The Life I Couldn’t Save

Beautiful Robin
Amidst the sea of a stormy life many waves of pain came crashing along. This particular wave carried a crushing thunder that can still be felt to this very day.

Her name was Robin. She was the youngest of four siblings. She lived life on her own terms and dealt with many difficulties throughout her stormy life.

Robin was born on January 31, 1961. Her life was a burning flame that extinguished too soon and the smoke still fills the rooms of those who loved her.
Daughter. Sister. Wife. Friend. Robin held many beloved titles. She was my Aunt, but she was also like a second mom to me.

She was obese, had type 2 diabetes and used intravenous insulin to manage her lifestyle related disease. A heart attack claimed her life on January 26, 2004 at the precious age of 42, five days before her 43rd birthday.

I know the five stages of grief: Denial, Bartering, Anger, Depression, Acceptance, and not only because I read about them in a textbook but because I lived (if you could call it living at the time) through them.

I saw her body at the morgue the day she passed away on a cold cruel Monday. There was no denying, bartering, or anger to be had. It was sheer sorrow that swallowed my soul that day. I sank deeper into darkness and addictions fueled my escapism. I couldn’t feel or face this loss.

If I had known everything about health I know now…
If I could go back and meet her, help her…
If she was ready, willing and able to make a change in her nutrition, activity and lifestyle…

I could have coached her, I could have helped her, I could have possibly saved her life and saved all of those who suffered so much grief from her loss.

Lifestyle Related Disease is Real.

The projected loses it will bring in this generation will be devastating if we don’t do anything to change. [i]

  • “Nearly 35% of all adults and 50% of those aged 60 years or older were estimated to have the metabolic syndrome.” [ii]
  • Metabolic syndrome substantially increases the likelihood of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. [iii] (Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are different manifestations of metabolic syndrome.)
  • According to a new CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death. [iv]
  • Obesity, and childhood obesity along with type 2 diabetes in children and youth is also on the rise. [v]

By 2030 diabetes will increase by 54% to more than 54.9 million Americans; annual deaths attributed to diabetes will climb by 38% to 385,800; and total annual medical and societal costs related to diabetes will increase 53% to more than $622 billion by 2030. [vi]

90-95% of diabetes is type 2, which is actually good news because it’s a lifestyle related disease, meaning you can change it or prevent it by the life you live.

Lifestyle Related Disease Affects Loved Ones.

I can still remember going to my Grandpa’s 80th birthday. It was a surprise family reunion and he was elated. The whole experience was fantastical! We all stood in line to hug, kiss and greet him. Later when he stood up to give the toast he cried, missing his youngest daughter who should have been there.

Robin
My Grandfather with his children. Robin is the second on the left.

Is your health where you want it to be today? What’s your lifestyle like?  Do you need help knowing what to do?
Do you need help with your nutrition and activity?
Does someone you love?

You Don’t Have to Wait Until A Crisis To Change Your Life.

If you need coaching, accountability, a sustainable action plan to build lasting change then let me coach you. I’m happy to help. I can’t go back in time but I can help you move forward.

Robin passed away 14 years ago today. She would have been 56 years old and we would have been celebrating her 57th Birthday on January 31st.

I could tell you many stories about my beloved Aunt Robin but I’ll leave you with a short story of how she was a shelter and comforter to me.

The boy had a guardian angel. She wasn’t always around to protect him, but when she was she would stand up to block the fiery arrows that the Dragon would spew at him. 

The Dragon created a lair to try to isolate anyone from coming to save the child. He built a dense world of confusion and mazes of pain that the most courageous would flee from. Yet the wings of the Guardian were vast beyond expanse and she could travel over the walls of the chaotic fortress to bring warmth and shelter. 

For every flame of hate Leviathan aimed at the boy’s heart the Angel would rise up to conquer and attempt to salvage the innocence. Still she could only stay in the midst of this labyrinth for so long before her energy was drained and she had to flee to regain her strength.

The boy dreamed of running away. He wondered what the outside world was like and longed to be free from the torment and captivity. He looked to the skies and dreamed of the Angel taking him away to a safe place. He wondered what her dwelling place was like and longed to escape from this mire.

One day he did indeed run away. He called out to her in the dark of the night and she answered. He followed her voice down a frightful path. Finally he came upon her fortress and was warmly welcomed in. It seemed to take a lifetime to reach. His heart was frozen over with pain. She showed him great comfort and warmth that he had never really known. That would be one of the most memorable of his days. 

Later he had to return to the lair but the Dragon was intoxicated and had barely noticed he was gone. He had experienced the outside and a glow began to radiate in his heart. It was a feeling he had not felt before, a deep and profound love. 

Losing my Aunt Robin is one of the foundational reasons I’m passionate about nutrition and exercise coaching, if I can help you in any way contact me.

 

[i] Rowley, William R. et al. “Diabetes 2030: Insights from Yesterday, Today, and Future Trends.” Population Health Management 20.1 (2017): 6–12. PMC. Web. 25 Jan. 2018.

[ii] Aguilar M, Bhuket T, Torres S, Liu B, Wong RJ. Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome in the United States, 2003-2012. JAMA. 2015;313(19):1973–1974. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.4260

[iii] Isomaa  B, Almgren  P, Tuomi  T,  et al.  Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality associated with the metabolic syndrome.  Diabetes Care. 2001;24(4):683-689.

[iv] CDC, NCHS. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2013, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed Feb. 3, 2015.

[v] Ogden  CL, Carroll  MD, Kit  BK, Flegal  KM.  Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012.  JAMA. 2014;311(8):806-814.

[vi] Rowley, William R. et al. “Diabetes 2030: Insights from Yesterday, Today, and Future Trends.” Population Health Management 20.1 (2017): 6–12. PMC. Web. 25 Jan. 2018.

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