Learning good health lessons from Mom and Dad - Jason A. Smith

As I write this column, I'm thinking about how bad I am at taking care of myself.

I've never been particularly good at it, so one might ask why I'm suddenly feeling guilty about it now.

Maybe it's because of all the excuses I've made along the way, as to why I haven't done it.

But I think, this time around, it has something to do with my parents.

Next week, my mother will have the first of two knee surgeries. She's needed to have them done for a long time, but she's been reluctant to go under the knife. I can't imagine why.

I'm kidding, of course.

But, earlier this year, she decided the pain in her knees bothered her so badly, it was time to do something about it. I'm proud of her for taking that step, and I hope she'll heal sooner rather than later.

As for my dad, he's had a number of health issues in the last few years, which have slowed him down. He's always been a hard-working man, who is good at working with his hands, so being under doctor's orders to stop doing certain things is a difficult pill for him to swallow.

When I consider my parents' respective health situations, I can't help feeling like I should be learning something from them.

I think I inherited my mom's knee issues. I've had problems with my right knee since my days of waiting tables in college.

Those problems haven't been as severe since I lost weight a couple of years ago. But, I don't exactly do any kind of exercise to strengthen my legs - or any other part of my body, for that matter.

If I don't do something about it now, my mom's need for surgery will likely pale in comparison to my own.

My father didn't pass along his handyman characteristics to me, but I think I did inherit his propensity for refusing to slow down every now and then. My wife tells me I work too hard, and I know it has affected my health in the past.

I haven't even had my eyes checked in more than seven years. It took ramming my car into a tree last year for me to realize I needed to go to the doctor once in a while.

I know I don't take care of myself like I should, and that I need to take measures, big and small, to rectify that. Excuses only work for so long. At some point, I have to take action. Hopefully, it isn't too late to do so.

Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161, or via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.