My Husband Has Been Scared Healthy….And Now We Are Eating Plant Based Meals Almost Exclusively

Yes, you have read that correctly. WE, as in both of us, are now eating plant based meals 80% of the time. And the best part is, it was my husbands request. I still can’t believe it but I am not going to dare question it. It’s a dream come true for this girl!

Let’s begin back about three weeks ago when we got a call that a family member was having some health issues. OK we thought, nothing we all have not been through before…right? Well, those health issues turned major very quickly and then other things happened and wow, it just all went south from there. So needless to say, we have spent way to much time in this waiting room praying with cousins, aunts, and friends the last few weeks. As of today we all continue to keep praying and hoping for the best outcome.IMG_2868

All this along with a few other things made my husband really look at the big picture. This is now two people in his family that have went through the same big surgery and one survived and is doing ok and one if fighting for his life as we speak. Seeing a loved one in this condition is heartbreaking. You feel helpless, angry, and lost all at the same time. After two visits and numerous setbacks, I could see it was hitting home with my husband. Maybe everything I have been begging to change in our diets is worth trying. Maybe I am not just over exaggerating everything I have researched and have studied to keep us as healthy and active as possible as we age. Although, I said nothing…he had enough going through his head at this time. So when I got an email a few days later from him stating he wants to try going more plant based with our meals and also, when possible, cut out dairy, I was ALL IN!!! I did, however, ask what this meant to him and he simply stated, lets try eating meat/fish/chicken only twice a week and the remaining meals he wants all plant based. I knew right then, this was my chance to run with this. He was scared once two years ago with his own father in this same hospital unit, but this time he has been scared healthy.

So, where has this lead us? Well, its only been two weeks since we have begun and I must say I am loving it all so far. However, its been a challenge at times. The first week was great. We were home and I prepared dinner every night with success and no complaints. Here is a picture of my homemade ramen noodle veggie bowls. OMG, it was fabulous and oh, so filling. It was homemade broth with Thai curry and a ton of veggies over plain ramen noodles. YUMMMM!!!!

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The second week was tougher since he was away the entire week for work and was on his own for meals. Although, I did what I always do and made him a care package of meals for the road that he can use either for his lunches or snacks when time is tight or he just gets hungry. The difference this time was his care package was all plant based meals/snacks.

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I am still experimenting with a lot of recipes and ideas and hope to start mealtime blogging once again. I am still meal prepping which I am a firm believer it saves so much time during the week for me. This week, for instance, I prepped peppers/carrots for hummus dipping, zucchini, leek, and bok choy for a veggie lo mein I am making. and fresh fruit and eggs whites for breakfast.

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Right now flying solo at home, working, and training for our upcoming hiking trip leaves me very little time to blog. I will say, I am hopeful this way of eating sticks since I hope to never have to live the pain and agony we are living right now watching our loved one fight for his life. I will do my best to start taking pictures of meal time and share them with you whenever I have a moment.

I truly believe you are what you eat and food is medicine.

 

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Let’s Chat Over Coffee….Wine….Tea…..

Let’s chat over a beverage of your choice, shall we? For me I think wine would be a good choice today. I have a bunch of random things running through my head lately that maybe getting them out may help me organize my thoughts. So here we go…

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This has been quite the year so far for our family. I, for one, feel as if summer is dragging it’s feet getting here and clearly, it’s affecting my motivation. For some reason I just cannot decide where to visit, what to do, or when to do it this coming summer. Typically I have my campsites arranged, dates chosen, and for the most part, plans made. This year however, I have NONE…..ZILCH!

Onto exercise, I have one word to explain this….FRUSTRATING! I am still so limited to what I can do, much less what I am allowed to do that it is driving me bonkers. I love walking and hiking but I feel as if it’s just not giving me the results I need. I feel so weak and that I have lost so much strength since surgery back in January that I want to start back weight lifting and doing ab work. However, my weight restriction is still limited and I am not allowed ab work for quite sometime yet. I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to things like this, so to say it seems to be taking forever, is honestly putting it mildly.

