It’s February in the early morning and I am sitting in my cozy bed
listening to the rain. For those that know me, they can attest – that
isn’t the norm for me. I am usually at yoga, the gym, the pool, a spin class,
hiking … whatever it takes to move my body. But today, with a bout of
laryngitis, I am still and reflecting about sickness and health. Two
weeks ago, I spent time in the ER and the hospital with my 93 year old father
who had a surgery to remove the plaque that was clogging his carotid artery,
the one leading to the brain. The Dr. told him that his chances of having a
stroke would go up because of it. Even at 93, the fear of being in a
wheelchair, or not being able to formulate words, frightened my dad, so he
decided to take the risk and have the surgery.
The surgeon said it would be an in and out procedure. He would
spend the night in the Intensive Care Unit to make sure the surgery didn’t
cause a stroke and then go home. He might have some headaches but he
would be OK to make his big yearly trip the following week to visit family in
Washington State. Great..
As most medical situations go, that wasn’t what happened. He
made it through the surgery three hours instead of two because of the big
amount of plaque. He was then kicked out of the ER two hours earlier than
any of us planned. They had him waiting in a holding area next to the cafeteria
and left a message that he was discharged. With no one to get discharge
instructions from, he was picked up. What happens to the elderly that don’t
have family to get them I thought. How do they manage?
Without getting in to too many details, the long and short of it
was: At his home, his blood pressure became too high and he was taken
back to the ER… then discharged that night, then taken back again the
following day and finally admitted. One week in the hospital and his
headaches and blood pressure stabilized. He is after all 93 years old.
Ok, my point… In the stillness of the morning, I am reflecting
on how I can prevent sickness. How can I manage my life to the best of my
ability. What alternatives are there? Diet, Vitamin K to reduce plaque,
plant based diet, no more organic bacon, cut out sugar, dairy, wheat.
Be as kind to myself as possible. And the biggest take away
for me was that I got so stressed being in and out of the hospital (reminded me
of the time time with my late husband when I lived there for a few weeks while
he was dying) that led my immune system to breakdown, hence the laryngitis this
How can I manage the difficult parts of my life better? What
is important? Clearly family, community, friends. We all need to help each
other. Better health care system (thats a given).
At one time or another, we all will face health challenges whether
they are with us or our loved ones. At one time or another, we all will
have to make decisions regarding our health or a loved ones. At one time or
another we all will seek answers to questions like WHY our body breaks down,
why we can’t conceive, or why we get ill. Some of these questions
will remain unanswered. What can we do? Focus on taking care of ourselves in
the best possible manner – right here and now.
Here is my formula for living a healthy life.
- Eat healthy, exercise
- Stress management: yoga, meditation, prayer
- Make time for friends, family, relationships
- Love and forgive more
- Educate myself and others on alternative options for health and healing
- Don’t put off what I want to say to others, rather say it now.
What is your formula for living a healthy life?Share