While my dad was hospitalized, the nurses would move the nurse call button right next to his hand – or sometimes even clip it to his hospital gown – and tell him to call if he needed anything. Well, my very self-sufficient German farm-raised father had spent 77 years never asking for help and he wasn’t about to start. At least twice the nurses found him out in the hallways looking for something and even more times than that he managed to get himself out of bed to get to the bathroom – even when hours before it would take 3 strong people to move him around in the bed. He somehow found the strength to get up when he needed something. Eventually the nurses had to put the bed alarm on so he wouldn’t hurt himself. I don’t think he ever pushed the call button.
While he was sick, and especially now that he is gone, I am completely overwhelmed with the amount of support I am receiving. I am clearly my father’s daughter and I HATE to ask for help. I feel like I should be able to manage everything that is going with some careful planning. My childhood friend has been helping to coordinate the offers of meal deliveries and I was hesitant at first. I know all of my friends are busy (if not busier) moms. But, she assured me, they want to help – they want to do something to help things move more easily over the next week or so. So, I’m accepting help – and I’m really trying to let others comfort me and express their support and condolences. As much as we are capable of slapping together some sort of dinner from our pantry, the true blessing of the meal deliveries that we’ve had is that, for the first time in weeks, all 5 of us have been able to sit down and eat a meal together. This is so important when I am physically and emotionally all over the place. It really is an amazing gift. My college roommate and friend is flying in to be with me as I make funeral preparations – she lost both of her parents over the past years as well. It is a “club” that nobody wants to be a part of but only those in it truly understand the depth of the loss. I have received countless emails, cards, phone calls, texts, Facebook posts and private messages. As easy as it is to feel very alone when you are an only child that loses both parents, I’m immediately reminded how many people are in my little world and I will never be “alone”. My husband’s family has surrounded me with love – I have them too. I have my own 3 children which will, God willing, grow into a huge family over the next few decades.
I spoke with the social worker at the inpatient hospice house yesterday and she told me that someone from their bereavement department will contact me about support and counseling from that. I’m actually going to listen to what they have to say and try to find some support from them without brushing it off. The social worker really encouraged me to do this based on the circumstances and the fact that my dad went really fast and I didn’t have much of a chance to process my grief/feelings before he died.
I was supposed to weigh in with Dr. Ziltzer this Thursday but decided to reschedule for next week when the funeral is over. I’m going to need his help for the “what’s next” and some support to getting back on track – although I’m happy that I’m still within 5 pounds of goal…not too bad considering the circumstances.
So, along with working on paperwork, etc. at my dad’s house as well as funeral arrangements, I am trying very hard to take it easy. The other morning after the kids left for school I crawled back in bed for another 45 minutes. Extra rest is important now. I have continued the mile streak and I’m still trying to run a bit and do some strength training. I know exercise is one of the best things I can do for myself right now – in fact, the other day I paused for a moment to take a little self-inventory of my overall well-being and I felt really at peace and like I had sufficient energy. I know this is because I’ve been making exercise a part of my daily routine whereas, in the past, I would have shoved it to the bottom of my priority list. Something else that is changed from the “old me” is that I don’t typically follow exercise with crappy food choices. I’m much more likely to reach for apple slices, berries, yogurt, or something a little more nutritious than chips and candy. This is not how I used to operate under stress and sadness. No wonder I actually feel “OK”. But I’m trying to make exercise more of a “want to” instead of a “have to” and just doing something every day – it doesn’t have to be a big long workout. I’m struggling with the running right now but I’m going to head out soon for a 3 mile easy-paced run. I think I’m more scared of the idea of running right now than actually just doing it – so I’m hoping that getting out there several times a week will keep my running legs and fitness up. Because I’m shaking things up a bit this week, after a short strength training session at Koko, I’ve been running the mile on the Koko treadmills in intervals – only my fast intervals are really fast (for me). I’ve been cranking the treadmill up to 7.0 or higher for .10 miles on then down to a quick walking pace for .10 miles – back and forth for a mile. I’m hoping what is almost a sprinting speed for me will develop some new muscle strength and hopefully increase my speed overall on longer runs. I can already tolerate 7.0 more and more with each interval – whereas 6.0-6.5 used to be a maximum. Also, I ordered some books yesterday to help give me a training plan to get ready for Ragnar. I’m really glad that is on the horizon because it will give me a training focus – clearly without one I’m sort of a mess.
I really appreciate the messages of support from here on my blog as well. I don’t know many of you personally but I feel like I have lots of love and support from all over the world. Another amazing and unique blessing of this weight loss journey! 🙂