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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  11:17:25 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
I know some of you have probably gone through this before, but it's my first time to experience anything like this.

Steve's still having a rough time accepting his Dad's situation. The doctor's are now giving him up to six months to live. Steve seems to be better until he talks with his mom, and Wanda is trying to be very strong though I can tell it's tearing her to pieces. Next Wednesday, the specialist wants to have a special consultation with her and her 3 sons. I asked Steve if the spouses would be allowed, and he said he really didn't know. So, I don't know if I'll be allowed in on this or not.

On the flip side, Steve has quit drinking achololic beverages, though all he ever had was a double shot of Jack Daniels once a week. He's also trying to cut down on his consumption of beef. This might not sound like much, but I feel it's a start. The problem is that he hates chicken and doesn't like pork. So, all that leaves is fish, and I'm not the greatest cook in the world. I'm still working on getting him to start exercising but haven't had much luck in that department.

In the meantime, Steve is looking into possibly going on disability. In some ways, I think it's a good idea, and in others it scares me to death. If this happens, I'm afraid we won't be able to afford the horses and may end up having to move into town. That'd tear me to shreds, but I'd do it for Steve's sake if it becomes necessary.

I'm doing okay, personally, but still feel like I'm walking on eggs shells with a very uncertain future laying ahead of me. We're all just hanging in there and feeling like wanting to know when the other shoe is going to drop.

That's all for now.


"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown

tagnrocky
Clinician



USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  12:24:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit tagnrocky's Homepage Send tagnrocky a Private Message
Oh Ginger, I'm so sorry to hear this. When it rains, it pours, doesn't it? You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Nancy (and Tag & Rocky)
Free & easy down the trail I go......
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  1:57:00 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
Ginger,

Sounds like Steve is ready to make some changes in his lifestyle and even though they are small right now, it's a start.

You don't have to be a gourmet chef in order to fix healthy meals. There are fairly simple but tasty & healthy recipes that shouldn't be hard to fix. It's just a matter of following a set of instructions. Think of it as fixing a special meal for Terra. LOL!

Steve might just have to suffer through a couple of meals/week of chicken dishes! It's amazing how much better meals taste when one is hungry.

Make sure Steve has an approved exercise program from the doctor before having him run a mile. Since he's not used to exercising he'll need to start slowly and build up as his strength and endurance increases. It's sort of like conditioning a horse...

I'll pray that Steve will come to terms with his father's illness and I'll send "be strong" vibes to you. (((HUGS)))






Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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Phoodforhorses
Beginning Rider



Canada
83 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  2:25:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Phoodforhorses's Homepage Send Phoodforhorses a Private Message
RH, I'm so sorry to hear about your family situation. My husband recently lost his father to cancer. He had a lump on his neck and was diagnosed with terminal cancer as well. He tried radiation and chemo. Unfortunately the radiation burnt his neck pretty bad and he lost all taste for food. Of course the chemo. after that didn't help matters any either. He was diagnosed with 6 months to a year and made it through 7 months.

It was such a terrible time for our family so I know exactly what you're going through with your father-in-law.

And the added stress of hubby being sick can't be easy on you either. Thank the good Lord that his co-workers and doctors are keeping a close eye on him and with good care, it seems like the outlook is brighter. A change in diet is especially hard for us who are older and set in our ways, but with your help he should be able to stick it out and make some healthy lifestyle changes.

Take it one day at a time and don't worry about things that haven't happened yet. You seem to be a really strong woman and I'm sure you'll continue to find more of that strength in the days to come.

I'll say some prayers for you and your family and hope that things will get better with time.
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  5:20:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
RH, know there aren't really any words that can help, but I'm thinking of you & knowing you will make it through this!

A little tip...my dad doesn't eat chicken, either. Or, I should say, he THINKS he doesn't...we tell him it's turkey, and he actually believes it. And as long as he doesn't know it isn't chicken, he eats it just fine...works well for casseroles and such. Okay, I know it is sneaky, but it is for his health...

