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Call Everest College for a Brochure Now.

In thinking of mortality lately, I wanted to do research as to exactly why each of my grandparents passed. I lost my last biological grandparent when I was eight.

My mother's mother died of colon cancer when my my mother was 22. (Three years before I was born.)
My mother's father died of complications of diabetes when I was almost six. (Amputation followed by toxicity or something like that.)
My father's mother died of heart failure when I was four. (She went in for a skin graft over severe leg ulcers much like the ones my mother has now.)
My father's father died of heart failure when I was eight. (Sudden.)

I don't believe any of them lived past seventy. I need to find out the ages, methinks. Funny that I know almost nothing about my grandparents, other than my Grandma Wilcox never smiled, both my grandpas were alcoholics, and my Grandma Keating made homemade ketchup.

As my parents stand now, both are surviving. I know my father has had issues with cancer years ago, but beyond that, he's extremely close-mouthed about his health. (The cancer I found out over a year after the fact.) My mother.....? Well... extremely high blood pressure, conjestive heart failure, extremely awful diabetes, troubles to the extremeties because of diabetes (ulcers, lack of feeling). Coupled with the fact that she takes fistfuls of medication, eats everything under the sun/moon/stars, and had decades of extreme drug abuse, it's a wonder she's still around. (Though she's miserable and feels her life is beyond over at 56.) My father drinks a lot, I believe, and will be 70 in May. (I haven't been around him in YEARS to see if this is still true...) Jess's dad has had two or three heart attacks in the last couple of years and will be having bipass surgery soon, and is now also an extreme meth-head.

Looking at my family history, I really really really should become a healthier individual so that I can thwart of the imminent diabetes and heart issues. I don't smoke (cigarettes or other). I almost never drink alcohol. I quit drinking most caffeine (I still have tea on occasion, but it's so little caffeine that I don't get headaches anymore if I don't have it.) and have cut a lot of sugar out of my diet, but I've been still having heart issues. Frequently and mostly at night, my heart will feel like it flops over in my chest and then will pound crazily for awhile. If I go to bed full or after eating something rich (i.e. pizza), my heart will pound so hard that I can see it through my chest.

I just hate that health care up here sucks donkey doo. I have had coverage for all of two months in the entire four years I've lived here. The free clinics generally won't do much for you other than prescribe antibiotics and ibuprofin as needed. Maybe I'll get off me arse soon and see what else I can do if it doesn't change.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
Probably the best use of your health-care dollar right now would be for a really thorough physical. That would act as a baseline measure in case things started going wrong later, and it will catch anything that is shaping up now, so you can get it under control. My ex had to get one every two years for his trucking company; one year they caught high blood pressure. He was all pissed off because they made him see a doctor before they'd recertify him. But his mother had a heart attack before age 50, and she died at 58. So maybe that physical saved him from a lot of trouble down the road.
Feb. 23rd, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
Can't you get health insurance through work?

You've got a lot of crap going on in your family there. You really should get your heart checked out. I don't think it should be doing the meringue...

I eat right and exercise. I don't enjoy it, really. I mean I guess I'm healthy and all, which is good, and lord knows how I'd feel if I ate everything I wanted and live the way I wanted to....I actually did that once for about 6 months and I felt like crap and got fat....but it was fun!!
Feb. 23rd, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
I grew up in a family that... well, we lived off of food stamps and the parental units smoked (and sold) a LOT of pot, so our house was always filled with tons of junk food at the beginning of the month (munchies!) and then tons of cheap staple (but not healthy) food at the end of the month (when mom would get donations from churches of pasta, govt. cheese, etc.) I've been trying like mad to get over an entire upbringing of awful eating. Living in a house where all the roommates are really wonderful at encouraging bad eating doesn't help, either ;)

I took bread and sugar out of my diet starting in april of '05, and lost 40 lbs and felt like a MILLION dollars. I'm desperately hoping to get back to that wonderful feeling again, as well as thwart any bad ju ju bees that would be waiting to pounce on me otherwise.
Feb. 23rd, 2007 09:54 pm (UTC)
I kind of know where you are coming from. On my dad’s side, my grandfather and his brothers (and generally men on that side) don’t make it much past 60.
Of course, they were all heavy drinkers and smokers, and worked in mines at least part of their life, and I do none of those.
Feb. 23rd, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
The good news about not having a car is that you're fairly active and don't just sit on your ass every day. Plus, being on stage, even just "standing" in one place takes up energy, too!

Caffeine in small doses is actually GOOD for your heart and colon. Drink green tea!! Mmm green tea.

Also, considering you are NOT an alcoholic and a drug addict, you have a MUCH better chance of not dying young. That and you're much more aware of such things than your family ever has been.

I agree with thea bove: Get a complete physical. Let your doc know about your heart concerns.

Do you have a YMCA near you? I <3 their gym.
Feb. 23rd, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC)
Although it sounds weird, try some tums or rolaids or even a shot of mylanta before going to bed. I have the same heart thing and it's from my bad acid reflux. I thought the dr was on her own meds... I mean how can heartburn make my heart actually beat out of my chest and flop all over? but it really has helped.
Feb. 24th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)
Along with the above suggestions, a tiny bit of alcohol in your diet has been proven to help heart issues as well.

I do agree with the idea of getting a complete physical. I'm being made to once a year now because of the problems I've had and they can be really helpful in even catching a toenail growing out of place once the base line is established.

One other thing you can do for your heart - DON'T STRESS AS MUCH! Find something that mellows you and reduces your stress levels and do it daily. People end up doing themselves in in the long run because high levels of stress can elevate blood pressure, cause your heart to race, and just cause all sorts of bad things to happen. So slow down a bit when you're able to - and find a way to destress on a nightly basis (even if it just means curling up with a good, NON-SCHOOL book for an hour or so and just reading).

And you should see if you might possibly be eligible for some sort of health plan through either work or school. I know the University up here has health insurance available for the students at a reduced rate.


You've got all of us here on eljay to complain to if nothing else ;-)
Feb. 24th, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
I don't remember my mom's dad at all, and the only thing I remember about my dad's dad is the big green oxygen tank he had to keep in his apartment because smoking had destroyed his lungs. :(
Feb. 24th, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
If you can, try to see a gastroenterologist and a cardiologist. With your family history, you can't be too careful!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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