janeiro 26, 2009
In the Brazilian culture (I do think in most parts of Latin America, this is the truth as well) put an aging parent in a nursing home is not well seen by the society.
In “NICE “families, you are supposed to have the person at your house, and hire a staff to take care of him/her. You must have nurses 24/7 and Physical Therapists, and whoever is needed for the proper care of the person.
If you have a parent with a stroke, for example, you must hire nurses, Physical Therapists and Speech Therapists, along with to buy or rent a hospital bed. And it depends on the type of the house; you might need to do some renovation to accommodate the patient’s needs. Well, you get the picture.
But you may wonder what the heck I am talking about?!?!?!
My parents have been going through a really tough time.
My father´s parent passed away a long time ago. And they always lived far away, so we didn´t feel it that much, when they got sick and unable to take care of themselves. My father was always there when he could, but we lived like 500 miles away, so it wasn´t a day trip to be taken.
On my mom´s side, the story is completely different. When I was growing up, I always heard my mom saying, and I quote: “My biggest fear, when it comes to my parents, is that my Mom passes away before my dad”. And guess what??? This is exactly what happened.
When my grandma had a stroke, my parents had to make a really tough decision, whether to go on the road that I described on the top of the post or to put her on a nursing home. Before you ask, my mom has a brother, but he does not give any financial or emotional help for that matter. My grandma never recovered her consciousness again, and she was been feed by tubes and breathing with the help of O2. My mom chose to put her on a nursing home. People were really rude at her, from my aunts (my grandma´s sister), to my cousins. They said that she was the care taker so she should have brought my grandma home. When my grandma was in the hospital, nobody bothered to call my family if they want any help. I know my sister and I were responsible to convince her to take this action. If it depended on her, she would go down to the road above.
My grandma passed away a little over 2 years ago. On the first one year and a half, everything went perfectly smooth. My grandpa took his blood pressure medication, ate properly (the food that my mom cooked for him and his only work was to heat it up), picked up the phone when people called, let the cleaning lady cleaned his house twice a week and iron his clothes (my mom does his laundry) and so on…. But for the past six months or so, things started to get a little rough. He is showing signs of Alzheimer Disease or Dementia. My parents have been trying to take him to the doctor and he refuses to go and to top it all, he isn´t taking his medication, he just eats cookies and drinks coffee and he fired the cleaning lady, because he wants my mom to go clean the house and iron his clothes.
My parents are trying to decide what is the best thing to do, due to the fact that he REFUSES to go and live with my parents. He said to me on the phone on Saturday, and I quote: “I will leave this house, only when I am dead and I DO NOT want to anyone living with me, just tell your parents, please?!?!?!.”
I am praying that they have strength and courage to do what is best to everybody.
Have a nice week,
janeiro 25, 2009
janeiro 24, 2009
- Order pizza from his favorite pizza place – you may wondered what is especial about it, but this is a really expensive place, it is one of the oldest Cantinas in S@o Paulo and you pay big bucks for the tradition;
- He wants to go out for lunch tomorrow (on a TBD place) and
- I suggested a dessert, I gave him a few recipes for him to read and he picked the following:
Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Pie
2 cans of Creme de Leite ;
400 grams of Dulce the Leche ;
1 package of milk cookies;
100 grams of butter;
Grapes or strawberries (it depends of what is on season)
For the Crust:
Put the cookies on the food processor, along with the butter and with 3 tablespoons of the Cocoa Powder. Put the the crust on a glass dish and put aside.
For the filling:
Mix together the Dulce de Leche, with the Crème de Leite and 7 or 8 tablespoons of Cocoa Powder (it will depend of how much sweetness you like).
Put half of the filling over the crust, add the strawberries or grapes and add the other half of the filling. Cover with the plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. I can assure you it is really DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
janeiro 23, 2009
I´ve been on and off diets ever since I can remember. I was a chubby kid and at the ripe age of 11 years old, I had a cyst on my right ovary. So the best treatments (for the gazillions doctors that my parents took me) were hormones with steroids, needless to say that I went from a chubby pre-teenager to a really fat teen. By the time, I was 15 years old; my weight was around 220 lbs. And to top it off, I come from a obese family, so I have all the odds against me. By the time I entered college, I was down to a wonderful weight, due to a lot of dieting and exercising. I weighted around 150 lbs. I always thought I was fat, but now I know I had the perfect weight.
I kept this weight for about 8 years. Fast forward, when we moved back to Brazil, I was with the exact same weight I left Brazil…. I was so happy of my accomplishment. And then the down the road started….. I gained about 32 lbs. I´ve been trying to lose those pounds ever since. I tried everything, Weight Watchers, the Zone, Atkins, diet pills and so on, BUT I never took the exercise part serious. And for the first time I can PROUDLY say, that along with the food reeducation I am exercising correctly. So, in two weeks I already lost 4,5 lbs and that NEVER had happened before.
I am really excited with this plan that I made to myself (no diets and no pills involved), just write down everything I eat and I go to Curves three times a week….. I will keep you posted on my progress!!!
janeiro 17, 2009
I am in charge of a task that is just driving me nuts. This task requires a lot of technical knowledge as well as a high level of details. But nevertheless, it is boring. I drank tons of coffee to
get through the week as well as get the job done until its due date.
