Saturday, November 30, 2019

November 30th, 2019 Where Did He Go?

November 30th, 2019 Where Did He Go?

Since our last edition, I've maintained the integrity of my food plan boundaries, I've remained refined sugar-free, I've met or exceeded my daily water goal, I've enjoyed some good walks, and I've stayed well connected with exceptional support.

The past couple of days have been filled with many moments where a pause for acknowledging blessings and expressing gratitude for them was intentional. It had to be at times because it's a little more challenging when not everything goes as planned. We had family members who had to cancel their trip, some who were not feeling well, some who had to leave our gathering early, and we forgot to bring coffee to our gathering--and come on, post-dinner coffee is an Anderson family tradition!! The coffee "situation" did lead to a precious moment with my grandson Noah--more on that in a few minutes. But seriously...

Mom wasn't doing well. Honestly, had we realized just how much she was struggling, we probably wouldn't have picked her up for this gathering. Her Co2 levels were obviously up, if not for the oxygen supply we had, it would have been much worse---so she was generally in a fog, very unstable, not able to think straight or engage in her normal ways. Noah even noticed. saying, "Grandma, are you okay?" Mom didn't feel like eating either--maybe two bites the entire dinner and no dessert; her condition barely kept her awake. Between the restroom trips and transporting to and from, getting in and out of the car, she had more than a few "almost fall" moments. When I safely returned her to the nursing home, her nurse met us in the hall--spending fifteen minutes explaining what was happening and why--and she took time to thoroughly explain their plan of action for treating this situation before it sends her back for another hospital stay. Honestly, I wasn't sure if mom could make it through the night without a hospital trip, considering everything. But her nurses there are really good and very attentive to mom. By Friday afternoon, mom was doing some better. Not 100% by any stretch of the imagination, but noticeably better. Her lead nurse did inform me that "she won't be getting out again for a while until we can get her better and stronger."

Okay, the coffee thing... It wasn't too long after dinner when we realized we had forgotten the coffee. I checked on Starbucks and the info that popped up suggested they were open. Because the after-dinner visiting over coffee is a thing for us, Noah and I teamed up to save the day! We took coffee orders and made our way to the Batmobile--I mean, my car. Starbucks wasn't open after all. We sat for a couple minutes contemplating our next move. We could run to my place and grab coffee--or...wait a second, McDonald's! The Golden Arches has coffee--and it was just up the street---and they were open! Never mind it took a full twenty-minutes to get four large cups of coffee-- they were one of the few places open and totally slammed with customers--it happens. The real moment came as I was politely asking the McDonald's employee at the window about the cream they use for the coffee.

Me: "The cream for the coffee, is that half and half?" "Uh, I don't know--it's just creamer." Me: "Is it liquid or powder?" "Liquid. It looks like milk." Me: "Is it a sweetened type of creamer?" "I don't think so." Me: "I'm sorry, I know you're busy, but could you please ask your manager if the creamer is pure half and half? I need to make sure it doesn't contain sugar or any kind of sweetener."

The McDonald's employee asked someone and came back with a confirmed answer, "sir, it's just half and half, no sugar."  Here's where the moment with Noah happened...

First of all, some context-- Noah doesn't remember me at my heaviest. He doesn't know me in any other way than I am right now. As far as I knew, he was totally oblivious to all of this transformation and recovery business. He's six years old, I mean really, we don't discuss it at all. But he notices, yes, oh yes, he notices---and I discovered this when he said: "You can't have sugar PoPo or you'll get fat again." Whoa. Wow. "That's right buddy, PoPo doesn't eat the sugar so I can stay healthy. I didn't know you knew about that." "I've seen the pictures of you fat. People are probably like, hey--where did he go?" I just paused in that moment and said, "I love you, buddy." "I love you too, PoPo."

Where did he go? Powerful words from a six-year-old. I immediately felt a rush of emotion at that moment. I held back a few tears as we waited for the coffee. I was pausing for gratitude in a strong way. I'm still here. By the grace of God, I'm still here.

When we finally made it back to the lodge, Courtney, Lucas, and two of my grandchildren had left the gathering early. Courtney and the kids were all exhausted--Courtney after working all day--and Lucas, after being up all day ahead of his 11pm work time. It was understandable, completely, but still disappointing--we hadn't taken pictures. I had tried to get some of Phoebe but she refused, turning her head away at every attempt. This circumstance coupled with the constantly running preoccupation with mom's condition made things challenging. But still, we'd be blind if we didn't or couldn't pause for the enormous blessings in the room. They were right in front of us, literally...

Uncle Sig survived a massive heart attack and emergency open-heart surgery earlier this year. There he was, with us--and with a measure of calm, I don't remember seeing from him before. To have him with us, considering what he went through--was/is a miracle.

Lunch yesterday with Amber and Raegan, dinner last night with Uncle Sig, Aunt Jean (mom's sister), Amber, KL, and Raegan, and more visiting--my goodness, it's been a fantastic couple of days. This beautiful holiday weekend continues today with a trip to my hometown to take in the bedlam football game between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. KL (my son in law) and I will have an amazing experience at the game, I'm sure. KL has never attended an OSU/OU game--and for me, I haven't since I was eleven or twelve--back when my best friend and I would ride our bikes to the stadium and sneak in at halftime. I'm planning some time with Courtney tomorrow evening, too--perhaps getting a little more time with Phoebe and Oliver, too.

The food? It was great. I honored the boundaries of my food plan and that too, in and of itself is a miracle and a big source of gratitude for me.

Mom is getting plenty of visiting time with her sister, brother in law, and a cousin that'll be stopping by for a visit with her this afternoon.

My morning foundational routine is complete. My houseguests are up and in the next room--and I'm about to prepare a wonderful breakfast for us all.

My food plan today will require some preparations and diligence. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to take care of what I need today.

I'm still here and I'm immensely blessed and overflowing with gratitude. 

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  1. Sean, thank you for sharing. I am sorry to hear your mom is not doing well. I used to chat with her before she went into nursing home. She is a very nice lady. I have fought with my weight all my life. I loss 110 lbs. Then gained it back. I loss 140 lbs. gained it back always more with it. I really like the way you tell what you have each day to eat. Bless you. BA

  2. My 5-year old grandson (also Noah) and 10-year old granddaughter (Amber!) stayed with us last night and today (there’s no school). We were looking at pictures on my computer from Grandparents’ Day at Noah’s school last week and all of a sudden a picture of me popped up from 10 or 11 years ago. I told Noah that was me and he very diplomatically stated, “You were kinda chubby.” I gave him a big hug and told him how sweet he is. He has no memory of me at 328 lbs. and I want to keep it that way. Grandkids are great!


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