Is your current biggest health concern the same as your biggest health concern when you were growing up?
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Not at all. My biggest health concern growing up was my knees. As an athlete, I had problems with my knees. Now, many years later, I know longer worry about my knees. Instead, I find myself worried about my heart (given my horrible diet). I never worried about death or cancer when I was younger. After a cancer scare, it seems to be one thing that is always at the back of my mind.
I'm pretty sure that as a kid, I was most worried about three major health issues: 1) whether I'd grow up to be taller than my petite mom 2) whether I would, in fact, make my knuckles huge and arthritic if I kept cracking them and 3) whether my voice would hold up as i got older.
The first issue has been permanently resolved (the answer is yes, I ultimately passed the 5'2 mark!) and the second remains to be seen. I still crack my knuckles, usually after I've been sitting and typing or writing for a long time, and so far, they don't seem to have taken on too much damage. The third one, which seemed so important when I thought my career would be based on music and theater, is less crucial now. My voice holds up after a day of lecturing, and that's what I need it to do now!
I have never really worried much about my health, but about the health of others, especially my elders. When I had children, I began to worry about their health. So in that sense, I suppose my concerns about health have changed. As for myself, I just try to do the best I can, eating well and exercising.
As a much older man (I'm 57), I now worry about my diabetes and the many cancers that often occur in people my age. As a youth, I mainly worried about whether I would make it to 30, since I had a hard-living lifestyle indicative of the 1970s.
My health issues today have some relation to my childhood. I have every outdoor allergy possible. When I was growing up, m y home was in the middle of the hay fields. From about 10-15, I suffered with sinus infections, sore throats, and eventually asthma. For some reason, I improved until I was in my early forties when it all returned. I had to take six allergy shots per week for two years.
As senior citizen, I fight asthma every day. In the summer, it improves. When the wind picks up, the leaves, start to fall, I have an asthmatic attack. I use two pills, two inhalers, and nebulizer every day to ward the inevitable bronchitis and dare I write it: pneumonia. (I spent 11 days last year at Christmas in the hospital with pneumonia.)
'Asthma is a significant, chronic problem in the elderly,' says Dr. Huss, noted Allergist. 'Our data also suggests that asthma in the elderly contributes to a decreased quality of life,' Huss notes. Those with more severe asthma reported more negative feelings about life in general, described their health as being poor and had a greater degree of impairment during daily activities.
Now, I have some arthritis. Both of these problems keep from me from exercising as I should; consequently, I am not in good physical condition. Last year, I broke my foot and toes in a fall. This has also prevented me from getting back into a healthy exercise program.
Two years ago, I feel and hit my head on a metal door frame. My head sunk in, but the frame did not. I broke my nose, received a skull fracture, had possum eyes for two weeks..my face turned every color imaginable. My head still has a flat place where I hit it. Anyway, I was still teaching at the college. Something about the injury hurt my self-assurance. I no longer felt competent in the classroom after 41 years of teaching and every accolade a teacher can possible earn.
So, I retired. I do a lot of reading, crocheting, and now enoting. Life is still good, and it just keeps on coming.
Sadly, I still have the same health problems I had as a teenager. Decades of tests and specialists later, no one has really been able to determine the cause of my mysterious health condition. I have found some medications to manage it, but I still have terrible headaches that can be very debilitating. I have periods of time when I can barely get out of bed. These problems started in my early teens and have never gone away.
In my case, I would say no. As a child (around the age of ten) one of my friends from church developed cancer. He had to go on chemotherapy, miss almost a year of school, and wasn't the same for years. Eventually he healed and is living a normal life, but this was really my first experience with a terminal type of illness. I was really concerned anytime I got sick that I was going to get cancer, and it caused me quite a bit of anxiety at a younger age. Today my medical concerns have shifted to things much more realistic than a rare form of cancer.
My health problem as a "kid" (lungs) is certainly one of my biggest health problems today, but it has been compounded by another health problem with a wide ranging syndrome that exacerbates the longstanding "kid" health problem. I think we will find this is more and more the case in our contemporary society since new health difficulties and conditions and syndromes are ever emerging due to the introduction of synthetically manufactured materials, specifically plastics and plasticizers, during and after World War II. These materials, which are classed a volatile organic and persistent organic compounds, then, were judged innocuous and, now, are found to be ubiquitous. What this means is they were originally said to be harmless and now we find that they have spread everywhere from Arctic to Anarctic and from finger foods held by Mom and Pop and fed to Baby to chemical "burdens" in all human bodies, including infants. So, more and more often, while adults will still have their "kid" health problems, these will be compounded by chemical body burdens and chemical-laden environments.
For me, the answer to this is yes. Both as a child and as an adult, my biggest health concern is my weight.
In both cases, it is not an actual current health concern. I do not believe that my actual current health has been impacted by my weight. However, I do know that, statistically speaking, it would be better for me in the long term if I were able to lose some weight. Luckily, I have not had other serious health problems to this point. Therefore, my most important current health concern is the same as when I was a kid.
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