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Another item on my to do list in my own head is what to do for my husbands birthday which is right around the corner. I always struggle with this. I have an idea but to make this happen depends on one major element (Mother Nature) and that doesn’t always work so well so I feel pressured to at least have a backup plan.

Here is something that has amazed me recently. I did not talk about it much on here but for the past few years I have suffered from what my doctors have diagnosed as hypoglycemia. Well, much like many of the things I was dealing with on a daily basis, this too has seemed to disappear with my recent tumor removal. I thought at first it was because I was not exercising at all. Although, now I am exercising again and have shown no symptoms what so ever. This is a wonderful thing simply because now when I need to leave home, want to go to the gym or simply just want to go for a walk, I don’t have to look at the clock and try and remember when I last ate something and then calculate how long I have before I start having symptoms of low blood sugar. I can simply go back to eating when I am hungry instead of when I need to eat for blood sugar control. This is awesome!!!

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That’s it for me today. Ahhh, I feel a bit better getting some of that off my chest. Now if I could just get it out of my thoughts, life would be even better.

 

 

 

My Weekend + High Hopes For The Week Ahead

It’s amazing how much improvement I have seen in a week. I am still working on stamina but it has definitely gotten better. My naps are shorter and not every day, which makes me happy.Which also means, I had some fun this weekend and got out and enjoyed life a little.

Besides making a trip to the mall every day last week to walk, I finally escaped the four walls of my home for a bit of fun on Friday. My two closest friends, that have been just a phone call away through this whole ordeal, took me shopping and out to lunch Friday. It was so nice to forget about pain,recovery, and medical issues and just feel normal for awhile. We had a few hours of fun, a fabulous lunch, and met a new friend while we were out. Isn’t he cute?

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I have finally started contributing and doing what I can of the house chores again. My poor husband has had this all on him, with assistance from our son when he’s home, for weeks now. At least now I am able to do laundry with the help of my grabber. Although, the clean baskets of clothes still have to be carried by someone else, at least I am able to sort, wash, dry and fold them.

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Sitting comfortably has been a challenge since surgery but I am happy to say we are back to family dinners at the table, which for this mom, is HUGE! Sometimes the only time we have as a family to catch up is dinner time so this is always a goal to do when we are all home together.

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As for the week ahead, I have some very high hopes. I have a post op doctor appointment Monday and want to hear everything is healing nicely, I can get back to life as I knew it, I can go back to work and welcome all my kids back to our home,

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I will be able to hike miles and miles on vacation,

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and go back to my workouts that I miss so much.

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Now whether this is what I all hear tomorrow will be seen soon enough I suppose, but it does not hurt to hope, right??? I do know hiking miles is not possible since I cannot walk miles and miles yet, I sure cannot hike it then either. And workouts will be limited at best, but anything will be something in my eyes.

So with a little luck maybe I will have some great trails to share with you all when I am back next time. I will be able to get back to posting my weekly workouts which I know some of you have ask for in the past. And I can come home tomorrow and call all my daycare families whom are all waiting patiently for the ok to return to Karen’s house again.

So for now I will wish you all a great week ahead.

Until next time….

 

 

How Quickly Life Can Change

In one week my life went from healthy and happy to sitting on an exam table facing a doctor who said a bunch of words that I thought I would never hear. She started with urgent and ended with cancer…..and from that word on I heard nothing else. I went numb!!!!

I had been having issues for three years and have seen numerous different doctors regarding these issues. Each doctor basically telling me the same three things….it’s part of getting older….I can’t see anything abnormal that would cause these symptoms….or give it time it may resolve itself (which basically was like saying I was crazy). Well, I had finally had enough and made one last appointment with a new specialist and went to this appointment alone two Monday’s ago. I left there an hour later with blood work orders,c.t. scan orders, and surgery scheduled one week from that day. I drove home numb,walked in the house and fell apart.

