It's hard watching people decline and begin to self-destruct after years of abusing themselves. I mean, very hard.
I've undertaken my personal quest to recover my health from the dumper, and while it is quite its own kettle of fish, being able to say that, for the moment, I have done what is needed drop my supplementation needs to 1/12 what they were 6 months ago is quite the thing. I feel pretty upbeat and happy about that--and I should. Nothing about the trip has been certain or especially easy. Sure took enough time(22 years), money, and patience with endless gains and setbacks. But I'm here, and I sure am glad that I am not -there-.
But several people I have know for decades, who have made some lifestyle choices that I have and would not, are surely struggling with the inevitable infirmity that comes from those choices. Only a very few people alive can escape the ravages of heavy smoking, alcohol consumption, or drug use and -not- end up like that. (And frankly being hugely overweight is not so great either, though less a product of choice than most people think.) The 50's are very hard on those folks--and I am watching four or five examples of people that I have known well enough to be at their home, whose decline marks the path to an unhappy cautionary tale.
And then there is the tale of my mom, and how I do not, in any way, want to emulate that.
And then there is my dad, who I am glad to be rid of, but am possibly more like than I want to be.
Doctor visits in my world revolve around cleaning up the mess now. I think my genes are good enough to help me avoid the cancer and the heart disease. To date, the diabetes is nowhere near me. I do the basic, sensible, non-stressful things to make those things less likely. At least the thing with an osteopath is that the goal is to get the body to homeostasis and keep it there, which is why I'm totally rocking the interaction with a physician who is capable of sending me the right direction. Steady as it goes, but it is actually quite steady in the now of things.
But I look over at these other people who I have known for a very long time, and I am reminded that it really is a constant sort of thing. Aging knees need neoprene and the support of strong quads and ankles, so this is where the gym time goes. Being able to get off a plane at higher altitude and carry on with life requires cardio. Of course, if you want to crack the heads of guys half your age in armor, you need cardio too. And my abs...well, I had 4 kids...see you in six months.
Hardly a paragon of any particular virtue here. However, all that lecturing about smoking and drinking from my grandparents does, now that I am of a certain age, ring more true than it did when I heard it.
I am still troubled and worried for my old friends.