"When you've got your health, you've got everything."
Those of us who are on "that" side of fifty will probably remember the television commercial that spouted that little tidbit of wisdom. Or maybe your mother said it. Well, when I first heard it, it meant very little to me. I was young and invincible and I was going to be in perfect health for the rest of my long life (longevity runs in my family) and nothing bad was ever going to happen to my health. I would just go to sleep one night at the ripe old age of 97, with all my faculties intact, and not wake up the next morning.
None of that incontinence for me. Or high blood pressure either. Forget about cholesterol, mine was always going to be perfect - low even. Diabetes would never get hold of me. I was and always would be the picture of health.
Never mind that my diet over the years has been less than optimum. Love those carbs! Give me pasta, breads, crackers, and the like and that will do me. When I'm hungry that is, which I rarely am. If you never get hungry, then you don't think about eating as much, so sometimes you skip a meal now and then. No harm, right?
Some of my favorite things to eat are fresh fruits. Strawberries, watermelon, canteloupe, pineapple, grapes, nectarines - all are ambrosial to me. But I don't eat them all that often. To buy them in the store is expensive and you never know if you're going to get good ones. I like apples, too, but even those are sometimes difficult to find that taste good.
I don't like raw vegetables, except for cucumbers. I'll eat spinach and lettuce if there's enough stuff stacked on top of it, like hard-boiled eggs, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, raisins, shredded cheddar and poppy seed dressing. I do like cooked green beans, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, corn, onions, peas, and beets (pickled only), but I only eat those a little more often than fresh fruit and I really don't know why.
I've eaten like this all my life, so why I thought I could continue with it forever and ever without any ill effects, I don't know. For a long time now, I've been anemic. I know I need to eat foods that are high in iron and take my multi-vitamin every day. I'll do really well for awhile, but after a few days, I'm back to my old habits. Pass the bread, please.
As I type, I'm sitting here with a Holter heart monitor strapped to me. I'll be wearing it for the next two days. (It was supposed to be three, but the hospital didn't have a 72-hour monitor.) For the last several weeks, I haven't felt well and at first I thought maybe if I did "this" or "that" I could help myself feel better. It's only gotten gradually worse.
Without going into details that no one cares to hear about anyway, let's just say at this point, all indicators are pointing towards hyperthyroidism combined with severe anemia. According to my doctor, all systems are in overdrive, including my metabolism, which explains the 12-pound weight loss I've experienced over the last year or so (with no change in eating habits or activity). It would explain a LOT of my symptoms, but until we get the results from the blood tests I had yesterday, I'm not going to venture a guess as to what is wearing me down.
So why am I blogging about this?
I know all too well what it's like to have perfect health taken away from you. Prior to my having bacterial meningitis in 1999, I was one of those people that was never sick, not even the flu, and rarely a cold. Yes, I've got a couple of bulging discs in my neck due to my many years of doing dental hygiene, but even that is doing pretty well now that I'm not working more than half a day a week.
Since my illness nearly nine years ago, it's been one thing or another. I know I'm lucky - blessed - to even be here and not in any worse health than I am, but I long for the days when all I had was a minor ache or pain now and then. I know there are many, many of you out there dealing with health issues that only you know about. I know there are those that appear to be in perfect health, yet they have chronic pain due to conditions not visually apparent to others. I wish we all could enjoy optimum health, but as we get older (wow, I hate saying that!) we do or will have health issues to deal with. I'm much more sympathetic than I used to be towards others who do.
No matter what the outcome is of my tests, I am really going to make a concerted effort to help myself as much as I can by at least putting good food into my body. I suggest you do the same, if your diet could be improved upon. It's one thing we can control, even if we are the victim of years of bad habits. As remarkable as the human body is, you can only abuse it so long.
I'm avoiding the topic of exercise though, because ... well ... let's just not go there. One thing at a time ...