Popping Pills And Other Normalities

Well, I’m at that age … late thirties, and I sound like my older friends:

“My body ain’t what it used to be.”

Like all areas of life, you never think it can happen to you. But it does. You always think of your body like you think of other things in your life: untouchable.

Things happen to other people, but not your house, your car, your loved one, your pet, or your health. You think nothing will ever happen to those things. But trees fall on houses, your car gets stolen, your loved one is shot, your pet gets eaten by another animal, or you get something terminal.

Fortunately, nothing serious is going on with my health recently, buy you never know what’s around the corner.

Just recently, I had two growths removed from my body. One formed about fifteen years ago, the other about five years ago. Moles? Who knows, but it was good for my wife to urge that I get them checked out.

The dermatologist said they didn’t look like cancer, but they looked weird(her words).

The results came back—not cancer.

But this isn’t my only health concern. Cancer runs in the family, as does high blood pressure. My blood pressure is great, but as an on-again and off-again pipe-smoker, cancer remains a concern. So does emphysema.

It’s not just the periodic smoking that concerns me with possible futuristic deteriorating health. The environment bothers me, also. We live in a fairly large city, downwind from a recycling plant, so I can only imagine what sorts of rubbish my lungs and heart are taking in, daily.

I try to eat well, balanced meals my wife and I prepare. I try to exercise, hiking when I can, and bicycling in the spring now that my bike is repaired. I might even start jogging. Physically, if you see me, I look more fit than most guys in their late thirties, but half the time I can’t breathe too well—asthma since childhood.

I take vitamins and supplements in addition to trying to stay away from junk food. And I never eat fast food. As the bumper sticker says, Stay Healthy and Still Die.

But I don’t want to die a miserable death. Who wants that slow, painful death? I don’t want cancer. I don’t want emphysema. I don’t want heart failure. I don’t want COPD.

I think what actually helps keep me healthy is a strong mind. I’ve been through some hard times when I was a teen and young adult, so most of my thirties seem like a cake-walk. Low stress, low anxiety. And if something starts to bother me, I cut it off. Anxiety and stress can actually cause health complications. A peaceful mind can almost be as good as exercise, a good diet and minimal bad habits.

So, I do what I can, as we all should. I know I probably sound like an “old man” saying this, but you only have one body—one life. Some decisions you make can be reversed, but many cannot. No sense in adding rough years to the short life you have. You’re only human, after all.

– Originally published at GoodMenProject.com

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