EZ2SPOT
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Parrothead
Trainer



USA
559 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  5:57:46 PM  Show Profile Send Parrothead a Private Message
Ginger,
Sounds like Steve is taking some baby steps toward taking of his health. Any thing he can do will help.
It is very hard to be someone's support system. Steve is lucky to have you to keep him going during this time of grief. Don't worry about what's head. Remember that's Gods job, just keep on living on, day at a time.
Hugs

Jill
Life is too short to ride bad horses.
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beccajane
Trainer



USA
985 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  9:42:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit beccajane's Homepage Send beccajane a Private Message
I know it's overwhelming sometimes, but soak up every minute that you can. Life is so precious. On the good side, you can say things that need to be said and let your family know how much you love them and how precious they are to you. I was able to tell my parents just how much I loved and appreciated them and wish that I still could a thousand times a day. And I carry that forward to the rest of my family. Sometimes we call or email just to say I love you! Hang in there...God will help you all through this!
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fracturedbones
Clinician



3424 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2006 :  11:45:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit fracturedbones's Homepage Send fracturedbones a Private Message
Hey RH..it's a great start! One day at a time is all you can do. Take care.
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FLOOPER
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2006 :  12:17:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit FLOOPER's Homepage Send FLOOPER a Private Message
RH--do everything you can to encourage Steve to excercise...even if it's only walking 10 minutes a day. Once you get in the habit of taking walks, it seems to grow, and you can't stand it when you miss a day. Plus walking is one of the best, least stressful excercises there is...yet has almost as many benefits as the much-harder running. We all have to take charge and be responsible for of our own health at some point in our lives. 5 months ago I quit smoking after 35 years...and it has made a world of difference. And if I can stop smoking...believe me, Steve can start walking and learn to eat some chicken now and then!!! Hope everything works out for you. Keep encouraging him.

Flooper

"I'm a man. I can change. If I have to. I guess."
The Man's Prayer from the Red Green Show
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2006 :  12:48:45 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
We have miles & miles of country roads out here, and I've tried several times to get Steve to walk just a little ways up our road and back. The length I'm thinking of probably wouldn't take more than 10 or 15 minutes. He gets out of breath very easy. This is why when he wants to go somewhere that does entail some walking, I agree to it even if it's not something I'm interested in... but it's not frequent enough to gain any benefit from it. This is places like going to the mall, the gun & knife show in Ft. Wayne, the Shipshewana flea market (which is absolutely huge! You can't get through the whole thing in one day!), etc.

We live in a two story farm house but use the upstairs mainly for storage. We keep it closed off to conserve heat with the cost of heating a home these days. I've tried to talk him into just going upstairs once a day. I've done this occassionally to keep myself in shape over the winter months... but I take them as fast as I can and as long as I can go until I run out of steam.

Thanks for the meal suggestions, too. You guys have been great, and you have really perked me up. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2006 :  06:45:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
Hi Red hawk;
Stay positive. My thoughts are with you.

Here's a tip I use and often give to others in time of great stress.

Think deeply about all this things affecting and about your current situation.

Think of what you can / should do today and do them.

When the day is done ask your self "is there anything else I can do today". If the answer is no then say (or think) loudly "I have done all I can today".
Then put your mind at ease with a stong thought of "I have done all I can today, I will do more tomorow", then consiously mentally relax, think about pleasureable / happy things in your life and continue with your normal routine knowing you "Have done all You can today and tomorrow is another day."

Folks who have tried this approach told me that it helps them cope and keeps them in balance.

Hope it helps.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2006 :  07:01:51 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
RH, Not suggesting nagging, but I'd sure sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with him. The disability idea sounds like a bad one. Psychologically, it could symbolize giving up and giving in to what "is," not fixing it. As for him being unwilling to go for walks, "tough." If that's something he has to do, then he's a big boy, he can just gut it out, and while walking, be darned glad he has legs.

Oooo, I sound mean. However, I watched my husband "giving up," and man, the power of the mind is really something. Pretty soon he was now seeing himself as incapable of way more than he was, and his lifestyle started changing to a whole routine of passtimes. And it had its own rewards, so he started buying into it with excuses. I could even say he started enjoying acting unable to do certain things and doing a bad job of it just to show me he couldn't.

