Pageviews last month

Sunday, September 22, 2013

One of Those Aha Moments and Oh Yeah Might be the Worst Daughter Ever...

Everything I learned about healthy eating and living I learned on the interwebs.  I sure as heck did not learn it from my family.  That is the crux of the fun I have not been having since late last week.  My immediate family: mom, brother, sister and an aunt that lives with my mom and brother have a lot of medical challenges and issues.  It would be quicker for me to list out the diseases that do not run in my family.  Bubonic Plague and Leprosy, I think were good.  My dad passed away in his 60s after being ill for most of his life but incapacitated for 13 years. 

Their medical history is a long story let's make it short.  Because of these challenges my mother was driving my aunt to a Doctor's appointment on Thursday, because of her medical challenges she should not have been behind the wheel.  Because she also suffers from a case of terminal stubbornness she did not ask for help from us.  They got in a minor accident.  Because of her medical challenges she ended up fracturing her patella.  My sister and I have been trying to help out and shuttling folks around, oh yeah aunt and brother don't drive.  In the midst of all this, my assigned duty yesterday was to take my brother grocery shopping.  This is where the aha moment comes in, wait for it.  I wish I could have taken an instagram pic on my phone, but I am sure the result of that would have been my mother's exasperated "Kathleen" accompanied with a disappointed look and head shake. 

The cart was divided right in half.  One side full of medical supplies: adult diapers, all kinds of over the counter meds. etc.  The other side the food they planned to eat all week.  There were 3 two litre bottles of Pepsi, 5 packs of some processed cinnamon buns, sugar laden cereal, whole milk, hot dogs, every frozen food you can think of, unless it came with vegetables.   Did you know you can get tortilla encrusted fried fish with a side of macaroni and cheese?  In fact, I did not know this, but you can get almost every food frozen with a side of mac-n-cheese, unless it has a vegetable.  I just wanted to snap a picture and post "enough said."  Oh yeah to be fair there was one can of green beans.

Now on to the worst daughter ever part.  I know I am supposed to help and serve with a happy heart, but when I got back and my bed ridden mother was smoking and my obese brother was unpacking the "food" we just bought, all I wanted to do was get back to my life.  I can admit it.  I got angry.  Because they are in a difficult spot and a lot of responsibility is falling to me and my sister, but I feel like they are there because of their actions and decisions, and that they don't acknowledge that.  Yes I helped because they are family, but part of me felt resentful and angry, a part of me felt like an enabler, and part of me felt sad that they won't ever know what life is like if you make different choices.  Not really about running today except to say, if you read my blog you are probably someone who has an interest in their health and improving it and good for you.  Because you are controlling what you can in service of your family down the road.  It is not that we don't all enjoy things from time to time or fall off the wagon, but it is about never getting on and failing to recognize the role that plays in your current health situation.


  1. I'm so sorry, Kathy. As a health care professional I see and hear about this all the time. You are in a difficult position. All you can do is to make suggestions and lead by example, and try to stay guilt free. This is their lifestyle choice, and as long as you've done all you can realistically do, (it's even more difficult that they are together and enabling each other) you've got to find a way to let it go, or it will continue to make you miserable.
    Good Luck and please know that you are not alone with this. There are SO many people in the same position as you. You've got to be strong for yourself first, especially if you see yourself being a caregiver down the road. Learn to develop the fortitude now.

    1. Thanks. I am glad I am not alone, but I kind of wish I was. I am sure as a health care professional you see a lot.

  2. This is the hard part, right? They are adults, and they have the right to ruin their lives. Unfortunately, because you are related, they will make you miserable, too. It's not your fault, and it's not your problem. You will not change your family. You are allowed to be angry and frustrated. The frustration is because you love them. I get it.

  3. Oh what the hell, give 'em a blast!! Lovingly maybe, but let 'em have it!

  4. You love your family and that's why it's so upsetting. you feel great because of your healthy lifestyle and you know that they can too! Keep lovin' em and don't feel bad!

  5. So sorry you have to deal with all of that.....It's hard line to walk when you're trying to be a caring family member but also maintain your own sanity & mental health. I think it's important to realize that there's only so much you can do for people--particularly grown adults--who are making their own choices. At a certain point, I really do believe it's too much to ask for you to be a supportive & helpful daughter/family member/etc when what you're being asked to "support" is their poor choices. At a certain point, people don't want to be helped. You can always make yourself available as an example and a resource, but please don't take onto yourself the burden of "fixing" the health/wellness situation of everyone else in your family--it's not your job, and actually probably not something you (or anyone else) *can* do anyway. HUGS to you & props for making healthy choices for yourself!!

  6. You are not bad daughter. Repeat that to yourself. You are a good daughter because you want them to make healthier choices so they can be healthier people. I know how you feel, diabetes, cancer, strokes, we have all of that in my family, and they all keep doing the same thing that got them there in the first place. I encourage some of my closest family members to go for a walk with me and sometimes they do. At the end of the day you can only do what you can for them and try and let them know how you feel, and when it gets to be too much, go for a run. Give yourself the best gift you can give yourself, health. Take care and keep your chin up, my thoughts are with you.

  7. Thanks everyone. This is really helpful. I have been off the grid lately. On top of all of this we were robbed on Monday and all of our electronics were stolen.