Monday, November 14, 2011

Sort of a meltdown, but I’m better now

Saturday turned out to be a harder day than I expected. As I’ve written a few times, it was my 23rd wedding anniversary, but my husband is in a nursing home and can’t speak, eat, or walk, so any celebration is low-key.

My day started with my weight up almost 2.5 pounds, for no apparent reason. Well, I’m sure there was a reason, but I just didn’t know it. I went to my Romance Writers of America meeting feeling fat and unsuccessful. I did perk up when I chatted with longtime friends, and I’m in charge of coffee and that operation went smoothly. Then, our president asked if anyone had a laptop, and I raised my hand. Our speaker brought the wrong connection for her Mac to the projector and couldn’t give her PowerPoint. Not only did I have a PC, but I also have PowerPoint, so the meeting was sort of saved. I felt good about that.

When I got home, though, that’s when the blues settled in. Tom and I have been together since 1984 and have had some wonderful times on our anniversary. On our 10th, we were able to return to the same San Francisco Fairmont Hotel room where we had our honeymoon, plus we got second-row seats to “Phantom of the Opera,” and while we were waiting for a cab to the theater, a limo pulls up and Tony Bennett steps out. After the show we celebrated in the bathtub with a Merlot bottled the same year we got married. Other anniversaries have been memorable dinners in cool restaurants and pricey champagne that we decided didn’t taste much better than the $12 Korbel we usually drank.

A lot of that ended with my husband’s stroke in April 2010. He seems to remember some things, and he usually understands me when I ask him yes/no questions. He still enjoys watching football on TV—thank you, Green Bay Packers for kicking butt! But the best part of our relationship was the banter and joking, and now he can’t even speak.

I visited him the evening of our anniversary and became sadder as time went on. He fell asleep just before I left.

I wanted to hold my own celebration. I wanted a tiny chocolate cake and a split of champagne. I found neither, so I settled on 4 slices of various flavors of cheesecake. I ate 3 of them in front of the TV in my pajamas, and saved one for breakfast. Wow, flashback to my binging days. I think I consumed about 600 calories of cheesecake. Plus the last of my pistachio and goat cheese stash. I have a bottle of champagne in the fridge, but I didn’t want to open it for just one glass. I went to bed feeling pretty low. My daughter was on a sleepover, so it was just me and the critters, and they didn’t have a shoulder to cry on.

I woke up the next day feeling different. The sun was shining, and my canary was singing his heart out. I hopped on the scale, and not only did I lose what I’d gained, but I hit a new low. And suddenly I was in better cheer. I left the cheesecake in the fridge and made a big nonfat latte to accompany the weekend paper.

I have resigned to the fact that certain things won’t change. I still love my husband, and I do get the sense that he loves me. We still own our memories. And I lost weight! How great is that?

See you tomorrow. 


  1. The human spirit can show such resiliance in the worst of conditions. You showed such strength and grace. I am sorry for your pain and want you to know someone out here in the ether is listening and cares.

  2. Oh, Julia, I am so sorry to hear what you were going through on Saturday. I'm glad that you were able to find some joy, and that the days have been better since. Many cyber-hugs, and I'll give you one in person next time!