Thursday, January 15, 2015

This n'that, the kvetching about my health edition

Wow, two months since my last post?!

What can I say? 2014 was a busy, busy year ... followed by an utter collapse into exhaustion.

This, then, I suppose is mostly just a note to assure the blog-o-sphere that I'm not dead, kidnapped, or a recent convert to the Rajneeshi cult on the basis of their Rolls-Royce obsession.  (Are the Rajneeshis even still around? If not, what happened to all the Baghwan's Rolls?)

To sum up the last couple of months: Thanksgiving, Christmas prep, Christmas in Glens Falls, utter exhaustion, and then ... back to work. (I'll probably post a batch of Christmas pictures here sometime soon because this is a convenient place to do that.) Mostly the two-month hiatus for the blog has been a reflection of just how tuckered out I was by the end of 2014.

This leads to my one and only resolution for 2015, which really I made around mid-November 2014: I will put more effort into the maintenance of myself than I put into the maintenance of my rusty old pickup truck. That's all.

The vow itself has its roots in a couple of items, most notably the neglectful way I've treated my body the last couple of years, simply because I had put my own health toward the end of my to-do priority list. By the time I hit December it was obvious that:

1. I'd gotten way over weight again.
2. I'd hit my all time record for being out of shape.
3. The combination of #1 and #2 was making me increasingly less productive at a time when I needed to do more than ever.
4. If I continued down that path I could look forward to early disability and death.

Point number four in particular was brought home to me by two things. The first was the terrible condition in which I found my brother Mike when we went out to Wyoming for The Big Road trip. He had worked himself into a genuine health crisis. (I'm happy to say that Mike has reversed the course and already looked in much better shape when I saw him at Christmastime.) The second wake-up notice happened as I was lecturing somebody at work about going to see a doctor immediately because he had chest pains, and he said, "Well, I just want to get such-and-such done first...."  In the midst of that it occurred to me that I'd better start giving myself that lecture. I wasn't having chest pains, but I felt I had launched myself on that trajectory. In particular my weight and lack of fitness really began to concern me given my long family history of diabetes.

Now I've had my long-deferred physical. I'm happy to say that I don't seem to have done too much long-term damage to myself yet.  (There was also a gentle suggestion that at age 47 nothing good can happen to me if I go back on a rugby pitch. Sigh)

Next step: a colonoscopy. So, um ... self-maintenance isn't all glamour, I reckon.

Also, as part of the drive to achieve a minimal mediocrity in self-maintainance I finally went to an ophthalmologist to get my eyes looked at. My reading vision had been sliding for the last couple of years and although I was still squinting my way to literacy it was pretty obvious that a pair of reading glasses were in my future. What I didn't expect was to come away with a bifocal prescription. I had kinda noticed that my distance vision wasn't what it once was, but I was really surprised to get a distance prescription along with my reading prescription.  (And joy of joys I have an astigmatism, so off-the-rack El Cheapo reading glasses are never going to work very well for me.) The good news is that my distance vision is still well within the DMV limits, so I hadn't entirely turned into a Mr. Magoo driving disaster.

For now I opted for two different pairs of glasses, one for reading and one for driving. But I can already see that I'm going to move to a genuine set of bifocals sooner instead of later. And ... yeah, walking out of the eye doctor's place with my first *two* pairs of glasses is a pretty good wake-up call for my health, too.

I plan to do a lot more living and to do a lot more stuff with that time. So, whatever else may be on my plate ... taking better care of myself has to move up to number one.

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