Health and wellness. That old saying tells us that if you have your health, you have everything. However, health can mean much more than physical wellness. This week, we want to know what it means to you.
Health means a big worry lifted from my mind. If my/our health is suffering in some way it is as if a Damocles sword is hanging in the air, never knowing when it will drop and cause damage.
I have been lucky up to now. I have had my surgical problems which have been dealt with by a hospital visit and afterwards recuperation; nothing really grave or threatening and everything “benign” as they say. Two memorable three hour and seven hour operations never to forgotten were the revenge from my twin sister/brother that I decided to stifle when I was born. There was only to be me as the main actor in the play of life and my dark half was to stay put. She/He did stay put until I was around fifty years old. The cells started growing. Should I dig a grave to bury her (you know like Stephen King did with his Dark Half) or see a doctor. I saw the doctor and he had fun removing the collection of growing cells, but he lost the first time round because my other half returned with revenge. At the second try, it was a success and my rival was removed (with a few other unnecessary organs like an appendix) never to appear again.
Otherwise I have been given a healthy life more or less. Due to an overfeeding of sugar, cakes and biscuits (my fault entirely), my body refused to produced enough insulin to cope with it, so for the past twenty years I have been taking tablets for my diabetes 2. The problem with diabetes is basically that you do not realise you are ill. I can measure my levels to see how it is developing, write the numbers in a book, and forget it until you see the doctor. He was not pleased with my evening diet of potato chips and salted peanuts, and gave me a warning coupled with a course of tablets against too much cholesterol. Asking how long I have to take the anti-cholesterol tablets, I was told forever.
I have survived up to now, but my golden oldie status needs some care. Do I really want to inject insulin, measure everything I want to eat for its sugar values (and it is not everything that is sweet is sugar). Examine each meal for its carbohydrate content for the rest of my earthly existence. The answer is no, so I have to do something about it.
For some time I am now careful of what and when I eat certain foods. I spent two miserable evenings suffering from chip and salted peanut withdrawal symptoms, but I stopped smoking fifteen years ago, so I can do that as well, and I did. I have even lost some surplus weight which was turning my figure into a triangle. To my advantage is that I do not like eating food when I do not know the origin. I like cooking and I do not buy precooked fancy frozen food when I can make it myself. I would rather not eat it. I like lasagne, but my own lasagne, and not some mixture of unknown animal (horse?) and vegetable. I can buy meat from the butcher and make my own tomato sauce, no problem. Not that horse meat would bother me, I quite like it, but I prefer beef in my lasagne.
Some people do not eat meat; they call themselves vegetarian or a step further, a vegan. Not my sort of thing and I really am not sure if this goes under the name of healthy. During the week I rarely cook meat for lunch, just at week-ends. I have no problem with meat, but I do not have to eat it with every meal. And being vegetarian does not mean just leave the meat out. With something it has to be compensated, otherwise I doubt if it is a healthy diet.
Back to the healthy details of life. I live in constant fear that my father would fall ill. He is now 98 years old, but has no dangerous illness. His main problem is walking. He never leaves his house, but his food and washing are cared for. He would never complain of pain and I am glad to say that he is still a clear thinker. He may not hear so well, but when he does he has a sensible answer ready.
We all grow older and do not know what might lie ahead. Aches and pains that were completely unknown suddenly appear. Twenty years ago I could spring out of the bed in the morning; today I have to think about it, and not too quickly. It might be my blood pressure drops with a sudden movement: better to take it easy.
I have never been a physical exercise person. Always enjoyed a nice walk in the country, but I mean walk and not a running marathon to prove how good I am and to find out where my limits are. I take it easy. I found that I should do something for my physical shape. I have some friends that swear on yoga. When I heard that yoga is not just sitting on a mat and crossing legs, but moving the legs in impossible positions (for me), I decided that would not be my thing. I then discovered Tai Chi. Nice and slow, concentrating on collecting energy in the Dan Tien (lower abdomen) and no rush, just take it easy. I decided that was the thing for me. I ordered a DVD but decided that was not enough. I searched for a course and found exactly what I wanted needed and since almost a year I am a weekly visitor and member of the local Tai Chi gathering.
Otherwise my keep fit exercises are usually brain training writing blogs on the computer. Sometimes I even adapt to a poetical write, or I might go on a photo safari with the camera. There are ways and means of keeping fit even in the senior years. As the Tai Chi mogul always says “there is no hurry in Tai Chi”, the motto of my life. There is no hurry in living; it all takes care of itself. Just be sure you have a good insurance.