Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Surviving Death

It has been a long time since I blogged so I decided I would write today.  I have one thing on my mind this morning...my mom.  I posted previously about her rough patch last year with congestive heart failure and open heart surgery.  We almost lost her but she pulled through.  This year the story is a little different.

My brother and family from Vermont surprised us with a visit on July 1 of this year and we all expected it to be a great couple weeks.  Well, that is not how it happened.  His second day here was spent taking Mom to the hospital.  She was admitted with CHF.  She was released after a couple days for one day and back in hospital on July 4.  She was released to nursing home and then back to hospital.  After a couple weeks in the hospital they decided there was nothing that could be done so they released her back to the nursing home under Hospice care.  On August 8, my mother took her last breath.

Now, the story is much more than this.  She had good days and bad days but toward the end it was mostly bad.  Her mind was failing and she talked out of her head a lot.  Her heart was weak, she wasn't eating, and she was in so much pain that toward the end she was being given morphine every 45 minutes to an hour.  We couldn't figure out why she was holding on.

Someone sat with her 24 hours a day for the last couple weeks, we didn't feel she should be alone.  When it was my turn I would sit in the chair or bed reading and then I would find myself praying for release.  "Just give up," I would tell her.  "Lord, take her home, she is in pain."  I was actually praying for my mother's death.  Not because I wanted her to die, but because I wanted her suffering to stop.  I couldn't help but wonder why she wouldn't let go.  I have a theory.

For two weeks, we sat with her and watched her fade away.  We would sulk and tell her to get better.  Although she was not awake because of the morphine, I believe she sensed our tears and sadness.  I think she was holding on for us.  I believe that deep down, she wanted to know we would be okay without her.

On August 8, the Hospice nurse told us, "I don't think she will make it through the day."  I had already said my goodbye and was awaiting  the inevitable.  That day, there were 3 of my siblings, my sister in law, and me there.  We were cutting up, talking about our memories of Mom, laughing, and picking on each other.  We were actually having fun.  This went on for a couple of hours until my oldest sister said, "guys."  We went to my mother's bedside and my sister in law got the nurse.  She pronounced my mother had passed.  There were many tears and hugs and emotions that cannot be described in words.

I could be way off but I truly believe that even in my mother's weakened and drugged state that she was still looking out for her children.  She could not leave us until she knew we were okay.  I believe that hearing our laughter helped her make the transition to death.  I will never know for sure but that is what I choose to believe.

The pain of losing a parent is great.  However, the pain of seeing them suffer is greater.  As I write this, through tears in my eyes, I am thinking what a great life she had.  80 years is nothing to be sad about.  She raised 6 children and enjoyed them and her numerous grandchildren.  We will always miss her and I know that tears will come and go but we will be okay because, at the risk of sounding cliche, she is in better place now.

I am grateful for the time I had with my mom and my advice is to enjoy your parents while they are here.  Love them and treat well.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's a New Year

Well, it's the start of a brand new year and I have resolved to make 2013 better than 2012.  In 2011, I started exercising and eating more healthy because I realized that I was way overweight and I was worried about my health.  I lost 30 lbs. in 6 months.  In June 2012, my mom had a heart attack and was hospitalized for awhile so the desire to be with her outweighed my desire to lose weight.  I ended up gaining 15 of the 30 lbs. back.  I am not happy about this so I am jumping back on the fitness wagon. 

I wanted to start the new year with a run but we have had some bad weather so the sidewalks and roads are pretty slippery so I didn't run.  However, I did do 15 minutes of calisthenics the last two days.  Not much, but it's a start.  I did exceed my calorie intake by 600 though so I need to work on the eating part.  I am a bit out of practice and it shows by my achy body. 

I will work through the pain though and meet my goal.  I am determined to have the body I want and I will press on.  I will not give up, I will succeed.  That is my new mantra, "I will not give up, I will succeed." 

What are your goals for the new year?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Mother's Fight

Well, I'm back.  It's been awhile since my last post so I have so much to say.  Mostly about one thing in particular.  It's been a hard few weeks...here's why.

On June 27 we had to rush my mother to urgent care because of labored breathing and throwing up.  Come to find out she was suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF).  My mother never had heart problems so this was a surprise for us.  A few days later she had an angiogram which showed that she needed a  heart valve replacement.  It was scary, especially for someone who is 79 years old like my mother.  One week after being admitted they did the replacement of the valve and then a few days later put a stent in.

One week after having her open heart surgery, my mother went into respiratory distress and they had to intubate and put her on the ventilator because she could not breath on her own.  We were told had they not done this, my mother would have died.  This was scary for us because we saw my dad and brother in law go through this and they didn't make it.  We all prayed so hard for my mom to pull through and the doctors assured us she would.  Well she did, they put in a tracheotomy and took her off the vent.  They removed the trach today and will be taking her to a rehab facility in town tomorrow.

My mother has been through all different kinds of hell these last few weeks but she is a fighter.  I am so blessed to be part of a family that is so strong willed and supportive.  We are fortunate to have so many friends that are praying for us too.  We have had so much support through this hard time and I love them all so much.  Seeing my mother fight so hard makes me a little more of a fighter myself.

