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I'd like to have some input into a problem I've come across two many times in my role as a care giver.
My husband has postpoliosyndrome along with COPD. He's not suppossed to eat anything solid. When he does this things go along quite smoothly his breathing is fairly good, but when he decides he's having somrthing that's not on his diet, like cake or squarees or just plain old chicken dinner not pureed he gets sick and has major problems with his breathing. making my job harder.
Guess what he's been doing the past several days eating things he's not supossd to have.
Ask me if I'm upset.
I just don't know what to do. I've tried so hard to get him to see he shouldn't bee doing this but does he listen???? not always, then he gets into trouble and says I should not have done that.
We do this roundabout thing fairly often and I feel so (manythings) angry, frustrated, helpless.
I'd really like some suggestions cause I'm not feeling on top of things right at this moment.
If I sound rude I appolize but i'm just so tired we go through this when is he going to get the message he can't eeat solid food.
Please any helpful hints would be very much appreciated.
Gloria.
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{{{{{Sunshine}}}}

I am praying that Nina aka AtoDisciple reads this post because she has gone through this with her hubby as well...

I read your post under taking time for yourself where you expressed that you were letting go of the need to control what and how your hubby eats.

It is very difficult to do this when you love someone soooo much and you have been together for sooooo long...but just reading what you have written makes me wonder why you still let it get to you. The only person we can control is ourselves. We can only change ourselves. We can love another. It doesn't mean we like all the things they do. You are feeling so responsible for him, and you are not well yourself. Where do you set your boundaries? What would happen if he continued eating the way he does?

My suggestion is that you really sit down and communicate with him from a loving space, explaining what goes on for you when he does these things. Explain how you feel overly responsible for him and ask him how you should handle things should he continue eating this way. Point blank see if you can set a boundary and say, when you have trouble breathing I am no longer going to rush to your side to assist you. I will call an ambulance or whatever, but I cannot continue living in this fashion. See if he can tell you what he wants to have done in these situations.

Let's face it Sunshine, we all go through self destructive phases in our lives doing things that are detrimental to our well being. He is probably frustrated. Many a time, we desire the things we can't have like little children and we crave it even more. It is a known fact that your burn a lot of energy with lung issues...craving sugars etc can satiate him, giving him a quick fix.. there are so many dynamics that can be explored with this one...

I think the issue must be resolved from within yourself to let him have what he needs but not bail him out as you have continuously done. You both have to decide on an alternative means for when the problems with his breathing kick in from the results of the choices he makes. You can no longer be responsible for the reactions.

Hopefully by really communicating all the mixed feelings and letting him know you don't want to keep yelling at him, losing it, and parenting him...that he is going to have to participate in the discussion...but keep your voice calm and loving as you discuss it so you don't push his buttons. You want to resolve it..not intensify it..

You never know what can happen unless you go for it...keep us posted..

The other thought that comes to mind... is many a time a caregiver wants to control the food the loved one wants to keep them alive longer. I am not sure how critical your hubby is...but if this is an issue.. sometimes it is best left for them to enjoy what they can even tho there are consequences...however, the difference would be that he takes responsiblity for it when he needs help...

I hope I haven't rambled on too much...and I hope this helps you somewhat....

richest blessings
Gail
Sunshine:
I do sooo sympathize with you. The ongoing feelings of frustration and battles against feeling guilty over not stopping them can really wear one out. Sometimes I even realize that if (or when) this shortens his lifespan, I am going to feel bad that I was not stricter and/or did not stop him instead of taking an easier way. However, truth is, I cannot stop him without keeping him constantly unhappy and resentful. And resentment itself can shorten the lifespan of the person who carries it in their heart.
I finally came to the conclusion that I would not consider myself responsible as long as I was doing my best to encourage him to stay within medical guidelines that will keep him alive and feeling well. I am not responsible to make him, only to encourage him. I still watch to see if his ankle is swelling or if he is gaining weight. I asked him what his blood sugars levels are. I try not to have the wrong things in the house. But if he asks me to go get something, I do. When I cook I put just enough salt in his food to keep him from complaining. In other words, when he chooses a course of action, I consider it his choice and accept it. Sometimes I feel very sad abut it but both our lives are easier and happier this way.
I am so blessed that my husband's eating does not cause an immediate reaction as your husband's does. Still, I know that he is hastening the time when he will need dialysis or will have a stroke or heart attack. It has taken me two years to come to terms with this. I still forget sometimes and start telling him what I think.
Especially, right after a night when he has angina or has to sit up to breathe.
The first few times I did not fight his decisions, I warned him of what I was doing.
A few nights ago he remarked that there was nothing he could do to get better. I was very upset but did manage to hold my tongue except to tell him that "That is just not true." In the past I would have spent twenty minutes telling him all the reasons it was not true. As I said, this has been a gradual change. I do not say it would be right for you because every situation is different. Also, I am not a professional, but am merely speaking out of my own experience. I remind my husband that we are partners and I need to have him stay as healthy as possible. I try to remember that hugs are one of the best medicines. And I depend on the Spirit that Jesus sent to live in our hearts to comfort us. I pray that he will comfort you during this time of strain.
Nina
Thank you, Ato isciple & GRM4LOVE for your kind, helpful words. You ar right.
Today looks much brighter and yes it's my attitude and how I rspond to him that makes th differenc. I have the potentical to let go and leave it and then I find I've picked it up again and do thee worry and get angry thing. That's where I was at when I posted the message SURPRISE. DUH? HA HA
Poor Don it's got to be so very hard for him he loves to at and spically someething swt afteer his meal with his tea and how do you put say a piecee of pie through th blendeer yuck!!!!!
I just seee his breathing detoriatee gradually after he's aten something he shouldn't. You know what I'd be doing thee same thing. In essence I am caus I don't at and my weight is a conceern for him and our daughter, so insteead of nagging at him I should work on my own problem. It's lik th pot calling the kettle black isn't it.
Another thought just passed through my mind,
I wondr if unknoingly he's saying well if she don't caree enough to eat thn I don't care and I'm going to eat. I don't know just a thought.
Thank both of you so very much for taking timee to read and responding so quickly to my cry. Actually a cry of self pity, funny how thee cicle goes, for me anyway. We'reee going to see the Doctor this afternoon and he'll have a listen to his lungs and see what hee says. One thing that I don't do anymore is tell our it just makes things worse and it accomplishes nothing xcept hurt and hard feelings.
Forgiv me for rammbling on but that is one thing i'm good at is rambling. should do it on paper and maybe I'd not get so worked up with bottling it up inside.
Gail, I'm thinking about putting all my poems together and get busy at th key board and come up with book # 2 what do you think. You write got any suggestions. I know I havee moree than eenough to do this.
Any way God blss you both maybe we'll meet again in the chat room some timee soon. Thamks again
Gloria
This is for Nina and Sunshine.

