Saturday, May 16, 2015

We Are Here With You Now





Lori woke up to the foul odor of a canine’s breath, and sounds of jingling keys. It was Lori’s black lab, shaking her head, growling and panting - alerting her that something was going on downstairs.  Then the lights came on with squeaky, shuffling feet walking up to the top of the stairs.  It was her mother, and it was 2:30AM.
“Uncle Dean has fallen out of bed and needs an ambulance!”  Lori remembered this actually happening in 1994, where she and her mother had to drive to his house from her Aunt Hilda’s house at 3:30AM to help him return to bed after falling on the floor. Uncle Dean had passed on a few years later.  “We need to wake up Aunt Hilda, and find him a robe.”  (Aunt Hilda passed away in 1995.) “Okay, Mom. This sounds important. Let’s go downstairs and make a plan.”
 Her mother was pacing and it was clear to see that her heart was racing, too.  Since her mother has a serious heart condition, Lori thought calming her down, and laying her down would be a good idea. “Mom, Uncle Dean really did fall out of bed, and you and I have already helped him.  He is doing well now, and is not in any pain. Let’s lay down and talk about it.”
  Lori’s mother reluctantly crawled back into bed.  “Where are we?  Is this Aunt Hilda’s house?” No, you are here at my house and that mirror on the wall, and the clock in the kitchen are both from Aunt Hilda’s house, said Lori.”  “Where is Uncle Dean NOW?” Lori paused before answering the question. (According to Naomi Feil, MSW and her book, Validation Breakthrough, Ms. Feil states that it is not a good idea to lie, or patronize people with dementia when they ask you a direct question). 
“Mom, Uncle Dean is okay, and closer to you than you can imagine. He is in heaven. “  “He died? When did he die? Is Aunt Hilda dead, too?  And my mother? Is everyone dead?” Lori started to cry seeing her mother’s face filling up with tears.
“Mom, they are all on the other side, all of them except you and your cousin. “  After sharing that information with her mother, her mother looked relieved and started breathing normally. “I am so confused, this is just so incredibly confusing. I never thought I would end up like this.”  “I know Mom. This is really hard, isn't it? Sometimes your brain doesn’t get the oxygen it needs and you forget things. When that happens, I am here to help you to remember things.”
Lori’s mother looked up at the ceiling and said, “Do you think all of them are in heaven?”  Yes mom, I do believe they are all in heaven, and I think they are so close to you, that they are with us now, this very minute. And when people get old, very old they prepare themselves to cross over by connecting with their loved ones through thoughts and dreams. I think what happened just now is something that was supposed to happen, and it is all good for your soul and spirit.  That longing to be reunited is there because of the bond of love, God’s love which is and will always be everlasting.”
  The room suddenly filled with a calm. Lori was gently rubbing her mother’s back as she would do for her baby when he was having trouble sleeping. “I loved living with Aunt Hilda during the Depression when I was 6,” said Lori’s mother.  Uncle Dean always came to check on us at the house twice a day. Once on his way to work, and once on his way back from work.” Mom, was that when your father had to live in another city because of his job?”  “Yes, my father would send money home for us, and my favorite memory of my Dad was sitting with him when I was 7 and holding his hand. I loved to hold my Dad’s hand.”  “So, in many ways, Uncle Dean filled in for your father, when he wasn’t able to be with you?” “Yes, he did! “
Then, out of the blue, the room felt almost magical. Lori’s mother closed her eyes almost as if she was clairvoyant contacting the dead, or in deep, deep prayer. “Mom, if you could speak to your loved ones, what would you say?” Then, to Lori’s surprise,  instead of answering as Lori’s mother, Lori’s mother, with her eyes still closed, almost in a whisper answered Lori as if she was  one of the ancestors. First as Uncle Dean. “Don’t worry about me, I have plenty of help.  I’m fine!”  Then as all of her relatives, “We are here with you now!”  
 Shortly after that,  Lori’s mother said, “I’m tired, I need to get some sleep.”
 After hearing her mother snoring, Lori returned to her bed and fell asleep.

