Thursday, June 14, 2007

Daddy and Cholesterol

This post is by Poppins of Babies Anonymous

I remember only snatches of my life with my Daddy.

Him carrying me on his shoulder and having me pat my mother's shoulder when she was cooking, so that she would turn around and talk to him after they had an argument.

Or him doing a 'Statue' game with us and always freezing in the most contorted silly way possible.

His curly mop and mole on his forehead, a face that looks remarkably like my own.

His death. The expression on my mother's face when she saw my uncle return from the hospital one morning with my dad's blankets and pillows. The wailing that ensued. And me and my sister giggling because we didn't know the gravity of the situation.

These are all the things I remember. The rest I was told about, by family and by my mom. About what a gentle person he was, how notorious he was in his childhood, his escapades to the night show at the movies after arranging pillows under the blankets and so on.

My mom would always tell me that he never raised his voice during an argument. After a few minutes of screaming when my mom asked him why he was so quiet, he would say that it took two hands to clap (meaning it takes two people to make an argument). He frequently brought sleeveless blouses for my mom (which she promptly attached sleeves to) and was the one with the wailing babies outside the theater, while my mom watched the movie in peace. He waited patiently outside the locked door when he came back home unexpectedly early from office, while my mom was still not back from her shopping trips.

He was a teetotaller. And a good kind liberal man. The circumstances of his death are unclear to me. I know that he had a relapse of jaundice, then had a kidney failure. Then painful dialysis followed by heart attacks. He finally died after a massive heart attack at the age of 38. I later discovered that he had high cholesterol.

Aaaha, now we come to the title.

So now, the other daddy in my life aka poppin's daddy recently got himself a health checkup. He's only 31, is very physically active and other than an extreme liking for oily snacks, is quite a good eater. But he discovered that he has borderline high cholesterol. That has got me nervous.

When I was living in the US, I used to be careful about cooking. My own personal history with my dad, had ensured that I try to cook healthy. I have done enough research on that to earn a diploma and I am quite aware of the calorific value of my food. But I have slipped recently. Ever since I got pregnant, I relaxed quite a bit and my moving to India has not helped any.

This recent health checkup however had made me pull my socks a little bit. Now I am back to watching the oil content, stocking the pantry with heart healthy foods and cooking in olive oil. I don't want to sound morbid, but I don't want my poppin to miss out on a lifetime with her daddy.

My message to everyone on Father's day is to take care of the Daddies in your life. At the risk of sounding regressive, I will say that we women do the bulk of the cooking and it is in our hands to provide a heart healthy diet. Also since stress is a key component, I think a bit (or more) of loving all around will help :-) For the physically lazy dads, let's inspire them to join us for walks or a game of tennis.

Happy Father's day. Here's to a happy healthy year !

Crossposted at my blog


Asha said...

So sorry about your dad.But you do have wonderful memories of him and your family took care of you very well.
Hope you are taking care of yourself too and getting checked annually since heart diseases are hereditary.Kids need mommies too. You are doing your best so far as I can see!:))
Have a great week there in India.Happy Father's day to your hubby.

Tharini said...

I had a choke in my throat reading this. Esp...the memory of him having you pat your mother for mollification. Rajesh has done that with me may a times, and it hits close to home.

I can completely understand why you are saying all these things. Its not abt being mrobid...its abt being practical. Rajesh has high cholesterol and triglyerides too and is on a modified diet and I've had all these thoughst too.


Sandeepa said...

Really sorry to hear about your Dad and like you I am much psyched about Cholesterol too.

D (my hubby) too has a cholesterol above the border. And we have cut down a lot on red meat and eggs etc.
But the Doctor says if it is hereditary you can keep it at bay but not reduce it drastically.
Now D's Dad too has high Cholesterol so I try to get D to exercise more etc., stuff he doesn't like to :)

Happy Fathers Day to your hubby

Saheli said...

I wish I could hug you right now. I am so sorry to hear about your father. May his soul rest in peace.

Well, as far as health of our kid's father goes, I agree with you. My husband has diabetes and I really have to struggle for him to keep a healthy diet. Most our fights(arguements) are over food, what he can eat and how much. And its really hard because I can't give him 'time-out' for not listening.
Anyways, Happy Fathers day!

Poppins said...

@Asha: Thanks ! I do get my annual checkups, but I believe that until menopause, we women have a slight advantage over men with regard to cholesterol. Don't know if it is true..

@Tharini: Wow, Rajesh does that as well? That memory of my dad, with my mother in the kitchen.. it stands out in my head for some reason. I can still remember the colour of the walls, what my dad was wearing (banian) everything.

@Sandeepa: Looks like a lot of menfolk are having high cholesterol. It is a silent killer, we must not take it lightly !

@Saheli: Thanks for the hugs. Oh Diabetes! My FIL has had it for the last 20 years, with good discipline and regular exercise, it can be managed without drugs too. It must be hard to deprive him of sweets etc esp with a kid around right?

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