Margaret had a smile that lights up my heart!

by Denise
(Somerset, NJ)

It has been a minute (as the young people say), since I have posted new information on my journey to health blog. Much has happened.

I recently had my blood pressure checked and it was excellent 116/66. I have continued to watch salt, sugar, fat, calories and we have cut out soft drinks.

All good news for me!

I have a bit of sad news, though, pertaining to my family and it's fight against pre-disposition to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc. My next to oldest Sister Margaret died of a stroke with related complications. She survived 2 brain surgeries and was recovering nicely in rehab and a couple nights ago had trouble breathing and died during the night. What led up to her stroke? She was on medication and we thought doing well with her pressure and diabetes; however, she fell off the wagon with her medication somehow and her blood pressure and blood sugar soared and she had a major stroke.

I have seen the devastation 5 times now. Once again, I am heart-broken and made painfully aware of the silent-but-deadly diseases that we must continually pray against and fight by eating, sleeping and doing our best to manage them so they do not take our lives.

The health issues are manageable and can be controlled if we are diligent and watch what we eat, how much of it and always as "fresh" as possible; namely fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean poultry, fish and plenty of water. I am living proof.

Based on medical evidence, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and even some cancers are PREVENTABLE!!

Even if we are pre-disposed, we still have information, resources, medications and access to good eating habits, opportunities to exercise and get regular check-ups if we choose to. That's why when we end up in the hospital and we are taken care of, we recover.

Our bodies miraculously respond and heal quickly!! I saw this with my own eyes, with my Mom's illnesses and my Dad's illnesses. They were nursed back to reasonable health, but continued to make bad food choices and their health declined once again. I know it is hard to break traditional "soul food" choice...GOD know it tastes good! But, I have decided....I want to live.

I want to live a healthy, vibrant life to the best of my ability! I want to be healthy for my future Grand-children and generations, if GOD permits. I will be a good steward of the health I have been blessed with. There are no excuses. Just choices. Believe me, I still eat very good, tasty food based on what my body needs!

I will miss her warmth, humor, smiles and love. I know she is at peace. I will cherish the memories and there are many. She left a legacy of strength, perseverance and faith. I miss you Margaret...rest in peace.

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