Eat Sleep and Play Primally

Is Counting on Luck Enough to Enjoy a Long, Happy and Healthy Life?

Happy 79th Mom

That’s my Mom to the left.  We just got back from Kansas City celebrating her 79th birthday and a good time was had by all.  Truth be told, my Mom is lucky to be alive and celebrating 79 years of life on this earth.  Actually, we are lucky to still have her with us.  She’s a kind, gentle, and strong willed woman.  Her life hasn’t been easy.   She worked hard all of her life retiring at age 65. She then enjoyed 13 years of retirement, spending the winters in Las Vegas with my Dad, who passed away about a year ago. Now she lives with my sister in Kansas City, who I am grateful to for providing her with a loving, safe and healthy environment.

Why is she lucky?  Well lets just say she’s like a cat with 20 lives.  she has had a series of major illnesses all starting in her 50’s when she had her first heart attack.  Since then, she’s has had multiple heart issues and heart surgerie as.  She also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Most of the last 20 years she has taken cholesterol lowering drugs and blood pressure medication.  A few years after her heart problems, during a routine chest x-ray the doctor’s found a spot on her lungs.  They were pretty sure that it was cancer and then removed one lobe of her lungs.  At the same time she was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  She was put on oxygen.  But, my mom was not going to tote an oxygen tank around with her for the rest of her life.  She worked really hard at pulmonary therapy and eventually was able to go without the oxygen.  About 5 years later, they found more spots on her lungs.  Luckily, on both occasions, the cancer had not spread.  She once again underwent surgery and they removed another lobe and a half on the other side of her lungs.   Missing 2 1/2 lobes of her lung made things difficult, but she worked really hard at therapy and exercise to stay off of oxygen.  About 3 years ago they found more cancer in her lungs.  This time it had spread to her hylar lymph node and the doctors, because of her age and the fact that they had already removed a good portion of her lungs, didn’t give her much hope.  In fact, the first doctor she saw said there wasn’t really much he could do for her.  I wouldn’t accept this and neither would she.  I did some research and found the best cancer doctor in our hometown and urged my mother to see him.  she agreed.  It was kind of funny that this new doctor was partners in the very same office of the original doctor who said there was nothing to offer her.  This new doctor felt differently and recommended she undergo a new procedure, laser knife surgery.  This was a 3 part process where they first mapped the location of tumors in her lung and lymph node.  The next week, they surgically implanted gold markers around the tumor locations.  The following week she had 3 days of radiation where they beamed radiation directly at the tumors.  It was then a wait and see game.  Within 6 months there was little if any sign of the cancer and within one year it was completely gone.

If multiple bouts with heart issues and lung cancer weren’t enough, she was then diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and peripheral neuropathy.  Today, she continues to struggle with high blood pressure, and barely has enough strength to stand or walk on her own.  The Parkinson’s disease has progressed fairly quickly and now effects her speech.  Some people may say she is really unlucky.  We both say she is one of the luckiest persons “alive”, because she is “alive”.  She has been able to do alot, see her grand children get bar and bat mitzvahed and progress through school.  She was able to have a lot of fun with my dad during their retirement years.  Im lucky because I have had her around all this time.

Why am I bringing this up.  I guess because I’m not so sure I want to count on luck to make it to age 79.  This is exactly why I started living primally, cutting most refined sugars, grains, cereals and bread from my diet.  My mom was a bread and sweet addict.  She still is.  I grew up with the largest part of my diet coming from carbs.  I’ve done a lot of research into these issues and I am convinced that the myriad of health problems my mom has had can be linked to sugar and carbs.  High blood pressure, high bad cholesterol, heart attacks and cancer.

It has been scientifically proven that:

  • sugar can suppress the immune system
  • sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body
  • sugar can cause a significant rise in triglycerides
  • sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infections
  • sugar reduces high density lipoproteins
  • sugar can be linked to cancer
  • sugar contributes to obesity
  • sugar contributes to tooth decay
  • sugar can cause heart disease
  • sugar can cause a increase in bad cholesterol
  • sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity
  • sugar can increase systolic blood pressure
  • sugar can cause diabetes
  • sugar intake is higher in persons with Parkinson’s disease

The list goes on and on.  Nearly every issue my Mom has had can be either directly or indirectly linked to a high carb, refined sugar diet.  Even if her problems weren’t caused by a high carb, high sugar diet, they probably were exacerbated by it and/or made her slower to heal. I don’t want to travel down the same path.  I hope at my age the damage isn’t already done.

After only 2 months of living primally, I do feel noticeably different and better.  Sometimes, however, I need a reminder of why I am doing this.  Visiting with my Mom this past weekend gave me powerful motivation to continue on for life.  Look, I just don’t think most people are as lucky as my Mom (and me for having her around this long) and not only do I want to live to be 79 (or older), I also want to be healthy, fit and active at 79, not just lucky.  So while I am not willing to count on luck anymore, I hope that my Mom continues with her lucky streak and we have her for many years to come.  Love you Mom!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 Uncategorized

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