So here's the suggested program: We go for a walk twice a day. One 10 minute and one 15 minute. They can be easy slow walks at first, but each week they get "better" (meaning they step up). Either in length of time (ideal) or in effort. The logic is ANYONE can stand 10 minutes of walking and 15 minutes of walking. If he has to look at it like a chore, then fine. If he wants to find a way to amuse himself with it, all the better. As long as he knows that's just how it's going to be, his choice is to either make it miserable for himself or find a way to make it pleasant. (Vary time according to him, but this is just an example.)

Letting "Awww, I don't want to" start dictating what he can and can't do (meaning wants to or doesn't want to) is a bad thing to get into.

As for food, hey if he hates chicken, he hates chicken. You don't have to be a great cook to come up with a couple of recipes that replace meat protein. Tofu (awwwwk) has its place. I've never cooked with it, but it's very versatile.

But fish can be done in a zillion ways. One that's a very healthy recipe (but tastes fried) is really simple. Roll fish filets in Kellogs Corn Flake Crumbs (not the cereal, horrors. It comes in a box called that.) Put it in a glass baking dish, minimal PAM if any. Sprinkle it with Italian Seasoning, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Salt and Onion Flakes (dried). Bake it 18 minutes at 375. Done deal. Crispy, delicious. Can also do chicken that exact same way (35 minutes for breasts, about 50 minutes for thighs). Skin the chicken, the skin may be why he doesn't like it. Chicken fat is pretty disgusting so I remove that also. Once in a while pop for some scallops. Put them in a glass or crock baking dish, pour in some dry sherry and sprinkle them with bread crumbs (or roll them first). About 10 minutes at 375. I also have a shrimp stir fry that's EASY in an orange sauce (don't panic, easy also). Can also make it with chicken, and the chicken is in pieces and sort of disguised because there are tons of veggies in it also. I do that in a wok (very simple, very quick) and I do rice in a crockpot (normal recipe, just put it on low and when all water is absorbed turn off the crockpot, leave it covered and it'll stay hot for up to 2 hours, ready when you are).

I am pretty healthy (and I do little to make that the case) but I can tell you one thing. Before I got Cloud I was a Computer Potato (similar to couch potato). I literally couldn't squat and rise without putting my hand on something. Just out of condition. Lifting a bale of hay (50#) was really hard. I'd get out of breath walking half way down the driveway and therefore hated walking. Now I have a whole lot easier time with the bales, I not only walk half way down the driveway but I'm pushing 8 cu. ft. wheelbarrow, pretty full. Sometimes through snow. I didn't go on any workout program and I wasn't overweight, but just in the course of caring for a horse, you're lifting stuff, outside a lot, doing things. With no exercise program whatsoever, I'm about twice as strong and have about twice the endurance (if not 3 times) that I did when I started out. I was always getting out of breath. Over nothing! It was ridiculous.

So all I'm saying is, it really doesn't take much to build up muscles and tone and endurance. You picture it as being a long haul. Well, it isn't. It happens quickly *IF* you simply keep at it. Every time he does something he's not used to (maybe every two or three times), if he listens to his body he will see it's easier. Then he can add more challenge.

But the only way to approach that if it's optional (in other words not something he has no choice to do) is to approach it as though it is NOT "optional." The only choice is whether to do it grumbling or whether to just accept it and find some way to make it fun. And compared to watching your favorite TV program it will NOT be fun. So don't compare it to that. Compare it to not having any legs.

He just doesn't GET to give up, lie down and roll over.

Sometimes Tough Love has its place. Sounds like he's close to ramping up into a whole syndrome of "I can't." Don't let that get started... trust me.
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2006 :  09:00:06 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
RH, hope that didn't sound callous. Whatever he can do (not "want" to do) is where to start. Then build up. Now, if all he's focusing on is the effort and boredom, then that's pretty much what I was addressing. He needs to have something positive about it. Visualization games are fun, and not just for children. If the two of you go for a walk and he finds it difficult, then tell him to really memorize everything he's feeling because the best thing he can do is compare it with that same exact walk and the same exact amount of time as it feels NEXT week. Maybe pick a walk that's not too time consuming that he has problems with today. And once a week (even though you may find other walks you like better), go on it and use it as a benchmark. If he really has a good picture in his mind how it was to do it when he started out, then each week (and it won't take more than one or two) when he re-visits it, he will see "Whoa, this is nothing like when I first did it." And that, in itself, is encouraging from within. If what he's lacking is motivation, then having a comparison IS motivating. I'd make a big deal out of it also so there are some rewards.

