How to Motivate Someone to Get Better?

JanJan63
JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member

My husband has been fantastic through all of this cancer crap I've gone through. He's taken care of me like a parent does when I've been bedridden or unable to leave the house. He's never been good about making meals because he and I eat very differently. There are some things we agree on but he likes spicy and fattening and things like that. So he's been great but not perfect.

Here's what my problem is and I think it's something some people on here can relate to. He had a heart attack and surgery a year and a half ago. He was supposed to improve what he eats and his amount of exercise afterwards. He has made some improvements but not enough. His weight is still the exact same as it was. He seems to think if he eats crap and then has fruit or veggies it somehow balances itself out. He retired almost 3 years ago and at first I thought he deserved to have time to just relax and not do much. But it's just continuing.

He gets pretty much no exercise whatsoever. We have 3 dogs, he could easily take one for a walk but he isn't interested. He got a bike last year and did start to ride it and then it was stolen and that was the end of that. He eats oatmeal for breakfast and figures he's doing a great thing but eats 3 to 4 pieces of toast with it and a couple of times a week will have bacon and eggs, too. No matter what he's eaten he will want some of whatever I have a short time later. He has a lot of snacks including nuts, chocolate bars, cheese, sausages, potato chips, mostly crap.

So this is what I'm trying to figure out. How do I motivate him to help himself without being 'that' kind of wife. I try to say things without being accusatory and just being encouraging. But it doesn't help. I'm worried about his health and frustrated because I've been so physically incapacitated and now that I can do more and more things I'm so excited to do so. I'm thrilled to be able to clean the house my way and do laundry and go to the grocery store and to cook meals. I hate lying in bed and have no naps anymore. He has at least one a day, sometimes two.

Any suggestions? I'd have thought that seeing me in my condition and knowing how much it means to me to be feeling good and doing things would encourage him. But he spends hours every day playing a stupid video game. He spent years accumulating woodworking tools because that's his passion. Or was because he doesn't do it at all anymore.

Any sort of insights would be greatly appreciated, thank you. I'm at a loss and can't keep waiting for things to improve. And I'm worried about him. He used to be such a go getter and was very fit. He now outweighs me by a hundred pounds. I'm scared for him.

Jan

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Comments

  • Alice514
    Alice514 Member Posts: 21
    Been there

    I have been experiening the same thing with my father since he had a mild stroke one year ago. His cognitive function and speech was unimpaired, but he has permanent left-sided weakness and he gets tired very easily. He was given an excellent opportunity for recovery when he got into a great rehab facility where they were supposed to do intensive physical therapy for 2 weeks. The problem was, they couldn't get his BP under control to do the therapy. Every time they would try and work with him it would skyrocket to 180 or above, and when they would give him meds to bring it down he was physically unable to participate in therapy because he would be "foggy." Once he came home there was supposed to be physical and occupational therapy at home, but he just shined them on. While he was in the hospital I threw out all his "bad" food. He still doesn't eat as well as he should, but the thing that really burns me is that he won't do any of the exercises designed to help him regain strength in his left hand and leg. He just says he gets tired too easily and sits in front of the TV. And he mopes about being "old" now. (He's 70.) Most of his childhood friends are still active, go biking and hiking and water skiing. But he just complains about getting old. And he still doesn't monitor his BP. I'm lucky if he takes his meds on schedule. It's very frustrating. And as soon as I got my cancer diagnosis, I was determined to change my life. I started walking every single day, sometimes several times per day, and I;ve been really enjoying it. And I'm eating healthier. Partly for my own sense of self-preservation, and partly because I don't want to be like my dad who just wanted to go back to "before."

    I don't know if I have any great words of wisdom. Just that I understand what you're dealing with. We did go on a trip to Disney World and a Disney Cruise a couple of months ago, and even though he had to use an ECV for long distances around the theme park, he did very well with just his cane for short distances. And he was surprised and pleased with how well he did. Now that he's home he's back to his usual sloth, but he's more interested now in maybe going places.  So I guess my advice would be this about exercise-- is there any place that's close to home that he would enjoy going where he would get some exercise as a byproduct? Because after that trip to Disney World, my dad is more interested in going places. 

    The junk food thing is harder. 

