Sunday, August 8, 2010

I'm Drawing A Blank Today

One of the most beautiful Crested Dwarf Iris I have ever seen.  This picture was taken in April along the Ace Gap Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  This flower is frequently seen along certain trails during spring wildflower season, but this one was special.  Generally found in patches, this one was all alone and had the most brilliant color of any I'd ever seen.  It was exquisite.   

Please forgive me in advance if this post seems to have no point.  Although I have several things written down in my "ideas" journal that I want to write about, none are seeming to inspire me today.   But I wanted to write (I ALWAYS want to write!!) so just thought today would be a journey through Sharon's eyes and believe me, it has some gains and losses.  

Mr. B's dad did not have a good night and consequently, neither did Mr. B.  More tests are planned for tomorrow morning - hopefully, we will know more after that.  I think both of us are anticipating them to find nothing medically wrong as we believe this is probably mental.  But we could be wrong, of course.  It just seems ironic that after MIL went home last evening and Mr. B became very stern with his dad, all of a sudden he could swallow again and was able to take his meds mixed in with some pudding.  He ate some applesauce this morning and took his meds, but once MIL arrived, suddenly he could no longer swallow again.  Go figure......

It is difficult to write anything about the trip we had planned this week because I don't want to come across as sounding self-centered or as if that is more important than my FIL's health.  Obviously, we are going to lose at least a day of our trip and my guess is that it will be more.  Fortunately, our destination is only 3 1/2 hours away, so maybe we'll get to go for part of the week.  We sure were looking forward to it.  

I'm still having a difficult time fighting off the munchies. It has been several weeks since I've experienced an intense desire to "munch."  And notice, I said "munchies" as opposed to "cravings."  I am not craving any particular thing and I attribute that to the fact that I'm pretty much off refined sugar and white flour.  These are not carbohydrate or sugar induced.  Last night, I finally ate some grapes (more than I should have) and some almonds (more than I should have), began reading blogs and eventually fell asleep.  Today, the same desire to "munch" is back, and thanks to last week's breakthrough posts, I think I may have a handle on it.  It's the control thing.  Starting yesterday afternoon, when we got the call from MIL to head to the ER, I began feeling out of control.  What's happening? What are they going to do? What could this be? Are we going to have to cancel our trip  Will we lose our deposit? Etc! Etc! Etc!  Once I was back home pondering all these things, suddenly all I wanted was something to "munch" on.   Once I recognized that "out of control" feeling and knowing I couldn't change anything, rather than heading to the kitchen as I've always done in the past, I picked up my computer and started reading.  Worked like a charm and it has worked again today.   It's too early to get really excited, but I think maybe I'm really on to something valuable for my journey on through weight loss and into maintenance.

I mentioned that my birthday present was new computer equipment.   I had done no upgrading since I left CorporateLand in 2002, so that tells you how antiquated everything was.  I'm now high tech (what a joke)!   A friend came over to help me with the networking and I am happy to say that everything is operating properly and all are talking to each other!!  I have several "projects" I've been wanting to attempt, but didn't have the equipment for, so I'm really excited about getting to work on some of those things.  I also have a lot more work I want to do on this blog and can't wait to get started on that.  I'll try to warn you because once I get started messing with things, heaven only knows what may turn!  I've already scanned my "fat" picture and will try to get it posted soon.  I'll whet your appetite by telling you that it is disturbing on several levels!!!!

When I first mentioned our challenges with Mr. B's dad, a few of you (Margie and Tish I remember specifically) shared some of your personal experiences with caring for parents and in-laws.  Those words were so encouraging to me.  Please share more.  Right now, I'd like that.  Mr. B is an only child and I became the daughter they never had.  Their love for me has always been completely unconditional.  It is so hard when he looks at me and I can tell he isn't sure who I am.  Mr. B seems to be handling that part better than I am.  Have you all had to deal with this yet?  For how long?  Does it get any easier?  

Well, I may have drawn a blank, but as usual, I certainly wasn't at a loss for words.   Thanks for listening!


