Friday, January 06, 2012
[DISCLAIMER: This blog is going to be a bit brutal, so you might want to keep moving and find a more motivational one.]
As some of you may have already seen, I’ve had a rough week this week, and my feed has reflected some of that. Now let me tell you some of why I’ve been a tad ornery. I finally realized why. Or at least part of the reason why.
I guess it started about three months ago when my former boss, who has since become a very dear friend, sent me an e-mail that her husband had had a stroke that morning. What was so shocking to me was this was a 54-year old man in apparent good health. It came like a bolt from the blue. Strokes don’t usually happen in someone so young.
Flash forward to last week, and I get ANOTHER e-mail from someone else, with the subject line reading, “Pray for D”. Reading further, I discovered that HER husband had been found in full cardiac arrest on the living room couch that morning, and was rushed to the hospital and placed in a medically-induced coma as a protective mechanism. His age? Fifty-four also.
Two men. Fairly young. Two serious events. The second time being on the receiving end of all this, I felt like it was “déjà vu all over again.”
I went to the hospital last Tuesday night to check on Friend Number Two, and while waiting for her to talk to the nurses, I called my best friend and found HER barely able to speak to me. She said that she barely was able to drive herself home from work, and told me she had severe chest pain. I know her to be a relatively practical person, not usually given to histrionics, so I took this quite seriously. She said she was waiting for her husband to come home so he could help her go to the bathroom. Now I am speechless. She’s 60 years old, not 90. Her husband told me that she had made an appointment with the doctor, but after taking two aspirins and feeling better, she canceled the appointment and instead went to work the next day. What I love so much about all this is, she gave her husband a stern lecture about losing weight and getting into better shape. In other words, “Do as I say, not as I do.” In fairness to her, she is in good physical shape, but I would like to know the reason for her symptoms, not just that she was feeling better. From where I sit, the symptoms were just too bizarre, and I still believe there is a need for medical consultation (we have yet to talk about that, but we sure will).
All these recent cataclysmic events got me to thinking. There are some things for certain within our control, and others as my boss wrote to me tonight that we cannot control. I agree, but I do know one thing, and wrote this to a friend the other day: The only way we can help avert a catastrophic event, if it is at all in our power to do so, is to be in optimal shape physically. The genetics, we cannot conquer. Our age is immutable, but being in prime form is the only thing we can do for ourselves to maintain a semblance of good health. So why is this so hard?
Do we have to be in denial until something horrific happens? Or as a friend’s husband did, when he was told about his health, drop to the floor and do major pushups to prove that the “powers that be” are, indeed, wrong?
In Case Number One, cited above, it is now believed that this man’s heart was enlarged (discovered on further work up for the stroke) secondary to nutritional supplements he had taken to lose weight (He is stable, by the way, and was discharged from the hospital the next day, with almost a complete recovery). His wife had gastric surgery (the non-reversible type) a year and a half ago, and is still suffering the effects of it, with persistent vomiting. I just have to ask: Do we have to die to be thin or thinner? What price is too high a price for a “killer beach body”? Must we go and resort to extreme measures to be healthy?
All major diet plans on the market today share the same structure: Caloric reduction, more physical activity, lifestyle alterations for life.
We know quick fixes don’t work. So many people on SP have been blogging lately, chastising themselves for weight gain over the holidays. This is for the long haul, and a lifetime of bad habits are fighting back with a vengeance.
So I guess my question to you folks is, what exactly will it take to arrive at good health permanently? I sure don’t have the answer either.