Sunday, April 21, 2013


   In the space time continuum,  the time is one dimension that does not stop and continues to march forward, and with every passing second a brief history is chronicled. A human being like any other object in the cosmos is like a little tape recorder, recording its individual history. The word chronicle used as a noun is a factual account of important or unimportant events in the order of their occurrence. The word chonos (Greek for time) is most likely the root word used to create the word chronicle.  Everyone experiences the dimension of time individually and our bodies like little tape recorders chronicle our individual histories. The dimension of time is certainly experienced individually, that is why time is relative. The same slice of time could very well be the happiest moment for one person and a total disaster for another individual. The history that we chronicle is actually recorded as the diseases that we experience as we get older. I am talking about chronic diseases. The word chronic has a strong link with chronos and chronicle. Chronic as an adjective describes the persisting illness for a long period of time or constantly recurring. The chronic with the element of chronos (time) is the end result of the saga of a individual recorded chronicle.

   The tape recorders that we carry with us are in the form of our health. A new born child's body is an absolute miracle. Here, I am only discussing a normal healthy environment. There are babies being born today to crack heads and these infants are drug addicts from their birth. I am not discussing these extreme cases. A normal child born to average parents has no worries about cholesterol or diabetes. Cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, weight gain are all chronic and take a long time until the body can not hide any more, and these  chronic conditions surface their ugly heads. However, the human chronicle starts from birth in small incremental changes we make to our bodies. The chronicle ends with our death, and then no one cares to remember us and we are quickly forgotten, unless we have performed some service for humanity. These small incremental changes that we make to ourselves are in the form of our diet, our upbringing, and our continued efforts to mentally improve ourselves. Whereas, learning and taking care of our minds stops for most people after a finite time, but the food intake continues until our death. For obvious reasons, since food provides nourishment for the body, it can not ignored. It is very common for many people to not read a single book for the rest of their lives after their schooling years, but try living without few meals is next to impossible.

   An average child starts his life at about 5-10 pounds, and continues to grow until late in his teens. All of my children were around 6 pounds at birth. The growth stops for most in the late teen years and what ever body they have at that point becomes the blueprint for the rest of their lives. The child hood years are the best care free years for most of us. Many good memories and happy times are chronicled in our internal tape recorders, and we are able to always reflect and seek comfort from these happy memories for the rest of our lives. The teen years are also care free, but the social pressures are there. these social pressures and acne determine our course for the next few years. There is no care about what goes in our bodies. In my teen years, I used to be able to drink 12 oz. Mountain Dew and eat a large bag of cheese puffs in a single sitting. A concoction made from cookies, cakes, candies, chocolate, and anything sweet was my friend and was never rejected. There was never a worry about counting calories or gaining weight. As a matter of fact, one night, I downed a large cheese pizza after having dinner. No matter, what I ate, I remained slim. However, acne and bad stomach issues were there, but I never made nor cared to make the connection to my diet. My body was able to handle anything I threw at it. I was invincible and could not be brought down by something as trivial as diet. Although, I thought that my behavior was going undetected, but the internal chronicler was recording these changes and the chronic diseases were taking note of my behaviors. Whatever, you eat today or do to your body, you will see its effects about a decade later.

