In hindsight: Remembering through the rear view mirror

“It is one of three things…” stated the surgeon in a sedate voice.  He methodically plotted each possible diagnosis with an accompanying semi-pedantic explanation.  “…the third of which is Crohn’s disease.”  The realization resonated with his words.  None of the possibilities sounded particularly “good”, however; I looked forward to a confirmation, whatever “Crohn’s” was.

Poppy field - Bing image

Poppy field – Bing image

The pathology report read positive Crohn’s disease. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief.  The assigned name validated the way I felt nearly all my life.  Now that I knew what I was dealing with, I could move forward from there…and I did…

“Hindsight is 20/20” was a future lesson learned as I became caregiver for both of my parents. My Mother already had a stage IV breast cancer diagnosis, then my Father slowly devolved with Alzheimer’s disease, years after my Mother’s death.  My Mother forged ahead for 23 years, teaching me the value of fortitude.  Living proof you can lead a functional lifestyle and enjoy it, diagnosis be damned.  In the following couple of years Dad lived alone, his decline became apparent.  He spent the next few years with us and in assisted living.  He, too, was high functioning, vacillating between stage 2 and stage 3 Alzheimer’s disease.

'Kaleidoscope Trees' by Bethane M. Evans

‘Kaleidoscope Trees’ by Bethane M. Evans

Genuine memories were seldom spent with each other during the wee hours of the morning, whispering while the rest of the world slept.  The lines of the calendar blurred during long, never ending days in the stark hospital rooms. We passed time indulging ourselves with Ice cream for dinner, early AM television and sharing the occasional dram of brandy while reminiscing over tea.

Finally, as Dad wandered in his thoughts, I had my fondest recollections. This opportunity allowed us to connect on a different plane.  We would travel to our own secret place, with our own language.  We even had our own secret handshake (which we always had but he still remembered it there).  Time didn’t exist and words could mean anything.  We spoke in pictures telling abstract stories we never shared.  These were the times I cherish most, when we are our most vulnerable, our most authentic.

I was able to be with both of my parents during the most critical times of their respective illnesses.  They treated and cared for me all of my life, in their own unique ways.  My Mother’s nurturing, maternal approach and my Father’s cultural, alternative approach complemented how I was able to be there for them.  It is what I was taught, it is what I know and it is what I practice in my work and home – because it works!

Advertisements

Cooking with coconut oil

Image

Coconut oil – Google image

Based on an article I originally published with Examiner.com, February 19, 2013, exploring the chemical properties of coconut oils for cooking purposes.  According to GreenMedInfo.com, additional research since purports how medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can immediately enhance cognitive function in Alzheimer’s related dementias.  Multiple sources also contend introducing daily doses of both coconut oil and mild exercise to mitigate early onset Alzheimer’s and memory loss.

A client recently inquired about different coconut oils.  Sources range from India, Malaysia and the Philippines. There are multiple purposes in which coconut oils may be preferred.  Cooking with coconut oil requires some considerations so as to retain the nutrients it also offers.   As a vegetable oil alternative for cooking, the better quality oil retains its chemical properties.  Chemical constituents containing potential healing properties subject to heat degradation are the processed oils subject to “oxidative rancidity”.  Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has a higher phenolic content, therefore; preferred to refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD), categorized more favorably for its “high oxidative stability”. Cooking with coconut oil as an alternative to vegetable oils, hints a distinct, sweet flavor, suggestive of the fruit itself.

Coconut water and coconut milk are additional foods imbued with healthy rewards.  The cultural dishes prepared in these Asian countries have traditionally been designed for a flavorful, textural and healthful balance.  Continue reading ‘Alchemy of food’ for further information about how to incorporate coconut oil into foods appealing to YOU.