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    Alice514 said:

    Been there

    I have been experiening the same thing with my father since he had a mild stroke one year ago. His cognitive function and speech was unimpaired, but he has permanent left-sided weakness and he gets tired very easily. He was given an excellent opportunity for recovery when he got into a great rehab facility where they were supposed to do intensive physical therapy for 2 weeks. The problem was, they couldn't get his BP under control to do the therapy. Every time they would try and work with him it would skyrocket to 180 or above, and when they would give him meds to bring it down he was physically unable to participate in therapy because he would be "foggy." Once he came home there was supposed to be physical and occupational therapy at home, but he just shined them on. While he was in the hospital I threw out all his "bad" food. He still doesn't eat as well as he should, but the thing that really burns me is that he won't do any of the exercises designed to help him regain strength in his left hand and leg. He just says he gets tired too easily and sits in front of the TV. And he mopes about being "old" now. (He's 70.) Most of his childhood friends are still active, go biking and hiking and water skiing. But he just complains about getting old. And he still doesn't monitor his BP. I'm lucky if he takes his meds on schedule. It's very frustrating. And as soon as I got my cancer diagnosis, I was determined to change my life. I started walking every single day, sometimes several times per day, and I;ve been really enjoying it. And I'm eating healthier. Partly for my own sense of self-preservation, and partly because I don't want to be like my dad who just wanted to go back to "before."

    I don't know if I have any great words of wisdom. Just that I understand what you're dealing with. We did go on a trip to Disney World and a Disney Cruise a couple of months ago, and even though he had to use an ECV for long distances around the theme park, he did very well with just his cane for short distances. And he was surprised and pleased with how well he did. Now that he's home he's back to his usual sloth, but he's more interested now in maybe going places.  So I guess my advice would be this about exercise-- is there any place that's close to home that he would enjoy going where he would get some exercise as a byproduct? Because after that trip to Disney World, my dad is more interested in going places. 

    The junk food thing is harder. 

    Thanks Alice. I'm sorry you

    Thanks Alice. I'm sorry you're dealing with that with your dad. Now that the weather is better and I'm feeling better I'm hoping he'll walk with me. I haven't done it yet but will soon. I don't want to go by myself because I'm still somewhat unsteady, it doesn't take much to make me fall, so maybe I can use that as the excuse for him to come with me. I feel like I've been in jail and want to get out so badly. But he gets impatient when the dogs get excited about the walk. They never get to go unless I take them so of course they're excited.

    Jan 

  • Pamcakes
    Pamcakes Member Posts: 110
    I’ve been told by a

    I’ve been told by a cardiologist friend of ours that often times when someone has a heart attack and surgery the risk of depression really Increases. I don’t know if that could be part of the issue. From a caregivers side I will share my experience  taking care of Richard. Taking care of him became my world when he was diagnoseD. To the point that I have neglected my own self care and health. ive gained about 65 pound in less than two years and it was easy to  justify in my mind because my husband and his care is the center of my world. Sure I knew I was hurting myself, but I’m an odd way I felt like it didn’t matter because nothing that could happen to me seemed as important as what Richard was going through. I truly was eating my stress and feelings. It wasn’t until we were on a vacation and I realized how badly I had neglected myself and well-being. Also soon after Richard had the talk with me. he wasn’t concerned so much about the weight gain as the decline in my engery and my newly couch potato life style. This helped open my eyes that iI can’t fully care for him if I didn’t care for myself. NOw the weight is slowly dropping off. But I am nowmoving a lot more! A 50 pound goldendoodle puppy has made sure of that. I don’t stress over a super low calorie diet or anything, but I m mor mindful to not stress eat. Luckily as of now I’ve not had any major health issues, but I now realize I don’t want to keep playing that game. I also had to start Prozac to help with my depression and the occasional anti anxiety med to get a true handle on myself. I don’t know if this helps or not, but I hope so!

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    Pamcakes said:

    I’ve been told by a

    I’ve been told by a cardiologist friend of ours that often times when someone has a heart attack and surgery the risk of depression really Increases. I don’t know if that could be part of the issue. From a caregivers side I will share my experience  taking care of Richard. Taking care of him became my world when he was diagnoseD. To the point that I have neglected my own self care and health. ive gained about 65 pound in less than two years and it was easy to  justify in my mind because my husband and his care is the center of my world. Sure I knew I was hurting myself, but I’m an odd way I felt like it didn’t matter because nothing that could happen to me seemed as important as what Richard was going through. I truly was eating my stress and feelings. It wasn’t until we were on a vacation and I realized how badly I had neglected myself and well-being. Also soon after Richard had the talk with me. he wasn’t concerned so much about the weight gain as the decline in my engery and my newly couch potato life style. This helped open my eyes that iI can’t fully care for him if I didn’t care for myself. NOw the weight is slowly dropping off. But I am nowmoving a lot more! A 50 pound goldendoodle puppy has made sure of that. I don’t stress over a super low calorie diet or anything, but I m mor mindful to not stress eat. Luckily as of now I’ve not had any major health issues, but I now realize I don’t want to keep playing that game. I also had to start Prozac to help with my depression and the occasional anti anxiety med to get a true handle on myself. I don’t know if this helps or not, but I hope so!

    Thank you so much Pamcakes!

    Thank you so much Pamcakes! He's actually not much different than he used to be as far as mood. His career was as a train engineer. So he'd sit for up to 10 hours driving a train and then wait at the bunkhouse for the next one to take back. While he was there he'd do nothing. I think his eating was curtailed because unless they have it with them they don't have it. There's a restaurant near the station but it's located in the Rocky Mountains and is very pricey for basic items. He'd probably have eaten more then if he was able to. His middle son is well over 300 pounds and is already experiencing physical issues due to it. His mother, my husband's ex wife, is quite a big lady so I thought he got it from her but maybe I'm wrong, maybe it was both. My husband also eats very fast and piles his plate up very full. He even bought platters to eat from instead of regular dinner plates so he could fit more on them. This is embarassing to tell!

    I don't know if it's mental or physical or what but I appreciate your help, thank you. I tried to say something earlier today and he got all resentful and accused me of saying he's fat. Lately I've started cooking again and he accused me of making him fat by my good cooking. He always tries to turn things around but never succeeds. We also scrapped a bit about him driving in the left lane on the highway even though he drives slower than other cars but that's another story. Maybe because I'm feeling better I have a lower tolerance to these things. But, I am seriously concerned about his health and well being.

    I thought that maybe some caregivers could give me some advice and I really appreciate it.

    Jan 

  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,302 Member
    The past

    Sometimes looking to a person's past can uncover an activity that provides motivation in the present.  After my mother died, my father was disengaged.  I dragged him to the senior center and he hated it.  One time I came by to visit him and he wasn't there.  When I saw him again, he said he had been at the senior center and had joined a singing group.  I was shocked, because my father was an old-time tough guy--singing?  But as I thought back, he really did enjoy singing along with the radio or just on his own when I was a child.  The day he died, at home in his easy chair, he had just gone to his singing group. That is the best way to go.

    As for me, I never thought I would re-ignite an interest in hiking.  Sure, I backpacked some in my youth, but I was never passionate about it,  But somehow it has become a major motivator in my life. 

    For your husband, maybe woodworking is the clue.  But then again, maybe he had a passion for singing or motorcyles or stamps or reading or short-wave radio.  Perhaps you can help him explore a road long abandoned, to help him get more engaged with life.

    One of the questions from a self-help book of the 80's was, "if you had unlimited time, money and talent; what would you do?"  The answer to that question is in all probability what you should be doing with your life.  The time, money and talent issues are just excuses to not pursue your passion.  Try asking him.

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    edited March 2019 #7
    Thank you for the insight. He

    Thank you for the insight. He uses the excuse that he eats a lot and so fast because he was one of three boys in his family and if he didn't scarf it down hed get less. I told him that was a long time ago and he needs to get over it.

    I'd love for him to do some woodworking, he has made beautiful things in the past. And he has all the stuff he needs to do it. I think part of the problem is that he never really got into any activities because of his work hours. Driving trains means he went to work with just a couple of hours notice and could go at any time. We could never make plans unless he was on holidays, which was only during the winter. He has very few friends because of this. He was never home at normal times and usually would have to cancel anything he was invited to. I'd either go alone of I had many interests of my own so I'm fine.

    One if our neighbours is retired from the railway as well and they've struck up a friendship but this guy walks his dogs at least once a day and has a part time job. Maybe one of these days it'll rub off on my husband. 

    I just want to be encouraging without being a PITA. I don't want to offend him or seem like I'm passing judgement. But my view is that it's a very sad shame to sit around doing nothing of matter or importance when you're fine physically. There are so many things I wish I could do, but can't. Like work, I miss that so much. Maybe that's part of the problem for me is that I get a bit angry at anyone I see wasting their life. Health must be embraced. It can be fleeting and we're getting older. I was in a wheelchair a few months ago, now I can do so much more but I'm still limited and I wish I wasn't. So to see someone just sit around playing video games or puttering around in the garage supposedly cleaning up but it never looks any different may even be making me resentful. 

    Maybe it's time to look at my feelings about this but I'm still worried about his health. And maybe that's selfish, too. I think he'd be a much more miserable disabled person than I am and I need him here to look after me.

