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Taking care of your health


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It's been almost 6 months since Annette has passed. I find that I really am eating poorly and honestly don't care about my health. Annette would be very disappointed in me. When we were together, she did her best (with our limited budget) to have us eat as well as we could. We couldn't afford kale salads every day, but she made the effort to cook raw chicken and try to keep our sugar and sodium intake down. I feel like, now that I am eating what my family gets- which is a lot of frozen meals and not a lot of healthy things- that I am disregarding all the hard work she did. I really don't care about my health though, I honestly don't want to live a long life. Even now, with renewed hope in the country, I see no future for myself- no love, or other relationships. Not even friends. 

I guess I am curious how I can motivate myself to make Annette proud of me. It's a day by day struggle, but I feel like I'm losing.

James

 

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I just had my cholesterol checked and found my levels have changed from my new eating style.  We ate relatively healthy, cooked 5 nights a week.  Being alone the labor isn’t worth it anymore.  I did at first but after 6 years that is long gone.  I don’t know what I feel about my health as it has gotten so complicated and I, too, am not particularly motivated without my partner. It’s a real dilemma.  I’m so torn about wanting to be here or giving up which doesn’t help.  I add in surgeries, tests, all kinds of medical things that would be very challenging.  One thing I do feel I know regarding Steve’s reaction if he knew what was happening and all I am facing is that he would really get it.  He wouldn’t be disappointed.  I doubt surprised as he knew me the best and my standards of functioning.  We all have them.  Some adapt to changes others find intolerable.  It’s all so individual.  I watched Steve change so drastically (huge weight gain) and didn’t feel disappointment.  I felt despair because he was going to lose his life and striving to remain the fit man he was became impossible.  I know I am dying on the inside and risking my body but haven’t found a dynamic reason to do more than merely survive.  

I know this isn’t a positive response you are looking for and I’m sorry about that.  It’s part of my grief road and your post brought it to mind.  Hopefully some others will have outlooks that help you as you sound like you want to do better.  I do feel that Annette would totally understand without judgement tho.  Yes, she’d want the best for you, but she would understand the suffering after what she, herself, went thru.  

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I try to eat properly everyday, so focus on shopping for food that is easily prepared and less kitchen mess.  But, there are some days I do falter.  On those days I feel my husband would forgive me for overdoing the chocolate cookies for that day or indulging with pizza with my grand kids.   What does motivate me to continue on each day is my memory of him wanting to live and enjoy his life as long as he could even though he was facing bladder cancer.  He went through bladder removal surgery, came down with an infection and passed away suddenly from a heart attack the night before I was to bring him home after recovering from the infection.  His choosing to go through the surgery indicated to me he wanted to live as long as possible.  So, I can't devalue that strength.

I  hope you can find what works for you to continue on.  But, each of us are different even though we each have lost the most important person in our life.  Dee

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I think it's very common that we don't care about our health after loss...it's hard to care about anything.  My husband has been gone for over 15 years and it's just this year I've taken control of my health.  

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1 hour ago, Gwenivere said:

I just had my cholesterol checked and found my levels have changed from my new eating style.  We ate relatively healthy, cooked 5 nights a week.  Being alone the labor isn’t worth it anymore.  I did at first but after 6 years that is long gone.  I don’t know what I feel about my health as it has gotten so complicated and I, too, am not particularly motivated without my partner. It’s a real dilemma.  I’m so torn about wanting to be here or giving up which doesn’t help.  I add in surgeries, tests, all kinds of medical things that would be very challenging.  One thing I do feel I know regarding Steve’s reaction if he knew what was happening and all I am facing is that he would really get it.  He wouldn’t be disappointed.  I doubt surprised as he knew me the best and my standards of functioning.  We all have them.  Some adapt to changes others find intolerable.  It’s all so individual.  I watched Steve change so drastically (huge weight gain) and didn’t feel disappointment.  I felt despair because he was going to lose his life and striving to remain the fit man he was became impossible.  I know I am dying on the inside and risking my body but haven’t found a dynamic reason to do more than merely survive.  

