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Slogging Away

Sep 28, 2010 - 0 comments
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I have been visiting our dear friend Richard every day for the last 72 days since he had a major stroke in our home July 19, 2010. A month in the hospital passed, and then he was transferred to a nursing home to continue his rehabilitation the month after that. He is improving remarkably well, and the nurses are stunned to see how quickly he is progressing!

We really needed Richard to move in with us to both ensure his physical safety in a one-level home and to be able to give us a boost financially to help make the bills easier to clear and to provide me with the work that I would have taking care of him through my employer. The nursing home is being very vague about any discussions regarding his release, and seem more interested in shuttling him from home to home than simply discharging him and allowing him to continue his rehab on an outpatient basis. Grrr.

My continuing problems with upper abdominal pain after eating for a while had forced me to live off of sugar-free ice cream for two out of three meals every day because it didn't stretch the stomach enough to cause it pain. The downside of an ice cream diet is obvious, however....it's really fatty, even in moderation, and weight loss kind of gets sidelined. I had also become partial to using evaporated milk as a coffee creamer, which does really well, but unfortunately that is also a really fatty habit to get into, as I've found.

Fortunately, it only takes a couple adjustments to get back on the straight and narrow as far as eating goes, and I am actually able to eat more as a result, now that I don't have to make caloric allowances for the fatty stuff. Yay.

The Important Things in Life...

Aug 04, 2010 - 0 comments
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Caregiving



On July 19, 2010, 10:15 pm, our best friend Richard suffered a major stroke at our home while waiting for some fresh brownies I had made for him to cool off. Since then, I've been looking after him in the hospital every day, and am seriously contemplating having him move into our spare room once he's discharged from the hospital on August 17, since because of my partner Bob the bathroom and shower at our place is already handicap accessible.

True, we may still lose the house because of the bankruptcy, but even if we do, we can still make space for him wherever we end up. My qualifications as a Personal Care Attendant and 8 years of caregiving experience have already helped him quite a lot, and Richard realizes that his safety and recovery are almost assured under my care, which is a bonus since we're already friends :)

My weight has been dropping quite a bit on its own, incidental to the long hospital visits where I just sit in a chair for most of the time. It's difficult to eat regular meals, though, and by day's end we end up eating supper at midnight or later if we eat it at all. My problem with suspected gall stones has made it tough to eat anything that fills or stretches the stomach too fast, because then I'm stuck with a sickening pain in my abdomen every time I stand up for the next few hours afterward. I'm sure all that plays into it.

Oh well. I'm on a mission to look after our friend for now. It's more important than the next smaller size in clothing :)

In the Groove of Size 16-18W

Jul 09, 2010 - 0 comments
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I got to shift over some more of my long lost sizes into the main closet today which, though slightly snug, will probably fit within a week or two.

I'll be looking forward to breaking 200 lbs. this month--a feat which I accomplished only briefly in May 2007 while my partner was in the hospital. Of course at that time I was hardly eating at all and was subsisting on massive jugs of latte to keep going. Needless to add, that tactic did NOT last.

I've discovered only recently that for some odd reason my pancreas seems to be in distress (which has been manifesting as a burning pain in the upper abdomen for the last 40-some-odd days) even though I don't drink liquor. Could be a gallstone of some sort. Fun. I can't afford the ultrasound, let alone surgery. *sigh* It's always gotta be SOMEthing.

3X (22-24W) Has Left the Building!

Jun 26, 2010 - 0 comments
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Today was the day that I had to knuckle down and sort through my closet to weed out all of the items that are by now just too big and baggy to wear at any occasion. Two HUGE bags of clothing later, my closet is much more grab-and-go friendly in the 14-16W and 18-20W range, depending on the brand.

I'm teetering on the edge of the next lower size, but it's probably going to be another month or two before those items can officially be added. It is very surreal to be wearing shirts again that haven't seen the light of day for the past 2-3 YEARS. It is also an odd, sentimental feeling to watch current favorites become too large, baggy, or worn out to really wear out in public anymore. Ah, the memories...

Unfortunately, in the midst of all this happiness I seem to have acquired a severe reaction to any sort of GRAIN, which manifests as a feeling like a chemical burn inside my entire upper abdomen and chest. Not cool. I discovered this only AFTER the doctor had taken five vials of blood from me to test for other things. Well, now we get to add another test to the list. This problem started suddenly 3 days before the end of May and has stayed with me ever since.

I did finish training to become a Personal Care Attendant for the patient I live with, earning a 91% score on the 15 page test. Not too bad :) Now he has to finish applying for Medicaid to tie the whole thing together.