One rather tasty snack (and I'm not in love with celery) is little chunks of really crispy celery with the smallest amount of peanut butter in the well. We tend to slather PB when we use it and get insensitive to it, but man, that stuff really has a strong flavor! You don't notice it until you pair it with something bland, which celery is, but the crunch factor is what the celery is for. By the way, did you know that you burn up more calories chewing celery than it has? LOL. Yup.

But cucumber chunks with a little salt and a lot of pepper is fun too. Red bell pepper is very sweet and crunchy. Pretzels really aren't bad for you (maybe the salt). Low fat triscuits are pretty good. I also have some pasta recipes that are low fat but one that's super easy and absolutely delicious (and surprisingly low in fat) comes in a package -- Knor 4-Cheese Sauce. You add milk (forget the butter, you'll never miss it). Stick some broccoli in the pasta water toward the end so it's crunchy still. Also a really neat thing that is great to have on hand (and you develop a huge taste for it) is... a half gallon of water. Slice up a lemon in it (don't peel it). Seeds and all in the slices. Let it sit in the fridge for a day or so. Take the lemon slices out as soon as you get the right "crisp" to the taste. Not tart, just delicately flavored. That stuff is really addicting! Another minimally offensive thing is fig newtons which they also have in other fruits now. Those aren't bad in terms of fat. Licorice (red or black) is pretty legal. Popcorn is also, amazingly so. There are flavored seasonings for popcorn, including Mexican. You can also make your own "baked" potato chips (web search on that one but they're easy). And "french fries" I make in oven, on a cookie sheet, wedged potatoes (keep skin on) and finger paint them with a little olive oil (it'll be so minimal it won't matter). Then season with dill weed and whatever else appeals. Dust them in paprika. Turn them over a couple of times (about 400). Pretty healthy side dish, very easy, very inexpensive.
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2006 :  10:51:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Hmmmm, seems to me you can't force somebody to make life changes or to take care of themselves....heaven knows, we've been trying that with my mom for years! She has a bad heart, and, upon hearing the news several years ago, pretty much just spent her time sitting around waiting to die. The last 6 months, there has been a positive change...she has been eating well, getting out more, and renewing her interest in her hobbies. Don't know what brought this on, but I am very thankful for it!

What with Steve also having a bad back, excercise of any type is not going to be easy for him. On the other hand, if he can just start moving around more, it might help his back, also...

Just wondering, do you have a hospital near you that might have an excercise program or facility for heart patients? They might be able to help him. My dad, who will be 75 in March, goes to a hospital-affiliated gym several times a week. I think the cost is $60 to start, and $30-something a month to keep going. They design the exercise program geared to your health and ability.

EZ2SPOT
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2006 :  9:34:24 PM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by EZ2SPOT

Hmmmm, seems to me you can't force somebody to make life changes or to take care of themselves....heaven knows, we've been trying that with my mom for years! She has a bad heart, and, upon hearing the news several years ago, pretty much just spent her time sitting around waiting to die. The last 6 months, there has been a positive change...she has been eating well, getting out more, and renewing her interest in her hobbies. Don't know what brought this on, but I am very thankful for it!

What with Steve also having a bad back, excercise of any type is not going to be easy for him. On the other hand, if he can just start moving around more, it might help his back, also...

Just wondering, do you have a hospital near you that might have an excercise program or facility for heart patients? They might be able to help him. My dad, who will be 75 in March, goes to a hospital-affiliated gym several times a week. I think the cost is $60 to start, and $30-something a month to keep going. They design the exercise program geared to your health and ability.

EZ2SPOT



You're right, I wasn't thinking of forcing him though. Just not letting "I don't want to" be the last word. Been there done that.

Hospital exercise program, designed to health and ability... that sounds like an EXCELLENT idea! For one thing you're in a controlled environment. Secondly, trainers are encouraging. Never thought of that, good 'un! ;-)

RH, I feel for ya. Hope some of the suggestions (mine or anyone else's) help get things in the works. Sometimes it's helpful to hear various opinions and perspectives, because one will make you shudder and think, "No, no, that wouldn't work," but lead you into what would. And sometimes one is just right on.

