I have been sitting here in tears the last few minutes wondering what the future is going to hold for me and realizing that I don't EVER want my kids to face what I am facing right now. I just got off the phone with my mom and she said after my dad's follow-up with the neurologist, even though a definitive diagnosis is nearly impossible until autopsy, the professional opinion is that my dad is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease. Now, my dad first went to the doctor a few months ago, the word got kicked around a bit and the official diagnosis used was "Mild Cognitive Impairment". I hadn't really embraced the reality of this type of diagnosis until the "A word" got thrown out today. Now, one parent with what isn't a terminal disease, but one that will eventually rob them of the pride, their memories, even the understanding that I am their child is bad enough, but knowing that my mom has MS just ups the anty a bit. You see, my mom getting stressed out exacerbates her MS and could leave her unable to walk, blind, or any other various atrocity that MS decides to bestow upon her with the next flare up. So, the reality is, whenever my dad gets to the point that he is unable to understand limitations, he will almost definitely end up in a nursing home or assisted living facility because my mom won't be able to care for him. My sister and I are in our late 30's facing the reality that in not too terribly long, our father may not even know our names, let alone our kids' names or my mom's name. The reality of this for me is unbearable.
So, while I know that Alzheimer's and MS are both things that are not brought on by unhealthy lifestyles, is it really logical to believe that living a clean and healthy lifestyle might not keep them at bay for longer? I can't in good conscience NOT do something to keep myself as healthy as possible, for my parents' sake, for my kids' sake, and for my sake. I owe my kids a healthy parent who has done everything possible to delay the likelihood that my children will have to face the news I heard today. I need to stay healthy for a LONG time, which means I need to get this weight off, I need to exercise regularly. I need my body to operate as a machine, not a broken down old beater that is ready for the junk yard. Time to get it done!!! My kids deserve a healthy mom for MANY years to come.