Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The fragility of health

I have a relatively small family. A mother and father (thank heavens both still living), an uncle (with a wife and two young children aged 11 and 8) a brother (with a wife and three young children aged 8,6,and 2) and a husband. That's it. Yesterday morning I woke up and all was well in my world. Everyone was relatively healthy. (my parents are getting older and experiencing some issues brought on by their age but that's to be expected). I operated all day on the assumption that my family was well. Until I got the phone call last night. I answered the phone and happily greeted my mom. She started right in on the news. "Hayley has been in the ER all day". Hayley??? She is my 11 year old cousin. I immediately thought of afflictions that commonly occur with an 11 year old tom-girl. Broken arm. Broken leg. Yeah, something like that I was sure. But then my mom said the words that caused my spinning thoughts to cease and for my body to start shaking with shock. "They've confirmed that she has had a stroke." Looking back, the family realized that she had been having problems and dragging her one leg. Her younger brother after the fact told how she was having problems 'getting a grip and pulling herself up into the truck the other day' But it wasn't until she was writing a report for school and her mother saw her writing, normally neat was now illegible even though she was painstakingly working on it. And then all the small seemingly innocuous symptoms clicked together (hayley is a bit of a drama queen and has on occasion created 'injuries' for attention) My aunt called the doctor and he sent them immediately to the ER. Hours and tests later and the reports came back....'she's had a stroke'. The hospital readily admitted that they were out of their league and started making plans to send her to one of he hospitals in the dc metro area....via a helicopter. However, the fog had rolled in by that point so they went by ambulance. (the helicopter scares don't airlift someone unless it's very serious!........the last time they talked about airlifting a family member was when my grandmother had a stroke, caused by an aneurysm....the one that eventually killed her....and the fog rolled in that night also and she went by way to reminiscent) We are now waiting for more news.

In one day my healthy family has been turned on it's heel. I've talked in this blog about my cousin and the fact that I worry about her because she is a solid girl and I fear that she follows in the footsteps of so many people in our family history and struggle with her weight all her life. (her mother just had gastric weight problems are very close to home in her case).

What does all this do to my thought processes in regard to my weight loss journey? On one hand it scares me because without knowing the reasons for Hayleys current problem, I know that the path that I was on could so easily have brought me to a stroke or worse. It also makes me feel proud because I have greatly reduced my risks for stroke and heart problems. Most importantly, it has really cemented in my head how precious and fleeting good health is. And on that same note, it has made me realize that everything I do has an effect on my health.....and it makes me want to do everything I can to avoid something that can be avoided by a healthy lifestyle.

I faced he scale this morning and I have to admit that I'm 3 pounds up. Sobering within the context of everything that's happening.