CHINAGAL   26,580
25,000-29,999 SparkPoints
CHINAGAL's Recent Blog Entries

New day

Friday, September 12, 2014

The last week has been a struggle. My dear friend Gene, who is 87 years old and the most amazing woman I have ever met, has been fighting cancer for about 4 years. She has been in the hospital for the last couple of weeks and has steadily gotten worse. Her son and his family do not live here so I, along with other friends, have been staying with her at night. Finally her family realizes that she needs them and have made arrangements to stay. As of yesterday the plan was to send her home with hospice.

That's the bad part of my struggle. The good part is that three of my very best friends made the trip from Arizona and Texas to visit with me. Although it was a great comfort, I spend much of their visit in tears and since they left I feel even more despondent.

I also overate/ate all the wrong things while they were here.

So today I'm shaking off the pity party and getting my butt in gear. It's a new day and I'm taking advantage of it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCIAC10 9/12/2014 1:37PM

    Have been wondering where you are and how you are doing! Hope things get better for you soon!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HMBROWN1 9/12/2014 9:19AM

    Sadly, I know exactly how you feel! My dearest friend died of liver cancer - mets to bones and every other organ in her body. She never spent a day in the hospital or the hospice. Myself and another friend nursed her up to her last minutes and she died at home, in her bed.

I feel so sorry for the anguish that you are going through. Please remember what a huge difference you are making in the final days of her life! You c an diet next week or next month, or whenever. Your friend needs you now.

God bless you and your friend! Heather

Report Inappropriate Comment

Difficult times

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

It's been over two months since I was active on Sparkpeople, and so much has happened in that time.

On August 19 my husband lost his 18 month battle with cancer. He had gotten a clean bill of health at his checkup in May so we were surprised when he started having problems just a few weeks later. After two episodes in the local hospital, (where we learned very little) I took him to Birmingham UAB Medical Center, to see the thoracic surgeon who had performed his surgery last year. Very quickly we had answers: the cancer had spread to his lungs and the prognosis was bad.

He was in the hospital there for almost two weeks and passed away just a few days after he came home.

So now I'm trying to put the pieces back together and that includes paying attention to my own health. Too many hours of sitting with him, too many snacks in lieu of meals, and too many sleepless nights have taken their toll. (The only times I logged onto Sparkpeople were to use the nutrition tracker to track HIS meals with the goal of increasing calories.)

First steps:
Clean out the fridge and pantry and stock healthy foods (done)
Get back into the SP routine of tracking food
Get started on an exercise program (think I will rejoin the Y - that will have the added benefit of getting me out of the house)

And I'm keeping the goal of laughing and singing a little every day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 9/4/2014 6:03PM

    I am so sorry. I know you both fought very hard. Please accept my sympathy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAKAROO 9/4/2014 5:42AM

    I am so sorry for your loss!!May GOD comfort you and give you strength and peace!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Also sending hugs. Lost my DH to pancreatic cancer two summers ago. By the time we got the diagnosis it was already too late. I applaud your efforts to get back on track, sounds like you have a good plan. Above all, be kind to yourself. These are indeed difficult times, and everyone's grief manifests differently, so take good care of yourself.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PICKIE98 9/3/2014 5:27PM

    A big hug from me to you. What a hard road it is to make the rounds of hospital, labs, doc's office, sitting, waiting, nothing to do but think and eat, think and hope. You are doing great with that plan.

You will feel so much better walking, drinking your water, getting in a set schedule!! Again, a big hug and smooch to you.. So glad you are still here on Sparks with us..

Report Inappropriate Comment

Plan B

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Plan A was a failure. I tried to provide high calorie foods for hubby and ended up eating them myself. He has continued to lose and I've gained 10 lbs in 6 months. Had my checkup today and the doctor was appalled. So am I.

So, Plan B is that there will be only low calorie nutritious meals consumed in our house and hubby will have to supplement with Ensure. This is OK with his gastroenterologist who says that his stomach is not emptying as it should (which makes him feel full long after he eats) and that he should avoid high-fat foods. So no more gravies, sauces, and desserts. Unlike the nutritionist who advised us against Ensure, he thinks it is an excellent idea and recommended three per day.