{{{Nina}}} Thank you for expressing it so beautifully. I intuitively knew you would find the post and respond.

{{{Sunshine}}}} I don't see what you wrote as rambling. I think you are becoming quite clear and there is a joy that comes with it as well as an inner peace. There are many mixed emotions that reside in us when we look at issues of facing loss, control etc. Those in our lives are mirrors reflecting back to us. They show us the good and the things we don't like in ourselves as well. Yet it is always easier to see it in someone else who stands before us...

Writing is wonderful. Getting all the mixed feelings and emotions out allows us to be free and fully present in the moment. It also gives us the freedom to not carry them with us throughout the day. This would be a wonderful gift to give to yourself in terms of writing daily.

Sunshine, I do write, but still haven't accepted myself totally as a writer. Strange isn't it? My writing comes from my heart. I have a manuscript that needs editing on caregiving but it was put on the back burner while the site was being created. I have also contributed articles to caregiver magazines. My knowledge about poetry and submissions and publishing is really nil at this point. I will keep my ears open to give you any info I come across. As far as book #2, you go girl!!! If you have got it in yourself, express it.

Richest blessings
Gail
I just wanted to update this feeling topic. Feelings play an important role in our jobs as caregivers and we give off vives to our loved ones. I have to confess I don't give off the vives that I am proud of some times. the bible speaks very clearly on our attitudes and what we are to be like. I believe it's found in Philp 2:5 Let this mind that is in Christ Jesus be in us also. It's not always in me. I also believe that from the very beginning of time God knew we'd be just where we are today and that says to me He's placed us here, US NOT SOMEONE ELSE. and He has a job that no on else can do and we are to to it as unto the Lord. I'll be the first to admit that I fall very short of that. He also promised that H'd not let us go through things all by ourelf and He'd provide a way of escape 1Cor 10:13. So I guess what i'm trying to say here is yes we all get feelings that may not be right but it's what we do with those feelings it's our choice. They can make us better caregivers or they and make us bitter carecivers. one last verse and I'm not sure where it's found but the Word tells us to do everything as unto the Lord. I need to work on that one.
Good night and thanks for listening
God's riches bleessings on all of you
Gloria
Hi sunshine...

So glad to hear you are learning how to cope with, in my opinion, one of the tougher things we go through as caregivers.
I had that problem with my mother, not the eating so much, but the exercising and her lack of interest in using her pep system( a device to increase air flow in her lungs).
She started out good with it all...but in her last year lost interest in doing these things very much...and I too went through the anger, and the frustration..I nagged until finally I just realized I could not force her to do what she didn't feel like, and my moods because of it were disruptive to everything.
Once I let go of these feelings a bit I did find her more cooperative too...I guess my nagging was doing more harm than good...

Take care....
PrairieGal....
Sunshine,
Thanks for the posting. It's an issue I really needed to hear more about. I'm going through a similar situation with my husband. He went into the hospital Jan. 6 for pancreatitis - inflammation of the pancreas (which spread to his lungs), possibly caused by fatty food, alcohol or gall stones. He got well and finally went back to work Feb. 14. However, he had been told by the doctor not to drink, even non-alcohollic beer or Nyquil. It seems ridiculous to me to tempt fate with something you can do without (beer), but it's hard to change habits, especially those you enjoy. He never drank very much, maybe a beer or two once or twice a week. This is not likely the cause (the doctor sighted that my husband doesn't drink much and other info), but it still upset me when he decided to try one again. I didn't agree with his choice and told him how it made me feel.

I think now he's most frustrated about everyone tiptoeing around him about the subject. He works in a print shop and likes to go with the guys for a beer or two and some wings after work on occaision. The guys have been great in trying to support him, but in their efforts he feels the issue is all the more apparent.

My husband is young (29) and it is most likely that this was a gall stone that lodged loose prior to x-ray, but I'm still nervous. I'm not going to nag him, it's his life. In turn, he's listened to me and promises not to have very much. I guess if I had to give up chocolate I'd probably feel the same way. I just don't want to ever see him in Intensive Care again.

Again, it's great hearing good advice. I know I don't have as extreme of a situation and he did get better. It's probably a bad joke - but I just want people in my household to quit taking turns going to the hospital!

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