Friday, September 2, 2016

September 2nd, 2016 Mom Is Strong

September 2nd, 2016 Mom Is Strong

I've often wondered what it would take to shake me away from the groove I've found. A sustainable plan, for me, means something I can do for the rest of my life, come what may. And there will be times of extreme emotion and stress--and how will I handle the fundamental elements of my plan in the most trying of times?

These very scary complications mom has endured brought me face to face with emotions on a level I haven't felt since we lost my little brother in 2001.

Everything looked good last night. The plan was to wean her off the ventilator this morning and she would be on her way to recovery. With the optimistic projection, I felt confident in committing to a full work day--and given our temporarily short-staffed situation at the studio, it made sense.

I stayed in close contact with her ICU nurse all day, today. Shortly after eleven am, I called--and was told mom failed the ventilator removal. "Failed?? What does that mean?" I was told it meant, when they removed the ventilator, she stopped breathing completely. They immediately put it back in-got her stable again, then planned for another try later this afternoon.

My mind wouldn't stop replaying vivid memories of fifteen years ago, when mom and I stood outside Shane's room in this very same ICU, and watched my little brother take his last breath after they turned off the ventilator keeping him alive. Lord, please help her breathe.  

Aside from faith, the only other things that kept me calm enough to stay put and trust things would be okay, was the reassurance from her nurse--that this sometimes happens and they'll try again this afternoon...and if it doesn't work again, they'll try again tomorrow. He spoke calmly and confidently--and assured me her vitals looked good. I also spoke with a support friend who's a nurse in a hospital--and she played an even bigger role in calming me down and giving me proper perspective. But still...

I kept remembering my brother Shane and that ventilator. It was as if I stumbled on an emotional/psychological trigger and it was spinning me something frantic.

So, what about my plan?? And those elements I hold dear each day?

I actually had the thought--I don't feel, given the circumstances, like I can photograph each thing and tweet or log or any of that stuff--maybe not even write this blog... maybe I better take a break. What??? Yes. Those thoughts occurred.

But then I thought about it a little more.

Why would I stop taking extraordinary care of myself in this or any situation? Would sacrificing my best self-care help mom?? How would NOT doing what I do in taking exceptional care, help me through this?

Then, I thought about it a little more.

Why do I do this??? Is it a show? Because if it's a show--then yes, shut it down, show's over. 

But this isn't a show.

And this plan and perspective for sustainable weight loss isn't just for times when everything is smooth sailing.

Not at all. 

This is a very real plan of personal recovery with a high profile of accountability measures--and ones that serve one purpose: Support my continued stability via the accountability dynamic it creates and the support it attracts. I don't do what I do for show. I do it, first--for me and my continued recovery--and secondly, I do it publicly in hopes it might help someone else. I've been told it has helped some--and that feels like I'm giving back, and I like the way that feels. 

So--if it's not a show--and it is a major part of my continued plan of abstinence and food sobriety--then there's no way I stop doing what I do, come what may. Miraculously, what came this afternoon turned out to be an answer to many prayers of many people.

I had just shared my thoughts and emotions about the situation--and the emotional/psychological connection to my little brother's tragedy, with an amazing support friend. Minutes later, I was on the phone with mom's nurse in the ICU...

"How did she do?"  With the same level-headed delivery of the earlier call, he gave me the news: "She's off the ventilator and breathing on her own. She's doing really well, actually." 

An instant wave of relief rushed through me. She's going to be fine. Mom is strong!

As I drove North on I-35 this afternoon, headed toward a location broadcast--my phone rang. It was Aunt Connie, with mom--and mom wanted to talk. I welled up with tears. Overwhelmed with gratitude, overjoyed to be hearing the most pleasant voice in my entire world--simply beautiful.

I love my mom. I'm a lucky son to have her in my life. She's resting well and her vitals are super strong. She'll likely be downgraded to a regular room tomorrow before being released in a couple days.

Sincerely--all the messages, the text messages--the IM's, the comments on facebook and the blog, the calls--thank you, thank you.

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I reached my daily water goal and I remained in close contact with excellent support connections.

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Thank you for reading and your continued support,


  1. So relieved to hear that Mom is going to be okay. Seriously, I have tears in my eyes. Your decision to remain committed to your plan was a good one. It would have been so easy to slip or even give in. I know about stress. Over three and a half years ago my wonderful husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. There's treatments but no cure and it is ultimately terminal. My world changed forever that day. They told us four and a half years is the usual survival time, but he is strong and still fighting hard. Tomorrow we celebrate 46 years together and I'm still praying we get to celebrate our 50th. I could have given into the stress and eaten my way back to 328 lbs. but I realized that wouldn't help anything or anybody. I needed to stay slim and strong to help take care of him when that day comes, the way he had taken care of me all those years when I was morbidly obese. God speed our prayers for your Mom's speedy and total recovery.

  2. Ahh so Happy for you and your beautiful mom. Blessings to her and her whole family. I think your words "a plan I can live with for the rest of my life" is the most important step in your daily eating. Again, cheers to your mom!! LN

  3. Sean I am so happy to hear your mom is doing well. Said prayers for her yesterday. Still gonna say them for her.

  4. That's wonderful Sean! It doesn't matter how old we are we still need our Moms. I'll continue to pray for strength for you and continued healing and recovery for your Mom.

  5. Sean, I am so sorry your mom has gone through so much, but grateful she is better. I don't know her but thru the years of following your blog, I have truly grown to love her. Life is so fragile...just keep cherishing every minute with her. I will both of you in my prayers.

  6. Sean is strong, and Mom is very blessed to have him in her life as well...

    I'm so happy to hear the good news that your mom is able to breath on her own now. Still praying for a full and speedy recovery.

    Keep on taking good care of yourself... your mom needs you....

  7. So happy to here the good news with your mom and wishing her a speedy recovery!

  8. So happy to hear about your commitment and all the improvement your mom is experiencing! Continuing prayer coming from me.

  9. Your mom must be so proud of you! You did outstandingly well! There's no one in our lives like our Mom. So happy to hear she's on the mend.


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