and stretching are so helpful for me. Oh also, WALKING, walking is by far the easiest workout. All you need are feet. 🙂

I hope this helps inspire you to get up and move a little. Remember even if you are moving slowly you are still doing more than those just sitting around.

Happy thoughts for a happy day!

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