    Jan

  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723 Member
    My life is not great

       After 21 years of survival I guess I am the sum total of every hit I have taken in the past thirty years.  My body is not in good condition. My kidneys rely on powerful immuno-suppressants to function well enough to survive.  Last year I had a lot of trouble with vertigo. During one short stint in hospital I was diagnosed with atrial fib and atrial flutter. I now take warfarin every day. Towards the end of last year my type two diabetes was starting to get out of control. They put me on another diabetes med but it immediately started to give me hypos (low blood sugar). My heart is believed to be effected by my original 5Fu chemo.  I have around 11.000 premature ectopic beats a day.  I live on my own so my only helper and carer is myself.  I  remember going to a doctor and complaining that nothing ever gets fixed , just treated. Well he unloaded on me . He said you abuse your body for fifty years and then come to me and expect me to undo all of the damage in a couple of weeks, it is not going to happen.

           At the end of last year I decided that perhaps I was the problem so maybe I could be the solution. I went out and bought myself a 4 meter kayak. I go out paddling as often as the weather allows (and even when it doesn't). I went on holiday in early February. I planned to spend afortnight on a remote estuary fishing. I lasted a week and went out four days. In four days I paddled nonstop for 33 hours. The wind never got under 30 knots. The second time I took nearly twelve hours to get back after the wind changed and I had to come back against wind and tide. My fellow campers thought I may have been swept out to sea thru the bar.  11 hours of non stop paddling finally got me home. 

            I changed my diet when I bought the yak. I virtually gave up carbohydrates. No bread, cereal, pasta, grains ,processed food,sugar, etc, etc.   I have lost 22 kilos . My diabetes history blood count has dropped from 8.5 to 6.1. I'm 69 next month. I just renewed my drivers license. My eyes are the best they have ever been and i still do not need glasses for driving. I am still working four days a week, repairing all manner of domestic and industrial sewing machines.  Both my gp and nephrologist claim that I am probably in the best health i have been in for 20 years.  Sometimes the only one that can realy help is ourselves. I had to ask myself if this is really how I wanted to end my life . When I got cancer I chose to live rather than die and took all the treatment that was offered. same deal now. I choose to live, so I changed my lifestyle.  So far so good. Hugs to all Ron.

  • Alice514
    Alice514 Member Posts: 21
    ron50 said:

    My life is not great

       After 21 years of survival I guess I am the sum total of every hit I have taken in the past thirty years.  My body is not in good condition. My kidneys rely on powerful immuno-suppressants to function well enough to survive.  Last year I had a lot of trouble with vertigo. During one short stint in hospital I was diagnosed with atrial fib and atrial flutter. I now take warfarin every day. Towards the end of last year my type two diabetes was starting to get out of control. They put me on another diabetes med but it immediately started to give me hypos (low blood sugar). My heart is believed to be effected by my original 5Fu chemo.  I have around 11.000 premature ectopic beats a day.  I live on my own so my only helper and carer is myself.  I  remember going to a doctor and complaining that nothing ever gets fixed , just treated. Well he unloaded on me . He said you abuse your body for fifty years and then come to me and expect me to undo all of the damage in a couple of weeks, it is not going to happen.

           At the end of last year I decided that perhaps I was the problem so maybe I could be the solution. I went out and bought myself a 4 meter kayak. I go out paddling as often as the weather allows (and even when it doesn't). I went on holiday in early February. I planned to spend afortnight on a remote estuary fishing. I lasted a week and went out four days. In four days I paddled nonstop for 33 hours. The wind never got under 30 knots. The second time I took nearly twelve hours to get back after the wind changed and I had to come back against wind and tide. My fellow campers thought I may have been swept out to sea thru the bar.  11 hours of non stop paddling finally got me home. 

            I changed my diet when I bought the yak. I virtually gave up carbohydrates. No bread, cereal, pasta, grains ,processed food,sugar, etc, etc.   I have lost 22 kilos . My diabetes history blood count has dropped from 8.5 to 6.1. I'm 69 next month. I just renewed my drivers license. My eyes are the best they have ever been and i still do not need glasses for driving. I am still working four days a week, repairing all manner of domestic and industrial sewing machines.  Both my gp and nephrologist claim that I am probably in the best health i have been in for 20 years.  Sometimes the only one that can realy help is ourselves. I had to ask myself if this is really how I wanted to end my life . When I got cancer I chose to live rather than die and took all the treatment that was offered. same deal now. I choose to live, so I changed my lifestyle.  So far so good. Hugs to all Ron.