I know this isn’t a positive response you are looking for and I’m sorry about that.  It’s part of my grief road and your post brought it to mind.  Hopefully some others will have outlooks that help you as you sound like you want to do better.  I do feel that Annette would totally understand without judgement tho.  Yes, she’d want the best for you, but she would understand the suffering after what she, herself, went thru.  

Gwen, I am more than happy with your response, because I just want a real answer. There's nothing to be sorry about. Honestly, my Mom eats poorly- hardly ever eats fresh fruit, not much vegetables and has made it to 84, which I guess means my family DNA can handle a poor diet.  Yes, Annette would understand. If she saw the daily struggle I go through (and I believe she does) she would be more than sympathetic. 

She had so many health struggles and I feel guilt about enabling her when she wanted Taco Bell (we met working at Taco Bell), or letting her eat sugar. But, it wasn't her fault that she had Diabetes. It was genetics (she developed Type 1 at age 16)  I didn't want her to have to be so strict with her diet- life is supposed to be enjoyed. 

I am facing December, which has my birthday, her birthday and our anniversary. If I can make it through that....

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You’re facing a lot this month.  Steve and my birthdays fall in November too.  Then the holidays and our anniversary  in January.  I’m sure, like you, we used to love these times in the midst of winter. Now I dread these months.  Steve wasn’t supposed to do a few things, but I wanted him to enjoy the time he had.  None were ever anything that sped things along.  Just maybe didn’t mix well with his meds.  It was his life, his choice.  

You will make it thru.  I know it’s hard to believe or comprehend.  Having done so many times, I can attest to it.  Will it be Hard? Very.  The first is a taste of what we will carry forever.  It does get better.  As in we know we are going to be in a vulnerable place.  A couple times it hit me the day after.  Like a protection fell over me.for a day.  One thing you can always do is come here.  Talk, yell, cry or whatever you need to people that get it.  We all have to face the firsts.  I’m so sorry for the anticipation, but it’s so normal, that word we come to hate.  🌺

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Yes, November is the first in a series of hard months for me, as well.  My birthday, then the 28th when he collapsed with the beginning of what turned out to be septic shock that no one caught, and down the rabbit hole of December through March, that I have to climb out of in April.

Strangely, my eating habits have changed very little, but if I slow down and listen, I can detect a faint sense of hunger that isn't quite physical and is never satisfied.

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13 hours ago, nashreed said:

I am facing December, which has my birthday, her birthday and our anniversary. If I can make it through that....

The holidays can be hard enough (I think Marty posted a video on that you might want to look for it under videos/tools) but throw into the mix your birthdays and anniversary, wow, a lot at once!  We'll be here to support you, you can vent or cry here, we understand and care.  (((hugs)))  I had my own meltdown the past few days, I need George HERE and he isn't.  :(

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It's very hard to find motivation to stay healthy. Somehow you feel like "where's the point of it". In my opinion, it takes a long time to feel the need of putting yourself on track. I'm in a better place with regards to self-care. Definitely. But I had my dark periods too. I stoped caring about the (little) amount of meals I ate. I didn't go to annual doctor check. I didn't pay attention to my clothes, my face and my hair. It took me several months to wake up from that state. The first thing I did was to go to the hairdresser. She said nothing and was very kind in cutting my hair while tears were coming out. 

It takes time.

 

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I'm tending my health now not because of outside motivation but so I can give myself the best quality of life I can...I don't relish pain or dependence, I value my self-reliance and independence and so I work hard to ensure it.  Doesn't always pay off though as I'm having surgery on my right hand shortly and not having George here to help me through this time is hitting me hard.  I've literally cried out to him this week!  I'm doing my best with it, nothing much else we can do!

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It really is a struggle and a conundrum- I don't much care about my health, but I don't like pain. I have arthritis in my back. I really felt it bad when the temperature dropped in Southern California this weekend. I am going to get back into going to a chiropractor. My Annette had severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and I feel it would be insulting to her if I didn't do something about my developing issue with it. 

Kay, I'm sure George is with you, next to you. It's funny the times when I think I can feel Annette is around is when I'm blasting music. I feel bad, because I know she didn't really like it loud- but she was sweet enough to indulge me. I don't know if her spirit can hear music the same as before. I feel slight guilt playing stuff that she didn't like too! 

