Care Prioritization

I got my annual reminder today that I’m fat.

Okay, so the doctor was a bit nicer than that when we were discussing my health, but that’s the basic gist of the conversation – I’m fat and my blood pressure is higher than when I came in for last year’s physical.

Part of me really wants to remind her that there’s a lot of other things going on – that there’s quite a few reasons why I might well be gaining weight rather than losing it, or why I’m stressed:

  • I have a child with Autism, and there’s the IEP meeting tomorrow morning,
  • I’ve recently taken over managing a second team at work, with a (minor) re-org pending to align us better with the business unit,
  • We’re out of my sport season, and the pool’s not open yet..

But all of those really are just excuses.  If anything, reason #1 should be a good reason for me to be working harder at it.

Let’s face a fact, though.  Having a special needs child eats a lot into what I might be doing for recreation.  Instead of being outside and kicking a ball around, or riding bikes, I’m spending a lot of my time when we’re outdoors supervising him to ensure he’s not getting into trouble (or perseverating on things he shouldn’t be doing).  Planning for the IEP meeting has meant more than a few evenings sitting on the couch, trying to figure out what we need to be asking for, or modifying in his plans, rather than walking around the block.  And, certainly, there are times where we’re drowning our sorrows in ice cream rather than something more productive (or simply decompressing on the couch and going brain-dead watching the tube).

I’m hopeful, at least, that the blood pressure’s mostly due to work and the IEP, and that when I go back in two months for a checkup, it’ll have returned to normal.  The weight, though, is a longer term problem, and gets to a root issue: I need to be taking better care of myself, if I’m going to take care of the child.  At the heart of it, it’s the warning we all hear on airplanes when they do the safety lecture – put your mask on first, and then attend to the rest of your party.  You’re not much help to anyone if you yourself aren’t healthy.

So clearly, something has to change.  (Already has, honestly, since I’m walking at work at lunch time, but… we’re getting into summer and it’s not much fun to drip for half the afternoon after walking 2+ miles in the heat.)  I’ll let y’all know as I make any progress.

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