ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
Back in late January, I posted (among other things):
[After a weekend of skiing and mountain biking in mid-December, we] got home, put away our gear, showered, and sat down to dinner...and my phone rang. It was my youngest brother, telling me that my father was in the hospital, having just suffered a cerebral hemorrhage...and my mother was due to return from the nursing rehab center [where she'd been after hospitalization for a bad fall two weeks earlier] the next day! He and his family live fairly close to our parents, and they'd been helping out while Mom had been in the nursing center, but having simultaneous health crises with both parents was a bit much to cope with.

And so I flew out to Maryland on a one-way ticket the next day, after spending the morning on the phone with my brother, checking flight schedules online, and emailing my (extremely understanding) boss. Four incredibly difficult but rewarding weeks later, after getting the situation more or less stabilized, I finally came back home.

I'd intended to write more about this, but never got around to it. I guess Father's Day is an appropriate time to reflect on this experience. Musings on caring for my father. )

So it was a stressful, horrible, crazy, sleepless time. But there were good things I took away from it, and I'm grateful for the lessons I learned about family and love, even if it was not much fun to learn them.

The story, by the way, has a happy ending. Dad began to improve after he got home, sleeping a little less, eating a little more, and becoming more engaged and "present". I think this was partly due to being in a familiar environment with his wife, and partly due to having a live-in CNA to help him, along with in-home physical and occupational therapy. A month later we moved them into an assisted living facility that's actually only walking distance from my youngest brother's house. It was tough at first, and they're still not completely comfortable, but it is the right place for them right now, and Dad's continuing to get better. He was in a wheelchair when we moved him there; now it sits in the closet, and he gets around with a cane. His cognition and short-term memory are much stronger, though he still doesn't remember much about what happened last winter, and maybe that's a good thing. Last month the facility dropped him down a tier in their "levels of care" rubric, because he doesn't need the assistance he needed when he arrived. He's reading again, and using his computer again, and when I called today for Father's Day - and I just realized it's exactly six months after he had the cerebral hemorrhage - he sounded nearly like his old self again, talking about politics and science and asking questions about the things I'm doing.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, well, a bunch of platitudes about love being the strongest and most important thing, and about rising to the occasion and doing what's necessary, even when you don't think you can, and about how it doesn't feel like sacrifice when it's for someone you care about, or at least most of the time it doesn't. It sounds kind of silly, I guess. But it turns out to be true. All of it.
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
I haven't posted since Thanksgiving, oops. So here's the short version:

  • After returning from hiking and biking over Thanksgiving, I had a great week of working out, a combination of walking, mountain biking, and the elliptical at the gym. I also started doing short sessions on the indoor track at the gym, alternate loops of a slow jog and a walk, after elliptical sessions, just to ease into running again.

  • Then I had a not-so-great week, though I am not sure why - I think I must have been sick - but after a ride on Wednesday I didn't do any exercise until the following Wednesday, when I went for a walk. I got back up to the rec center for some more elliptical and mini-jog on Thursday, December 14th. I also called my mother, as it was her birthday; she was in a nursing rehab facility recovering from a fall the week before, and my father and some of their friends were there, giving her a little party in her room.

  • Then it was time for my own party, as Britt's company had scheduled a holiday weekend in Telluride! Since it had been so warm and dry, we packed both ski stuff and bike stuff. On Friday afternoon we left work early and mountain biked at Phil's World, which is more or less on the way (we rarely go there because it's a long drive, so we took the opportunity!) and then when we arrived in Telluride we had just enough time to shower before meeting the rest of the group for drinks and dinner. Saturday was for skiing, which was only possible on a small subset of runs with man-made snow, but for what it was it was fine, and the relatively warm weather meant we could have lunch on the mountain at the outdoor French restaurant Bon Vivant. Stupid expensive for lunch, but really excellent food, and the view couldn't be beat:

    cut for photo )

    After a few more runs, we decamped to the hot tub, then went to the big company party. Sunday (December 18th) we had a leisurely breakfast with a couple of friends and then drove back home, taking a detour through Cortez to buy a picnic lunch to take on the Canyons of the Ancients Loop in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. We'd done this ride a few years ago, also during an unusually warm and dry winter. This time, on our newer bikes and in better shape, I think we managed a lot more riding and less bike-pushing!

  • We got home, put away our gear, showered, and sat down to dinner...and my phone rang. It was my youngest brother, telling me that my father was in the hospital, having just suffered a cerebral hemorrhage...and my mother was due to return from the nursing rehab center the next day! He and his family live fairly close to our parents, and they'd been helping out while Mom had been in the nursing center, but having simultaneous health crises with both parents was a bit much to cope with.

  • And so I flew out to Maryland on a one-way ticket the next day, after spending the morning on the phone with my brother, checking flight schedules online, and emailing my (extremely understanding) boss. Four incredibly difficult but rewarding weeks later, after getting the situation more or less stabilized, I finally came back home. That was two weeks ago.

I'd brought running shoes and exercise clothes, but I only managed three very short runs (15-20 minutes, the last on a treadmill) due to things being in continuous crisis mode. (I also brought my laptop and key cards so I could do work...I did zero work.) So my fitness level is basically back down to zero; I've managed to run pretty much every other day now that I'm home, but I'm very slow and my endurance is pathetic. (The good news is that my stress fracture must be completely healed by now?) We went skiing once, but the winter is still unusually warm and dry, and conditions are not very appealing. I'm hoping to take advantage of the weather to run and bike and slowly get myself back into shape - we've got a White Rim trip on the schedule in mid-May, and we'd like to do some backpacking this summer.

Anyway, that's the scoop. I'll have more to say about that crazy month taking care of my parents, but for the most part, I hope this marks a return to frequent posts about my outdoorsy pursuits!

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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

April 2019

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @ gmail.com

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