Sunday, October 23, 2005

Message not quite received

My father in law has been seriously overweight ever since I met him a dozen years ago. He used to smoke, but successfully quit some years back. My mother in law, who cooks all of their meals, has begun to use olive oil instead of shortening for cooking and says they're eating less meat, but frying is still the cooking method of choice. The oven is used as a breadbox; nothing is ever baked.

On Friday, Robin went to their house after school as usual. I was supposed to pick her up for a swim meet the next day, but at 5:30 Saturday morning, Yolanda called to say she had left Robin at Betty's house and was on the way to the hospital with Jose, who was having severe chest pains, headache and nausea.

Most of his immediate relatives who have died have done so as a result of heart disease. He was kept throughout the day for observation. Yolanda went home for a while, then went back around noon and we didn't hear anything at all until 6:00 pm, when she called to say that he had been released and that they were home.

They found that his blood pressure was elevated and he was bloated. Also, of course, overweight. He was instructed to get his BP checked daily and see someone about the weight issue.

My overall impression is that they are feeling like they dodged a bullet...that "thank goodness nothing was really wrong." They both readily acknowledge that he needs to reduce his weight, and they have a general idea of what constitutes healthy eating, but I don't really see this as leading to long-term changes or significant weight loss.


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