Choices…Goals…Striking a “Fair” Balance

**Disclaimer:  This blog does not give medical or financial advice.

My choices, goals and striking a “fair” balance sometimes conflict with one another as I try to do my best for keeping mom as healthy as I can…keeping her safe…keeping her out of the hospital. Her glucose level is too high…her AC1 Ratio is too high…yet…due to ulcerative colitis she must be on a low residue/low fiber diet…that’s *white bread…that’s *white pasta…no whole wheat…no high fiber…no grains,etc. 

I received an email from a blogger buddy of my former blog who is now following this blog. She, too, cares for her elderly mom who is now on dialysis. Her mom has lost a lot of weight and her daughter is concerned about her health issues, naturally, but also about her mental health and how food can play a role in one’s attitude towards looking forward to something. My mom has always loved food…was a great cook…and still enjoys tasty food. She misses really delicious food filled with an adequate amount of salt. Yesterday I wrote that she hardly touched her breakfast. Well, she did eat that left over bagel at lunch with the cheese plate I left and she ate half of the shrimp of last night’s dinner and all of the pasta.

Mom’s glucose level has been too high the last few years. I am hoping that with the weight loss due to the ulcerative colitis, that her glucose level and the A1C ratio have come down on their own…won’t know until I take her for her bloodwork for her internist toward late July. 

Mom will tell you, “Aging sucks.”  She will also tell you that “Food is comforting.”  Two statements I can’t argue with.  I’m well versed in what is good food, what is bad food, dietary concerns and all of the research…been at it for years. Back when dad had to lose weight before open heart surgery, I was his amateur dietician and he lost 30 lbs, so my knowledge of health and diet go back over 35 years.

My blogger pal ended her email to me with this, “Mom can’t reasonably expect to live too many more years, and if we can’t find things she can enjoy in the time she has, it may be hard to keep her or myself going. What are realistic goals for us as caregivers, do you think?”  We do not know how much longer our parents have and yes, we need to think of their day-to-day comfort, happiness and desires as well as their very real health issues. 

I’m winging it, my friend. Some days, I am so vigilant about mom’s food and other days, I wonder if I’m doing any good. In my case, let me see what the bloodwork shows.  If the weight loss reduced her glucose, then we’ll ease up on the fun foods. I had mom give up all of the “no sugar added” crap and I have REAL ice cream in the freezer and REAL small pieces of cake individually wrapped in the freezer.  I also bought Pepperidge Farm Shortbread cookies for the pantry. Mom does not go to town with these items…they last a long time. 

My goal is to keep mom out of the hospital, out of any nursing home or assisted living facility and out of the ER. My choice is to let her have food with real sugar as opposed to all of the fake crap that we all know is unhealthy and my hope to strike a fair balance looms large over everything.  I do not think I answered or responded adequately to my blogger pal’s email, but I tried. I am no expert…this is hands-on experience and I relate very well to what she is going through.

So…today’s menu for mom:

B: *1 Tiny (2-3″ diameter?) pancake with blueberries, strawberries and banana made by my hubby yesterday      1 whole egg over easy     Meds    Water    Decaf Coffee

L:  Sardine Plate (skinless and boneless sardines over a little shredded lettuce, seedless cuke)   Decaf   Meds   Water

D: Leftover Shrimp over *Pasta     Tomato Sauce    Greenbeans    Meds    Water

**Note:  Believe me, I know all about the evils of white bread, white pasta for diabetes. Mom’s portions are very small.




4 thoughts on “Choices…Goals…Striking a “Fair” Balance

  1. Your goals are best for Mom and best for you: keeping her healthy, safe and out of the hospital. And then there’s the issue of happiness in life’s little pleasures. It’s rough to maintain the balance. Personally, I’d prefer to “enjoy life” a little more than I’d like to prolong a “non-enjoyable” life. But that’s my value system. Mostly I think that it’s important for Mom to feel the decision is hers.

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