Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I must confess...

I've never really followed a workout routine since being banded. I've walked, ran, did bleacher and Zumba but always in spurts.

It seems as though my body revolts at the idea of any kind of exercise in the winter. And then craves it when the weather warms up.

I must also confess that I haven't worked out at all since...September!! Sigh.

Yesterday, I decided to change all that!! I hit the gym at the student center after class. I did a quick 12 minute mile on the treadmill, 2 miles on the stationary bike and then had my first experience with an elliptical. Yowza! My coordination, not so great. I did last about 5 minutes on level 7...and I am happy to report that I was able to get out of bed without assistance today.

Actually, I'm not sore at all. Which is a disappointment. I love that next day sore feeling. It lets me know that I accomplished something!! I guess I will push myself a little farther tomorrow!!! I think I'm going to start out with 3 days a week and then step it up to 4...and in a few weeks add some weights to my routine.

Here we go!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Lights Are On

I just had to share the most amazing thing that happened to me yesterday (even though I should be doing some last minute studying for today's lab practical...).

I was lucky enough to grow up with two sets of amazing grandparents. I was closer to my mom's mom growing up. Grandmother lived about 20 minutes away, but I spent every free second I had with her. My mom's stepdad was my "Bob" and the first person I ever lost. My dad's parents lived 100 rows of corn away, and I went to their house everyday after school and played cards with Granny. We lost Grandmother in 2005 - and I still miss her everyday. My dad's parents still live 100 rows of corn away...

I know I have mentioned before that from time to time I stay with my grandparents. They need 24 hour care - my grandpa had a stroke 2 years ago and is wheelchair-bound. He can walk, with the aid of a walker, but can't really speak. Granny has Alzheimer's. Before Grandpa's stroke he took care of her all by himself. I really don't know how he did it. He'll be 89 in April. Up until the day of his stroke he was still tending to the animals (cows) and gardening and doing everything around the house. He's a pretty amazing man.

Most days Granny spends the day in bed. She never knows where she is. She knows her family, but can't remember how to get up out of the chair or where her bedroom is. Alzheimer's is an awful disease.

Yesterday after class I went out to sit with them because their regular weekday sitter was sick. When I pulled up to the house, they were both sitting on the front porch - which is rare for Granny. Grandpa would prefer sitting on the porch all day - even when its 100 degrees out in the summer.

Granny stayed up all afternoon. She would sit outside for a while, and then come sit in the living room. We chatted and visited and it was an unusual and totally enjoyable afternoon.

Around 4, I was going to start cooking supper. I went out to the bathroom (it's on the back porch!) to wash my hands. I walk back into the kitchen and Granny has gotten a box of frozen sausages out of the fridge. She cut them open with a knife, got a cookie sheet out of the cabinet and put them in the oven. (I waited until she left the room to turn off the oven and put the sausage back in the fridge!) I started cooking supper and and she stayed with me in the kitchen the entire time, stirring the potatoes, getting the butter out of the fridge and helping me make gravy. She walked out of the kitchen once, and I thought that maybe that little shining light I saw in her eyes had gone out. But she had gone to the bedroom to make her bed!! In two years she has never once tried to cook. Not only did she help me cook, but she set the table!!! Normally Grandpa eats in the dining room and Granny eats in her chair in the living room.

I went in and told Grandpa that even though it was early, Granny had helped me cook supper and set the table, so if it was ok with him, we were going to have supper early. He grinned from ear to ear. It was so cute, the two of them sitting at the dining room table enjoying a meal together.

If any of you have ever had a friend or relative with Alzheimer's or Dementia, you understand what a big deal this is. This is as close to lucid I have seen my Granny in a long long time. It absolutely made my week. This disease is hard. It's hard on her, and hard on the family. Seeing someone you have loved your whole life become a totally different person is heartbreaking. Knowing that it will only get worse makes these rare moments even more special.

Yesterday was a day I will cherish for the rest of my life.