Hubby loves ice cream, so I don't see him giving that up. That can be his daily treat, and fortunately I don't care much for it. He is not thrilled about Ensure, but he hasn't gained weight since his surgery and so I'll push it.

I'm still struggling with a back injury, but learned that part of the pain was caused by bursitis in my hip. Since getting a steroid shot for that I'm improved and more active. Hoping to get back walking soon.

My main focus this week is getting back into the habit of tracking my food!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATELJM 8/8/2014 11:52AM

    Hope the Ensure route does the trick, and you won't feel compelled to gain weight to keep your DH company. Fortunately, I am not magnetically attracted to the same things as my DH.

Report Inappropriate Comment
IRISHEI 7/6/2014 8:49AM

    Hope Plan B will work out well for you. You have had a lot of changes with dh being ill.
I think you are doing the best you can right now. Take one day at a time. Tracking does help me and if I don't track I over eat. God bless. You can do it! Take care and remember to take care of you too!! hugs, Ei emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon I do hope your back feels better soon too.

Comment edited on: 7/6/2014 8:50:03 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMEMINE1 7/2/2014 3:40PM

    emoticon Glad to hear you are back!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRISNA 6/30/2014 1:42PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCIAC10 6/24/2014 9:41PM

    Glad to hear from you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANA2JONEMIMAT 6/24/2014 7:25PM

    Glad to see you back! You gotta do what you gotta do.


Report Inappropriate Comment
DONNABRIGHT 6/24/2014 4:19PM

    We all struggle day to day. Your plan sounds good. I just brought a box of groceries to our son. Somehow this stuff jumps in the grocery cart and sneaks in to the house and then the potato chips start to call my name!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MJRVIC2000 6/24/2014 3:24PM

    Get Plan C ready just in case Plan B doesn't work. Remember that there is a BIG difference between making a DECISION and making a COMITMENT! God Bless YOU! Vic.

Report Inappropriate Comment

The challenge

Monday, January 06, 2014

Here is what I have to do: I have to prepare meals and entice hubby to eat in order to gain weight. At the same time I have to discourage myself from overeating so that I can lose weight. And I just can't make two separate meals three times a day!

Slowly I think I'm getting the hang of it. Most meals are going to be based on fish or chicken since he is still having trouble eating other meats. Vegetables are going to take some work. He can't eat broccoli or cauliflower or any raw vegetables or fruits. We are accustomed to having broccoli at least 3-4 times a week. Peas, green beans, and greens are going to have to do. He will eat cooked carrots but not many. Salads are out for him, and since I don't like them, I don't see me eating them either.

So far everything works for both of us. It's the extras that will make the difference. I'll bake breads for him and keep away - that's not a problem for me. Desserts are a different story. I'll need to prepare some for him because he needs the calories, but he doesn't need to eat large servings. I'm going to be on a slippery slope there.

Although his nutritionist advised against it, I think he will need to drink an Ensure most days. He was already doing that before his surgery - 3 or 4 a day, in fact, when he could hardly eat at all. Her point was that "nobody wants to have to drink Ensure so he needs to be getting all his calories from food". He actually likes them, so I don't see the harm on days when his calorie count is low.

I'm using Sparkpeople to track his calories as well as mine. It has been a godsend.

So, we are adjusting and, after letting his health issues sidetrack me for a long time, I'm determined to start eating healthy again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMPAM23 1/8/2014 8:46PM

    I have had a very difficult time keeping up with teammates this past year - so when I saw this blog, I became confused about your husband and had to back track on your blogs a little. I am sorry I didn't not do a better job "keeping up".
All that being said - I am so glad to hear that your husband is doing so well, so soon after cancer surgery! Prayers of gratitude being sent up for both of you!! I'm glad that he continues to improve and can't imagine the difficulty of trying to cook for both of you right now. But you seem to be doing a great job!!
Keep putting one foot in front of the other!! You are doing great!

