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*sigh* My mother's health...

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  • *sigh* My mother's health...

    Can I vent?
    My mother is very unhealthy and going downhill, but thinks she's just aging. She has been having leg pains and saw a doctor about the pains. Apparently, she hurt herself at work lifting 4 gallons of antifreeze. She said the doctor was discussing the option of a hip replacement, though my stepdad thinks the doc was just relating a story about another patient. She also has MS and pays over $600 a month for medications in copays. She's also obese. I WANT to tell her that there are people her age who can run laps around me, that she could probably find a way to take less medication and be happier for it, that she has a duty to her grandchildren to stay healthy (she used this one on my grandmother when i was younger), that she could easily lose weight (which would help her energy levels), and that she could do all of that without buying "health" food or even going organic. But, she's stubborn and doesn't want to hear a word. She has always assumed that I think I'm better than she, and my input (about anything) has never been welcome, so I know that I can't say anything about it. She's only 50! I know MS affects energy levels, but that doesn't mean she can't eat well. Thanks for listening.
    my primal journal:

  • #2
    That must be so hard. 50 is WAY to young to be writing anything off as aging. I'll be 50 in just over 3 years....way too early to start throwing in the towel.

    I have no words of wisdom. It's almost impossible to change other people who aren't open to it. With the unnecessary pain your mom is in, that just sucks!

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


    • #3
      This is always hard. You're never going to convince someone of something they don't want to hear. How does your stepdad feel about things? Perhaps if he's willing to make a change, she would eventually get on board? Sounds like she will either figure it out on her own, or she won't. Not much you can do. *Hugs*


      • #4
        I hear ya. My ma is pretty sick too. Diabetes, several heart attacks, a stroke in her 30s, open heart surgery (quintuple bypass), pain disorder, neuropathy, emphysema, asthma, arthritis. She's 52 but her body is way older. She takes scores of pills every day. She tries to make some healthful changes, but she won't give up sugar and she thinks that the sacrifices I make (no bad carbs) are over the top and a little silly. I try to encourage her when she does make changes, like recently losing some weight. I wish she was healthier because I want her to be around for my kids' weddings, but in the end she's an adult and has to make her own choices. I myself wouldn't take to kindly to *her* trying to tell *me* how to eat or exercise, and I try to keep that in mind.
        junebu8's journ@l


        • #5
          I'm sooo sorry, saoirse.
          I understand. My mother has the same thyroid issues I do, but the doc won't change her levels except by bloodwork (he goes by the old ranges), so she has ALL those symptoms. She doesn't eat well (by any definition.) Her mother died at 72 and my mother is doing her damnedest to follow in her footsteps, it seems like. She says "Oh, I drink Kool- aid and not Cokes, so that's better. I eat pasta and not vienna sausages, that's better." I keep trying to convince her that Primal would do wonders for her (she's already had to have a herniated disc removed, she's not obese but carries an extra 20-30 lb, she doesn't heal quickly, Major suicidal depression- the variant I had before getting my thyroid taken care of and eating right, yadayada), but she hears "no grains, more veggies" and shuts down.
          Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
          My Latest Journal


          • #6
            Thanks for the empathy guys. Unfortunately, my mom is so defensive about everything i do, that she doesn't even know what I eat or what i think is healthy. she probably thinks i eat tofu dogs and canola oil. if she would even listen to me, she would find that our diets have more in common than she thinks, i've just cut out the crap and eat fresh vegetables, food, ya know?
            my primal journal:


            • #7
              Your mother may be 'conditioned' to ascribe everything to 'aging' by her doctors! I'm 69, and when I hit menopause, I began to have severe symptoms of hypothyroid (I think I was hypo even earlier). Everything I mentioned to my primary, he attributed to 'aging,' and he suggested that I just needed to adjust to fatigue, etc. as 'normal' for my age.

              Fortunately, I took control of my health care, saw an endo, and was appropriately medicated. At 69, my thyroid hormones are the only Rx I take, and my BP, glucose, cholesterol, etc. are all optimum. I eat primally and exercise regularly--and now weigh less than I did in high school.

              I've found that most doctors believe that people won't make lifestyle changes, so they don't suggest them and just 'comfort' patients by telling them that they're 'fine.' And, of course, people like your mother have been conditioned to listen to their doctors rather than their children when it comes to health issues.


              • #8
                Oh man I totally relate! My mother is not even 50 but after a lifetime of vegetarianism and a grain-based diet she has a ton of health problems, including arthritis and frequent cancer scares. Now that she's seen the changes in me due to Primal she even *acknowledges* that eating meat or fish would be healthy, but she still just refuses to do it! She's also been putting on weight and knows that it's because she eats so many fried snacks throughout the day rather than actual meals with real food, but she and my dad are fad dieters, right now they think that pooping 3x/day is the key to losing weight. I suppose there's also some question of whether she's approaching menopause and putting on weight at her age is just normal, but I keep telling her that she'd be able to influence her hormonal fluctuations through diet.
                It's so frustrating to see people close to you do such unhealthy and misleading things rather than actually taking control of their lifestyle.
                Last edited by spakesneaker; 11-12-2010, 11:32 AM.


                • #9
                  This whole country is killing itself....with a fork.

                  I go to a physical therapy clinic twice a week. I look around, and everyone is SO unhealthy....gray and swollen and carb-faced and huge.