   The late twenties or early thirties is the time when most people are getting married. They have settled in their careers and have been fully acclimated into society. Many people are conscious about their health, and many end up joining gyms to stay fit. Let's face it, our prospects of getting a mate get smaller with an increased waist line. Finding a mate and settling down is on our minds, so we tend to take care of ourselves and hit the gym regularly. I got married at the age of 26, prior to my marriage, I played sports, jogged, and overall remained very active. Luckily, after my marriage, I remained active, but my weight slowly crept up, and within 15 years of my marriage, I had accumulated 30 pounds. I was 120 pounds in high school at age 18, and was around 150 pounds (ideal weight) at the time of my marriage at age 26. In the next 15 years, due to my wife's good cooking, I manage to put on additional 30 pounds. Almost two years ago, prior to my paleo era, I was at 180 pounds, cholesterol, and blood glucose numbers were fast climbing. The weight gain in the years following marriage is a common phenomena for many people around the world. The pressure of finding a mate is no longer there, the children usually come in the picture and they take priority over exercise. Many people also are getting established in their jobs and trying to make a professional mark in their careers. Working long hours and making impossible deadlines is the norm. The most important factor for the weight gain is the home cooked meals. My wife always made sure that I was well fed, and there was dessert available after dinner per my request. I also started to eat fast foods, visiting Burger King few times per week, and gulping down few ounces of Diet Coke per day was normal for me. My blood glucose was creeping up, my cholesterol was high, and the physical effects were there. I was feeling chest pains and going upstairs often left me breathless. The internal tape recorder was not missing a single event in my life and kept chronicling my life events.

   The forties and fifties is where chronic diseases begin to raise their ugly heads. The body is an amazing machine designed to run and invent ways to fill the nutritional gaps that we create. The purpose of every single living organism is survival. The cells in our bodies adopt and are able to cope with the dietary abuse for a very long time before giving up. The cells continue to support the body and the life prolongs, however, the internal chronicler continues to chronicle our activities and presents the results in some form of chronic disease every decade. Diabetes is one of the chronic diseases that presents itself to most folks in the forties and fifties. This has been the pattern for many centuries. Average folks living average lives end up with some form of diabetes in their forties. The weight gain is normal and other chronic diseases like arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and gastrointestinal issues are all associated with middle age and are called middle age diseases. As said, this has been an accepted pattern for centuries. The doctors tell their middle age patients to get more active, quit smoking, reduce fat intake, and eat more heart healthy whole grains. But these days, chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease are not exclusive for the middle aged folks. Many young folks in their teens, twenties, and thirties are developing diabetes. Young people getting diabetes was unheard of fifty or sixty years ago. You got diabetes when you were forty, but not twenty. Today the children are eating more processed foods and drinking high sugary fruit juices. I personally know many young men and women in their twenties with full blown type II diabetes. They have to either take a shot of insulin or eat a cocktail of pills to keep their blood sugar in check after each meal.

   For average folks, sixties, seventies, and eighties are the years of pain and health problems. The chronic diseases that became apparent in the forties and fifties are now controlling the life of the individual. The modern medicine is able to prolong the life of the individual at the expense of quality. These golden years, that should be spent enjoying their lives is often spent in sleepless nights and constant trips to the hospital. For seniors, broken hips, constipation, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol is a normal way of life. I have a middle aged friend who proudly reported  that his cholesterol is as low as of a newborn baby. I was happy to hear that, until, he told me that his cardiologist has fine tuned his cholesterol medicine (statins) to a point where his cholesterol was well within healthy range. Hippocrates, the father of medicine said "let food be thy medicine". There is so much wisdom and truth to his saying. Our health and quality should be defined by what we eat and not by the healthcare that we are able to afford or have access to.

   If you are living in or beyond nineties then you are not fully functioning at that point and the quality of the life has greatly diminished. Once again, I am talking about average folks. There are always exceptions. Average folks, growing up in average homes, marrying, having children, and holding jobs end up following the pattern that I have described above. Their internal tape recorders does not forget to record their action and the chronicler continues to record until they expire in their seventies or eighties. I personally want to die healthy and of old age. I want to spend the last few years of my life not visiting the doctors and fighting pains, but spending time with my loved ones and pursuing things that I love. There are literally hundreds of books that I want to read, I want to climb Mt. Whitney as long as I can, I want o visit Mt. Everest base camp, visit Alaska, play a round of golf at St. Andrews, and listen to Aida in La Scala. And when my chronos is up and my chronicler hard drive is out of memory, I want to just go away in my sleep. I truly believe there is something out there, and I want to find out.

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