I shared the outcome of this appointment with my husband and son,called my daycare families to schedule the next 6 weeks off, and basically switch over to auto pilot the rest of the week. When Monday morning arrived I knew life could change in a matter of a few hours but we went into this surgery with high hopes and many prayers from family and friends.

Four and a half hours later I woke up and heard my husband whisper in my ear that everything was over and it was NOT cancer and everything went wonderful. This is a moment in life I will never forget.

Three days after that I was discharged and now here I am. I have a long recovery ahead of me. Since my tumor was too large and pushing on too many organs I was not a candidate for robotic surgery. I had to have open abdominal surgery with a vertical incision through almost all of my abdominal muscles. Which means I have a lot of work to do before I can give my stand up paddle board a try this summer but I will get there. Without a doubt!

I must admit, it has not been easy. I am not one to sit around and watch others do what I have done my entire married life. Although, with the amount of pain I have, there is really no other option. My husband and son have stepped right up and have been taking over everything, friends have brought meals and visitors have been stopping in continuously. Which all makes me so grateful for what I have. I couldn’t ask for a better support group. I plan to be back on the trail by spring, paddling by summer, and working out again as soon as I get the go ahead from my doctor.

For now blogs may be far and few between but I will be back with more  outdoor adventures as soon as I am able.

 

 

 

 

A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

This week has brought many things to an end. Instead of three doctor appointments a week my husband had one and next week none:) As for physical therapy, we have decided that we can purchase and do everything at home to save a ton of time and do more often to get even more benefit for his condition. All his physicians agreed, so our big order of therapy supplies should arrive Monday. And the last test results we were waiting for finally came back mid week and they were wonderful. Which in our eyes meant we could all take a breath and relax a little. It has been a trying, emotional three weeks but I can honestly say, we do see a little light at the end of this tunnel.

Now onto much happier events…..do you remember that vacation we were suppose to be training for? It is happening in a few short weeks and our goal is to hike for four days straight with our longest hike being 8 miles. I am extremely happy to say we are still planning to go on this vacation. As for the 8 mile hike, time will tell. We have talked with all his physicians and they all say he can and should try and make it happen. Although, we have been walking at home throughout this ordeal and he is only able to make it about 2 1/2 -3 miles until he starts to feel pain and numbness. Which is when all the professionals say he needs to stop and rest. I have him convinced that he should also use hiking poles this time and to my surprise he agreed. So my old poles have been taken apart, cleaned up, and are ready for use. They still had particles of the virgin river in them from our last big hiking trip.

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As for training, this was very short lived. I have been still getting daily exercise but not nearly what I was hoping to get in preparation for this trip. You all know my husbands activity level has been lessened greatly and our son also was set back with a back issue in the past few weeks.Thankfully, I still feel I can accomplish this hike without a problem. I am hoping that we can somehow accomplish it as a family, but if not, we plan do do the best we can with what we have. Our vacation is planned for a gorgeous, amazing place and I have no doubt regardless of how far we hike, it will still be a wonderful, enjoyable time.

Speaking of hiking, recently we ventured out for a short hike after work one night. As usual, we were walking along and came across a snake crossing the trail. Now normally, when we hike we walk side by side as many people probably do. While he is looking into the sky at birds, bugs, and keeping an eye out for wildlife, I am scanning the trail for these slithery reptiles. I always seem to find them first and he can normally tell by the immediate stop and few steps backwards(and a scream) what lies ahead. Although, now, I have learned where they normally are hiding and slither out of while on the trail so we have taken a new approach to these slithery reptiles. Snakes never seem to come from the side of the trail. They are almost always laying in the middle where greenery has grown through or right out in the open sunning themselves which makes them easy to spot from a distance. It’s the greenery that has me a nervous wreck, so now I make my husband (whom is not deathly afraid of snakes, unlike me) walk a bit ahead of me right through the middle of this greenery.

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I then follow behind at a safe distance giving the snakes time to slither across to the trail edge and into the woods/grass. It does not make seeing them any more pleasant but at least the fear of them slithering over my boot into the woods/grass is not constantly in the back of mind. God forbid, a snake ever slither over my boot, I would not have the power to walk off the trail by myself. I have a strong heart and great blood pressure, but this may send me into cardiac arrest.

