Just for a moment I want you to think about the aroma of your favorite food – how the smell travels up through your nostrils and you can practically taste it in your mouth without yet having one bite. You pick up your fork, dip into your dish, bring that piece up to your mouth and place the food right on your tongue as you absorb the taste and begin to slowly chew. You repeat this pattern over and over again until your stomach is full and then you sit back and think about your delicious meal.
How often do you really think about that? When you sit down for a meal do you take the time to enjoy your food and all its flavors?
Now I want you to imagine waking up one morning and not being able to swallow. I am not talking the sore-scratchy-throat-you-experience-when-you-are-sick type of inability to swallow, I am talking about being physically unable to swallow any liquids including your own saliva. You no longer have the ability to eat or to taste anything. Your only source of nutrients comes from a can and is poured into a syringe that is attached to a tube leading to your intestines.
Consider all the ramifications this would have on your life.
That is exactly how my mother lived the last two years of her life – being fed through a tube in her stomach due to esophageal cancer. The consequences she faced because of this kept her cooped up in her house for the most part and afraid to go out in public because she was embarrassed to use her spit cup in places or at parties. Social situations where the “social butterfly” once felt comfortable were few and far between. She was no longer able to drive. She had trouble projecting her voice, and her self-esteem was at an all time low due to her condition.
I wish doctors spent more time with their patients talking about nutrition because if they did, we might not have so many health problems. Popping a pill doesn’t solve the problem. It is only a temporary Band-Aid, and with all the diet “fads” out there it is no wonder people are confused and don’t know what to believe. I wish my mom’s original doctor(s) had taken her years of chronic acid reflux more seriously and talked with her about the foods she was consuming. Maybe then they would have prevented or slowed down the process. You see, acid-reflux is a precursor to esophageal cancer.
The reason I am writing this is to show you the difference between excuses and reality. We all have excuses about why we can’t work out, prepare our meals or skip meals all together. We justify all the reasons that we can’t eat healthy food – because it’s too expensive or requires too much work. But I wonder what price you are willing to pay for your health?
I hope that you take my mother’s story and use it to better yourself. If my mother’s story makes you stop and think – if it puts things in a different perspective – if it makes you try harder, eat better, make fewer excuses and ultimately, become more healthy, then she will still be making a difference in this world. I hope you take her experience and use it to become better in your life.