The great thing is, you're thinking about it and leaving yourself open to thoughts and ideas. Hope you will find the right way for him and that he gets into it in a way that works for him.

Gotta give him credit, he's making some steps. Above with the cooking ideas I forgot... you said he's bending away from too much beef, which is good. I have never made a veggie burger but people who have really get into them! I don't think they're hard to make either, and I believe you can do up a batch and then freeze them.
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Dixiesmom
Beginning Rider



145 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2006 :  10:23:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dixiesmom's Homepage Send Dixiesmom a Private Message
RH, sorry you are having to go through this and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Just a suggestion for making walks more fun for him, does he have a dog? Get him a new puppy all his own and tell him he has to walk his puppy twice a day, and go with him, make it fun for both of you. I know that my walks are way more fun when Harley (my german shepherd) is with me, and she benefits just as much as I do.

Melissa

Dixie--black & white paint mare, 3yrs in April
Pete--roan missouri foxtrotter gelding, 21yrs in April
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2006 :  4:42:53 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Everyone has been so helpful that I'm almost overwhelmed (wish we had a smiley faced with a tear drop near the eye for this one).

The hard part is that Steve & I work different shifts and the only time we see each other(outside of weekends) is when I come home around 11:00 pm and he's in bed asleep, and when he get's up around 5:00 am when I'm sleeping away. He does do all the feeding of the horses, since I'm working when that has to be done.

Meals are usually one skillet deals or something microwavable that I can make enough for my lunch and our dinners. Steve usually eats turkey cold cuts for lunch. But that doesn't mean I'm turning my nose up at your suggestions, and just maybe they will help me think of some alternatives down the line. The other problem is we fall easily into our set routines when it comes to everyday and weekly chores and errands. Even though I'm along for the ride, Steve is the one in charge of buying the weekly groceries, and he usually does a fairly good job. But I can't watch him when I'm not there or when he's at work. It'd be very easy for him to cheat when it comes to his diet, and there's really nothing much for me to stop him.

I like the idea of the hospital exercise program. Huntington Memorial has just that, and I'm trying to talk Steve into trying it. We'll see. The problem here is that he weighs just a tad under 300 lbs. and I'm only about 135 lbs. Kinda hard to make someone that much bigger than you do something physical when he doesn't want to. But I'm trying. I just try not to shove him too hard, because the harder I shove, the more he resists. It's not easy, but I'm doing the best I can.

You people have just been great, and I've been reading your posts to Steve(He doesn't want anything to do with the 'puter). I do believe that with him just knowing there are others who care and are concerned about him is helping more than me trying to push him into something he's not all that thrilled with doing. So, all of this has helped. Thank you.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2006 :  5:09:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
LOL, RH, the two of us together would weigh close to 300 lbs...I can always come over and help push! Now, THAT thought should frighten Steve into behaving!

EZ2SPOT
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2006 :  05:13:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
Maybe one of you can ask for a temporary shift transfer until you get this worked out. Most employers should be willing to do this, at least on a temporary basis for medical reasons for your self or spouse. I am sure you have thought of this but just in case. You may have to ask more than once and make sure you have exhausted all possibilities such as making sure you have asked at as high in the organization as needed to get the approval. Failing that, perhaps a new job would be in order? New start & all that? Remember Appygirl, she loves her new job.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2006 :  09:17:21 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Red Hawk

Everyone has been so helpful that I'm almost overwhelmed (wish we had a smiley faced with a tear drop near the eye for this one).

The hard part is that Steve & I work different shifts and the only time we see each other(outside of weekends) is when I come home around 11:00 pm and he's in bed asleep, and when he get's up around 5:00 am when I'm sleeping away. He does do all the feeding of the horses, since I'm working when that has to be done.

Meals are usually one skillet deals or something microwavable that I can make enough for my lunch and our dinners. Steve usually eats turkey cold cuts for lunch. But that doesn't mean I'm turning my nose up at your suggestions, and just maybe they will help me think of some alternatives down the line. The other problem is we fall easily into our set routines when it comes to everyday and weekly chores and errands. Even though I'm along for the ride, Steve is the one in charge of buying the weekly groceries, and he usually does a fairly good job. But I can't watch him when I'm not there or when he's at work. It'd be very easy for him to cheat when it comes to his diet, and there's really nothing much for me to stop him.

