Happy New Year

Well…..here we go. A year of making myself a priority. I am nervous–scared I won’t be able to do it. 

Taking care of others? No problem. I have been a caregiver for a good chunk of my life–either as a mom or as a wife or as a full-blown caregiver. 

But taking care of me? I don’t know exactly how to do that. Though I don’t often make resolutions, I am this year: treat myself as if I matter. Because I do. And maybe if I tell myself that enough, I will believe it. 

Happy 2017! 


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A long hiatus

Wow. More than three years since I posted here. And so much has changed. 
My husband is now in a nursing home and has been for nearly two years and is suffering with the last stages of Alzheimer’s and it is so painful as his wife to watch him suffer so. 
I tried so hard to create a healthy diet for him while he was still at home, though I know that I could have done better. It was just so overwhelming. And now that I am on my own, I am not taking care of me well at all. 
And that’s why I’m here and doing the lame ‘New Year’s resolution’ crap and I figured if I documented it here, I might have a chance in hell of actually sticking to it. 
Caring for my husband has really taken its toll on me. I feel the stress of everything required of me intensely. It makes my chest tight, my breathing fast, heart rate fast. I have gained a lot of weight–both from the antidepressant and antianxiety meds I have to take now as well as from eating the wrong foods. I am exhausted all of the time. My blood pressure is creeping up. While the antidepressant works, it doesn’t take it all away and I have so much trouble functioning. 
I go up and visit him nearly every day and I leave the nursing home in tears almost every day. 
I don’t like living like this. 
And so I am here and hoping that blogging for the next year will be what keeps me sane….and healthy. 
Here’s to 2017.

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Things came up with the budget and I’m trying to survive till the next payday–so the diet hasn’t been the healthiest. I am trying to come up with a plan to make the best of what budget I do have and not worry about what I don’t. It’s much easier said than done 😉 but I am working on it. Thankfully, the budget seems to be recovering from some unexpected expenses and I am now employed (in my degree field, even!) part-time, so that should take some of the pressure off. I am reading lots right now to hopefully create the best diet I can afford for Quinten–as well as the rest of us.

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I’m back! I’ve graduated and am now looking for employment. I’m also trying to get beyond just surviving with our diet and am motivated to find a way to feed my large family a healthy diet on a fixed income. My next shopping trip will be on the 19th so between now and then, I will be trying to plan a healthy menu that I can afford.

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Feeling a little crazy

So….it’s been a while since I’ve posted. The last couple of months have been stressful and I am barely holding it together. So instead of a post talking about how I am incorporating healthy food in an effort to help Q, I am going to talk about me.

Last summer, I had terrible allergies and my panic attacks while driving came back with a vengeance. Given the fact that I am the primary driver now (Q has been unable to drive for 3 years now) and given the fact that we live at least 20 miles away from civilization, panic attacks while driving are a big hairy deal. It’s not like I can stop driving anywhere–even though I have reduced my driving quite a bit as a result.

Last Wednesday I was driving to town to get Q from adult care when the panic attacks hit. I had to pull over twice to calm myself down. I had absolutely no way to NOT go get him. And it made me cry. I wish I didn’t have to deal with these like I do. The one time I tried to take something for it (antianxiety), I nearly drove myself and my kids off the road after just one pill. When I called to ask wtf, I was nonchalantly told that suicidal thoughts are a common side effect. So I have been dealing with this–unmedicated–for more than a decade.

But now that I am CAREGIVER, I do not have the luxury (haha. like this is luxury in any way) to just deal with it. So, I’ve been searching for ways to deal with this naturally.

I have often felt that all of my allergy symptoms, the eczema, and the panic attacks are all related. I just didn’t know how.

Imagine my surprise when I found something that described so many of my symptoms–and provided a solution!

My symptoms right now include:

  • fatigue. this is nothing new but it does seem worse.
  • eczema. My eczema is getting so bad. The patches on my hands are so bad that it sometimes feels like my hands are tingly like they are falling asleep. I often wake up rubbing my hands together because they itch so much. Nothing is working to heal them.
  • hives. these are new.
  • my face gets numb around my lips and nose. I get this feeling when dusting (my hands get numb too) but I’m getting this feeling a lot now.
  • I think I’m now allergic to my fabric softener. I get the numb feeling around my lips and nose.
  • migraines are back. I had those under control for the most part for quite a while
  • panic/anxiety

So what is this cure I may have found? A low histamine diet. All of my symptoms are covered in this. Stress also makes histamine. Great. Like I can control the amount of stress in my life.

So….tomorrow I start this diet. I know it sounds a little crazy but I am desperate.

Here are some websites I found:

So…we’ll see how this diet goes and if it helps any. I am thankful coffee is on the approved list.

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I have been MIA. Between the craziness of the Christmas season and being sick for most of the month of December, I just didn’t post here. Hopefully now that we are back to school and attempting a normal schedule, I’ll be able to post more frequently. No promises though. 🙂 I just started my final two classes–one of which is a massive capstone project–and I may not have as much time as I’d like.

To Do list for January:

  • Finish posting the pictures of the Alzheimer’s Advent calendar. The books turned out nicely and my big tough 20 yo made sure he took it with him when he left for a job several states away.
  • Get the sugar back out of the house.
  • Make another menu plan–and stick with it!

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Alzheimer’s Advent Calendar: Days 5 through 8

I am a bit behind in posting these. By about day 5, I was streamlining the process for Quinten. He is having so much trouble with these but there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that he wants to do this for the kids. He is often frustrated (and doing a unique card for each kid was simply too much for him) but he is able to do at least 2 per day. We are up to day 18 (pics will be posted soon) so by Tuesday, we should have the rest of them completed and we can focus on letting him hand them out each night.

Day 5

Day 5. Chapstick and a small chocolate. Note from Dad: “I am thankful that you…”

Day 6

The lighting in my room sucks much of the time so the pictures sometimes turn out crappy. Day 6. Note from Dad: “You are smart.”

Day 7

Day 7. Hot chocolate packets and the note from Dad which says, “I am so thankful that I am your dad. Love, Dad”

Day 8

Day 8. Organic honey hard candies and the note from Dad. “You are handsome/beautiful.”

By now, you may be questioning/judging the amount of sugar in these packets–especially from someone who purports to be changing our diets to combat early onset Alzheimer’s. Again, it’s about balance. I have successfully, except for these presents, gotten rid of most of the sugar in our diet (the little bit that we do get mostly comes from the sugar in semi-sweet chocolate chips). And this whole idea is a way to give my kids something special this Christmas season. No matter how you spin it, their daddy has a terminal disease and is getting worse every day. They are dealing with so much right now and handing them baggies of carrot sticks just doesn’t send the message I want to send right now.


We can go back to our sugar-free lives in 2 weeks.

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