    Encouraging

    This is very uplifting and encouraging. Thank you for sharing.

  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,302 Member
    JanJan63 said:

    Thank you for the insight. He

    Thank you for the insight. He uses the excuse that he eats a lot and so fast because he was one of three boys in his family and if he didn't scarf it down hed get less. I told him that was a long time ago and he needs to get over it.

    I'd love for him to do some woodworking, he has made beautiful things in the past. And he has all the stuff he needs to do it. I think part of the problem is that he never really got into any activities because of his work hours. Driving trains means he went to work with just a couple of hours notice and could go at any time. We could never make plans unless he was on holidays, which was only during the winter. He has very few friends because of this. He was never home at normal times and usually would have to cancel anything he was invited to. I'd either go alone of I had many interests of my own so I'm fine.

    One if our neighbours is retired from the railway as well and they've struck up a friendship but this guy walks his dogs at least once a day and has a part time job. Maybe one of these days it'll rub off on my husband. 

    I just want to be encouraging without being a PITA. I don't want to offend him or seem like I'm passing judgement. But my view is that it's a very sad shame to sit around doing nothing of matter or importance when you're fine physically. There are so many things I wish I could do, but can't. Like work, I miss that so much. Maybe that's part of the problem for me is that I get a bit angry at anyone I see wasting their life. Health must be embraced. It can be fleeting and we're getting older. I was in a wheelchair a few months ago, now I can do so much more but I'm still limited and I wish I wasn't. So to see someone just sit around playing video games or puttering around in the garage supposedly cleaning up but it never looks any different may even be making me resentful. 

    Maybe it's time to look at my feelings about this but I'm still worried about his health. And maybe that's selfish, too. I think he'd be a much more miserable disabled person than I am and I need him here to look after me.

    Jan

    LOL

    Yeah, you should keep him healthy to look after you.  My family was big and poor, and if you wanted seconds, you ate fast (. . . the father, the son and the holy ghost, he who eats the fastest, gets the most).  I can relate.  You are right, that was a long time ago.  But old habits die hard.  My brother spent his career on the railroad,  so that is not foreign to me either.  [Please read the following with the humor it was intended] My cumulative wisdom in life (that I share freely), is "keep your big mouth shut."  But my secondary wisdom is, "the only person you can control is yourself."  Change comes slowly.  Perhaps with positive feedback, you can get him in the woodshop to make a salad bowl, or kitchen drawer, so something else that he does "sooo wellll."  Compliments motivate men, perhaps even more than women.  Men like to act big and tough, but actually, we are small children in many ways.  Perhaps you can remind him of the qualities that first attracted you to him.  Good luck with this project, but remember, the only person you can control is yourself.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,671 Member
    edited March 2019 #11
    ron50 said:

    My life is not great

       After 21 years of survival I guess I am the sum total of every hit I have taken in the past thirty years.  My body is not in good condition. My kidneys rely on powerful immuno-suppressants to function well enough to survive.  Last year I had a lot of trouble with vertigo. During one short stint in hospital I was diagnosed with atrial fib and atrial flutter. I now take warfarin every day. Towards the end of last year my type two diabetes was starting to get out of control. They put me on another diabetes med but it immediately started to give me hypos (low blood sugar). My heart is believed to be effected by my original 5Fu chemo.  I have around 11.000 premature ectopic beats a day.  I live on my own so my only helper and carer is myself.  I  remember going to a doctor and complaining that nothing ever gets fixed , just treated. Well he unloaded on me . He said you abuse your body for fifty years and then come to me and expect me to undo all of the damage in a couple of weeks, it is not going to happen.

           At the end of last year I decided that perhaps I was the problem so maybe I could be the solution. I went out and bought myself a 4 meter kayak. I go out paddling as often as the weather allows (and even when it doesn't). I went on holiday in early February. I planned to spend afortnight on a remote estuary fishing. I lasted a week and went out four days. In four days I paddled nonstop for 33 hours. The wind never got under 30 knots. The second time I took nearly twelve hours to get back after the wind changed and I had to come back against wind and tide. My fellow campers thought I may have been swept out to sea thru the bar.  11 hours of non stop paddling finally got me home. 

