Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bonker No More and Learning How to Listen

Saturday was beautiful and our normal long cycling day. You may have recalled my post about "the biking fool" and his inability to judge mileage. He was there on Saturday so I finally took my husbands' and fellow bloggers' advice. I brought a five dollar bill with me.

Hallefuckingullah! I have seen the light. I cannot go longer than one hour and fifteen minutes without calories anymore. Our ride was at 1pm and I had already consumed a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, four egg whites w/one whole egg, a tuna sandwich on whole wheat with a small salad but I'm telling you, I am an eating machine. Around mile twenty, we stopped at the gas station and I refilled my water and bought a "Zone Perfect" bar. I really wanted a banana and some trail mix but they didn't have any fruit.

Eating half way into the forty mile ride made all the difference. I think I have been a victim of Bonk in the past. When I didn't eat on long rides, the last 8 miles were pure hell. I would watch each tenth of the mile slowly go by, my legs would burn and feel like lead. I wanted to bite someone's head off like Kitty tortures the mammoth mouse when Bonk invaded my body. This Zone Bar kept me fresh and peppy and I was zipping down US 1 at the very end of the ride at 23mph. I will no longer be a victim of bonk, I will end each ride bright eyed and bushy tailed from now on!

I met with the hospice coordinator yesterday for three hours of training. He had three stacks of papers stating they couldn't find any dirt on me- driving, criminal and credit. I have have never had a traffic ticket in my entire life. Now, that is something I'm proud of. I'm not saying I don't speed, I just haven't got caught! We went over things I can and cannot do as a volunteer. I cannot give any medication, I cannot move a patient, I cannot take patients or family members in my van, I cannot change diapers and I cannot except gifts.

The most important thing I took away with me from yesterday's meeting was how to be a good listener. I think my most important role as a volunteer is to be the best listener possible. I need to let people share their feelings of anger, depression, fear and frustration without offering an opinion or advice. When someone is terminally ill, you can't say "everything will be okay" or "I understand". Every situation is different and although I am a cancer survivor, my experience will be very different from an 80 year old man dying of colon cancer. I must actively listen with no judgments or ideas of my own. Quite frankly, the only words I think I'll have to offer when someone tells me their story will be, "I'm sorry you are going through this, can I help?" and "Thank you for sharing with me."

My Mom and I are leaving for Puerto Rico on Friday for a week. It will be our first mother/daughter vacation. I am going to print out some stories I have written about her from this blog to read during the flight. She's never seen this blog before. I am looking forward to spending some time just with my Mom. Mom is paying for the entire trip, she says she wants to enjoy a nice vacation with me before she dies. It kind of shocked me when she made that comment, it seemed so dramatic. She acts young but when I started thinking about it, Mom is almost 70. I know we will have a wonderful time, we always laugh together and I know we'll create great memories. I'll also practice using my newly acquired listening skills.
"So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it." ~Jiddu Krishnamurti


At 11:19 AM, Blogger 21st Century Mom said...

Have a great vacation with your Mom. 70 isn't really all that old these days for a person who pays attention to her health so may this be the first of many Mother-Daughter 'before I die' bonding trips.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Flatman said...

Have a great time!

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Laurie said...

Have a great vacation! I am sure your mother will love to read all of the stories you have written about her. You are a great storyteller and I am sure it will mean a lot to her to see how you view those events.

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Julia said...

I can't go 30' on the bike without eating! I don't know how you've done it 'til now.

Have a great vacation! Can't wait to read about it.

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Lance Notstrong said...

You have to feed your machine. I know people that can ride a 100K on a packet of Gu.....not me!!! I need some FOOD!!! On one 100K ride, I wrapped up a piece of pizza in some foil and stuffed it in my jersey pocket. Mid way through, I dug it out and started eating it while riding :-)

At 11:46 PM, Blogger Bolder said...

so much to talk about...

my coach recommended that i consume 300 calories an hour while working out @ 150 lbs.

for you, i'm guessing somewhere between 250-300 to avoid the bonk.


for me, i think the biggest help from the Victorian Order of Nurses in Canada that played the hospice role for me, was that they had been through the palliative stage before... i was somewhat in denial, and they helped sensitize me to the deterioration that i could not see, because i was detoriating too.

have a wonderful trip with your mother, ask her if she is adopting prior to the trip!

report back, and remember, no pictures = did not happen!!!

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Jill said...

I hoped you knocked on wood after writing that comment about tickets!!

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