In my house they have become both the enemy and our saving grace. My mother has in the last few months been diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF). On top of everything else she has going on we have had to restrict fluids in her diet as she fluctuates immensely in weight (fluid retention) due to her CHF.

Which means, unfortunately, we have had to restrict the woman's coffee intake.

She can handle her diabetes, degenerative disc disease, heart issues, knee problems, torn acl, but this CHF? It kicks her ass. We have to measure how much she drinks, measure and watch sodium intake, substitute salad for her soup...and of course cut back her coffee intake.

Ever since I was little I have known coffee first questions later. It's her destresser, her indulgence, her last hurrah. She cannot dance or move that well these days, her diet is quite strict, she doesn't drink alcohol or smoke anything....but coffee...coffee is her crack. No sugar, no cream, just black, bitter and steaming like her soul she always jokes.

And now, she's relegated to 48 ounces of fluid a day. She used to have 48 ounces easily in her first couple cups of the day. It's been a change...one she is handling fairly well.

See, she's already been hospitalized twice because her CHF was wreaking havoc on her body. She ballooned up within 2 days (both times) by 25 pounds or more. So she had to go in the hospital where they jack up her diuretic intake, restrict her fluids more, watch her sodium and magnesium levels to make sure they don't go too low and she becomes miserable. It is no fun to be hungry, thirsty, crampy and pee every ten minutes with people walking in and out of the room checking on this and that.

But regardless of all that, she has a spirit that is...admirable to say the least. She gets bitchy and feisty sure but she also takes it all in stride. Her soul bends and stretches taking in every bit of new information. She allows herself to thrive with new knowledge and rejects being regulated by others constantly and chooses the best path for herself. She could easily sit back and be crabby and understandably sour at all times but she refuses to allow her circumstances to define her attitude and demeanor. 

She makes her own day. 

She doesn't let anything, even the restriction of her beloved coffee, make her day. Thank goodness her spirits still have the fluidity to bounce back from all that she has been through. 

We know, dear goodness do we know, that life is never set in stone. It is forever changing and flowing but the one thing we can control in this life is how we react and spend our days.


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