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Just a lot

Hastings's picture

I'm dealing with a lot right now.

My 93-year-old grandmother fell and broke her hip. Two weeks later, she tried to get up, fell again, and broke a vertebra in her back. She's back at her assisted living facility, now in the med unit -- something she never wanted. She was already experiencing cognitive decline, but it's getting worse, not surprisingly. She perks up when I'm there, but she's an hour away and I can't be there very often, with everything else going on. She and I have always been extremely close (hate to admit, but I'm the favorite), so I have a lot of fear, major guilt and a real sense of loss and grieving.

I've always been super-healthy, other than kidney stones and being underweight. Something turned up in recent bloodwork and now I may have celiac disease. Won't know until later this week because the blood test takes several days. If not that, I'll have to go to a GI specialist to find out why I'm not absorbing some key nutrients. This distresses me. I know on the scale of scary diagnoses, this one isn't that awful, but it would mean a big lifestyle change for me.

Our greyhound developed bone cancer and had to have a leg amputated. It will come bank, likely in her lungs and around 6 months. She's more my husband's dog than mine, but it's still upsetting.

Dh is dealing with a lot of work stress (and he doesn't handle stress well). So am I. My boss is about to go on maternity leave for three months. So, I can't take time off for anything but medical appointments.

There's just no escape.

Probably because I'm so stressed, I find SS12 less and less easy to take. He came back over here yesterday and, of course, he has brand new, $120 shoes (he hadn't out-grown or worn out the previous pair). He immediately started asking when he's going back to BM's (she's getting him early because they're going to Disney World -- the real one -- for Thanksgiving). Bragging about the new $200 baseball bat his mom bought him. And he was just generally being obnoxious and annoying.

It would be nice to escape. But, as I said, I can't take time off work. And I don't want to leave my little dog because he's the only thing in my life right now that doesn't cause me stress or unhappiness.


Aniki-Moderator's picture

I'm so sorry you're so stressed. {{{hugs}}}

That's certainly a lot to deal with! Can you get some "me" time? Massage, mani/pedi, visit a botanical garden... you definitely need some down time. 

Tell your DH that he needs to handle SS, even get him out if the house for a few hours. Hiking, yard work, soup kitchen...

Prayers for you and your grandma.

Hastings's picture

Thank you! Yesterday, instead of playing a game with SS and DH, I fixed a cup of tea and a snack and read a book. I'm finding it easier to just say no to togetherness time.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Your health is everything and that includes mental health. Hope you thoroughly enjoyed your book!

CLove's picture

Thats a lot to be dealing with.

Im so sorry to hear of your gma and pupster and health issues.

I too have similar stresses, and all it takes is one more thing and it feels like its too much.

Hopefully you will catch a break soon.

Hastings's picture

Thank you -- that's it exactly. The "one more thing." It may even be a tiny thing. But sometimes that's enough.

I'm afraid I'll end up snapping at SS or DH. Not so worried about DH. But I don't want to blow up at SS, as that would just create problems. (Also, as annoying and spoiled as he is, he's not actually doing anything to me.)

So, I'm doing my best to keep to myself until I feel more stable.

JRI's picture

You are certainly going thru hard times.  I'm sorry, its so difficult when things pile up.

I know what you mean about the dementia accelerating during a stressful period, I saw that with my mom100.  Hopefully, things will calm down for Grandma and the dementia will slow, that's what happened for us..  

Hastings's picture

Thank you. They're adjusting her meds, because she hasn't really been sleeping and that doesn't help. Hopefully the decline will level off and things will calm down.

Rags's picture


I completely understand the stresses and heart break of aging loved ones and personal medical challenges.

That said, I find that the mose effective way to address these thins is incrementally as conditions and situations unfold.  This helps me to address each element as effectively as I can and to support the loved one and manage the best outcome for my own health issues.

Though it is not celiac disease or other GI issues, I have navigated  an all encompasing medical conditions my entire adult life.  To maximize the life I live, I find the only thing to do is to become an expert at my version of the disease (T-1 Diabetis).  That has driven me to own it, hold my medical team accountable to delivering to my expectations, and has allowed me to avoid all of the major consequences that many with this disease bring upon themselves by remaining ignorant of disease and ignoring the basics.  

My mom (5wks from her 79th Bday) was hospitalized yesterday with a bowel obstruction that required surgery.  She is fundamentally healthy but she is also her own worst enemy with her stubborn commitment to a diet that causes her GI discomfort and with hobbies and activities that destroy her body.  My dad (81) is extremely fit and healthy. The thought of possibly losing mom was extremely hard on him.  Though our concern and care for mom was intermittently overshadowed by discussion on how we (Dad, me, and my brother) get her to engage on protecting herself and improving her long turn outlook and quality of life.  As the family diseased individual, discussing these types of things with my mom are infuriating because she stubbornly refuses to engage in fairly simple things that would make a huge difference for her.