            I changed my diet when I bought the yak. I virtually gave up carbohydrates. No bread, cereal, pasta, grains ,processed food,sugar, etc, etc.   I have lost 22 kilos . My diabetes history blood count has dropped from 8.5 to 6.1. I'm 69 next month. I just renewed my drivers license. My eyes are the best they have ever been and i still do not need glasses for driving. I am still working four days a week, repairing all manner of domestic and industrial sewing machines.  Both my gp and nephrologist claim that I am probably in the best health i have been in for 20 years.  Sometimes the only one that can realy help is ourselves. I had to ask myself if this is really how I wanted to end my life . When I got cancer I chose to live rather than die and took all the treatment that was offered. same deal now. I choose to live, so I changed my lifestyle.  So far so good. Hugs to all Ron.

    Great news, Ron

    What an inspiration.  

    Tru

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,671 Member
    edited March 2019 #12
    Are you married to my husband?

    For surely you are describing him. 

    I can't motivate him.  If I say anything, I see him dig his heals in and it just makes it worse. 

    So, I will be reading the responses just in case there is something that can help. But, if you ask me, I have to tell you, he has to motivate himself. Its not your job, as much as you worry about him. 

    Tru

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member

    LOL

    Yeah, you should keep him healthy to look after you.  My family was big and poor, and if you wanted seconds, you ate fast (. . . the father, the son and the holy ghost, he who eats the fastest, gets the most).  I can relate.  You are right, that was a long time ago.  But old habits die hard.  My brother spent his career on the railroad,  so that is not foreign to me either.  [Please read the following with the humor it was intended] My cumulative wisdom in life (that I share freely), is "keep your big mouth shut."  But my secondary wisdom is, "the only person you can control is yourself."  Change comes slowly.  Perhaps with positive feedback, you can get him in the woodshop to make a salad bowl, or kitchen drawer, so something else that he does "sooo wellll."  Compliments motivate men, perhaps even more than women.  Men like to act big and tough, but actually, we are small children in many ways.  Perhaps you can remind him of the qualities that first attracted you to him.  Good luck with this project, but remember, the only person you can control is yourself.

    Thanks for keeping it real, I

    Thanks for keeping it real, I appreciate it. You're absolutely right. I was just hoping for some nugget that would help me. I've tried showing him simple projects I see in books or on line and he seems excited but that's it. I've come up with projects we could do together like he does the woodwork and I paint or stain. Nope, he seems eager at first but that's it. They're simple things and things that could be sold at local markets to make some extra cash. But, nope.

    Why can't it be like the movies where I come up with some great thing to say and he really thinks about it and has an epiphany and changes what he's doing? The not doing woodworking has nothing to do with his health other than he has to move around some and doesn't have time to eat. I even thought of asking him to show me how but the machines scares the bejesus out of me.

    Thanks for the tips!
    Jan

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    ron50 said:

    My life is not great

       After 21 years of survival I guess I am the sum total of every hit I have taken in the past thirty years.  My body is not in good condition. My kidneys rely on powerful immuno-suppressants to function well enough to survive.  Last year I had a lot of trouble with vertigo. During one short stint in hospital I was diagnosed with atrial fib and atrial flutter. I now take warfarin every day. Towards the end of last year my type two diabetes was starting to get out of control. They put me on another diabetes med but it immediately started to give me hypos (low blood sugar). My heart is believed to be effected by my original 5Fu chemo.  I have around 11.000 premature ectopic beats a day.  I live on my own so my only helper and carer is myself.  I  remember going to a doctor and complaining that nothing ever gets fixed , just treated. Well he unloaded on me . He said you abuse your body for fifty years and then come to me and expect me to undo all of the damage in a couple of weeks, it is not going to happen.

           At the end of last year I decided that perhaps I was the problem so maybe I could be the solution. I went out and bought myself a 4 meter kayak. I go out paddling as often as the weather allows (and even when it doesn't). I went on holiday in early February. I planned to spend afortnight on a remote estuary fishing. I lasted a week and went out four days. In four days I paddled nonstop for 33 hours. The wind never got under 30 knots. The second time I took nearly twelve hours to get back after the wind changed and I had to come back against wind and tide. My fellow campers thought I may have been swept out to sea thru the bar.  11 hours of non stop paddling finally got me home. 

            I changed my diet when I bought the yak. I virtually gave up carbohydrates. No bread, cereal, pasta, grains ,processed food,sugar, etc, etc.   I have lost 22 kilos . My diabetes history blood count has dropped from 8.5 to 6.1. I'm 69 next month. I just renewed my drivers license. My eyes are the best they have ever been and i still do not need glasses for driving. I am still working four days a week, repairing all manner of domestic and industrial sewing machines.  Both my gp and nephrologist claim that I am probably in the best health i have been in for 20 years.  Sometimes the only one that can realy help is ourselves. I had to ask myself if this is really how I wanted to end my life . When I got cancer I chose to live rather than die and took all the treatment that was offered. same deal now. I choose to live, so I changed my lifestyle.  So far so good. Hugs to all Ron.

