48 and a half

I almost ran today.

It seems like I am doing a lot of remembering these days. People I have known for years are in failing health or passing away at an alarming rate. In November, one of my oldest family friends Nancy Richner passed away from surgical complications. In December, another high school friend, Dan Askew, lost his life to an aortic aneurysm, the same thing that claimed my natural father 20 years ago this May. And another, Jill Bryant, lost a battle with cancer she had been fighting for years. It has been a sad few months to say the least. But when word got to me about what another old friend and her husband are dealing with now, it really hit too close to home.

He is a diabetic. Has been for years. Guess the fast food eating competitions we had in our twenties did neither of us any good. Even in trying to control the disease for the last few years, he and his wife received devastating news in December. They told him his foot and part of his leg were going to be lost because they had suffered too much damage over time. Last Tuesday, that happened to them.

Mentally and financially devastated by the news, I feel badly for them as they face an uphill battle to resume to a somewhat normal life and keep their home. Amputation surgery is not cheap, but what other choice to they have? A go fund me page has been established to help them get through this, and I am praying for a great outcome for their family. But that is not the real reason behind tonight's post.

As I mentioned, my birth father passed away 20 years ago.What you may not know is that, at the time of his death, he was only 43. Guess how old I will be in a month?

Yep, you guessed it, 43.

If you have read a lot of my posts, you also know I lost my mother in 2009. My hero and best friend, she was only 54 when cancer took her from us. And I remember, as we said good bye 4 days later, this thought crossing my mind for the very first time.

43 and 54. Simple math puts the median age at 48 and a half. My life expectancy.

That was and continues to be a scary thought. But I refuse to accept it as reality.

I used to smoke. A lot. 2 packs for 20 years. Never gave ot a second thought until May of 2013 when I could not breath and it hurt to smoke. One day I looked in the mirror and asked how stupid I was for doing that to myself. I put them down. June 5, 2013. Never craved since. And its funny because Tiffany's cousin, who visited us for dinner Saturday night, refuses to stop. And he struggles. To put his coat on, to put his shoes on, to walk down the stairs, gasping every step, so he can go outside and smoke. That used to be me. Never will put that poison in my body again.

 I also used to eat junk food. A lot. Big Buford cheeseburgers and Ice Cream and Twinkies and whatever I could get my hands on without so much as a thought what it might be doing to my body. It was nothing for me to stop at UDF and get three 3 packs of Ho Ho's and a quart of chocolate milk and down that on the way home from work, 30 minutes before dinner. I did that a lot. Cutting back and watching blood sugar was something old people like my Mom had to do. I was invincible.

 But when Nurse Diane told me in mid December that, with an A1C of 384,  insulin was in my future if things didn't change, I knew I now was one of those old people. And if I didn't start taking things seriously, I would be the one losing a limb. Or my life.

That was 44 days and 23 pounds ago. That was before the sugar went from 384 to 111. That was before I walked 2 miles in the neighborhood tonight,  and had half a mind to run some of the way.

Not yet. But I will get there.3 years ago, though, just the walk might have killed me.

I want to see my grand kids get married. I want to mooch off the boys in my old age. And, most of all, I want to get past 48 and a half.

Day # 1064. Still have 50 pounds to go. Haven't been 200 since I was 12. Still feel better than I have in years! It is good to be me!


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