I like the idea of the hospital exercise program. Huntington Memorial has just that, and I'm trying to talk Steve into trying it. We'll see. The problem here is that he weighs just a tad under 300 lbs. and I'm only about 135 lbs. Kinda hard to make someone that much bigger than you do something physical when he doesn't want to. But I'm trying. I just try not to shove him too hard, because the harder I shove, the more he resists. It's not easy, but I'm doing the best I can.

You people have just been great, and I've been reading your posts to Steve(He doesn't want anything to do with the 'puter). I do believe that with him just knowing there are others who care and are concerned about him is helping more than me trying to push him into something he's not all that thrilled with doing. So, all of this has helped. Thank you.



Re last paragraph, it definitely helps when you feel people are behind you. It's encouraging! Sounds like he needs to develop his own reasons for going forward though, because even if you were big enough to push him around, you'd have to be there policing him every second. That's why when I read the suggestion for the hospital exercise program I thought "Bingo!" Because there he'd be under the tutelage of someone who would evaluate exactly what he needs to work on and they would have experience enough to impress upon him WHY. He would see the road itself in concrete terms, not just some theoretical, vague "it would be better for you." They would probably explain how heart works (or gets impeded) and he would likely meet or see other people who don't wake up in the morning feeling like they want to be the jock of the day any more than he does.

Starting out is just plain discouraging. It's something you're not used to. You don't relate to it. All the rewards look distant and theoretical.

However, JUST doing an exercise and finding it noticeably easier a couple of times later (sometimes it's only the 3rd time!) shows you how quickly your muscles will respond. That, then, is a reward (the first) that you get from a new regimin. But doing this without any support? Can be done, but so much easier (and nicer) if you're in a program.

There are a couple of mindsets that I've found helpful in helping someone diet. One is... when you consider eating something that is going to be counterproductive, picture it as body fat. Same shape, but body fat, not what it is in its current form. Along with that, realize that an urge is temporary. Cravings hit you hard, but if you just wait through them, they disappear or recede. Sometimes in 60 seconds. Let them go.

Also, something I found really effective when working with someone dear to me and it was pretty impressive. In your cupboard of canned goods, put together 5 lbs. in each of two bags. Have him carry it just a 20-foot walk across the room. Then set them down and walk back. That's the effect of just 10 lbs!! It takes a lot more effort to carry them than not, but it sure gives some meaning to 10 lbs. Well, the same thing holds true with weight that's distributed onto your body, except we don't see it in the same terms. The more you are "carrying" around, the harder everything is, and the less you want to expend the effort. Life just gets EASIER when you drop some of the unfriendly weight. It gets nicer. It gets more fun.

The biggest problem he will have is starting out. I sympathize with him because when you're starting out, you're the same weight except now you're putting yourself in activities that are harder than if you don't. So that part just takes blind faith and will and determination. But the rewards, IF he just stays with it, will come quickly enough to become their own motivating factor.

Another thing that works with women, but can also work with men -- no reason why not -- is to set a goal that boils down to one size difference. Buy an article of clothing in that size, say a pair of pants. (Ideally a brand and style he currently wears because they fit his body type). Hang that article out where you can see it in your dressing area. As you drop some pounds, you will see that you're getting closer to fitting into them. One day your own clothes will be just big enough so you think maybe now is the time to try them on. If they fit? Take the tags off and wear them. But DO hold them up against the ones you took off. Just seeing that they are smaller, one on top of the other... that is visible progress. Just one size drop can be very encouraging because there's another size drop coming in a short time, and you get to do this all over again. Each time represents VISIBLE PROGRESS!!!

At some point along the way, and (sooner than later) there will come a time when he will just make a different decision. Something will appeal to him to buy and eat, bigtime. But then he will think, "Wait a minute. Now this has a COST." And he will *elect* to pass it by. That is a huge moment, when you find yourself just deciding "Nope, this will be very enjoyable for about 3 whole minutes, but its cost will stick with me, and it'll make it just that much bigger of a bear that I have to whup."