That’s all I have for you all this week. I miss blogging about our kayaking trips, disc golf courses we visit and all that fun stuff. Although, right now our lives are pretty limited to walking, biking, swimming and physical therapy. I try and keep him company through all of this to hopefully make it less daunting for him.

TENS Therapy while spending time together

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So even though it’s quite life consuming, we are still having fun and enjoying just being together. We are finding ways to make the most of what we have to work with at the moment.

Have a Great Weekend!

 

 

Together We Can Do Anything

I suppose it would be best to update you all on what’s been happening here with us.

If you have been following you know a few weeks ago my husband sustained a back injury and we have been waiting, wondering, and hoping for good news from the medical professionals. That wait is now over, we know what is wrong, what they wish to do to try and fix the problem, and we have also finally figured out what we want to do to fix the problem.

Without going into great detail, I will make this brief and simple. Our kayaks are hung, paddles stored, and all our kayaking equipment has been packed away for the summer and it’s not even the end of July! My husband has handed over his disc golf supplies to our son as an early birthday present since this will never be a possibility again. I will now be the person who carries the heavy pack when we hike. The weight machines at the gym will not be getting any use from him anytime soon if ever again and his primary place of exercise happens in a physical therapy room 2x’s a week for the unforeseeable future. His pain is controlled and for this we are thankful. Although, their plan of attack and our plan of attack are completely different. For now, he is very limited on what he can and cannot do. Thankfully some of the activities we do normally are very helpful for his recovery and we plan to continue all these with great hope of success. That being said, it’s a long recovery if even possible.

I have always believed that God does not give us more than we can handle. We are a very close couple and do almost everything together. Which means together I believe we can succeed at improving his condition without drastic measures that involve huge risks to his future. This is the road we have started to travel and my hope is that we eventually find the end. I know it going to be hard, long and sometimes no fun but together we can do anything. For now life must go on…..

I Vowed….In Sickness and In Health

It has been a whirlwind week here at our house and I am preparing myself for it to continue for a while longer.

About a week ago my husband woke me in the early morning hours in severe pain. Without going into great detail, we ended up with the day off and me accompanying him to a few doctors offices throughout that day. By the end of the day he had a diagnosis, treatment plan, and some medications for his pain.

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Which brings us to today. Thankfully he is finding relief with the treatment and medication. Although, since this all came about he has noticed an issue that may last a lifetime and could be debilitating for his future. Which leaves me, as his wife, wanting to do anything possible to find a way for him to live happily doing what he loves to do and for us to be able to do it together. Again, at this stage of the ailment we are still hoping it resolves itself after the initial injury is healed but we just won’t know until it happens, if it happens.

For now, I’ll be honest, I am finding it hard to keep up with life. He is on weight restriction, which leaves almost everything to me with help from our son when he is around. I have found myself stress eating, which I hate to do so much. I have found myself back at the gym a few times already just to get in a good sweat and relieve some stress. I have talked with so many medical professionals in the last week that I often wonder if I could not be a doctor myself. Training for our upcoming trip has totally fallen off the agenda of things to do. However, we have been walking, which is something he was told to do to aid in his recovery along with foam rolling, water exercise, and stretching.

Our summer plans have been adjusted as much as possible. My son and I have already talked about how we will adapt our hiking vacation to make it easier on my husband if there is no improvement before then. And we have a few more doctor visits coming up and a few more tests scheduled that will hopefully give us answers we don’t have right now.

Until all this is resolved I plan to continue blogging but posts could be more sporadic at best. You will not see any kayaking adventures since that is on his “don’t do it list”. Although, we have and will be spending more time on the water with my SUP board. We have already bought him a new water toy(a big floating noodle) so he is able to enjoy the water with us and aid in his recovery all at the same time. He is not completely thrilled with the idea of no kayaking/SUP but in time I believe he will be back to paddling again.

For now I leave you all with one thought…..be thankful for good health!