This past week I visited a colleague of mine whom I haven’t seen in almost 2 years. I’m not sure how much it meant to him, because he can’t talk and he can’t move. But it meant a lot to me.
A little bit about my friend. He was a practicing physician who was very good in his field. Several decades ago starting on the path to becoming a doctor as a medical student, I held the belief that the greatest compliment you can give another physician is to have trust in that physician with the care of your family.
This colleague of mine was that type of doctor. I never had the occasion to, but I would trust him to care for my family, or myself, if that were ever necessary.
Outside of medicine he was an active guy and an inspiration to me. He is about 7 years older than I am, but was always in much better physical shape than I was.
He was an avid soccer fan and an avid recreational soccer player. He was in great physical shape, and could compete with men half his age.
About 2 years ago, one Sunday afternoon, my friend got in a car wreck. His car, as can be seen by the photo, was mangled. He hardly had a scratch on him, and was brought to the emergency just a couple of miles away.
The good news is that he did not suffer any life threatening injuries. He had no broken bones either. Tragically however, he suffered a traumatic brain injury.
He has never been the same since that day. He was transferred to a facility that specializes in head injury patients, but there was nothing they could do.
He has since transferred back to his hometown, where he is in a nursing home.
I saw him for the first time in almost two years. He couldn’t talk. He couldn’t move his arms. I wasn’t even sure if he could hear or understand my conversation with him.
It was very difficult visit for me, but I hope he got something out of it and I will visit him regularly from now on.
So know I am thinking: We make all these great plans for tomorrow, but tomorrow may be too late.
- It may be too late to enjoy the sunlight and the surroundings around us.
- It may be too late to let our family or friends know that we appreciate them.
- It may be too late to improve our health by changing how we eat, and how we move.
That last point is something to which I as a weight loss physician can relate and something I think about with any LapBand patient that is not moving forward with their weight loss.
Are you eating unhealthy food and telling yourself that you will change the way you eat tomorrow? Tomorrow may be too late.
Are you never exercising and telling yourself that you will start exercising tomorrow? Tomorrow may be too late.
If you are seriously overweight you are at risk for (or might already have) high blod pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, infertility. Being seriously overweight increases your risk for cancer of the breast, uterus, colon, esophagus, pancreas, kidney and prostate.
If you don’t take better care of yourself today, tomorrow may be be too late.
Tomorrow you might have a stroke. Tomorrow you might have a heart attack. Tomorrow you might get cancer.
I hope my friend who suffered a brain injury in a car wreck didn’t leave anything until tomorrow. I hope I don’t leave anything until tomorrow as well. I hope my patients won’t leave anything until tomorrow.
Tomorrow may be too late.