I spent about 24 hours of this week with my mom in the ICU instead of meeting her for lunch somewhere during both of our busy weeks. Last night was my first night of full sleep since getting a call Tuesday that she was in critical condition. Tuesday, I wasn’t sure if she would make it through the night, much less the next day.
The first question people ask is “What happened?”
To answer that, I have to start by telling you a little history about her health. My mom is diabetic. She probably had it as a child, but no one knew. My grandma was a stay-at-home mom and cooked all their meals and was pretty strict about not letting them eat much sweets, so in her younger years, it was managed by diet somewhat, without her knowing she had it. There were signs, but not until her 20′s – living on her own, and not eating as good – did they really become evident.
In her 20′s my mom became addicted to soft drinks. She loved Dr. Pepper and although she didn’t eat terribly, and has always loved veggies and salad because of my grandma’s good example, she was consuming too much sugar. Life got busy. It was hard for her as a working mother to always make the best food choices. (Nod if you can agree that the hectic life often produces poor eating standards – I know this can happen to even homeschool moms, frazzled by the amount of work to be done in their own homes!)
Stressful conditions in my mother’s life also contributed towards her eventual collapse and the discovery of her diabetes. At 28, she spent a few weeks in the hospital and her entire life was changed. I was only 4 and she was a single mom then.
Over the years, health information has changed. For instance, all those Diet Cokes she thought were OK for her were actually NOT. Thankfully she’s not drinking them any more. You have to stay on top of the latest information to make good choices about what to eat and what not to eat. I grew up eating a lot of things that today, I consider unhealthy. Old habits die hard, though, and sometimes our resolve is weak and we justify a little indulgence because of all the other good choices we make.
I felt really convicted this week about the future results of allowing my kids to eat things I know are not nutritious. Just this past weekend they had Cheetos and yesterday I got fast food take-out while we were sitting in with my mother in ICU.
I don’t want my kids to end up with diabetes. I am heartbroken that my mom has to live with it, and that so many times it has almost claimed her life.
I’m very thankful that God healed my mother this time. She’s out of the water, but still very far from being “healthy”. They are making appointments for her with nutritionists and doctors to help her now that she has Medicare. Living with a pre-existing condition for most of her life has been a financial struggle that contributed towards her decline in health and standard of living.
I’m going back on my Fed Up 2 Fit challenge soon, and we are going to eliminate a lot of things from our diet that I’ve been trying to avoid this year already, but have fallen back into allowing. We are going to start getting more exercise and more sleep. We are going to increase our water intake. We’re going to stop eating at places we know aren’t good for us. Good bye fast food (I’ll miss you for a while)!
I hope you’ll join me in this journey because health is too precious a thing to squander. My word of the year is choice and I got a fresh reminder this week watching my mother struggle for her life that I need to renew my commitment to make the best choices I can.
No need to wait for New Years to begin this one.
Want to tag along? Check out my health board on Pinterest and visit often for updates as I’m going to start blogging more about what I learn, changes we make, and our progress on this healthy living journey.
Credit: Photo at bottom is from rawforbeauty.com via my Pinterest boards.
P.S. Maintaining a healthy weight should be your last concern in eating right… it’s a benefit of living a healthy life, sure, but eating right is about much more than being skinny.