Day 19: Go For a Walk

After spending the beginning of the week tired and frustrated, today, I went for a walk.  It was a simple decision really.  When I took a shower this morning, I just wore exercise pants and an exercise shirt.  I had no choice.

I had made the decision that after going out with my daughter, I was going to the gym.  I had spent the entire morning trying to find something in the house and I was frustrated.  I stopped looking, got on my car and went Pokémon hunting.  As we were driving back, it occurred to me to go to this nice park about 15 minutes away where there are always plenty of Pokémon to get.  As I was driving down the boulevard to get to the highway, my daughter got a Pikachu on her feed.  Well, I did not have him, and that is to me, the whole point of this, so…I stopped the car in the next road, caught the thing and went to the park for a walk.

I’m sure some of you did not understand what happened in the last paragraph and that is fine.  I spent 20 years acting like an adult.  Now, I make time to act like a child once a week.  Why?  Because my sanity depends on it.  I also need to make time to exercise.  My health is that important.  I was not really feeling the idea of going to the gym today, but going for a walk while chasing Pokémon at a safe park felt great.

I believe I’ve mentioned on previous posts that I am obese at the moment and my health is beginning to suffer.  Last night, I decided to do something about it.  There will be one change this time around.  For a little while, I am not checking the scale.  One of the things that I have noticed is that as soon as I figure out I’ve shed some weight, I sabotage myself.  For the next three months, I am hiding the scale.  Tonight I will check my weight as a reference and then I will put them away (yes, I have two scales).

Go for a walk.  If you spend your days in an office or taking care of a loved one, take a walk.  Watch a movie.  Go to the theater.  Take a class.  Do something that has nothing to do with your life.  Your sanity will thank you.

So what are you going to do to make your life better?  Leave your answer below.

Day 18: One Thing I can’t Get Used To

There will be good days, bad days and days like today.  For most of the day, she was very clear about who she was, where she was and who is and who is not, with us anymore.  The one thing I can’t get used to is how hard some days are, right after six pm.

Let me set the stage for you:  you are a caretaker who feeds and takes care of your loved one.  Your loved one is incredibly coherent today, to the point where she cried when she saw a sad scene on TV.  Mind you, yesterday she saw the exact same show and she did not cry.  Still, we love when they do the right things at the right time.  Then, it was six.  Dinner was light because she had a heavy, late lunch.  Then, it happens.

She decides she wants to bend down to the floor.

“Maaaa, stay put.  You have two fractured ribs.  You can’t bend down like that”

“Ok” she says.  Four minutes later she is at it again.

“Maaaa, sit down and don’t bend down anymore.  You are going to hurt your ribs”.

“Ok”.  Five minutes later she is at it again.

This goes on for almost an hour.  It drives me crazy and I feel like I am about to lose my temper.  Then she says something funny and we all laugh.  I think I laugh because what I really want to do is cry.

No matter how many months go by and how many things I get used to, the one thing I can’t get used to is the fact that we have a few good days and then, the bad days start.  I don’t ask for much anymore.  I know she is not going to get better.  I just want her to stay like she is now for a little longer.  Is that too much to ask?

Somebody made a statement about me today.  This person knows me very well and when they found out I was 250 pounds, they lost it.  “You can’t eat yourself to make your mom better and you can’t bring your dad back.  What are you going to do now?”  I don’t know if this is how I mourn.  I don’t even know if I am doing anything right.  All I know is that it is very hard to keep hoping for a better day when your mother does not know who you are.  I smile and remind her who I am.  An hour later she thinks I am talking about her father when I mention mine.  To make matters worse, they both had the same birthday (December 30th).

I sit here watching videos about feeling good when times are bad.  I read books, I watch more videos.  I cry.  I get mad.  My feet are so swollen I can’t wear shoes.  I don’t fit in any of my clothes anymore.  I’m kind of glad my best friends have not come to visit because they would get upset.

Tomorrow I will wake up with the best intentions.  I will start the day drinking plenty of water.  I will clean the apartment and make sure all my tasks are done.  Hopefully, when the day is over, I will spend 20 minutes at the gym and I will begin again.  I still have hope, foolish as it may be, that better days will come.

So, how about you.  Did you have a rough day with your loved one?  Leave your comment below.



Day 17: Family Dynamics

Today is a rant day.  So, here’s the thing.  I  have my mother, myself, my daughter, my husband and my dog.  All those people have different levels of importance depending on who needs me at the time.  My mother has most of my attention for obvious reasons.

I stay at home to take care of her.  I promised my dad I would take care of her and she is my mom.  Duh! The problem starts when the other members of the family work outside the home and proceed to not give a hand because they have to go to work.  Every time I ask for the dishes to get done or any other type of housework, I get the look.  Allow me to give you an example why sometimes, they need to pitch in.

This evening, at around 7:00 PM, my mother and I were alone watching her favorite show, Caso Cerrado.  I will admit that I got a little engrossed on the show and did not notice that my mother was moving in the sofa.  When I finally noticed, this woman, who has two cracked ribs, decided to bend and pick up her shoes from the floor.  Needless to say, I proceeded to scold her while at the same time dying laughing because she acted like she was doing nothing wrong.  So, I explained, for the 20th time today, why she could not just bend down to get stuff, she actually told me “I was not doing anything” and then gave me that smile…you know the one.  It is the smile your kid gave you every time you caught them doing something wrong while you could not contain the giggles.  Yeah, that smile!

At that exact moment, my husband called.  I tell him the story and I finish the story with the following statement “and that is why I cannot leave her alone for a moment when she is awake”.  The reality is, she does not get in trouble on purpose.  She honestly forgets things and then proceeds to get upset if you tell her not to do something without explaining why.  Sometimes my daughter forgets to tell her why…and we are back to carrying their weight.

I’m tired.  I keep telling them and they will behave for a couple of days and then go back to whatever.  I want them to help just because they want to.  I don’t think that is ever going to happen.  I don’t know if they are angry or tired too.  They might be a little bit of both.  At this point, I don’t care.  I want help today and tomorrow and every day.

Now that I got that off my chest, I can tell you what the rest of my days look like.  My daughter takes turns with me with alarm duty to make sure that somebody is always there if my mother wakes up in the middle of the night.  My husband loves to go for a stroll and puts my mom on her wheel chair and pushes it along, telling her stories as they go.  My daughter makes my mom breakfast and she actually thinks about feeding her good stuff.  My husband loves hearing my mom’s stories from the old days, even when he has heard the same story a million times.

You see, that is the thing when you take care of a loved one.  There might be minutes, hours, or even days when you feel like you don’t have enough help.  The truth is, if you have family living with you and helping you along, there will be days when you feel like they are not doing enough.  That is ok.  Just let it out, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going.

You have a story to tell?  Vent in the comments section below.