I bring this up because if you do have ciliac, managing your disease will be critical to your quality of life.  Learn whatever the Docs find is the issue, hold yourself accountable, and hold your med team accountable for delivering to your expectations. While Med specialists are experts on a disease, you should be the world's formost expert on YOUR disease. Only you know how a disease impacts you.

I hope that your GM has a speedy and comfortable recovery and that you get great news as  you engage on your GI Dx process.

Give rose

Hastings's picture

That's very helpful, Rags, and I appreciate your input. Whatever turns out to be "wrong" with me, I intend to become an expert. It's just a bit of a shock and adjustment, particularly for someone who's always been healthy and never had to worry about things much. Luckily for me, my BIL was diagnosed with the same thing six months ago, so at least I'll have someone who can give me tips and recipes.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

A few years ago i was also underweight and having GI issues. I have several family members with celiac. Lacking time and money, i just quit eating most gluten. The only gluten i eat is trace amounts in prepared food. Replaced bread/crackers/pasta with gluten free options and try not to overdo those, either. I gained 20 lbs and my psoriasis went away, so i'm guessing it was celiac.

If you are being tested, don't change your diet. You have to have been eating gluten for the test to be accurate.

A lot of people say things like "How come nobody had a problem with gluten in previous generations?" I've learned that the wheat today has been bred so that the gluten content is much higher than in the past. A lot about the standard Western diet is basically poison. Too much sodium, high fructose corn syrup, additives, bad fats, and too much refined carb. It's hard to eat healthy today, and what is "healthy" is debated by various, but what you eat directly affects your health. Good luck! 

Rags's picture

It took me decades but I figured out that "it isn't sugar, its carbs(potatoes, corn, rice, pasta, etc, etc....." is bullshit when it comes to carbs. With the exception of insoluable fiber, carbs are effectively sugar.  They impact blood glucose generally to the same extent.  The discussion of glycemic index is IMHO inconsequential to blood glucose impact though lower glycemic index foods impact my BG more slowly, in my experience and according to the countless hundreds of thousands of blood glucose tests I have given yself and the many years of a Continuous Glucose Monitor stuck in my body has proven this beyond a shaddow of a doubt.

Another interesting factoid I have proven with my own body is... calories do not make you fat.  Blood glucose makes you fat.  Eating nothing but lard, will be a huge caloric intake but it will not make you fat.  Dietary fat does not turn to blood glucose.  So, it cannot be stored as fat.  Protein does impact blood glucose though due to the human digestive system only a very small % of protein intake turns to blood glucose. This is why high fat, high protein, low carb diets work for losing and maintaining weight.

So, I eat meat, I eat fats, and I eat leafy green veg, and a few verifiably low CHO veg (califlower, broccoli, etc....).  I test every thing I consume against my blood glucose response.  There are some very good alternatives and subsititues for high CHO foods.  My current favorite is Shiritake or Konjac noodles.  They give a mostly pasta like experience without discernable impact to my BG.

My way is not THE way, it is A way for managing to normalized Blood Glucose levels.  But for sure processed foods tend to be huge carb bombs.  So, I read the labels and maintain clarity that w5g hat matters predominantly is the serviing size. Something that shows carb content as  5g/serving may on the surface look like it is low or moderate carbs.  When you look at the serving size and it is "2TBSP" reality is that it is a sugar bomb.  

Knowledge is power over (this/my) disease. Awareness of the full picture combined with knowledge is mastery.

Use your Docs as your team and make sure they deliver to your expectations. Regardless of what disease or health issues are in play.

In my laymans opinion of course.

The comment about "how come people didn't used to have gluten issues" and your analysis and answer are very comprehensively applicable to many diseases that are prominant today that were rare historically.  Take my disease for example.  T-1 diabetis has exploded over the past 100 years and is accelerating in prominancy.  Because prior to the 1920s a Dx of T-1 was a death sentense with survival rarely exceeding 90 very miserable torturous days from onset.  It was rare for adults to have T-1 so the passing on of the genes was very limited.  Today, T-1s can live extended lives, have kids, and propegate the disease far, wide, and into future generations.

Don't get me wrong. I am happy to have a life at all. I am a miracle of modern pharmaceutical science.  Though I did not make this decision as a young man, I did decide in my 30s that I did not want to give this disease to my children. So, that is one reason why I don' have any BKs.  The primary reason is that I was not willing to risk my bride's health and life by creating a sweet (pun intended) spawn of Rags.  SS nearly killed her (Pre-eclampsia/Toxemia) and lady Docs strongly advised that she not have any more kids.

I have an incredible son. Who is free of this disease.  Though apparently he does have a gluten issue.  But his mom and I did what we could to make sure he overcame the shit shallow and polluted end of his gene pool as far as honor, character, and life performance are concerned.  The rest, is somewhat of a crap shoot for everyone.


Lillywy00's picture

If you can't take full time off then try to take "moments" when you can. 

All I can say is hang in there and know that things will happen in your favor.