Lately I've been in a haze...a haze of whys.
Why am I doing this? Why am I eating healthy all the time when all I want is a plate of chips and a beer? Why am I at gym at 5 in the morning and not still tucked up in bed? Why am I bothering?
This week my parents came down from Queensland to visit. Always a good time, lots of food, catching up, laughs. We took my youngest to the Zoo and had a glorious day. Until lunchtime.
Just after lunch my father, my strong, still working, certainly- not -old father had some pain down his left arm. Some significant pain, enough to stop this man, who would rather suffer in silence than worry anyone, and make him sit down. Enough to send his left hand numb and make him sweat. But it passed and he insisted all he needed was a lie down.
Later that afternoon, my parents came over for a home cooked dinner. As soon as Dad stepped in the door, the pain was back. Worse. Numbness in his hand, hard to breathe a little, intense pain getting stronger, clammy sweats, poor colour.....are you connecting the dots like I did? The ambulance was called and I went off with my strong, rarely sick father to hospital, my mother ( with her disability was unable to get into the ambulance) and husband coming close behind.
A million things flew through my mind in a nano second. Is this it? I haven't said I love you enough. I haven't hugged him enough. I haven't told him all the things I want to do or shown him yet. I haven't heard all his stories. I haven't had enough time with him.......
The EXTREMELY GOOD news is he is fine. More tests to go but he has been tentatively diagnosed with angina pectoris.....which if you know of or want to look up is basically an early warning alarm system for heart failure. My father and our family were extremely lucky. We got this warning, and can now take steps to work towards reversing it. We got a second chance.
This answers my whys. Why am I doing this...so I don't have to run the risk of not getting a warning. Why am I eating healthy? So I can avoid this outcome all together and not suffer the pain and illness I could otherwise encounter. Why am I at gym? So I can see my children and future grandchildren and not have them face life without their mother or grandmother. Why am I bothering? Because I want to LIVE.
I used to think I could live forever. Then my friend died of complications that progressed from breast cancer in her early thirties.
I thought life was unstoppable. Then I gave birth to my 4th child, unresponsive and not breathing, only due to the skill and God she was resuscitated and with us nearly nine years later.
I thought I could beat death and not have to worry about what I ate, after all, I wasn't fat or overweight by much. Then, after a shock diagnosis of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and pre diabetic condition, I realised that I may not live as long as I wanted to.
I thought my father could live for ages, after all, he was still working in a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting and movement, he's only 64 and he's fairly active in the community. Then I watched as he faced something out of the blue that wouldn't go away, that scared the bejeebers out of myself, and my parents too I'm sure. All of a sudden, life didn't seem so predictable. Or safe or long.
Now my whys are answered. Instead of saying Why, I'm now saying