Monday, 4 August 2014

PART XXI: Getting healthy

There are interesting statistics around caregiver stress and ill-health. Unfortunately, they are not accurate, as there are few actual studies that I can find. People throw numbers around, however, telling me that many caregivers die before their care recipients in hospice care.
Here we are, though.

Mid-summer, we are working on our health, while living each day and ignoring the cancer situation . We have the summer off, really, since the PSA test results tell us the PSA cancer cells are increasing slowly, we will not go for another test until mid-September.

Caregiver health and stress

Firstly, I have contracted a terrible bought of contact dermatitis. I am not sure if it is from the Wild parsnip, which I keep coming across in my garden, or the Poison ivy plot down by the meadow. Even if you burn these plants, the oils go into the air and it comes into contact with you. I'm not comp
Contact dermatitis - poison ivy or wild parsnip>
laining, I should have known. I'm really taking strong meds, though. Prednisone.
The patch on my chest is about the size of my hand. I was into emergency, out in 90 min. with a Rx. I contracted this same thing a year ago, and saw the same ER physician. Thing is, he gave me enough meds for only a week. Last year, I ended up going in a week later for a longer dosage as I still had symptoms. I cannot tell you how painfully itchy it is. My doctor is on holidays until September. He comes back, then moves offices into the city. He has handed off his Perth patients to a new doctor here. It's all very complicated.

I am concentrating on relaxing, cutting back on my volunteer activities, savouring each day, and enjoying the grandkids. I am working out on a regular basis, which helps with stress relief, as well as gardening, photography, and walks in the forest.

Get in good shape

Secondly, hubby, determined to get in top shape while confronting his cancer, has been revisiting the physiotherapist to tighten up his exercises for his physical issues. Also, he's been losing weight, and working out regularly. We have given away the stationary bike to our local Perth Enrichment Program for Older Adults. The doctor told him not to use it anymore, it can raise PSA test results and it doesn't make sense for him to use it. Walking is the best exercise, anyway!
Family should promote exercise!

He is now confronting his stomach issues, I suspected food intolerance, rather than food allergies, and he is doing a cleansing diet under the supervision of Dr. Jen, our delightful naturopath.

Apple, rice porridge
Organic beans!
Our local store, Foodsmiths, is fabulous for all sorts of locavore, and organic foods, as well as food supplements. The smoothies are yummy. It's been a challenge to create some new dishes, including foods he doesn't like, nor knows how to cook. Quinoa, Couscous, are on the diet plan, and I've been helping him make some new dishes like Sweet potato salad. He's to cut out sulphites, and all sorts of chemicals, rampant in our processed foods, while awaiting the results of his food intolerance test. Dr. Jen took blood (I couldn't watch!), and sent it off for analysis. We wait 3 - 4 weeks for the results, while doing this meal plan. Hubby's sticking to it, I'm trying, although I'm keeping on eating cheese, which is off his list.  He's off white potatoes, tomatoes, all dairy, wheats, and other root vegetables of some sort. It's quite the plan, but I'm proud of him for learning how to eat and cook new things. I've been helping him out as he masters the fine art of the Organic smoothie, and cooking and chopping, making things like Quinoa porridge!

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