    You're an amazing man, Ron.

    You're an amazing man, Ron. All the crap you've gone through and you still keep on keeping on. I assume you caught that huge a$$ fish in your picture? What is it? You are the epitomy of 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going'. And didn't you say that at one of your last testsyour kidneys had improved a bit? Wow, you are incredible.

    I'm sorry you're on your own, that's so much harder than for those of us who have a support person. But I'm scared to lose my support person and I won't if I can help it. He said he felt funny yesterday and couldn't describe it but put his hand on his chest. It scared me half to death. Shortly after he said he was fine but it really set off alarm bells for me.

    Jan

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    Tru, you made me laugh, thank

    Tru, you made me laugh, thank you! Does yours drive slowly in the left hand lane, too? If he keeps it up I won't have to worry about him having another heart attack if you know what I mean, ha ha! I think I'm going to sit down and have a serious talk with him tomorrow. I know how men hate that but I have to figure out a game plan. I'll offer to do things with him but it's scary. I went dowstairs a few minutes ago and was feeling so good when I was coming back up that I hurried up the steps. And suddenly my one leg collapsed and I landed on my knee that I skinned least week when I fell. Ouch! Our stairs are ceramic tile and hurt like a bugger!

    Jan

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,671 Member
    edited March 2019 #16
    JanJan63 said:

    Tru, you made me laugh, thank

    Tru, you made me laugh, thank you! Does yours drive slowly in the left hand lane, too? If he keeps it up I won't have to worry about him having another heart attack if you know what I mean, ha ha! I think I'm going to sit down and have a serious talk with him tomorrow. I know how men hate that but I have to figure out a game plan. I'll offer to do things with him but it's scary. I went dowstairs a few minutes ago and was feeling so good when I was coming back up that I hurried up the steps. And suddenly my one leg collapsed and I landed on my knee that I skinned least week when I fell. Ouch! Our stairs are ceramic tile and hurt like a bugger!

    Jan

    Worse

    My husnand falls asleep while driving because he won't wear his CPAP machine.

    Tru

  • sflgirl
    sflgirl Member Posts: 220 Member
    JanJan63 said:

    You're an amazing man, Ron.

    You're an amazing man, Ron. All the crap you've gone through and you still keep on keeping on. I assume you caught that huge a$$ fish in your picture? What is it? You are the epitomy of 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going'. And didn't you say that at one of your last testsyour kidneys had improved a bit? Wow, you are incredible.

    I'm sorry you're on your own, that's so much harder than for those of us who have a support person. But I'm scared to lose my support person and I won't if I can help it. He said he felt funny yesterday and couldn't describe it but put his hand on his chest. It scared me half to death. Shortly after he said he was fine but it really set off alarm bells for me.

    Jan

    Don’t be sorry

    Ron is great. Would he like a partner? Probably.  But at the same time he is in charge of himself.  He didn’t have to ask anyone if he could go kayaking or worry that someone is feeling left out.  He took charge of himself.  For those of us without partners pity is not the feeling.  People with partners, as you have described,  have double the trouble, focused on your healh, your treatment and your survival and also your partners (who is not co-operating let’s say).  

    I am two years NED since my second liver resection. i get it.  But I am my own focus, and my own survival.

    i love what a warrior you are Jan.  You are a beast!  I have been on the board, very quiet since 2015.  But you are amazing and  i just wanted you to know there is more than one way to survive.  Much respect to you.

    Andrea

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,729 Member
    Husbands

    Think they are all the same.  My husband has eaten fatty foods, fried, sausage gravy from scratch, deserts, eats very little vegetables (unlike me where that's mostly all my meal is), I'll ask him to go for a walk with me (when bathroom doesn't call), but he will actually say "no, I'm saving my knees."  I'm 12 years junior, 60 vs 72 so I'm not sure this has anything to do with it but I've always been more active although he does a lot of yard work and physical stuff so he's not totally relaxing.  Trying to tell him to eat healthy and better is up to him.  I've told him so many times and although he does listen to me, he still eats way more wrong that I'd eat but I've let him kind of make that decision.  Dinner, however is almost always planned by me and what it is he will eat.  We will eat fried fish during lent on Fridays, but not a whole lot of fried foods during the year and he's ok with that.  If I'm able to go out to dinner he usually gets steak (I'm not able to eat much since surgery in 2010).  Try not to get too angry with him, most patients with heart attacks I've heard are afraid if they do too much exercise it cause another so they kind of go dormant.  I'm so glad that he takes such good care of you.  Let him know that you appreciate that so much (which I'm sure you do), and that you want him to stay around so much longer to help you in the future and that's why you want him to eat a healthier diet.  It's hard to tell him not too though - I've been there.   You both sound like you are great caregivers to one another.

