Today’s Father’s Day post brought to you by Guest Blogger, Lorie Sheffer:
Once again, one of the men in my life is fighting for his life. Different men, different medical emergencies, with one underlying thread: “He has a chance because he was in good health before this happened.”
Lesson learned: Taking reasonable care of yourself and getting regular checkups is like contributing to a health account; you bank an extra reserve that could very well save your life. There is no guarantee for any of us that we will never get a serious illness. However, if one system has a problem and all of the other systems are strong, you tend to stand a better chance of recovery. Even the little healthy changes are like putting points in that health reserve.
Sometimes when we get to a certain age we think that it’s too late for us to get into shape. No so. Every healthy change we make counts. Save your loose change in a jar for a month, then count it and see how much you have. Those pennies and the nickels add up. So do healthy habits. Eat an extra serving of fruit and vegetables every day, park at the far end of the parking lot for so you can walk those extra steps. Take the stairs. Don’t be afraid to schedule a checkup with your doctor. Avoidance of a screening will not magically protect you from whatever disease the screening is for. You check the oil in your car, you make home repairs, you don’t allow your toilet to remained clogged and you clean out your dryer vents. If you maintain your car and your home, don’t you owe it to yourself to at least give your body some maintenance?
“He’s alive and has a chance because his overall health is otherwise so good.” How many times do you hear that before it sinks in? I’ve heard it for three different critically ill men.
Words from a neurosurgeon: “Had he been a smoker or had even one other cardiovascular risk factor, like obesity, the stroke could have killed him.”
Words from an oncologist: “His overall excellent physical condition will make his treatments much more tolerable and his recovery much faster.”
Words from a surgeon and nephrologist: “The fact that he has no other underlying medical problems is going to go a long way toward his chances for survival and recovery.” And from an ICU nurse, “The fact that he isn’t a smoker really does make a difference as far as being on a ventilator.”
It’s not too late to start that savings account. Please don’t think that if you don’t spend hours at the gym or eat a perfect diet that you may as well not bother. That’s like saying it’s not worth having a savings account unless you have a million dollars to deposit. Start small if you need to. Make changes that are doable for you. You don’t want to ever find yourself in need of an emergency account and realize that you are bankrupt.