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMEMINE1 1/6/2014 10:10PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JUNEBUG1944 1/6/2014 9:36PM

    It is so difficult when you have to help DH gain weight and you are trying to lose. I faced the same thing with mine when he had surgery and lost a lot of weight. I agree with Donnabright, add some ice cream to the ensure for even more calories and a better taste. I would use chocolate ice cream and even some chocolate sauce and blend them...they were yummy...of course, I had to taste them to be sure they were good!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DONNABRIGHT 1/6/2014 7:24PM

    I had my aunt on Ensure after an illness when she just would not eat anything for about 6 weeks and she loved the chocolate ones. I see absolutely no harm in your DH drinking those. I would try adding a scoop of ice cream to one and see if he liked it to add some calories. Sure sounds like you are getting it under control.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ICEDEMETER 1/6/2014 6:51PM

    I just came across your blog, and flashed back a decade to when my late husband and I were in the same situation of him having to put on weight and me having to lose. What worked for us was mainly two things:

1) Sauces: mainly hollandaise and cheese sauces. I would make up a batch of each every few days so that he could pour them over whichever part of his meal that he wanted to, and I made a point of playing with the spices in them so that they didn't taste the same all of the time. I also made sure that there was always a selection of shredded cheeses (sharp cheddar, havarti, edam, gruyere) in the fridge so that he could add a handful to most meals. If I wanted to, I could work a couple of tablespoons of sauce in to my own calories for the day, but most times I didn't bother.

2) Starches: rice / quinoa / roasted root veggies (potatoes and sweet potatoes and parsnips and turnips and squashes). I would do a batch of each every few days so that he could add them to his meals without it being a lot of extra fuss for me. They reheat easily, and it actually ended up being an easy way for him to gradually increase his calories as he served them up himself and increased the quantity each week without really noticing. For some reason, cheddar scalloped potatoes were a food that he always could eat, so I always had those on hand (and he ended up adding shredded cheese and extra cheese sauce to these usually, too).

He was not a fan of Ensure or any equivalents, but would eat thick soups (potato/leek, bacon/cheddar, or cream of whatever). Adding some lentils or barley or both increased the nutrition and made them thicker (which, for him, made it easier to eat).

You are absolutely right that it is a challenge, but it sounds like you are both on top of it. All the best to the both of you for a year of ever-improving health and happiness!

Report Inappropriate Comment

50th High School Reunion?

Friday, January 03, 2014

Never attended a reunion. Never planned to. But by June I might have changed my mind. At any rate, I plan to look gooood by then.

I haven't made an auspicious start to the New Year, but I'm gradually getting back on track. I think I have finally cleared away all the goodies that were tempting me. No leftovers today. I've planned baked fish and veggies for lunch and soup for dinner.

The house is so quiet since the grandkids left. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAMAPASSION 1/26/2014 10:36AM

    Right on your heels with the 50th, this year will be my 40th. I've been dreading it as I have gained so much weight since my last reunion. You, on the other hand, look great! If you set your mind to it you will look exactly as you wish for that important date! So come on... walk in that room with the entrance of who you wish to BE!!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/26/2014 10:38:20 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
DONNABRIGHT 1/6/2014 7:25PM

    My 50th will be in 2015 - maybe I'll head up to MA for it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CTUPTON 1/4/2014 4:15PM

    You are way too young for that! chris

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARINEMAMA 1/3/2014 9:57PM

    50th??!! look way too young for that! Wow!
I bet you would enjoy it! Who knows! I know you are missing those grand babies! Hope they visit soon!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BAMAJAM 1/3/2014 12:55PM

  Well-- you might change your mind and go to your class reunion-- and have a ball!

My reunion of my grade school class was truly fabulous for me! It was absolutely like a dream come true to see so many class-mates, and to talk about all those memories.
We shared a magical time. One "girl" remarked-- "This is what heaven must be like."

BTW-- Your grandchildren must be such fun! What a great group---

Report Inappropriate Comment

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Last Page