42, and the beginning of a new journey

Hello, Blog.  It’s been awhile.  Years, in fact. So here I am again, ready to start blathering away about me.

I am, without choice, embarking on a new adventure in life.  I will do my best to encourage myself (and anyone else who happens to read this) to continue forward, with whatever it takes, to make the journey as successful as I can.

And this is how it came about:

I am the site director for a small senior center, where my job includes day to day operations, creating an Older Americans Act compliant, dietitian-approved menu for our four-times-weekly meals, establishing activities and programs, and doing fundraising. One day a month a nurse comes to our center to offer free blood pressure screenings.

And this is where this part of my life’s journey begins…

On March 23, 2017, the nurse made me promise to make an appointment to have my very high blood pressure (172/104 that day) addressed — she had been concerned for several months, and kept pestering me to make the call. On March 24 my doctor confirmed that I have elevated blood pressure. No surprise there, since my BP had been climbing steadily over the last few years. Blood work was ordered to rule out any liver problems before medication was prescribed. And that’s where things got…. sticky. The blood test confirmed my liver is fine, but the doctor was surprised, and not a little concerned, with the high blood sugar levels the test reported: 333 mg/dl.  He ordered a fasting blood glucose test, which read 284 mg/dl (normal fasting blood sugar should be under 100 mg/dl). For the short term, I have been prescribed medication for the blood pressure, medication for the diabetes, a low-dose aspirin daily, I stab myself first thing in the morning to check my fasting blood glucose level, and am learning to be more aware of the foods I put in my mouth. My immediate future includes diabetes counseling, which, oddly enough, I am looking forward to. I have questions to ask, concerns and fears to be addressed.

I was always at a high risk for heart disease and diabetes. Both conditions run through both sides of my family, as does various forms of cancer. I’ve known these things my whole adult life, but did little to prevent it.  Mostly I ignored (or at best, disregarded) it. As a result of my inattention to self-care (doesn’t that sound New Age-y?), I am also an obese 59 year-old woman.

I have a lot to learn about this condition, and my body and mind’s ability to deal with it. I absolutely MUST re-evaluate my relationship with food, increase my physical activity, and take reasonable care of myself, because this is a forever journey. I will not be healed. I will be treated. I can work to improve my health, to give myself a shot at a longer, happier existence. I have dreams and goals and missions in life that are to be met.

But I guess I needed a forceful reminder to take care of me before there’s no me left to take care of. Or worse, need someone ELSE to take care of me.  I got the slap in the face from Reality on March 23, 2017.  Now I fight back.

Oh, and what’s the deal with the “42” in this blog title? In Douglas Adams’ book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe,” the answer to the question ‘Life, the Universe, and Everything’ is “42.”  I wondered for years just what the hell that was supposed to mean. It seems that now, as an homage to Adams, the number 42 is used by some software developers as a placeholder in their programs, giving it a loose definition of “whatever you want it to be.” I like that.

To the best of my ability, my life will be whatever I want it to be. 42.

Stuff and other nonsense, indeed :~)