When my mom comes home we are going to party it up with an I Love Lucy day and anything else she wants.  I can't wait.

Friday, May 11, 2012


A lot has happened since my last post.  So many changes, for the better.  So many things in fact that I am just overcome with excitement.  I took a new position at work, which I love.  I'm on support staff now, which means I'm aid to the new director.  I love it and I love her.  Cheryl has given me such a great opportunity and I am so excited about working with her.  She is helping me with my director certification as well so maybe some day I can run my own facility, or just stay where I am and continue working with her, an option to which I'm not opposed.

As you know, I've been working really hard to lose weight and this weekend I hit the 30 lb. loss mark.  I'm so excited about this.  I never saw myself as fat until I look back at my pics and see it.  I was pretty chunky.  I'm very proud of this achievement.  I want to stay healthy and skinny.  I still have 7 lbs. before I reach my goal but I'm happy with how far I've come.  I have been a bit lazy these couple weeks but I'm still being careful with calorie intake.  I do NOT want those 30 lbs. back.

Finally, we have adopted kittens.  For a week, we had kittens trapped in our attic and we couldn't get them out.  Two kittens (we named them Atticus and Shadow) finally made their way out and into our pantry and we couldn't get rid of them.  They are the sweetest, cutest, little kittens.  However, it is like having babies again.  These kittens are still unweaned and we have no idea where momma is so we are taking care of them the best we can.  We have to bottle feed them, keep them warm, teach them to use the litter box, and give them lots of love.  This is a big deal for us because we are not pet people and we swore we would not have anymore babies after Nathanael.  Well now we are pet people and pretty much have babies too.  I love these little guys and I hope we can keep them healthy and safe for a long time.

Changes are good, they have definitely made me rethink my life.  I feel like a different person now with a new job, new kittens, and a skinnier self.  I love the road I'm on and I know it will lead me to great things.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Never Give Up

Last week was a crappy week for fitness.  Everyone in my challenge group struggled.  Whether it was with working out or eating right, something was in the air.  I gained 2 pounds.  However, the group did lose a total of 5 pounds so it was a successful week.

2 months ago, I would have been beating myself up over this weight gain and probably gotten depressed about it but I have learned that the point in that...well, there is no point.  It just depresses me and I don't like to be depressed.  I gained 2 pounds, so what.  I've lost 25 since September.  That's what I look at.  My success,  not my downfall.  I just don't quit.

That's  the key, never give up.  If you want to achieve any dream then, NEVER GIVE UP.  It doesn't matter what that dream is, whether it's losing weight, getting a promotion, or whatever, if you're going to achieve it, then you must keep going.  It's hard work but a little hard work never killed anyone. 

We all fall but we need to pick ourselves up and keep going.  Don't let the fall discourage you from obtaining your goals, you cannot fail unless you make the choice to fail.  So unless you are puking or dying, then JUST KEEP GOING!!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Challenge Group

So the big day is finally here.  My 30 day fitness challenge begins.  I have been looking forward to this for a month now.  Why am I so excited about exercising you ask?  Because it's what has gotten me to this point.  Since September, I have lost 27 pounds and several inches.  However, that's not why I'm so excited.

I'm excited because I have encouraged eight other people to take this challenge with me.  Eight people who have goals they want to meet such as get healthy, lose weight, or eat better.  I'm excited to be doing this challenge with them and be their coach.  I know it's not easy to make a change like this so I am excited that we are taking this adventure together.  I cannot wait to see how everyone does at the end of the 30 days. 

I am also excited that so many people have looked to me for guidance in this.  8 months ago I would have called them crazy.  Exercise was not something I considered but now I love it and I have people coming to me for advice.  It's a bit of a challenge as I feel I'm still not the best person but I love helping my friends.  I want nothing more but to see them succeed in their fitness goals.  I just want to be the best coach I can be.

I may sound crazy, but this fitness thing is awesome and I know that my challenge group will be awesome.  It won't be easy, but then again, it wouldn't be a challenge if it were easy.  I'm excited for my group and for myself.  I wish us the best of luck.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I come from a very big family.  I have 5 siblings and more nephews and nieces than I can keep up with.  I love them all but there are some that I will always be closer to than others.  But I'll never be as close to any of them as I am my 3 sisters.  My sisters, Janette, Shirley, and Luevada, are my best friends and I couldn't have better ones if I picked them myself. 

My sisters and I are so very different.  We have different belief systems, tastes in music, TV, movies, and so many other things.  We are also very much the same in that we have each others backs no matter what.  We may argue and just plain piss each other off but in the end we are there for each other.  No one can screw with my sisters and me because we are a mighty force together and individually.  People say there is strength in numbers and my sisters give me strength.

We don't agree on everything all the time (very rarely in fact).  Some of us agree more than others and we are okay with that.  We are sisters and we stand together.  If one of us falls, the other 3 will pick her up because that's what we do.

I am blessed to have such wonderful sisters whom I can call my best friends.  Thanks ladies.  I love you more than words can say.