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My mother died last month. She had a stroke two and a half years ago and then another massive stroke three weeks before she died. My Dad decided to bring her home from the hospital under Hospice care for her final days and I joined two of my siblings in caring for her the last five days of her life. It’s a wonderful experience that I would do again if the situation presented itself, but it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s very difficult physically and emotionally to care for a body that is dying. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. It felt like the greatest gift I’ve ever given my Mom (and my Dad).
One of the hardest parts was living in my Dad’s house. My Dad is eighty one and their house, a three bedroom split level, is completely cluttered with years of accumulated purchases and gifts. They seldom throw anything away. I have chemical sensitivities (Explorer/Non secretor) and the house was full of scents, molds, and dust in every room, in every cupboard. I lived there for ten days and each day I got a little sicker. The cleaning products, the perfumes, and the “soft” water were the worst. Thank goodness no one smoked!
Eating was a problem. As most of you know, when you leave the safety of your home it’s hard to be 100% compliant. But, I kept it simple and cooked for myself as much as possible. My family was kind and tolerant about my food choices (except one, but that’s a story for another time). I’m recovering from Chronic Lyme Disease, and they all know how sick I’ve been, so they wanted to support me in whatever I needed to do to continue on my road to recovery. I’m constantly surprised at how little vegetables and fruit “normal” people eat. I’ve been eating this way for so long I forget. The rest of my family seldom ate any veggies except a few pieces of lettuce from a bag (ugh I can’t stand that stuff; it smells really weird to me). And fresh fruit would go almost untouched. But, of course everyone was “stress eating”, lots of chips, candies, and pastries were consumed. And years ago that would have been what I ate in a stressful situation. Who could blame us; we were literally facing death.
All in all, I’m so happy I could help and so happy I could come home to my scent free, fresh food stocked, home in the Redwoods.
One thing I found that helped me when I was out of town was to have a bunch of CLIFF bars. They are pretty much compliant with Type O (and the perfect alternative to bagels and pastries that were at my meeting). I also brought little cartons of apple juice with me, so I could avoid the corn syrup. Okay, maybe not the healthiest route to go, but it sure helped me to not gain a single pound when I was away from home for a week! :)
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