Get It Together

My brother Gareth needs to start taking better care of his health. He’s always got something awry, and invariably has an appoint at some specialist clinic or another. If it’s not a rare ear infection, it’s a newly acquired allergy, an unusual sprain or a toenail fungus. Some might say he’s unlucky, but personally I think that perspective is part of his problem. He needs to start taking responsibility for his wellbeing.

Gareth somehow thinks that his body is going to manage itself without him having to contribute anything. That might have been true when he was 20, but he’s 37 now. Not only that, but he’s actually quite disparaging of people taking charge of their health. For example, a mate of his recently got fitted for orthotics. Cheltenham has a first-rate podiatry clinic, apparently, and Kevin was pretty excited about finally having his long standing foot condition seen to. Gareth’s response? “Why bother? We haven’t got that long left, anyway.”

Oh, Gareth. It’s one thing for you to see things that way, but it’s quite another for you to foist that on your friends. Besides, you might stick around for longer if you’d eat some fibre, do a bit of cardio once in a while and be more careful around trip hazards. It’s not rocket science, just basic adulting.

The only reason Gareth gets away with skipping it is because he tends to bounce back easily. I’m just concerned that this tendency will diminish over time, and I don’t want him to end up at a diabetic foot ulcer clinic at 50, or going blind from malnutrition or something. Hey, stranger things have happened.

The thing that gets me the most, though, is his attitude of resistance to basic body maintenance. I, for one, find it enjoyable and engaging to take care of my health. Why does Gareth have this roadblock against it? The irony is that he spends more time dealing with health issues than anyone else I know.