SoCS: but

I am getting really tired of the word “but” because I have been hearing it so much from my mother-in-law when she is making excuses for not following the advice of her doctors and other members of her health care team.

I know I should be eating six times a day but I have never been a snacker.

I know I should leave out some of the food/dishes, etc, that I need often on the counter rather than hauling them down from high shelves but I hate clutter.

I know I shouldn’t cross my legs when I sit but I’ve been doing it for my whole life and don’t even think about it.

And on and on. There is always a “but.”

I know change is hard, but it needs to happen. We are maybe finally starting to make some progress. She has gained back a tiny bit of the weight she has lost. We now have physical and occupational therapists and a nurse visiting in her home.

We need more progress.

No if, ands, or buts…

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Author: Joanne Corey

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16 thoughts on “SoCS: but”

    1. Thanks. It was good two months into this problem to finally have a week where she was better off at the end of the week than at the beginning. We were afraid that we weren’t going to be able to pull out of a downward spiral, so, yes, small progress is better than no progress and even better than continuing to head in the wrong direction.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That’s got to be frustrating. We want what’s best for a loved ones, but they can be so stubborn sometimes. It’s good that she’s slowly gaining back some weight. Baby steps.


    1. Unfortunately, she has been in a spiral of pain, inactivity, and loss of appetite due to osteoporotic vertebra fracture. The problem is that a whole host of habitual behaviors are invovled in the sprial of symptoms or are increasing risk of further fractures. It’s hard to accept that her keeping control could cause her condition to worsen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Everyone wants to feel they have control over their lives. I would not like people telling me what to do all the time even if they meant well. One thing I learned about teaching people to make changes had to do with Diabetic diets. Someone newly diagnosed with Diabetes used to be given these large list of foods they could eat and could not eat. People would find this diet sheet overwhelming. A Diabetic Educator once gave a class on how to promote change in diet. She said try to get the person to change 1 thing and it would need to be something that was not too hard for them to give up. That would start things and then they could start making a few more changes. I think that when a person feels like they are involved in the decision whether it is a child or elderly person they will buy into better than if it is being imposed on them as well.


      2. In reality, she has control. She is on her own the vast majority of the time. It’s hard to accept that she would choose not to change when she knows that the old habits are hurting her.


  2. I can so relate to this, Joanne. My mother has excuses for everything she needs to do to make her life better. There’s a “but” for everything. It’s almost as though she’s determined to be miserable. I hope things get better for your mother-in-law. A little bit at a time.


    1. I hope things will improve with your mom, too. The negativity is sad but you can go along when things are just in normal mode; I’m finding that it’s when the health crisis hits and the stakes are higher, that it becomes so much harder to deal with.


  3. “But” has such finality and blockage to it. I can see where your mother’s response/behavior is causing you great frustration. One of my first writing mentors talked about the difference in energy between “and” and “but.” She said “and” was much more interesting and to use it in your writing every time you can instead of “but.” Like many of her writing lessons, it spilled over into the rest of my life. I often catch myself saying “but” and see how I can substitute “and.” Instead of shutting things down, it allows the conversation to continue. I hope you and your mother get some relief.


    1. Thanks, Ellen. You zeroed in on the frustration of “but.” My mother-in-law’s physical and occupational therapy is helping to move her in a more positive direction, however glacially.


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