My dad is an amazing guy. Never mind that he's on the downhill side of 88, he's far too busy to be old. There's his cronies to meet for breakfast most weekday mornings and separate circles of friends to hang out with at two different bowling alleys, not to mention his weekly league obligations where he wrapped up the winter league with an average just shy of 200. He takes his recently-widowed sister-in-law out every week or so, "to keep her from getting lonely," he says and he loves to go target practicing out in the desert outside El Paso. Oh, he has his recliner time too, cheering his hapless Cubs in what is sure to be another heart-breaker of a season but he loves them nevertheless. In short, he's active and engaged in life and I couldn't be happier for him. I often say I hope I inherited those genes.
My doctor, however, has reminded me of some other genes I clearly have inherited from him...those that keep my cholesterol readings in a range higher than I, and my doctor, would like. As the guy in the white coat observed, my diet and exercise efforts are all well and good but the bottom line is that my numbers are barely making the grade. Medication is inevitable, he says; might as well start it sooner rather than later.
So I'll join my older brother who's been chugging down the cholesterol-lowering pills for several years now and take some myself. It could be worse; my daily routine up to this point has only involved vitamins, calcium supplements and a baby aspirin so a tiny pill here and there isn't any big deal. Some people need those weekly cases to help keep track of all the medicine they have to take.
I called Dad this evening to "thank" him for the "gift" he bestowed upon me. He chuckled and then rattled off a few more maladies from which he suffers. Did I want them too, he asked. No thanks, Dad; this one's enough. And I'm holding him to those long-and-active-life genes being mine too. Gotta be some trade-off, don't you think?