The One Time 149 Pounds is Actually a Bad Thing

by Melanie Edwards on November 9, 2009 · 10 comments

in life

My father recently had his 66th birthday. His father lived to the age of 64. These are the things I think about sometimes when I have a few seconds of silence and my brain takes a break from the every day hustle.


It’s not really that old. But, when you factor in incidents that have occurred in just the last 4 years…well, I start to worry.

In the last 4 years, my father has retired from work and has developed dementia. This may not mean much at first, except when you realize the side effects of such a disease.

For example…

Though my father has always been in pretty good physical health – despite the family health history of heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure that is common in Latino families – the dementia is making my father act differently. You expect differences in mannerisms, conversations, and daily routines, but I wasn’t prepared to see him make himself physically unhealthy.

And I could totally be way off here and incorrectly blaming the dementia. But, it’s all I have to go by at this point. I have no other way of explaining why suddenly he refuses to eat foods he always ate in the past. Or why he is a picky eater now just like a toddler. Why sometimes he won’t eat at all.

Which has all resulted in him weighing 149 pounds. One hundred forty-nine.

So I worry.

I worry that despite my mother’s efforts to make him eat, be active, and drink water, the disease will win over. I worry that a slight cold will make him land in the hospital and will completely invade his body. I worry that he’s just not strong enough to withstand…well much of anything really.

Extreme concerns perhaps, but valid given the circumstances and non-progression for the better.

And then I go past worried to just being sad.

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1 Robyns Online World November 9, 2009 at 2:40 pm

It is hard to not worry. Having just lost my grandma, I saw her medical conditions just keep multiplying – she didn’t have enough chance between one thing before something new would start. One of the best things is to talk, share, and love – it works wonders for everyone!

2 Melanie (Modern Mami) November 10, 2009 at 2:38 pm

@Robyns Online World, It does help, you’re right. It’s just hard to share when it’s not your personal story, you know? I definitely don’t want to upset the family. And sorry about your grandma. 🙁

3 Kelly November 9, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Melanie I completely understand where you are coming from with this. My grandma had the exact same thing, only difference was, she progressed rapidly and in less than a month it took over.

I started writing a post like this a couple of months ago and I just haven’t been able, mentally, to finish it.

We are all here for you. 🙂

4 Melanie (Modern Mami) November 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm

@Kelly, Oh wow! Kelly I’m so sorry. My dad has definitely not been progressing that fast, thank God. You should finish that post; it might help.

5 Dr. Mommy November 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Your thoughts and concerns are very valid ones. We must not neglect our parents and realize that just as they took care of us, it’s now our turn. Most importantly communicating your feelings and concerns. I know all too well how the Hispanic families can be, but we must get past that when it comes to the health and well being of our own. I’ll be praying for you and your family and know that I am always here for you. Losing a loved one is never fun, I’ve lost both my parents, but not talking about it is worse. Hugs:)

6 Melanie (Modern Mami) November 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm

@Dr. Mommy, You’re right. It’s the communication part that is at its worst right now. With me being the youngest and only girl, it’s nearly impossible for me to speak up to my dad…as you said, you know how it is with Hispanic families. We’re trying. Thanks!

7 Elsa November 9, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I don’t have experience with dementia but I lost my mom to heart disease not even 2 yrs after she was diagnosed and well, we kinda had time to prepare but I don’t think you’ll ever be ready for when they leave… today she would have turned 58 yrs old … she too regressed to acting like a kid even though her memory was in good shape … my sis and I started asking her about a lot of stuff from her past, because we knew that she didn’t have long … it helped us to understand her better and it will help us in making sure that our kids get to know her and do not forget her. Hugs – if you need to vent, we are here for you 🙂

8 Melanie (Modern Mami) November 10, 2009 at 2:41 pm

@Elsa, I’m sorry about your mom. You can never be prepared for that.

9 Belle November 9, 2009 at 11:51 pm

My prayers go out to your family. My father made it to the age of 48. Diabetes took his life. I never physically saw my father deteriorate. We lived in Florida while he stayed back in Puerto Rico. Cherish the time you have with your papa. Even if the horizon seems dim. Remind him of all the good times. Play the music of his youth, talk, even listen. I wish I had a chance to hear and see my father one last time. Remember these moments, though sad, are still for you and him.

10 Melanie (Modern Mami) November 10, 2009 at 2:53 pm

@Belle, Gracias. I’m sorry to hear your father passed at such a young age. Thanks for sharing.

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