|John's parents, George and Theda|
"That's what I've been sayin' all along!", John remarked, after I told him about my cholesterol results. "You worked your butt off, trying to stay healthy, but genetics still got you in the end. So what's the point?" And, as usual, my brain refused to spit out a timely reply. It wasn't until this morning that the answer came to me.
The point, My Love, is those two in the photo above -- your beloved parents. Which one would you rather end up like? They both inherited a few "bad genes", Theda probably more than George, and those genes manifested themselves right around the same time. Theda had a heart attack in her mid-sixties, and George's blood pressure became slightly elevated. But, think about what happened after that.
Theda quit smoking cold turkey. George said "What's the point?" Theda took all the pills necessary, no matter how much she disliked them. George refused to take his blood pressure medicine, once he discovered it could affect his sex-life. Theda joined a water aerobics class and attended faithfully for the rest of her life. George rode around in a golf cart a couple of times a week, but then suddenly gave up that, his job and his beloved woodworking hobby all at once, and for no apparent reason. Only later did we realize that mini-strokes were probably affecting his ability to do them. She gave up all the foods on her no-no list (pork, cheese, eggs), he kept right on eating the way he always had -- no fruit or veggies, just meat, starches and sugar.
When Theda finally needed by-pass surgery, many years later, she did exactly what the doctors asked of her, and made a full recovery. When George had his first major stroke, and the doctors told him he could recover if he worked at it, he said "What's the point?", and got himself kicked out of rehab for refusing to cooperate.
So here's my point, Dearest: Yeah, genetics can jump up and bite you in the ass when you least expect it, but it's how you deal with it that really matters. Theda managed to get herself another twenty years of high-quality life, pursuing her passions, contributing to society, and being an important part of her kids' and grandkids' lives.
|A family float on the river. Theda even went down the chute!|
We do have choices. That's the point.