  1. We took care of 3 of our parents through illness and eventually their passing. None of the 3 had memory issues, however. It is difficult in that, like children, you must put their needs ahead of your own. This includes your dreams for your future years as well, for the time being. You and Mr. B will be strength for one another. When one of you gets down, the other can help pick you back up and vice versa. It worked for Bruce and I as my Mom's decline with terminal cancer got so difficult. Team work is critical. Even if FIL doesn't seem to recognize you, he does recognize the fact that some sweet angel is helping him and caring for him at his time of need.

    I could go on and on, but this is wordy enough!
    Hang in there.

  2. My Dad was fine, lived by himself, drove, did everybody's taxes, volunteered, and was a real asset to the community until he was 91. He had a devastating stroke 20 months and lost his memory. He has severe dementia now, and needs 24 hour private duty care even in his Alzheimer's/Dementia nursing home. He will forget that he can't just hop out of bed and go somewhere without his walker and needs someone there with him all the time to remind him. I'm the only kid who lives nearby and take care of his finances, the visits, hiring caregivers, etc. My Dad was wonderful to us all those years and I'm glad to be able to give back some. It is sad to see him confused and frustrated. I had never heard him swear, but now, when he's in pain he swears and says things that I wouldn't believe he'd ever say. He still responds well to babies (the great grands)--smiles and waves at them, and always greets our Jay nicely. I reached my lowest weight the day my father had his stroke. With the worry and anxiety and stress of arranging for his care, and hoping for recovery and eventually clearing out his house, I gained 40 pounds over that next year. I hadn't learned how to keep my new eating style in place. I've learned some things since then. I've added more exercise and feel stronger now. Nothing has really changed with my level of responsibility toward my Dad over the past 20 months, but I think I've learned some things. During the many crises (falls, hospitalizations, setbacks, times when he loses weight because he doesn't eat) I am tempted to give in to Mr. Munch, but I fight it. I can't control so much of what is happening, but my food intake and my exercise are generally things I CAN control. Too long for a comment, but you have my prayers for your FIL and family and my best wishes for you in your commitment to yourself and your responsibilities to your family. HUGS

  3. Hi! thanks so much for coming by my blog today!

    I look forward to following you.

    I love all of your pictures!!!!

  4. It sounds like you actually had a lot of great things to talk about. Great post as always!

  5. I would feel disappointed about the trip, then feel guilty about feeling disappointed. But my thinking is that the blog is where you can say that stuff. Then you can go put on your supportive face with the family. We are here to listen:)

  6. I understand exactly the difference you're noting between cravings and munchies. I call the munchies "that restless need to feed."

    It is annoying and hard to resist, that's true, but soooo different from the overwhelming cravings that I had before going off of gluten. There's just no comparison.

    With the munchies, I, like you, could actually gather enough cognition and awareness to determine the source--or at least the emotion behind it. so different from frantic food fixation..

    Great work on finding a way to resist! I've often fled upstairs to my computer myself when I started to prowl the kitchen.

    You, your husband, and your in-laws are in my prayers. So hard. So many feelings.


  7. I'm sorry to hear about the family troubles - it's always so hard for everyone, and as your post & the comments indicate, such a mix of emotions. In addition to the stress and sadness of the situation itself (his health) there is additional stress & difficulty by the disruption to your own life (vacation et al).

    I love that flower picture - is it a wild iris (do those exist?) or a cultivated one?

  8. Hi Sharon,
    I looked after my mom for 15 years. It IS hard at tines. For me, I was blessed that my beloved spouse was always supportive and helpful. She passed last year.

    My parents divorced years ago. Now I am caring for my father who is in hospice. It is hard being the only sibling "present", but I knew it would go that way when we moved my father here 4 years ago. I feel though that this is one way I return to my parents my gift of life. My parents did their best with all of
    of us, but things were tough. I am very grateful for my life, despite any of my past, so that is the mind set I have as I care(Ed) for them.
    Yourb logging friend, Michele

    Give your self plenty of time to care for yourself. It is so j
    portant that you FIRST care for your selve and then look after aging patents or in laws.