Wednesday, January 19, 2011


There are a variety of forms of motivation.  Depends on the situation but it can be anything from smaller jeans, to a college degree, to living a longer, healthier life.  You just have to find it.

The last few weeks, I find myself saddened, by the poor choices that my father makes in regards to his health.  Almost 2 years ago he had 2 heart attacks within weeks of each other.  He tried to make the changes that were necessary for his health and well being, but unfortunately, that was easier said than done.  He is a cheeseburger-aholic and slightly allergic to most vegetables, unless large quantities of ranch dressing are involved.

The last few weeks, my mother and I have watched him and wondered how much longer he is going to be around.  When he finally caved and went to the doctor, he couldn't get shoes on because his feet were so badly swollen from the extra fluid that his body was carrying.  The fluid was up in his stomach and causing him difficulty breathing.  The doctor estimated that he was carrying around an additional 40-60 pounds of fluid.  My mom had to go buy him new pants so he could go to the doctor, because his regular sweats wouldn't go on.

This past weekend we were at there house installing a new light fixture in the kitchen, and I was amazed at his lack of thoughtfulness into his diet and efforts into getting the fluid off.  I realize that people who suffer from certain diseases, such as Congestive Heart Failure, and Diabetics are prone to their feet swelling.  As of this time he hasn't be diagnosed with either one of those conditions.

It saddens me, because I look at him, and wonder if he realizes that his stubbornness is going to cause so much hurt when he is gone.  Which, without some major lifestyle changes, might be sooner than we want it to be.  I'm sad that he doesn't realize that those choices are robbing his two grandchildren of their "Bop-pop".  I'm sad that more than likely he won't be around to see me graduate from Tech, or his grand-children graduate from high school.  I'm sad that he can't see the stress that this is putting on my mother, his mother, his father, his sister, my husband, his grandkids and even on myself. 

I realize that giving up salt and fried foods and the other junk that he eats is hard.  I realize that following a diet sucks.  But when it's a life or death situation what do you do?  I could stand to lose a few pounds too, but for the most part, my diet is healthy, and since I've started at Tech, I get more exercise in a day that I probably was getting in a week.  So too a certain extent, I'm preaching to the choir.

I wish that there was something profound that I could do or say, or that I could wave my magic wand and make him better.  Or at least make him want to get better.  Instead I think that he has given up on doing anything to make the situation better.  It broke my heart when we left on Saturday and I wondered on the way home, if it was the last time I would see him.  That's not a thought I want to have every time I walk out of their house.

I hope he realizes that you only get so many chances to make things right.  Once you have polluted and worn out your body, there isn't much more that you can do.  God only gives you so many chances, and sometimes one is all you get.

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