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We all carry various emotions in relation to our losses.  It makes me sad you always mention guilt. Our partners are gone and we are in survival mode.  If anyone would understand that it would be them.  But then again, they didn’t have to go thru this.  All I do know is Steve would never want me to feel guilt and support anything I need to do.  Wouldn’t Annette feel that for you? I know Steve would totally get my not caring about my health as much.  When he was here there wasn’t as much to deal with but he knew medical fatigue from all he went thru.  Days he wanted to just scream and crawl into bed to escape for a bit.  I just had a call this morning from the back surgeon nurse again trying to send me back to my primary care doc for issues I want answers to on how they are handled with this huge surgery.  I dug my heels in and said no, I want his take.  My PCP is not a specialist to address my concerns in this scenario.  

Point being....I truly wish you could relieve the guilt, banish it.  It serves no purpose except to make you feel worse.  Yours isn’t all about the looking back on choices we made at the time given what we knew.  Playing loud music she didn’t like is not something to add to your burden.  I do things now that might annoy Steve if he were here, but he’s not.  If he were I probably wouldn’t be doing them.  They’re part of my survival kit.  Perception gets so skewed when your world is torn apart.  I don’t know if they can hear or see anything we are doing, but if they can, I doubt it would bother them as they aren’t living on this plane anymore.  I choose to think if Steve can see me, he’d want to comfort me and tell me he’d never be disappointed in me.  I didn’t let him down in life, I don’t see how I could now.

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Of course, you're right. I know in my heart of hearts that Annette wouldn't begrudge me anything. She would totally understand what I'm doing, what I'm going through. She was always the one who was telling me that accidents happen, when I would fly off the handle about something that I thought was preventable. She would tell me that she's an adult and ultimately it's her decisions about what she does with her health and life. I'm still trying to keep in control of her health, even now. 

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And in your reply you gave yourself the answer.  You don’t need or can control her health now.  It will take you time and reminding yourself of that.  There is no health to control.  I know how deeply it hurts as if it had to happen, I had a job.  That was stolen too.

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4 hours ago, nashreed said:

I feel bad, because I know she didn't really like it loud- but she was sweet enough to indulge me. I don't know if her spirit can hear music the same as before. I feel slight guilt playing stuff that she didn't like too! 

Eventually you will cast off some of these "guilts."  I remember the first time I actually laughed out loud at something, then fell into a blubbering mess from the guilt.  Seems like ages ago now....

Be kind to yourself.  Annette is your biggest champion and walks with you always. 💚

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Thanks. I need to remember it's not just my physical health but my mental health. I keep giving myself goals- Okay, I made it through the election, now I need to make it through the holidays. I don't know what I'm going to focus on past New Year's. It's a scary world when you're walking it alone.

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That is so true.  I never felt the fears then I do now.  Not because I am a timid person, far from it.  I let someone into my life to share the realities as they can up.  I got 'used to' being a team and now am thrown back into being a solo entity.  It’s been decades since facing life on my own is my natural behavior.  I let myself get overwhelmed about certain things I would have had to learn (like all this advanced technology) that Steve always took care of.  I think I would have still hated it, but it would be a skill I acquired.  I excel at dealing with banks and insurance, something Steve hated.  He would have had to learn that.  We all melded into teams and now have to handle once split, now all tasks being half a person.  The math if that shows why we are so mentally, emotionally and even physically worn out. 

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It's funny how I ended up right back where I started, literally, before I even met Annette. I'm having to live in my Mom's house, in my teenage bedroom. So, it's like I was alone, and then I met her, we fell in love, had our life together...that ends and I get plopped right back to square one- over 30 years later. Except now I'm 50 and my hometown is like a ghetto and the mobile park I live in is not the nice, quiet place I grew up in. So, it's like it was and not at all the same, because everything is so much worse. And I was lucky to have ever gotten her to be with me, with all my mental issues. We were definitely a team, but now it's back to me, and feeling like a lost teenager in an old, fat aching body.

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