Thursday, March 17, 2011

Health is Number One

How many times, when I was growing up would I hear my father say, “Money ain’t nuttin, (he was a true Brooklynite) what is important is that you got your health”! Time and time again I would hear those words, even in my early twenties when money was no object for me, you would hear him saying. “Big deal, pray for your health foist”! I actually would get a pain in the pit of my stomach when I heard him say that, especially because he said it so much!

Well, who said “Father knows best”? Guess what? He does! I can now attest to the fact, when you have your health there is nothing that is impossible. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that “All things are possible, if you believe”, but when you have good health, the possible is a little more doable.

Now some of us will use a medical situation as an excuse for not reaching a goal that we feel we really want. I say medical situation because not all medical problems equal poor health. I won’t begin to mention some conditions that some of us may have, that may not really be a reason, not to make a healthy choice for food that day or for doing a little physical activity or just getting something done that you have been putting off.

Everyone needs to take a personal inventory of themselves occasionally. You need to have that talk with yourself and say, “self, am I just clowning around? Am I really that sick, that I cannot do____X”? When you have this talk, this honest talk, you may realize that you, are your biggest barrier to getting things done, to living your life. Your life, the way it is meant to be. Not as a victim but as a winner! A human being, a living force in this universe. One that deserves to achieve and receive!

It is when you are seriously ill and have physical challenges that this becomes a little more difficult task. Not impossible but little more difficult. One of the reasons I believe that it is a little more difficult is because there is a lot of physical hours in a day dedicated to taking care of your health. Either with the assistance of others, managing medications, coordinating care, therapy of all kinds, all this and more takes up a lot of real time.

I for one, (in the past almost a year now) have been battling with my health. I say battling because it is a war and I refuse to surrender! I will not say that there are days I truly feel battle fatigued but hopeless? Never! I fight for the physical assistance I need from others just to get me well. Then I push and pray and believe that there will be a tomorrow for me!

I may have been sicker back in the early 1990s but I was a lot younger. Now there are several organs involved and we seem to get one in balance and another one acts up. All those years of putting such unbelievable pressures on my body have taken its toll.

Oh but as the song in “Bye-Bye Birdie” says, “I’ve Got a Lot of Living to Do”! You know what the fact is I may go before finishing this writing…, it’s possible! I don’t believe it but some day it will be. I cannot live that way. I have to believe that there will be a tomorrow for me.

I want to make the best of this day, live for this day, do for today but I want to be able to lift my head and see in the horizon my tomorrow. Do I look forward to the pain and suffering that I will probably have? I believe eventually it will get better and if I have to suffer a bit tomorrow then I will. Because hidden in that deep screaming, darkness of pain and suffering there are those moments. Moments when I get to see my wife, my boys (son and his son’s), and my daughter in law, my family and friends. I read and email or two, a blog message, my both young guys want their Ga Ga’s (that’s me) attention. That makes the pain a little more manageable, the heart beat a little stronger and things are in sync.

What better force is there than the force of life itself? I believe in life. I believe in living. If I can make a healthy choice today, drink a little extra water (that is a difficult one for me), use little less or no salt at all then I was proactive in helping myself. I keep moving, even if to some it may not seem that way, but me keeping my legs moving doing ankle pumps helps my circulation and that is very important. I do what I can and try to do little more each day.

Sometimes it seems like I am back to square one but those are the days I have to remind myself, I am not bed bound, I say to myself it could be worse. There are moments I want to feel sorry for myself. I allow that moment to linger for a minute or two then I say enough is enough “Hebranko” there are people worse off than you. You were worse off than you!

The glass is half full and soon to run over. I could look at life as “man I am almost sixty, which is really old…”! or “wow cool almost sixty, not bad for a guy who was suppose to be dead since he was 21, 33, 40, 48, 53…”! Sixty is not that old it is just a state of mind.

As long as in your head you feel right about yourself it will be then that the body will start to react! Change comes from within first. You have to want it; you have to believe in it! You have to fight for it!

My friends, many of you have emailed me or blogged asking how I am. I will sum it up this way. My body is not that great but my mind is having a ball!

I hope that you, yes you, are doing well. I hope that you are not losing faith and if you are it is time to re-charge! I want you, me and all of us right now take a deep breath and while letting it out say this one thing……..”I am okay, I am worth it”!

Dad, I know you can hear me saying this….Health is the most important, including your spiritual and emotional health also.