                  I feel for you, Saoirse, I really do. My mom had diabetes and was eating herself to death before the emphysema from years of smoking got to her at 61. So I understand the frustration and the helplessness.
                  "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                  • #10
                    I totally sympathize- sometimes I feel like my mom is TRYING to be as unhealthy as possible. For instance, breakfast every morning consists of pancakes smothered, and I mean smothered with margarine and syrup, along side a tall glass of milk with 2 or 3 heaping spoons of Nesquick. She frets about her weight, has thyroid problems and probably only gets about 5 hours of sleep a night. I worry so much about her. I too understand all the frustrations here Ladies.
                    "It may be normal darling, but I'd rather be natural." -Holly Golightly


                    • #11
                      same thing here, with both my ILs and my parents. i find that it makes me *very* angry.

                      here is the run-down:

                      Father: Obese and diabetic for 10 years. Most recent insanities: two years ago, walking on two broken feet (27 breaks in one, 17 in the other) for 6 months before getting help; and i forced the issue on it. two months ago, nearly lost a toe due to infection. it got black and red streaks up the legs. mom forced him to go get help when she discovered that the "horrible smell" that she couldn't get otu of the house and car was, in fact, my dad's foot.

                      Mother: Overweight; emotional eater. She actually is a fit person rather trapped in an overweight body right now. I grew up with a woman who was into body building in the late 70s/early 80s. well ahead of the curve. i grew up eating chicken breast, vegetables, and brown rice ("health food" of the day). when we went to university, she was upset, and ate her way to overweight. had some cysts in her breasts form around that time. Got into shape via weight watchers and walking and what not. Then, about 3-4 years ago, lots of stress, and she's back up again. Now going to the gym with a trainer and eating the South Beach Diet.

                      Sister: emotional eater, hashimotos which she says is why she is obese (i don't actually believe this, because the doctors say she has no indications of it), vitamin D deficient (yes, truly!), and also obese. Got Gestational Diabetes, managed with insulin, and is--so far, still on insulin. She has been on a diabetic's diet for the last three months (baby born 12 nov), and she is now on the south beach diet as well.

                      Mother-in-Law: all over the map, no clue, try not to think about it. Overweight, criticizes everoyne else for being fat all the time (including my husband and i; his pants size is 28W/30L; i am US size 4). thinks she eats healthy, but i can't explain it to be honest. lots and lots of processed foods.

                      Father-in-Law: the most confusing. he's actually in 'good shape' overall. He's a healthy weight and very fit. problem is, he is *very tight*. he doesn't stretch, and if you try to give him a massage, there is so much tension that it tickles him. That's wound tight, folks! But, he has a heart condition (which seems to be psychological in origin--panic attack style) for which he takes medication. He also is alway scoming up with joint ailments of various kinds. he's a total "weekend warrior"--doing too much to fast, and without enough consistency, so he injures himself and has to take a break for a number of weeks/months. Eats a seriously "self controlled" diet as follows: 1 cup cereal for breakfast with 1/4 cup skim milk plus 3 oz orange juice (frozen/canned); snack--two cookies plus 6 oz black coffee; lunch--1/2 turkey sandwich plus a small hand full of pretzels and perhaps a small apple; dinner-- whatever MIL makes, which is usually starch heavy (MIL does not like veggies, she likes starch. so she'll serve corn, lime beans, green beans as opposed to salad, broccoli, spinach), plus a piece of meat, and always a dessert of two scoops of some kind of HFCS laden ice cream. No snacking, nothing to eat after 7:00 (or he gets nightmares--which links to the psychological/heart thing above). Otherwise, he's active as a worker--loves to build, paint, and such, so he's often doing laborious sort of work throughout his days, so long as he isn't injured from some stupid sporting injury.

                      We have continually recommended:

                      Primal-ish diet (DH's diet before was close-to primal, with occasional bread--after workouts--and sweets--special occasions);
                      Regular exercise that is play-based, fun, and mixed up/random;
                      Yoga or other stretching to develop flexibility;
                      regular massage (at least every 6 weeks, though if you can go every week it's even better!);
                      lots of sleep (we sleep about 8-9 hours);

                      yeah, no dice on any of it. seriously, we have zero impact. LOL


                      • #12
                        It is hard to change somones mind when it comes to food choices. My suggestion here would be to print out some of the before and after pictures and success stories and see if this has any impact on your relatives. I think sometimes the people closest to us can't see the differences in us.

                        I am having a hard time getting my partner to understand why I eat this way even though she has seen me lose over 2 stone in weight, my mood improve, skin improve etc. Oh and I am pre-diabetic and my doctor advises this WOE too.


                        • #13
                          Part of it is that i've always been rather sprightly (so had my mom until she had baby #3, and she never really lost that weight, now she has a BMI of around 30) and i'm at my biggest now (5'4" and 130lbs after 3 babies). I came here out of curiosity, though i'm sure i'll lose weight once i'm serious about going low-carb and adding more activity. so there really aren't "results" for me- no health problems that needed to clear up, and no weight that i've lost (well, i actually have lost 7ish lbs since July, but who knows if that's just postpartum/breastfeeding or PB).

                          as far as showing her before/after pics, she would probably just get really mad at me. it would come off as 'advice'. i haven't proselytized to her in the least, she just gets defensive if i mention anything about what I'M doing and claims that i'm constantly 'competing' with her. she has thought this way since i was a teenager, about anything that i do that's different than she would do (obviously this is more than about just food, as most things are).
                          my primal journal:


                          • #14
                            Just wanted to express my sympathy to everybody who has parents/relatives they're worried about... especially the ones who seem resigned to continuing on their path! I'd wish you luck, but it all sounds so pessimistic.
                            "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."


                            • #15
                              woohoo! i posted an article on my facebook acct about wheat and arthritis, and she mentioned to me today that she's thinking of cutting out wheat!!!
                              my primal journal: