Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tomato Juice

Every morning I make Marty breakfast.  Mostly it's the same routine.  Every morning I pour Marty a glass of tomato juice with her breakfast.  Every morning Marty kind of turns up her nose to the juice, but drinks it anyway.  She doesn't partcularly like tomato juice.  She drinks it because.....well she drinks it because I give it to her and she trusts me and knows I love her.

For virtually every meal Marty eats and often during other times during the day I schlep a small bottle of G2 GatorAid to Marty.  She drinks the peach.  She doesn't particularly like GatorAid.  She has completely balked at the green, the purple and the orange.  But, for every meal and in between, as her chief source of hydration, she drinks the GatorAid.  She drinks it because.......well she drinks it because I give it to her and she trusts me and knows I love her.

Marty has never been one to do things she didn't want to do.  Marty was never one to eat things or drink things she didn't like.  Marty never really tried to live her life simply to please anyone.  Essentially, Marty did what she wanted to do, most of the time.  Rules, they were for other people.  She still says that.  If Marty had a choice, she would drink nothing but Diet Coke, she did that for years. 

Since the strokes Marty has struggled a bit with hyponatremia, or low sodium.  According to the Great and Wise,  sodium is a pretty essential mineral in our vast array of minerals in our body.  What I can say is that when Marty's sodium levels are higher, she feels better.  Thus, the tomato juice and GatorAid, both high in sodium and other really neat stuff.  We really try to make sure that the fluids she drinks help with the minerals and electrolytes, that they help with the sodium.  Does the tomato juice and GatorAid help?  Don't really know, but at the very least it makes me feel like I am doing something to make Marty feel better and stronger.

The point is, Marty does stuff every day that is out of her comfort zone.  She accepts doing things and having things done to her she would have never, ever accepted so graciously in her previous life.  She works hard to accept that people are trying to help her.  I think the way she helps with her care and the care of her caregivers is doing things she doesn't like to do, without complaint.  Not one complaint, never, ever.  Not the old Marty....the new Marty never, ever complains. 

Marty agrees to do these things, to drink the tomato juice, to drink the GatorAid,  not because she agrees with it,  but because its her way of helping.  She really could kick and balk at the things she drinks, the food I cook, or the procedures we have to do.  It could be a constant battle.   She doesn't fight.  She doesn't because....because she trusts me and knows I love her. 

Mostly. But also because.... because she wants to help with her own care and  because she loves me...that's how she helps, that's one of her ways of showing her love,  by accepting and doing what is not natural for her.  If you knew Marty before she got sick, you know what a wonderful expression of love that is.

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