Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Apr 29

Continuing to wait

I am continually amazed by how my husband and I handle a crisis.  Like clockwork and without fail, whenever I’m ill he is well enough to care for me.  When he has fallen ill, it’s generally around the time I begin feeling better from whatever has been ailing me.  The only time I can think of when this didn’t happen was when I had surgery to remove a lump on my breast and the very next day Craig stepped into one of the holes he’d been digging for a fence.  I had to drive him to the emergency room where we waited to see if he’d broken his foot.  Thank goodness he didn’t, but let me tell you – becoming a caretaker less than 24 hours after surgery is the WORST.  Overall though, we seem to resemble a pendulum.  One moment it swings in my favor and the next moment it swings in his.  Truthfully though, we’re starting to think we’re a bit of a joke around here.  You know how people are always saying that because people are living longer and are overall healthier that Forty is the new Thirty?  Fifty is the new Forty?  Well, since when did Forty-three turn into the new Seventy-five?  Aren’t we just a little young to be dealing with constant health issues?  I mean, come ON!! 

It’s Monday and Craig is on his second week off from work.  He hasn’t had anything solid to eat in 6 days straight.  If he did, you could set his watch to the moment when he’d start becoming violently ill.  Six hours in, and it’s not pretty.  Tomorrow he has a series of tests that will hopefully determine if it’s a hernia, his gallbladder or something else.  We just hope for some kind of answer, so fingers crossed.

In the meantime I’ve been getting creative on how to handle the diet of a man who resembles that of an eighties supermodel:  a tic-tac for lunch, clear chicken broth for dinner and an eyelash for dessert. 

Seriously, I’ve been shoving up my arm sleeves and digging into some concoctions that will provide protein, vitamins and sustenance until these attacks subside.  We started out with smoothies which contained everything but the kitchen sink: fat free ice cream, agave, fat free yogurt, organic frozen berries, spinach leaves, and a banana.  Not enough protein however, so now he’s getting scoops of the powdery stuff added to his ‘meals’ which does help keep him fuller for longer periods of time. 

So, how am I dealing with all of this?  Not as well as I’d like.  We are used to eating together, and now that he’s home my entire schedule is out of whack.  He needs to have something every couple of hours which makes me want to eat every couple of hours with him. I don’t need to eat that often.  But I’ve been doing it.  Mistake number one. Mistake number two comes from the stress of the unknown which has always been my nemesis and creates the perfect storm for binge eating.  I haven’t done that in many, many months but the longer we go without answers and a plan of action, I seem to be feeling more like a loose cannon.  I just don’t deal well when people I love are in pain.  Me – I can handle.  I’ve spent half of my life in pain, but the moment a crisis like this happens my mind immediately goes to the proverbial medicine cabinet where I look for band-aids in the form of comfort foods.  The worst part of all this?  Craig is the one who has every right to be thinking about food, not I.  I feel guilty and a bit ashamed of myself for this.  Keeping our eyes on the prize, though.  This week we’ll have the knowledge we need to move forward.  I’m going to see to it that we do. 

On to some lighter news: I took photos of the house finch nest that’s camouflaged in our wreath just to the left of our front door.  See if you can spot it: 



..and I finally captured the proud papa sitting on our weeping cherry tree:



He sits there and sings his heart out.  I just wish he would have let me take this photo this morning because our cherry tree is in FULL bloom now.  It would have made a spectacular photo, him surrounded by white blossoms. 

Hope you’re all having a good Monday. 


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  1. NewMe says:

    Hi Ellen,

    I really feel for you. This is an incredibly stressful situation for both of you. I hope Craig gets some answers SOON.

    I’m curious, why the fat-free foods for him? Is he having trouble digesting fat? Otherwise, it would seem to me that he’d need some fat to keep up his strength.

    Thinking good thoughts for you and Craig.

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you for the warm and kind thoughts – hugs to you for that!
      If it is his gallbladder, anything fatty could trigger an attack. We’re not taking any chances just in case. Hopefully answers tomorrow! I can deal with most anything if I know what it is I’m facing.

  2. Vickie says:

    Write with updates as you can. I realize having anything new to report will be relief. Not knowing is terrible.

    We went thru a bit of this with my husband -only 24 hours- then it just went away. The consensus was bowel got hung up on mesh from hernia surgery and then worked its way loose.

    We have to take down wreath by front door during nesting. Too many people come to that door, nesting birds attack.

    My mother had a duck that like to nest next to her front door (in planting) and REALLY attacked. She now puts down aluminum foil so the momma duck does not go back to this favored spot.

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you Vickie. I now know why you asked about the mesh for the hernia; sorry your husband has hiccups from that surgery. Things going smoothly doesn’t always occur, do they?
      Funny stories on the nesting wildlife. This has been an interesting year for babies in the yard. Bunnies have just left our dog pen and BOY, am I glad. I was getting tired of being the ‘Guardian of the Hole’ every time I let the dogs out!

  3. Sharon says:

    Wow, can’t believe this sage is still not resolved. Many thoughts and prayers for both of you. Please let us know.

    • Ellen says:

      Thanks, Sharon. Things are starting to continue to get stranger here. After all the tests yesterday, nothing was found. Now, Craig is trying to encourage an ‘attack’ and cannot bring one on. Ugh!! Trying to coincide an episode while at the doctor’s office is like trying to call a Unicorn into your yard.

  4. Roxie says:

    Oh, you poor dears. I’m sure you are getting all sorts of “same thing happened to my nephew’s counsin’s babysitter” stories, but I do know of something very much like this that happened to a friend of mine and NOTHING would show up on the tests. Turned out to be a gangrenous gall-bladder. I hope the docs are able to diagnose Craig’s problem and get him back in tip top shape.

    As to the food swan dive, I’m on the high board over here.

    • Ellen says:

      Well, if you find a way to back down those steps without instead of taking that plunge, let me know. I’ve got my feet teetering on the edge over here with a pastry shop down the street trying to sweet-talk me off.
      My biggest fear is that they WON’T find something. We just can’t keep going on this current route, so here’s to answers today!

  5. Tim and I are the same…we tend not to get sick/have issues at the same time, and that is a blessing. But I know how hard it is to wait without knowing…the stress that comes with worrying about someone we love. I also think that for couples like us (married, no kids) there’s an extra…intensity? Hang in there…hoping for the very best!

    • Ellen says:

      Many thanks, Karen. I keep hoping that I’ll have something to report but the fact is, this is still a mystery. You’re right about those of us who rely on each other minus kids. There is an intensity to it. I don’t deal well with this kind of stress. Hoping for some kind of resolution soon!

  6. didi says:

    Guess you’ll have to paint the blossoms in yourself. :)

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