Responsibility 199, what is it?

Responsibility 199 is a belief; I believe that to be healthy and to increase my longevity I need to weigh 199 pounds or less...
Responsibility 199 is a need; I need to reduce my weight, reduce my percentage of body fat, and the elevated threat of disease my present condition presents...
Responsibility 199 is a mission; I recognize that achieving 199 will be a challenge, perhaps the hardest I have ever undertaken...
Responsibility 199 is a commitment; I acknowledge that I must commit to action, commit to change, commit to myself and those I love to achieve this mission, to increase my longevity...
Responsibility 199 is ME.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 119 - Dose Of Perspective

Yesterday my wife & I took the kids out to lunch for a back-to-school feast. They start back at school next Monday; yep summer is all but over for them.

They got to choose the place and chose a sushi place near where I work, I met them there. This was also my wife's first time behind the wheel since her surgery last week. She is healing very well and is mentally ready to resume everything but not quite there physically yet.

For my lunch I chose the Tuna Salad you see there. Simply some seared tuna on a bed of lettuce with some avocado & tomatoes. You also see a smaller dish there of bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes & jalapenos. I love that side, but didn't eat all of the bacon. The kids claimed up what bacon I chose to not allow myself to eat. It was a healthy lunch and a fun way to celebrate school's return.

When I was a young boy, teenager; I recall my Grandma talking about how Uncle Arthur was visiting. When I was real little I didn't get it and she'd have a ball trying to explain it to me. But since I didn't see a man in the house to put to the name I was lost and naturally lost interest in her efforts. Later on I came to know that Uncle Arthur was her name for her bouts with arthritis which came and went as the winds across the Illinois prairie she called home.

Arthritis is something I have never given much attention outside of witnessing her bouts with it. She passed on sixteen years ago, wow how time flies, and I've given arthritis near zero thought since. This week we've learned that arthritis has returned to the family in the form of rheumatoid arthritis.

So, we've been learning swiftly what this disease is all about; especially my sister. She is beside herself, flush with the uncertain questions that overcome anyone who has learned unfortunate news; why has it come to be, what can be done to cure, provide relief, what does it mean for today & tomorrow, etc...

As with just about everything these days there are volumes and volumes of information on the internet. Which is good and bad, good that it is there and bad that there is so much way-to-general text to burn through to get to that which is really useful.

For now oral medications are being used to treat the disease and if they don't provide the relief needed then cortisone shots will be next. Two stats are consuming our minds right now; one is that there is a 20% chance this actually can self cure itself someday. This is per the specialist, we've yet to see any documentation to really support the claim. Still, 20% is a number which suggests we learn how to cope with for the long haul.

The other stat is that 1% of people are afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis with women being three times more likely to suffer from it and the majority of those who do are diagnosed after age 40. My sister is 3 years younger than I which makes her 42, but her age is trivial here. These stats consume us in angst as it is her 8 year old son Michael who now suffers from this disease.

We never know where the next dose of perspective in our lives will come from, and from whom we will realize them.

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!


  1. Perspective is everything. I'll send a prayer up for your nephew. Great job on your meal selection for the big back-to-school celebration, Patrick.

  2. I will definitely keep Michael in my prayers, and your sister as well. It's much more devastating for a mother to find that her child has a disease than if she were diagnosed with it herself. You really brought back a lot of memories for me with that simple phrase "Uncle Arthur was visiting". My dad used to say it all the time....he passed away over 27 years ago....and that's the first time I've heard it since! Actually brought a tear to my eyes!

  3. Patrick, I am your newest follower. I like that you're doing it for your health. So am I. I am on Day 130, so I guess we started this thing around the same time.

    Let's do it!

  4. Hopefully with modern medicine and a little help from above, they will be able to do wonders for your nephew.

  5. I hope they can find a way to help your nephew!! I've had arthritis since i was 22. They are definitely better these days with medication and knowledge.

  6. I'm sorry to hear about your nephew. I pray that they will find the best course of treatment for him.

    Your salad looks wonderful.

  7. So sorry to hear about this Patrick. Yes, everything is all about peerspective. So many things we need to find cures for.

    Interesting side note that I have a post of a news story saved on arthritis, not your kind, for a post at some point. Has to do with knees & feet & shoes we wear.

    Sending hugs your way & so glad your wife is better!!!!

  8. Back to school YEAAAAAAAAAAAA I am doing the back to school dance. Only a few more days away!!!

  9. Patrick, it's so difficult to get news like this, especially where a young child is involved. I'm a praying sort of person and your sister and her boy will be in my prayers. I hope that the researchers will find a way to reverse RA or that he is, indeed, in the 20% who recover from it. Your celebration with your own young scholars looked awesome. Family is a wonderful support in the challenges we face and certainly DOES help us keep that precious perspective.

  10. How difficult it must be to explain the situation to a child so young. As you said, there are reams of information out there. I would imagine that his mom is his best advocate and sorting through the info. will be a positive way of coping as she can learn what the options are.

  11. Sorry Patrick! There is too much disease and sadness from that in the world. I'm glad that at times I can help with the battle, but it's never enough.

  12. Our kids don't start school until after labor day, so we still have some time.

    Arthritis is a real b*tch. Sorry to hear about this.

  13. So sorry about your nephew. Must be so difficult at his age. My mother was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in her 30's. The dryer air here in AZ has helped immensely but she just recently discovered another helpful habit... cutting corn and wheat out of her diet. She tried this "diet" where she fasted for a few days and slowly added food back to see how her joints would react. Sure enough, when she added corn, her fingers swelled up and she could barely walk again. She had a slightly less reaction to wheat. Now that she greatly limits these things (she loves popcorn), she's not walking around like an 80 year old anymore. Just a suggestion for your sister... she might want to look into it