What we did also, was hang a pair of cut-offs that she liked that were in her ideal weight size. She would just glance at them because they were there. But the idea is to know that if you just "keep on keeping on," there will come a day in the not-too-distant future where you will no longer be doing this with your "progress wardrobe," but you will try them on and they will fit! It's pretty interesting to picture yourself fitting into something that small, but it will come about if you just stay with the program.

Steve needs to connect with other people who are facing the same things he is. The hospital exercise program will undoubtedly put him around them. They will be there, doing what he is. They will have the same blocks he does, the same annoyances, the same doubts, the same fears (don't discount that, it's a factor). And there will be some there who worked through those and are getting close to their goal weights. No one can give you more reason to be encouraged than someone who's just done it, who started out exactly the same way you are starting out.

Yeah, people here care. There aren't too many people in any group who haven't had to struggle with something that was difficult for them. So they're behind someone who's at the beginning, it doesn't have to be the same struggle. It's a struggle.

He has everything to gain by just committing himself to the end result that will make him happiest. There will be hard times, but he can do it. He just has to "own" the goal as his, not someone else's. The goal has to become his own personal challenge.

Now the good news is... my daughter started out at 185 lbs. She stuck with it, bought the interim clothes (not a lot, it doesn't take a lot) and as time went on (fairly early) her taste buds started changing. (We're talking from the better part of a bag of potato chips at TV/couch ==TO== being happy with marshmallows between two vanilla wafers, nuked so they become several sticky, gooey, yummy cookies. These are decadent tasting, but not bad in calories and almost no fat. She found she had the same degree of satisfaction.

But that's when you start seeing a lifestyle change. You're not any longer depriving yourself of something, you're getting the same enjoyment from something else.

Well, one day she realized she was bounding up the stairs. She used to lug up them before. Not that she couldn't have bound up them before because of weight, it was just the way she FELT. Her motivation had gone up. She wasn't as tired. She was more energetic. She was in a much more lively frame of mind. She felt healthier. She felt better. She was happier. She felt good about HERSELF. And she did it herself. I helped. Her program helped. But no one lived with her moment to moment. This was an accomplishment only she could take credit for.

As for the exercise, not only will it help him be less tired from everyday tasks, not only will it give his heart some healthy, much needed juicing, but it will rev up his metabolism. Instead of burning x calories from walking to the end of the road and back, suddenly he'll be burning way over that. Same exact walk! The body picks everything up when you give it work to do. Nature does that. It ups and lowers the entire body's functioning and speed of functioning, according to what you throw at it.

Which leads to something else he will probably be told. It's important not to miss meals. If you eat regularly, the body knows it's being taken care of. If you suddenly start skipping meals, it thinks it's being starved and it will start storing fat.

Another thing, the scale cannot be your only measure. Muscle weighs more than fat. It is possible to be building up muscles and not lose the same weight in fat pounds. This will be explained to him if he goes into a program.

Whew! This is a loooooooooong post, I know. But not when you're talking about someone's health and well-being. Those are very real things in life. And hey, we are ALL Bozo's on this bus. Everyone has challenges, but we can never see them in perspective if we get knocked down. If just one small thing in this long post will be meaningful to him, then it's worth the typing time and the cyber space it takes.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2006 :  12:13:11 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hook

Maybe one of you can ask for a temporary shift transfer until you get this worked out. Most employers should be willing to do this, at least on a temporary basis for medical reasons for your self or spouse. I am sure you have thought of this but just in case. You may have to ask more than once and make sure you have exhausted all possibilities such as making sure you have asked at as high in the organization as needed to get the approval. Failing that, perhaps a new job would be in order? New start & all that? Remember Appygirl, she loves her new job.