    Kim

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    Trubrit said:

    Worse

    My husnand falls asleep while driving because he won't wear his CPAP machine.

    Tru

    Oh dear God! That's scary!

    Oh dear God! That's scary! Mine has a cpap but he uses it. 

    Jan

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member

    Husbands

    Think they are all the same.  My husband has eaten fatty foods, fried, sausage gravy from scratch, deserts, eats very little vegetables (unlike me where that's mostly all my meal is), I'll ask him to go for a walk with me (when bathroom doesn't call), but he will actually say "no, I'm saving my knees."  I'm 12 years junior, 60 vs 72 so I'm not sure this has anything to do with it but I've always been more active although he does a lot of yard work and physical stuff so he's not totally relaxing.  Trying to tell him to eat healthy and better is up to him.  I've told him so many times and although he does listen to me, he still eats way more wrong that I'd eat but I've let him kind of make that decision.  Dinner, however is almost always planned by me and what it is he will eat.  We will eat fried fish during lent on Fridays, but not a whole lot of fried foods during the year and he's ok with that.  If I'm able to go out to dinner he usually gets steak (I'm not able to eat much since surgery in 2010).  Try not to get too angry with him, most patients with heart attacks I've heard are afraid if they do too much exercise it cause another so they kind of go dormant.  I'm so glad that he takes such good care of you.  Let him know that you appreciate that so much (which I'm sure you do), and that you want him to stay around so much longer to help you in the future and that's why you want him to eat a healthier diet.  It's hard to tell him not too though - I've been there.   You both sound like you are great caregivers to one another.

    Kim

    I just don't know how to fix

    I just don't know how to fix this. I want him healthier and I don't know how to be supportive. I'll make healthy meals that he likes and then he'll go have a couple of chocolate bars after or some other crap. And because he eats so fast he burps a lot which makes me so angry. He loves going to movie theatres but he goes alone because he's burped up stinky sausage one too many times when I was with him. I hate movie theatres so it's also a good excuse to get out of it. I have little patience and get angry at other people there for yapping or their phone or their smell or kicking the back of the seat. I don't really like watching them at home, either. Plus he loves superhero movies. Yeah, no thanks.

    Anyway, thank you! Hopefully I can get him to start going out for walks with me and he'll like it or something.

    Jan 

  • Kazenmax
    Kazenmax Member Posts: 458 Member
    edited March 2019 #21
    Total opposites!

    Since we are dishing about our spouses...LOL. My husband is similar. He is 11 years younger than me and I have always been the active one...the outspoken one... the healthy one. He carries about 50 extra pounds and gets very little exercise. I would get up at 4:30 every morning for a 3 mile walk with the dog before I went to work. He plays silly videos games from the moment he comes home from work til he goes to bed while watching tv. I would ask him to walk with me and occasionally he would try but complaining all the way and cutting it short. I quilt, knit, read... rarely sit still. I ate salad every day for lunch. Never ate sweets. (His weakness) I always said... you may be younger but I will probably outlive you!

    Then, out of no where, cancer hit me. The past three years have changed everything. I finished chemo last December and I’m trying very hard to get back into walking. It’s rough. AND my husband bugs me every day about it.... did you take a walk today... are you going to walk? I have little energy and little ambition.

    While I was sick he was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Before starting him on drugs, doctor gave him a chance to work on his diet to get his sugar down. He cut carbs, sugar, bread, etc. He lost about 15 lbs and brought it way down.

    Still doesn’t walk or exercise in any way. 

    I cant offer any advice. I love my husband dearly and would be lost without him. Summer is coming and I hope we can get out on the kayaks soon (the one thing he would actually do with me). We should get walking in the evening now that the days are longer. I’m not above lying and saying Im afraid I will fall. I know if I say that he will come. 

    The other thing I’ve done is gone antiquing. I drag him out shop to shop and he has no idea how much walking he does. We go to the beach and I get him walking there. Sometimes you have to be sneaky.

    good luck. Change is hard. I need him around. You have inspired me to push us both.

    k