Picture from our 25th anniversary trip to Europe in 2011. Taken at Deutsches Eck, Koblenz, Germany

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
– Quoted in “The Health Club” in School Life, Vol. IV (January – June 1920), p. 17

Yesterday, I had a bit of a scare. My blood pressure was pretty high (I have hypertension) and I had a horrible migraine. I called my doctor and he told me to go to the emergency room. Five hours later, after a few tests, blood work, pain meds for the migraine, and instructions to see my doctor in a few days, I was sent home. Perhaps I need to increase my dosage for my blood pressure medicine but everything looked ok.

But it caused me to think more seriously about my health. I have been taking my health for granted. I have been ignoring the signs of my deteriorating health. I have gained some a bit of weight since the day my cousin took the above picture.

This morning I asked my husband what time he went to bed last night. I noticed that he didn’t go to bed until really late. He told me he had trouble settling down and finally fell asleep in a chair for a couple hours. I asked him why. “Because you were in the emergency room.” was his answer. And today my kids kept asking me how I was feeling.

Poor health is not caused by something you don’t have; it’s caused by disturbing something that you already have. Healthy is not something that you need to get, it’s something you have already if you don’t disturb it.
~ Dr. Dean Ornish

One thing has become very clear to me. I am selfish when I ignore my health. This body I have is a gift. I am neglectful of a blessing that is mine! When I refuse to take care of myself, I am also not thinking of those I care for. No one can be in complete control of their health, but I can and should do my part. Who knows if or when I will have another episode? At this point, I am certainly headed that way.

You formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, because I am wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works!
My very self you know…
How precious to me are your designs, O God
~ Psalm 139:13-14,17

So today is a declaration of sorts. I can not take my health for granted any longer. Health is a gift. If I am mindful of and thankful for that gift, I will cherish and take care of that gift (hopefully!).

If you would like to share your version of “Thankful Thursday” (photos or text or both) today or in the future, you can link your post to my post on Thursdays in the comments section with the title “Thankful Thursday”.