I am up against 2 more weeks like that…. And then my friends…. My vacation will start….(imagine me doing the happy dance)
I am so happy…
janeiro 13, 2009
As I was growing up, Christmas always had the smell of beach as well. When we were kids, my parents always rented a house at a least for 10 days by the beach or we would go to some fancy hotel (it depended on their budget for the year, I guess). By 1992, my parents bought a beach house. So every holiday, every summer we already knew where we would spend some time. It was always much anticipated: the beach, the friends, and the shrimp or fish recipes from my mom.
As we grew older…. Life got too complicated to spend so much time at the beach house. And I was always living far away since I got married, so it is been awhile since I’ve been there.
But this year…..(drums rolls please?!?!?)… we are going to spend 9 to 10 whole days at the beach house and to top it all, after that, I am going further South to visit my father’s family that I haven´t seen since 2000. They live in a Chicken/Turkey farm. They raise “birds” and pork for one of the biggest frozen food companies in Brazil. It will be just perfect to see my family and spend some time at the farm.
I am really excited. I already called a few of my friends who have beach houses close by to my parents and all of them will be there( even if it is just for the weekend). And of course, my cousins are too excited to see me again.
So it will be a two week SUPER fun vacation. I am already counting down the days…
janeiro 11, 2009
When I got married, we moved to Michig@n, right away. We married in my hometown, P@ulo went back to MI two days later and I stayed behind waiting for my visa and a month later I joined him there.
When I first arrived, I felt really lonely, but as soon as we got for our honey moon, I started my English classes.
On the night before my first class, I was really anxious because I didn´t know what to expect about my English Teacher.
When K arrived on that Monday morning, I was so happy. She was an English Major at Uof M and she was a little younger than me. We hit it off right away.
We became great friends… As time passed, she met her actual husband and they started dating. I participated in the wedding preparation, we cherished them when they found out they were pregnant with their first child. They helped us when P@ulo had back surgery. His parents embraced us too. It felt really good. We found a wonderful friendship in foreign lands. I miss them every single day.
And then there was P and M. P and P@ulo went to school together. An interesting fact here, P has an aunt who lives in Br@zil, in S@o Paulo to be more precise. They became lab partners as well as assignment partners as well. P is married to M and when we met them, M was pregnant with their first child. The first time I met them they had invited us to have dinner with them at their house. I was nervous because it was the first time we were invited to some American house. I suggested that I bring some dessert. M cooked some interesting rice recipe with garlic and chicken that until today I can still taste it. It was terrific. M and I turn out to be great friends. I still remember the Thanksgiving dinner that they invited us and we felt so welcomed in a foreign land with such great family!!
On Jan 14th, it will complete 6 years since I last saw them. Since we came back from the St@tes, I never had the opportunity to go back and visit them. P@ulo had the opportunity to go back on a business trip and he met all of them, along with the new additions to their families.
They were the main reason I started to blog in ENGLISH. I didn´t want to lose the ability to communicate with them.
I feel so blessed to have met these two couples and their wonderful families. I feel so blessed to live in an Internet Era where there is e-mail and blogs so I can thank them for being such important people in our lives!!!
janeiro 08, 2009
When I met P@ulo I was really surprised since he was really faithful and he went to church every Sunday.
When we were living in US, we found a church close to our house that just fitted with our life style, our beliefs, everything. I really felt God’s presence in there. It felt like home.
Then we moved to B@hia. It is not a secret to anyone that we didn´t like to live there. And as a result, we didn´t find a church. We tried, retried and nothing. I think we can count in one hand how many times we actually went to a service.
Between our move from B@hia to S@o Paulo, we spent a few months in Paris. It is funny how we found the perfect mass at Notre Damme right on our first weekend there. There was this international service done in English. It was perfect.
Since we arrived in S@o Paulo,we´ve been attending mass close to the apartment we were living before. But the church is 30 minutes from our house.
Now that we are living at our house, I am officially looking for a church.
Wish me luck!!!
Happy Wise men´s day.
PS.: This post was supposed to be published on Tuesday, but my Internet Connection was terrible.
It was a wonderful vacation at home. I enjoyed be at home, sleep in, watch TV, cook yummy food and I even manage to go to the movies (after I became a cough free person).
We watched M@rley and Me. It was such a nice movie. It is the perfect mix of comedy with a drama. Even though I am not a doggy person, I loved the movie. It was worth it.
With the “back at work” scenario, comes the new resolution: “Stop along the way and smell the roses.”. I am really hoping to follow my new mantra and I am starting today.
With the routine and schedule, it comes back an old dilemma: wash my hair at night before I go to bed or wake up earlier and wash my hair before I go to work.
Let me explain a little more about this….
I am a freak when it comes to my hair being clean. It won´t pass a day that I don´t wash my hair. When I was living in B@hia, I washed my hair twice a day because it was too warm.
Since I was in school, I washed my hair in the morning, but now that I live in São P@ulo with its huge traffic jams, I have to wake up extra early to bit the traffics and get to work on time…. So I am trying to implement a new routine and wash my damn hair at night and blow dry it properly, so I won´t look like a lunatic in the morning…
Have a nice week,
PS.: This post was supposed to be published on Monday, but my Internet Connection was terrible.
janeiro 04, 2009
So this year I have only ONE resolution.
I will stop along the way to smell the roses. That is it.
2008 was a wonderful year, but still really tiring and stressful: too many decisions, too many trips, too many extra hours, too many extra pounds, too many sicknesses for P@ulo. And just a few relaxing time, so….. I just want to stop and smell the roses.