February 17, 2011

Three seedlings

Last night I had a great conversation with a young man I know, someone I hope to write about in more detail when the time is appropriate, and it really cheered me up a lot. I haven't really told any of my friends about what's been going on with my father, and keeping it all inside was a major contributor to Monday's binge. So it felt really good to talk to someone, to feel a little unburdened and a little less alone. I love writing blog posts, but sometimes the immediate feedback of real conversation is precisely what you need.

My father's condition is stable enough that he's received travel clearance, so tonight my parents are flying from West Palm Beach back to Connecticut. From there they'll head directly to the hospital, and then we'll see what happens. More waiting, and we need to be okay with that for now.

My mom called me last night to update me on the situation and more than anything, one of her biggest concerns is my father's attitude. He was told by his doctors after his first heart attack (in 2006) that he needed to eat better and be as active as he could. He chose not to listen. bonfire, summer 2008. considerably better then.And now, after having another heart attack, he's getting the same advice, and because of his kidney concerns, now the dietary plan is even stricter. He was given a list of preferable foods, as well as descriptions of what appropriate portion sizes are. And my mom said he got very short with her, saying he was going to follow his own plan, to heck with what the doctors say because what do they know.

Again, I feel guilty - this time, because my mom told me that my dad said "Mary lost over a hundred pounds, I'm going to do it, too." I absolutely should not feel guilty - he is following what he assumes to be "my plan," when in fact, he's never actually asked me what I've been doing - he's always only wanted to know the numbers on the scale. I have hoped that my family would be inspired by my progress, but this isn't what I meant - I want them to eat healthy and be active, but in a way that is appropriate and sustainable for them. So much of my success is based on knowing what my limits are and maintaining a balance with all of it - I don't cut out any food groups entirely, I exercise like a fiend, I drink tons of water, and I take a multivitamin. Also in my favor: I'm not diabetic, I can feel my hands and legs, and I haven't had a single heart attack, let alone two. My plan works for me, but my father's plan will need to be adapted to his specific circumstances - and while it is okay to feel sad or upset, I cannot feel guilty for his decisions.

In semi-related news, I bought a small strawberry seed plant kit last week. You add water to the soil pellet to rehydrate it, then add the seeds and let nature do what it does best. Yesterday morning, I noticed the first three little seedlings popping out from the soil. It's not much, but it feels like a good sign from the universe. Spring, fresh life, new beginnings ... it's right around the corner.


Amy said...

I hope that you can talk to your dad and help him find a plan appropriate for him... and hopefully he'll realize the doctors do know something.

Yay for new beginnings!

Maude said...

Thank goodness Spring is on the way!

Just keep reminding yourself that you should not feel guilty. You are not responsible for your family's health and all you can do is what you've been doing. I'd hate to see you lose ground because you're upset about something you can't control. And I'm sure your Dad would too.

I'm glad that he's doing better and headed home!

Anne H said...

Spring is on the way - in our minds and hearts as well!

Big Clyde said...

Oh, Mary...I am thinking of you today. It seems that Amy is right, your dad just might follow your lead and you might be able to help him find a great plan.

Tim said...

I guess the positive news is that he wants to lose the weight so hopefully he'll come round to the idea that the doctors advice is what he needs to follow. Great news that he's heading home :)

Ann said...

I hope everything works out okay with your dad, and he can get his health under control. You just keep continuing to set an example, okay? :) You can do it!

TMLfans.ca said...

Don't wait for him to ask you, gently tell him about how you're doing. Sounds like he's game to try something! Glad he's able to travel... Cheers, Rick