My paternal grandparents both passed away fairly recently. My grandfather about four years ago and my grandmother just last year. They were both in their 80s. My grandfather had developed Alzheimers and was mostly a couch potato for his last few years. My grandmother had Diabetes most of her life and was bed ridden for her last few years. She had minor cuts on her body that decayed like something out of a horror movie because of the lack of circulation. She lived with my tia (aunt) and needed help being moved anywhere. I believe they also had a hospice nurse living with them to provide some help.
My mother had cancer and her last year really was spent either in the hospital or just bed ridden at home. My maternal grandmother, who is still alive at 94, had to take care of her. It was miserable. I can remember just the way my grandmother’s house felt at that time. It didn’t matter if it was a nice day or not, the house just felt dark and gloomy. I remember the night my mom had a seizure in the middle of the night. The memories of living with someone who’s terminal stay with you. There’s a lot of sleepless nights. You’re in this limbo of wanting them to hold on but also patiently waiting for them to go, so you can continue to move forward with your life. I was only a kid then, so I didn’t have to put my life on hold to care for my mother, but I can firmly grasp what that must be like.
My father just recently turned 66. He’s had high blood pressure most of his adult life. He’s been about 30-40 pounds overweight most of his adult life. I have a younger brother who is in the middle of nursing school so unfortunately there’s still a faction of my family that depends on my father’s income. 66 isn’t a spring chicken. My father’s been in oil and gas since 1982. He should have retired years ago, but he can’t. He said that seeing his mother bed ridden like that did something to him. He doesn’t have a lot of great memories about my grandfather, but he certainly recalls him being strong, independent. Not frail and lost. If my father suddenly needed hospice care, I know my brothers and I couldn’t provide it. Thankfully, he didn’t leave that decision up to us. He changed his diet. He started cutting out refined carbohydrates. He made a conscious effort to get some sort of exercise in. He lost 20lbs in 3 months. At age 66.
For all it’s glam and glory, America is only going to continue to get more expensive. I imagine many of you are nowhere near ready to retire. College tuition, even at small schools, runs about 10K per semester. Can your kids depend on you?
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with a piece of cake at a birthday party. The question is: how much of a buffer do you have? A kid who graduated from my high school a year AFTER me just died of a heart attack a year ago. He was THIRTY. Your fitness is your buffer. Is your fitness how good you look naked? No. Your fitness is not only your Fran time, it’s your blood pressure. It’s your hdl/triglyceride ratio. It’s your bone density. It’s your resting heart rate. It’s your lifeline and your dependability. Be sure you’re someone your loved ones can depend on.
To learn more about how you can make the change to prioritize your health, contact us today.