I am learning all about heart failure as I care for my parents. Nine days ago my 87 year old mother reluctantly agreed to allow me to take her to visit her doctor. She was so near a heart attack that her physician started her on oxygen and called for an ambulance to transport her to the ER. When she was diagnosed with heart failure we were all devastated...congestive heart failure had been the diagnosis when her mother died at age 94. We assumed this was a fatal diagnosis. In fact heart failure means that your heart is not pumping as it should. You can live with heart failure by following a strict program of medication, low sodium heart healthy diet and restricting fluid intake. Mother will have to visit a cardiologist on a routine basis, weigh herself daily, count her sodium intake daily as well as her fluid intake through beverages, soups, fruit, and other foods. She will have to take medication, a new habit for her that she is not looking forward to. She will have to follow doctor's orders regarding exercise. She will be reminded to allow my dad's caregivers to take care of my dad without her constant intervention.
This experience has turned me into a true believer that everything we do at any age with diet and exercise is important. I feel highly motivated to evaluate my daily habits even more closely than before. I am so grateful for Spark People and all their information. We can track our sodium with the click of our computer keyboard and can read all sorts of informative articles on how to stay healthy. We can support each other on this journey to be as healthy as we can. For this I am truly grateful. Try one new healthy habit today. You are worth it.
A character played by Loretta Young said this in the movie, Christmas Eve, and these are the last words my mother said to me before I left her at the hospital today. She was admitted there yesterday with heart failure; she has been my dad's full-time caregiver for the past six months. The stress of caring for a spouse with dementia has really taken its toll on her little body. Although we have all pleaded with her to take good care of herself we have watched her wither away from the stress and the sorrow. My brother is sitting with her now, and one of my sisters will be with her tonight.
My father is at home with the 24 hour nursing assistant. They tell him that my mother is at the store. He doesn't know... at some point he will have a catastrophic reaction. She never leaves his side for more than an hour to dash to the grocery store or to church. We visited hime today, and he was having a good day. Tomorrow could be a bad day...wtih dementia you never know.
My mother-in-law's doctors met this week and decided that she will spend the rest of her days in a nursing home. She had pneumonia a few weeks ago. She is now too weak and too disoriented to return home, even with the in-home help she had.
In essence the three parents we had last year at this time are slipping away, all at the same time. This is tough as we prepare to say good-bye.
I heard some wonderful messages today about living with a grateful heart. It is rather easy to be grateful when things are going well. It is much more of a challenge to feel gratitude for the bumps in our lives- the losses, the misfortunes, the diseases that rob us of our joy and keep us awake at night.
I am definitely still a work in progress because I cannot easily profess gratitude for the challenges of my life. I will work on it again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.
I really didn't feel like walking after dinner tonight. Why not? I was absolutely exhausted; the tornado sirens had awakened me at 3:30 this morning, and I never went back to sleep. I had to drive home from DDs this morning in a downpour of torrential rain. That 60 mile commute through Atlanta traffic with poor visibility was emotionally and physically draining. This afternoon after visiting my elderly parents I had a 13 mile drive through another downpour! Because we baby sat DGDs, I had missed my water aerobics classes yesterday and today. Overall, I really didn't feel like walking after dinner.
However, I recently read some motivational quote from SparkPeople which said that we shouldn't wait for motivation. Instead, we should just get moving and trust that motivation would follow. Tonight I did exactly that. I put my walking shoes on and enlisted DH to walk with me. Guess what? It worked! Somewhere along the way the sun came out and I began to enjoy my walk!
My activity motivated me to move more! I am a believer!
We have had a beautiful October in north Georgia...some cooler days and some warmer days. Sunshine abounds; we could actually use more rain. DH and I explored Georgia's newest state park with its walking trails through the woods. We packed a picnic and enjoyed the day.
Another day we hiked through Gibbs Gardens, a public garden that has many Japanese maples and other beautiful sights.
Note: my yard at home is full of blooming idiots. Right now, our hydrangeas are in full bloom, now instead of in May. Our Christmas camellias are coming into full bloom, now instead of in December. And our encore azaleas which we planted a year ago are in full bloom. Nice!