Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Old Age

Without your health you have nothing.

My dad says that all the time. In the past he hasn't always taken his health seriously, smoking, drinking quite a bit and snacking a lot, but he's always enjoyed weight lifting, bike riding, and hiking. As a retired person, he walks and rides his bike. He watches what he eats and makes healthy decisions for himself.

But there's one decision he's not making and it's getting me worried. He won't go see a doctor for a check up.

He's got some alarming symptoms. He feels tired and weak all the time, and sometimes feels short of breath. He once complained of having chest pains after exercising. He's developed a tremor in his hand which is making it hard for him to do fine motor tasks. He's lost his appetite. His stomach is growling and he tries to eat, but after just a few bites he doesn't want it anymore. He's lost 50 pounds since February without trying. He said his memory is going.

His diabetic neighbour tested his blood sugar after eating lunch and it was normal. He thought he might have diabetes. Now that that's ruled out, he thinks he may have Parkinson's disease or cancer. But he also thinks he might just have a virus and it's nothing.

The problem is, this has been going on for a couple of months now. Either way, he should see a doctor! I think he might be afraid of dying and as long as no on confirms it, he doesn't have to face it. It's scary to think about for sure, but personally I would rather know the truth sooner than later. I would want to fight it head on rather than passively let the disease eat away at me without me even knowing what's going on.

He talks of taking a trip to Montana this summer. He talks of watching his granddaughter graduate from high school. He talks of living to be at least 100. I know my dad is going to die someday, but I sort of like to believe he'll live to be 100. Does he have 34 more years left in him? Not if he doesn't see a damn doctor!

I feel very emotional about it all. When he came and visited yesterday and told me he still hasn't gotten checked out, I just wanted to slap him and ask him if he was losing his mind. I hate feeling like there's nothing I can do to help him. I hate waiting for an answer. I hate worrying about him.

Maybe it is nothing but old age. I so badly want this to blow over and all be nothing. If it is something serious though, my life is going to change. Someone's going to have to take care of him and I'm the only one around to do it. Some time to prepare would be nice.

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