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Day 25 - A Healthier Me...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

It's been a couple weeks since I blogged. A lot happened during that time. Friday, March 6 my mother-in-law went into the hospital after a visit with her cardiologist because her heart rate was elevated. He was slightly concerned and wanted her to have some tests and be monitored for a few days. My husband went over the hospital to help her out and stuff. Saturday he spoke to her again and she was doing okay. Sunday morning we get a phone call and she had passed away in the early morning hours. This was a complete shock to all of us. All this happened about 6 months after my father-in-law passed away. His was a little less shocking. He had diabetes for a number of years and never took care of himself that well. His diet was horrible and he didn't exercise at all. About a year before he passed he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and kidney failure. He had been making some changes to his diet to get healthier, but went back to his old ways after a few months. We knew he wouldn't live long, although you never fully expect it when it happens. He had gone into the hospital for what we thought was one of his routine visits (he was in the hospital 3 or 4 times each year for the past few years for diabetes-related issues), but then things progressively got worse. He got to a point where the dr. said he probably wouldn't improve enough to go back home and would have to go into a nursing home (he was only 65). He made the choice to not go on dialysis and a feeding tube and breathing tube that he would all need to sustain his life. Being in a nursing home and being limited was not something he ever wanted, so he instead chose to not to do the things to keep him alive and passed away a couple days later. It was pretty hard on my husband as we had just moved into our new home and he misses out on sharing with his dad any work and improvements we make to the home. Shortly after my FIL passed, my MIL started having all these health issues. My DH and I discussed and both believe these issues were there for a long time, she probably ignored them to take care of my FIL. Now that he was gone, she was able to focus on her own health. That being said, she was also not a healthy eater or exerciser before, but she started changing her diet and getting in some exercise. She told us on several occasions that her goal was to do everything her dr. told her to do as she wanted to be healthier. It's just so sad that she was actually changing her overall health however it was just too late for her. I guess what happened is she had sleep apnea for years. She once told me that she was given a CPAP for her sleep apnea years ago but didn't use it because it wasn't comfortable. But then just last month she had a sleep study done again and was fitted with a new CPAP and this time was actually using it. But what my husband explained to me was that when you have sleep apnea and you're not taking care of it, your heart has to work harder to help you breathe. When that happens, just like any muscle that works harder, your heart gets bigger. But unlike other muscles, we don't want our heart to get bigger. When your heart gets bigger, it constricts the blood flow and has to work harder. This is what was happening to her. I guess that Sunday in the early hours her heart stopped. They got it going again and moved her into the ICU. It stopped again and while they were trying to get it going, they inserted a breathing tube and blood came out from her lungs. Apparently an artery had ruptured and filled her lungs, which at that point there is nothing that can be done. It was just such a shock to all of us. My husband of course took this really hard. His mom was only 62. My kids too are mourning the loss of their "MeMom". They saw her pretty much every single week and she just loved being a grandma. It's been a tough couple of weeks going through all this. So many people came out to her viewing and funeral, she was a wonderful caring person and will be missed by many. I feel so bad for my husband's grandma, his mom's mom. She herself is pretty healthy and no one ever wants to bury their child, even an adult child. She took this very hard and keeps saying that she has lost her best friend. My hope is that she can move past this difficulty. Her 3 sons and her grandchildren in the area are all helping to take care of her.

As for me, when things like this happen to people I know, I can't help but think more of my own health. I'm continuing to eat healthy and have been spending time each evening walking around the house to get in some exercise. I'm anxious for some warmer weather to get outdoors and get more active. Tomorrow is the first day of spring and we're welcoming it with a forecast of 3-6 inches of snow. Please winter, end soon!
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