The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Post-Birthday Post

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Yesterday was my birthday. I am 46 years old.

This is a bittersweet birthday for me. The sweet is that at 46 years old, I am in excellent shape. I am three pounds away from my ultimate weight loss goal of 50 pounds. I have not been this small since my RA diagnosis 13 years ago. I am stronger and healthier. I feel amazing. I mean, I don't "feel" 46, although I am not quite sure what it supposed to feel like. While at the spa yesterday, the esthetician doing my facial remarked how incredible my skin looks. Flawless without a single wrinkle or crease. She was amazed when I told her my age.

But then there is the bitter...

My father died at the age of 46. His father died at the age of 46.

Now, I don't think that this will be my fate. I only have so much control of that. When it's your time, there is no arguing with the Reaper. But, I can't help but wonder about it. Both my father and paternal grandfather had major health issues. My father suffered from heart disease, diabetes and the effects of two strokes. My paternal grandfather had heart disease as well.  Many on my father's side of the family are/were heavy smokers as well.  As a result, I've always been very mindful of my own health, not smoking and taking care of myself to ensure that the family history did not visit upon this girl.

Instead, I got the rheumatoid arthritis and migraines.

At any rate, the logical part of my brain says that I am thinking too deeply into this. As I said, I am in good health for someone with my health issues. I am very vigilant about how I feel with the RA and the FMS, especially with the amount of medications that I take. The side effects alone are worse than the conditions themselves. I am exercising regularly, eating well and have cut back on the stress. I am doing everything I am supposed to do.

I guess the bottom line is that there are no guarantees in this life. As I said, when the Reaper comes calling, there's no debate or discussion. But, what I can do is work to ensure that my family history does not cause the Reaper to come calling sooner than expected.

I just hope the Reaper isn't playing the cowbell when he does come calling!


Belle said...

Happy Birthday! Forty-six feels a long time ago now, but I can assure you that it likely doesn't feel like 46 is 'supposed' to feel. If you feel strong and happy, to hell with the number! I'm over 60 now, and in most of the ways that count, I'm far happier in myself than I've been in decades.

Enjoy your life and spend more time doing the things you love. That's my birthday wish for you!!!

Rebecca said...

Remember, you've got some of your Mama in you, too!

But I know exactly where you're coming from. Since my mother reached the point of being able to do very little for herself a couple of years ago, my sister and I have become even more careful of our health...and we had already become healthier than we'd ever been in our lives.

Although we did not at all begrudge what our mother needed from us, and did the best we could for her because we loved her, We both told our kids more than once, "We don't want any of you to ever have to do for us what we are now having to do for Grandma."

Of course, we hope the way we are living now makes it much more unlikely that we will suffer strokes than a woman who was not only extremely overweight, but got very little exercise and had to have the world's unhealthiest diet ever. But who knows what else could happen?

We can only do the best we can, treat ourselves and others right, and hope for the best.

But you had a great year, and losing all that weight can only be an enormously helpful thing. So just stay positive. That helps, too! ;)

Seeking Solace said...

Belle: Thank you for the words of wisdom.

Rebecca: True. Most of the folks on my mom's side die of some form of cancer. However, the women on her side seem to live a very long time. My great-grandmother was 101 and my grandmother was 96.

o said...

Happy birthday :) For what it's worth, I know someone who spent her whole life convinced she would die at 68 as her father did. She's 71 now :)