Good luck, Good health and have a great rest of today!



Diana said...

Dear Michael
Great Great Blog and I want to thank you for helping me get my priorities in order. I am a person who worries about everyone else (even the poor people in Japan) before I worry about myself. It is nice to care for others but not to the extent I let myself go. My health is at a bad place right now but I read your blog and picked up the phone and called my doctor. Good luck with your situation and you are in my prayers.

Diana Frances

Kathy said...

Michael! So great to hear from you. I think about you so often. I am sorry to hear that your are having physical battles, but I am happy to see you are as strong in mind and spirit as ever. It was so sad to hear of Val's passing. Makes us realize how fragile life is. May ever day be a better one for you.

Anonymous said...

I am sad to hear of your struggles but I grow from your strength. You have been so much through all these years and still you have an uplifting word to share. Thank you Mike and we will never forget you.
LaToya J. Tx

Anonymous said...

I just read this and knowing the struggles you deal with daily and the battle that we all go through this i guess your dad was right health first ... cause without really what else do we have...without the health to be able to enjoy the other things in life .....This is a daily battle and uphill struggle and sometimes we hit a pothole and have a fall .. but i know the strength you have and the fight you have that will you once overcome this pothole and be on that road again...I know myself i have gotten alot of my strength directly from your words and your actions..
My thoughts prayers and love are with you always Mike to you and yours during this time
Love you

Anonymous said...

Again you have touched me with your words and more so with your spirit.

Benedicte Desrus said...

Dear Mike, I am Benedicte Desrus, a french documentary photographer. I'm interested to learn more about your story. Please contact me at: bdesrus(at)

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike
Thank you for this current blog and I have to tell you my dad told me the same thing. Only now that I am 55 do I realize how important it is. You are so honest and open and I love reading what you post and also what others post too.
Great blog to visit
Sandy L.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you update and thank you for your inspiring words. Self care has been something I've been battling for a long time and it's nice to be reminded that I need to stop and breathe and care for myself. I hope that your physical health improves with each day and you are in my prayers.

ML in CT

Anonymous said...


Smile God loves ya and so do I

Here's to your health


Anonymous said...

WELCOME BACK MIKE! You have been very much missed. Sometimes I wished in your absence, there was a way all the bloggers could be in touch with each if maybe together we could try to fill the void left by you and try to support each other. But I understand, sadly, there are security risks with providing that kind of info on the internet. In any case, I'm sure everyone here shares my feeling of being grateful to have time with you when you're up to sharing. So I'm gonna quit babbling now and wish that you keep getting stronger. Love to you and Boot and yours! Have a blessed Easter and a
summer filled with the best of health & lots of laughter. Cheers! C in NJ

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of truth in what you say and I have to tell you thanks for your sharing so much.

Brenda said...

It is a beautiful day and you give me the hope to see the beauty in it

Anonymous said...

I think I rather be happy than healthy.

robertaineverett said...


My heart goes out to you. I am disabled partly from obese but from medical problems too.

Richard wanted me to go to Brookhaven yrs ago ... I was so stubborn and said no. It was to far from home.

I now will be 60 and wished I had. I have thought about it several times but still scared to move so far. I am on the west coast. Feel free to write snails if you would like. GEMERE@COMCAST.NET


Anonymous said...

Dear Michael-
I recently saw a broadcast of Brookhaven Obesity Clinic, and wondered how you were doing now. I've struggled with weight all my life, and now that I'm a 50-year old woman, I have more issues with my weight than when I was younger. I've also had other health problems that my weight has not helped.
You are so right when you say that your health is the most important thing. When I saw you on the program, you'd just been diagnosed with rickets and had lots of other health issues. I hope you're doing much better now. You seem like a good person, and have so much to offer your family, who obviously love you so much. I hope you are well.

Anonymous said...

My web page ...

Anonymous said...

Take sentence to affluent with poly-fill could be
so cuddly and lovable? Your owl gifts may be universal
proposition to all your faculty but having it it was that put
the care in their Status as prescribed aid Bear. They are soft to a Dandy gift
for a boy.

Feel free to surf to my website; owl jewelry

Adrian Egger said...

Oh gosh.. I saw the reportage in YouTube, TAFF Channel... I was so proud for him :) I'm a 15 year old german boy, also sorry for my english, I hope you can understand what I try to say. I was so lucky to see him :) with -300 kg

He was happy!