Advice for my Aunt, please.
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|Fri, 06-13-2003 - 3:27pm|
January 2003: My aunt had a stroke. She is learning how to use the right side of her body again. She is put on a low-sodium, low-fat diet, told to quit smoking and physical therapy. She quit smoking but nothing else has changed.
June 2003: Physical therapy has ended but my aunt won't exercise. She's "tired". She still won't climb the stairs so she sleeps in the den. Her boyfriend sleeps upstairs. The shower is upstairs.
My aunt insists that she has "no appetite" but we see what she eats. We watch her eat two plates of pasta with four meatballs and two rolls. Then she asks her boyfriend to go to Dairy Queen for some ice cream sandwiches.
The last time I was visiting my aunt, she asked me to throw away tons of uneaten rolls and biscuits. I noticed the wrappers. Kentucy Fried Chicken, Popeye's Chicken, Outback Steak House, The Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Luigi's Pizza, etc. I asked my cousin who was eating all this fast food? "My mom" she replied.
WHAT? My aunt is supposed to be on a low-salt, low-fat diet. She's supposed to exericise. She's not following her doctor's orders.
Okay. My question is, how do fix someone that doesn't think that they are broken? Wouldn't a stroke be a MASSIVE WAKE-UP CALL for you?
My aunt honestly believes that quitting smoking is all she has to do! She truely believes that she doesn't eat much. To her, sampling four different appetizers and eating some of everyone's dinner is "not much". She's alway "too tired" to exercise. She spends all day watching TV in a dark den where she also sleeps since she refuses to climb the stairs.
If my aunt doesn't lose weight, change her diet and start exercising, she will have another stroke. And (god forbid) what happens if she can't walk? Or worse?
Now, I know she is an adult woman. I know losing weight is hard. I've been "not thin" most of my life. But I am getting to the point where I refuse to sit back and watch my aunt SLOWLY KILL HERSELF. My cousin is so ANGRY at having to sit back and watch her mother slowly kill herself.
So, how we approach my aunt (my cousin's mother) and let her know that BECAUSE WE LOVE HER, WE CAN NOT WATCH HER SLOWLY KILL HERSELF with a poor diet and no exercise?
We've tried cooking her good meals...she won't eat them. We gave her reading material... she won't read it. She makes fun of our weekend walks and trips to the gym. She won't come to the gym. She won't go for a walk. She won't go on any outtings with us because she's too tired. Yet, she won't let us rent her a wheel chair.
Basically, my cousin and I want to tell my aunt that we want her around for many years to come. But if my aunt doesn't CHANGE NOW, she will not see her next birthday.
God forbid my aunt dies tomorrow, I want to know that at least we tried, at least we said SOMETHING. We don't expect to change her after one conversation, but NO ONE in the family will say anything!
Any advice is greatly appreciated.