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Struggling with Weight on a Busy Schedule

Struggling with Weight on a Busy Schedule

Managing my weight has always been a monumental task for me. When I get busy I forget to eat, and then when I finally get hungry enough to stop and take a bite suddenly I’m eating an entire day’s worth of calories. Some people will try and tell you it’s just a number. As long as you don’t exceed the calories you can have and lose weight it doesn’t matter how much you eat at a sitting or how many times you eat a day. In my experience, this isn’t true.

My muscles ache like crazy if I only eat one meal a day. I feel significantly more tired than I should. I need more sleep than otherwise and I tend to overdo my required calorie intake once food finally is in front of me because I feel famished by then. Moderation is good in theory but if you’re not eating multiple meals a day you end up eating significantly less calories than you need. When you short yourself too much you don’t lose weight either based on my experience.

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3 Ways to Beat Loneliness

Caregiving can be an isolating experience especially if your charge has difficulty fighting off illness for one reason or another. Even as the number of people around us increases, it may still not help the feelings of loneliness. After all, most of them are strangers. You can walk past hundreds of people in a mall, drive past hundreds more on the road, and still not have a single meaningful conversation.

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Three Ways to Lift Your Spirits

This Thanksgiving was hard on so many. A lot of the people I know had a wonderful thanksgiving. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. However, not everyone was so fortunate. Some of my fellow Moms spent Thanksgiving in the hospital away from their other children and their families. Others were left out because someone assumed they didn’t want to do something because of their child’s medical history. Still more were pulled into drama-filled situations for which they didn’t have the emotional strength to spare.

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Choosing a Support Pet

Life can be tough on caregivers, emotionally and physically. The added strain of caregiving for a child takes up a lot of emotional energy. Sometimes there’s another parent, and sometimes there isn’t. Even when there is, the other parent has their own struggles to deal with and can’t always be fully emotionally available to the caregiver. Support pets can be a huge help as long as you fully understand the commitment you’re making to yourself and the pet.

My recommendation as far as the best option for a support pet would be a house cat. Others have chosen dogs, birds, rodents, and even reptiles. It’s worth going over the pros and cons of each despite the inevitable length of the entry. I’ll start with my highest recommended pet and work my way down. Feel free to bail out once you’ve found your match.

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Depression, Grief’s Last Stand

The grief stage, depression, is always the most difficult for me. It already saps a ton of energy going through all of the other stages. It’s cruel, in a way, the last stage is the one which completely demotivates you. I should mention, not all types of grief are exactly the same. When dealing with a chronic condition, any bad news starts a new grief cycle. It’s frequent enough, there’s a part of you which feels like an outsider watching a train wreck. It’s obvious what’s coming, you don’t want to watch, but you can’t prevent it or look away.

All the things you normally do to relax and unwind are no longer interesting. If you’re prone to an addiction (food, smoking, alcohol) then the need for a fix is overwhelming. The fatigue is overwhelming, and most things just don’t seem important anymore. To anyone else it looks like something is terribly wrong, but it’s completely normal to feel like this for a little while; if the depression in this type of grief goes on for more than a week or two it may be time to become concerned. There are other types where stages may take months or years depending on the loss.

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Cycles of Grief, Caregiving for Chronic Conditions

It’s been apparent for a while our son had medical problems. Until the diagnosis this month, we were in the dark about a lot of things. However, we still had enough information to know this would probably go on for a while and things would come up we didn’t expect. It took me by surprise this week when I was hit with grief not just once, but twice. I accepted our son had a chronic medical condition a long time ago. Why would I be so distressed at hearing bad news from his doctors?

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Recovering from Crisis Mode

Recovering from Crisis Mode

We made it! Dad has recovered enough from surgery to lift the toddler. The toddler has recovered enough from his cold to only need medicine overnight. I actually got a chance to take the REAL cold medicine last night. You know, the kind that not only cures all your cold symptoms but also knocks you out. Even if the symptoms were to somehow to break through, you still sleep like the dead.

The laundry and dishes were done over the last week and a half, but everything else took a backseat. You can actually see the path our toddler takes from one place to another. It looks like a little tornado meandered through our house on multiple occasions. Am I going to clean it up today? Maybe, but probably not. Today is the day for a victory lap! It’s time to celebrate making it through this most recent family challenge. I’m going to have coffee with a friend for at least an hour or two while Dad cuddles the little man.

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Caregiving

Caregiving

This last week has been difficult. If you follow my Twitter feed you’ve probably seen me mention, the toddler and I both came down with a nasty cold. Dad’s surgery has left him unable to lift more than 10-15 lbs, which means almost everything but the toddler.

So, the two of us have been having our own little mini-party while Dad does his best to help me without being able to lift the poor fella and tries to avoid getting sick at the same time. So far he’s been successful.

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Acceptance and Your Child’s Illness

There are five stages of grief in the Kübler-Ross model. I’ve sourced the stages from Wikipedia.org and shortened them where appropriate.

  1. Denial — The first reactions is denial. In this stage individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.
  2. Anger — When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, it becomes frustrated, especially at proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”; “Why would this happen?”.
  3. Bargaining — The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Other times, they will use anything valuable against another human agency to extend or prolong the life. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise.
  4. Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” […] During the fourth stage, the individual becomes saddened by the mathematical probability of death. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.
  5. Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”; “Nothing is impossible.” In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or inevitable future […] this state […] typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable condition of emotions.

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PTSD in Special Needs Parents

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is typically heard in the context of war veterans. You can develop PTSD from any experience that’s painful or upsetting, including caring for a special needs child. How does this happen?

  • Long NICU stays where the child is on the verge of death.
  • Babies so pre-mature they need constant 24/7 care to survive.
  • Hospital admissions for life-threatening infections.
  • Finding out your child has a life-altering and lifespan shortening diagnosis and watching them fight it every day.

There are many more examples. I wanted to name just a few to make my point clear. Almost every special needs parent is at some level of risk for PTSD. They are constantly exposed to situations that are extremely stressful where the results are completely out of their control. All the while, something bad is happening to someone they love more than anyone else in the world (except their other children of course).

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