Copyright 2015 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama  Nicey

The information in this blog is information. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics.  How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Maybe They Just Don't Know


Caregivers are special people. They give to others because they love people, and they enjoy opportunities to make a difference in the world .  But there are many caregivers who struggle with weight issues, and have felt the eyes of judgement, shame and discrimination from others. And many times, these people are not strangers at all, but family and friends!!

 How do you think obese caregivers are treated socially in the world of public opinion? 

 Lori became obese after having a baby in her mid-forties. Hormonal imbalances caused her to become 85 pounds heavier than she was in her twenties and when she would see people in social situations, she was shocked to see how she was being received. In the past,  when she was beautiful and thin, people were upbeat and positive (especially the men.) But once Lori became obese, some people (not many, but enough to hurt),  were not only thoughtless, but outwardly cruel to her. And many times these people were not strangers, but family friends!

 Lori saw a friend, (a social worker by profession who was a guest at her wedding), at a mountain retreat in upstate NY after not seeing her for years and the woman, in front of 8 people said, "Wow, I (pause with a shocked look on her face), "I didn't recognize you at all !" As Lori went to hug her, she pushed her away.  Later, at the same retreat, Lori was standing in the food line holding a paper plate and the woman in front of her (a doctor), looked at her with a (Why are you eating? You are so fat!), look on her face said, "Are you having another baby? You've got quite a pouch on you?"

A month later a very close friend of Lori's died suddenly in a car accident. Lori didn't go to his funeral because she felt people would judge her because of her weight gain.

 Lori's mother had a 75th birthday party.  Lori, who was petrified to face her relatives, hadn't been home in over 4 years because of her weight gain- joined Curves, went on a diet and literally starved herself for 6 months before the party. When the party day happened, there was a slideshow. In the slideshow there was a picture of Lori and her mother on her wedding day.  Lori was 125 pounds in the picture.  When the crowd of 50-plus friends and family saw the picture, there was a large GASP in the audience. The entire crowd in that second brought the message of judgement back to Lori in a very public way, who was  now obese.

What people don't realize is that obese people don't want to be fat, and that calorie control alone is not always the answer for people like Lori with hormonally induced obesity.  Lori was not an over eater, or lazy. Family members would anonymously send diet tips to her email inbox thinking she was gorging herself with food all day, unable to control her caloric intake.  And one family member, every time she would return to her home state would give her a lecture on the dangers of weight gain.   Lori truly wanted to die feeling shame and public humiliation by her newly found appearance, and at her mother's 75th Birthday party wanted to shrivel up in a corner and die.

 A year later, Lori opened a Facebook account, and a few days later attended a weekend retreat in the country. A woman took candid pictures of Lori when she was registering for the retreat. When she returned from her trip, she opened Facebook, and saw her picture was circulating around the world. And the captions underneath were not complementary. Two women were making comments on Lori's weight.

 Lori bumped into another friend a few years ago who she hadn't seen in over 20 years. "What happened to you?" Lori thought she was talking about where she had been. "You have really let yourself go.  You used to be so pretty. Aren't you worried about your health?" Lori stopped attending retreats, and started isolating herself from people, and from social situations.

 Recently, after using a life-changing nutritional product ( www.caregiversgetfit.isagenix.com), Lori dropped 60 pounds. She literally felt fabulous and her self esteem was flourishing.  She started going out in public on dates with her husband again (the first time in 13 years), and scheduling social activities with friends.

When Lori gained back  25 of the 60 pounds from becoming a 24/7 caregiver, she started becoming camera shy again. Her family didn't understand why she wanted to edit their Facebook  pictures of her, or why she would be angry if they would post things that showed her  looking even a little heavy,  without giving her the satisfaction of seeing the photos first.  There would be conflict, and disagreements over this. Was Lori being a little extra sensitive? "It's just a picture!"

 But until someone has worked hard every day to lose 85 pounds of extra weight for 15 years, and  has seen the cruelty first hand in a few (and it only takes a few), people's words, eyes and actions causing social isolation - maybe they just don't know. Maybe they just don't know.


Copyright 2015 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama  Nicey

The information in this blog is information. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics.  How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.


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