As I turn 51 and contemplate the twists and turns of my 51st trip around the sun the, one word or feeling that keeps coming up is gratitude. I have been blessed with 2 wonderful parents that made more sacrifices for me and my brother that I can even comprehend. They left their country and family behind and came to a county so my brother and I and all the following generations could have a better life. I know that countless others have done the same, I just wish that I would have told them while they were alive.
December is a strange month for me. December 14th is my birthday, the18th is my daughter Melanie’s birthday. My beloved mother passed on Dec 9th and my devoted Father passed on my 48th birthday. I am happy to have had such great parents, I just wish they could have stayed around longer.
I have thought to my self many times over the years, I have to get through this to get where I am going. Even if at times I was unsure of where the road was taking me. As I look back now, I am starting to see what has driven me to become the person I am today, in search of increasing not only my own healthspan and longevity but also the health and lifespan of my family, friends and anybody close enough to listen. The pain of having my friends lose their parents earlier than they should have as I did is one powerful motivator.
But it’s not only that, I remember when I was a paramedic in Miami running hundreds of calls to nursing homes seeing how these humans who spent most of their lives working ended up in these places left a mark on me. I wanted to be vibrant and healthy when I got old so I could enjoy everything I worked for. So the thought process began. What could I do to reduce my chances of ending up like this?
Then I became a Physician Assistant. I assisted in thousands of surgeries, mostly joint replacements due to the devastation of joint disease, general surgery cases due to cancer or other intestinal malignancies, and amputations of limbs due to Diabetes and vascular conditions. At the time, I was unaware of what was going on inside of me. Looking back now, I see why I was there. I saw first hand what chronic inflammatory disease, high sugar intake, alcohol and smoking does to the human body. Another mark!
I left surgery and took on the task of Pain Management. This is where it all came together for me. On many nights after a long day of work, I would wonder why am I here? There were many nights of thinking that it was a losing cause. What could I possibly learn from this experience?Yes, I was helping some people live a more productive life, but at what price? Opioids and cortisone take a much bigger tole on peoples lives then is told. Dependency, addiction, hormone disruption, bone loss, muscle loss, cognitive decline and an early death. So am I really helping them?
This is where my next chapter begins. In his later years my Father would often say life happens in stages. I see my next stage and I am prepared. These 51 trips around the sun have not been lost on me. I know now what my next mission is. I have learned and I am now ready to share what I have learned about increasing the human healthspan and lifespan. We may not be able to reverse the aging process yet, but we sure can slow it down.
So now when people ask me why I eat the way I eat, or why I exercise, or why I am so adamant about taking care of my health; the answer is because I know what will happen if I do nothing and it is not a pretty picture.
I know one day I will no longer be on this planet, but I hope to put that day off for a very long time. Enough time for my children to have their own families and meet their children. So I can tell them about the 2 people that changed the trajectory for all of the generations to come, Eva and Maximo Gamiz.