Believe me, Hook, I've thought about that. I've been at the same job for over 29 years, and I do have enough seniority to go to days... the same hours that Steve works. The only drawback is I'd be sacrificing my 40 cents an hour night bonus, and we're just keeping up with our bills, now. This will change in a couple of years when we get a couple of biggies paid off. The other problem is I'd get stuck with all the overtime if I went to days and would be so poohed I wouldn't feel like doing much of anything, myself. Also, I'd be working Saturdays, and that'd only leave Sunday for me to be home. I'm not trying to cop out, but I am facing facts. Thanks for the suggestion, though, since I don't want to miss anything that might help.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2006 :  4:28:15 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
I have some good news and some bad news:

Steve is taking his new diet seriously, thank goodness. And this time, I think it's going to stick. He saw a cardiologist this past week, and Dr. Godly (Would you believe that's his actual name?) seems to think Steve is still adjusting to the medication change and to give him more time to adjust. Steve's going in for a stress test next Thursday, and hopefully that will tell us more and how much exercise Steve can take. I'm hoping and praying that maybe if the medication change will smooth out, Steve can possibly still keep his job. Also, the cardiologist seems to think Steve's weight has nothing to do with his condition... that he'd have the problem regardless... but everyone is relieved that Steve is willing to change his eating habits. We'll just have to wait and see what happenens after the stress test.

That was the good news. Now for the bad news:

They had a family consultation with Steve's dad's doctor to discuss Tom's(Steve's dad) options for treatment. Tom decided that chemo would not be worth it but opted to have radiation treatments to ease the pain in his leg so he can at least walk to the bathroom and back. He went in for his first treatment, I think last Thursday or Friday. The cancer is much more wide spread than they thought. They are now giving him six weeks. In some ways, this may be a blessing. At least he won't be suffering, but who knows? A friend of mine at work said that her aunt had the same diagnosis and lasted six months. She said it just depends on how much pain the patient can tolerate. Doesn't sound good however you want to look at it.

Anyway, we're all doing as well as we can. I'm doing better and just trying to take one day at a time... and praying that everything will work out for the best. Let the chips fall where they may. We're doing the best we can.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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sbower
Clinician



1083 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2006 :  8:59:40 PM  Show Profile Send sbower a Private Message
I hope that the stress test goes well on Thursday! And I am so thankful and happy that Steve's taking this seriously. Give the medication time to work, alot of heart medications take alot of finetuning.

I think that it would be important that you show Steve that you support him. I know that when my brother and father both started having problems everyone in my family went on a heart healthy diet! No salt, lots of veggies and very little prepared foods. It was a lifestyle change. But we all did it and yes it takes more work but I suspect that a little more work doesn't scare you!.

Steve will have to decide on his own that his health is worth the effort of dieting and exersize. You can't "police him" but you can support him whether it's making the salad for him to eat or taking a walk with him.

Recently, I decided had some extra weight that had to come off, and I started logging everything I ate in a program called Fitday, and it was amazing how many poor choices I was making. Changing simple things like going from 2% milk to fat free and from my normal brand of turkey lunchmeat to a brand called "Fit and trim" made a HUGE difference in the calories I was consuming. I dropped 7 pounds in three weeks, not by changing how much I ate but my making better choices about what I was eating. I still have my glass of wine too!

Tell Steve that he can do this! He's actually one of the lucky ones that got a warning signal! However, I am truly sorry that you both have to deal with his dad's illness at the same time, it just doesn't seem fair.

<'\__~
_(( // ====

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ttyndale
Trainer

USA
744 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2006 :  12:42:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit ttyndale's Homepage Send ttyndale a Private Message
RH, I am late to the topic obviously but wanted to send my best regards as you go through this difficult stage of your life. Allow the the hard times to draw you closer to God and to each other as a family. Going through the hard times can sometimes cause us to have a better appreciation for life. If we can master the difficult and hard times of life the rest is a piece of cake. Keep us posted with the progress and just take one day at a time.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2006 :  12:31:32 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Just a quick update:

My father-in-law has been in the hospital the last 3 days due to diarrhia (I hope I spelled that right) and dehydration. We are still hoping he can pass away at home, which is what he would like to do. According to the lastest report from the doctors, it could be any time now.

In the meantime, Steve had a stress test yesterday and will be tested overnight while he sleeps at the hospital later this month. I'm just hoping and praying that they find something that will let him return to his normal lifestyle and not have to go on disability.

I'm a little more upbeat, these days, and just chugging along nice and steady. Still praying every day and keeping the faith.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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fracturedbones
Clinician



3424 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2006 :  3:03:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit fracturedbones's Homepage Send fracturedbones a Private Message
Hang in there RH.....lot of stress for you and Steve. Wish I had words of wisdom...sending good thoughts your way.
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