April 2, 2008

Being a healthy bear

Health is something that has been weighing heavily on my mind. I am not overweight or sick or anything but people close to me have had health issues that has caused me to be more conscious of what it means to live healthy. In particular the following have deeply affected me:

1. As you might remember, my sister-in-law passed away in December from breast cancer and that forever impacted me and my thoughts of mortality. She was only 39 and way too young to be taken from our world. In addition, two of my maternal aunts are breast cancer survivors, so it does run in my family as does other types of cancer.

2. Several years ago, my daddy had a mild stroke and we later found that he had a 80% blockage in one of his arteries. My daddy is unique in that he was born with only 2 main arteries rather than the 3 that most other people are born with. So 80% in one artery when he was already missing one artery was not a good thing. As a result, he had to have a metal stent inserted into his artery to help clear the blockage. This was a very frightening event, my dad was not even in his 60's at the time. My daddy, my superman, for the first time was vulnerable. My daddy is a man with such a big heart and it was just ironic that he was at risk of a heart attack. His father, my grandfather, passed away before I was born due to heart disease, so this was something that is in our family history so I too need to be cognizant of it. As a teen I had high cholesterol. Some people think that occurs with unhealthy and overweight people. I wasn't overweight by any means, but both my mommy and daddy have had high cholesterol. Through proper diet and exercise I was able to bring it down to normal levels but it is something that I inherited from my parents and I need to continually monitor with my doctor. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and as a woman I have to do my best to live a heart healthy lifestyle.

3. Recently, my mother was diagnosed with osteoporosis, something that is most common among Asian women, making me also vulnerable (being an Asian woman and now having a family history). I believe that this is also found on my dad's side of the family as well. Luckily with treatment it can be reversed and there are many things you can do to prevent it.

Knowing that I have a pre-disposition to these illnesses, I can work to take steps now while I am still young (yes 33 is still young!) to prevent their occurrence. All of these things together have made me realize just how fragile and how important our health is. How fortunate I am to have my health to be able to run in a 5K to benefit breast cancer when my sister-in-law can not. I need to appreciate my health and live in such a way to keep myself healthy, I am lucky to be alive, so I have to treat my body in the right way. The way to do that is to educate myself and to strive to live a healthy lifestyle.

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome, Sher. I am trying to be more healthy, as well. It can be difficult, but well worth it.