Monday, June 9, 2008

Home isn't exactly where the heart is

I love my home, really I do. It’s beautiful here in the Middle of Nowhere. My dogs are here, I don’t have to figure out where to find a size 3 knitting needle (as I did in Florida, since I forgot to bring one with me), food is easy to prepare and we don’t have to tip the wait staff.

But my dad is almost 800 miles away, and that’s where my heart is.

He’s doing much, much better – amazingly so, actually. He’s been moved out of ICU into a step-down unit and is getting both occupational and physical therapy. He sat in a chair for a little bit yesterday and is eating regular meals instead of broth and Jell-O and pudding. Blood levels are returning to normal, which means less confusion and no more dialysis!

Thank you all for your good wishes for his continued recovery. We have a long way to go, but he could actually come out of all of this better than he’s been in several years.

If ever I needed a wake-up call to not take my health for granted, this situation with my dad is it. All of his current health problems – all of them – ultimately are due to obesity, which is one of the, um, biggest (sorry) risk factors in Type II diabetes, which he’s had for many years.

(For my dad, it’s gone like this: Obesity led to diabetes which led to difficulty walking which led to a knee replacement which led to leg wounds which led to infection which led to septicemic shock. Maybe not in that exact order, but all of those things have been intertwined, leaving him severely limited in mobility and in a great deal of chronic pain. And as we all know, you don’t much feel like taking a walk when it hurts to walk.)

Most people who are diagnosed with the disease are obese at the time of diagnosis. Not everyone who is overweight will develop it, of course, but several risk factors can indicate who is more likely to, and I’m certainly one of those. In fact, the only risk factors that don’t apply to me are race and high blood pressure.

It seems to me that Type II diabetes is probably about as preventable as AIDS and as treatable as hypertension. That may be simplifying things a bit, but Keep It Simple has always worked for me. And the first thing I need to do is once-and-for-all lose this weight.

If you’ve followed my weight-loss saga the past couple of years over at the Shrinking Knitter, you know how difficult it’s been for me to drop pounds. Seems like no matter how hard I work out or how healthfully I eat, my body likes to weigh about 40 pounds too many.

I did some major stress eating while I was gone, and worked out not at all. (How do you guys in Florida ever manage to run?) I felt (and feel) badly about the lack of progress while I was there, especially when I could clearly see where I’m headed if I don’t change my wicked ways.

I had just completed the second week of South Beach when we left, and found it to be a manageable, pleasant and effective (five pounds lost!) way to eat. Yesterday I was back on the horse, so to speak, including a three-mile walk and – get ready – a short weight-training session. Today will be more of the same – clean eating, exercise and continued progress. It’s long past time to get this done!

Oh, and if you don’t have your own wake-up call, you can borrow mine.

4 comments:

  1. You know I know ALL ABOUT the non-weight-losing situation! But do not forget: your eating and exercise ARE making you healthier, whether or not you ever lose a single pound. That's the miracle of physical activity: everyone benefits just as much as anyone else, regardless of weight loss.

    Glad to hear your dad is doing well!

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  2. So glad your dad is doing so very much better - and of course your heart is there with him. Seeing our parents age and have problems feels backwards of how things should be and makes me feel like a little kid, wanting to take things to my parents.

    You're right about the wake up call. Mine came when I saw the knee replacement specialist. We'll have something different that jolts us out of our same-old patterns. Thanks for loaning us yours :)

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  3. Glad your dad is doing better.

    Weight. It is the bane of my existence.

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  4. Hi, I have seen your blog mentioned several times on other blogs I read, and was always intrigued because I am also a knitter. I really related to this entry because my dad is also diabetic, and has lots of other serious health issues all related to obesity. And yet, for years I watched (it was like watching a movie of my future) and still did nothing. Now finally I have lost most of my weight, but am still hopeful to lose more or at least maintain. I came to your blog this morning reading about changing things up on several different blogs. Good luck on the S.B. diet!

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