Death camped out on my brother's bedside for eight days, inching the chair closer and closer to his bed. Then Death got tired of waiting for him and left, sure to return, but perhaps not anytime soon.
My brother was so sick it is a miracle he is today still alive and now out of ICU. To recap: he is a type 1 diabetic, does not have a spleen, a double amputee and a frigging stubborn pain in the ass, whom I happen to love. He is forty-two. He needed to be on a ventilator, feeding tube, internal aortic heart lead, dozens of meds for an infection in his stump that went septic throughout his body. It required an additional amputation of two inches above the stump and he was kept medically unconscious for the eight days.
For eight days we prayed and hoped and as things got worse we planned his wake, including a scavenger hunt to find his ashes for the teen nieces and nephews. (No, I am not joking).
On the 8th day he got a little better. Today, the 12th day, he is out of ICU. I am sure he will be stepping back and forth some more in these next weeks of his Dancing with the Stars -Death edition series but for today there is improvement.
Enough about him, now about me.
My food has not been steady for a while now. This changed for the better when I first got the news that he was in critical condition. Instead of reaching for the food, I reached for the support of family and friends. Instead of drowning my pain in milkshakes, I resolved to stand my ground and feel the life or death moments - good or bad. Mostly it felt bad until I recognized I happier thoughts in other things still taking place around me: my dog's silly antics, a conversation with a friend about her vacation, planning a trip with my family for the fall . . . . I could experience the sad feelings and worry without it taking over my life every freaking waking moment.
The squirrels in my brain that lead me to crave ridiculous foods or quantities have taken a holiday this week. I feel lucky to be feeling sanity return and hopefully the squirrels will find someplace else to hang out and not visit me again anytime soon.
Ten years ago I thought that if I could just loose weight and keep it off for five years I would be 'cured.' There is no cure. Keeping the pounds off requires constant care. Maintaining is not a passive action. There is work involved. The alternative is not an option today.
I have not kept up with reading your posts in the past two weeks. I hope you are hopeful and sane, too.