Seminars – and a sobering story

To help you enjoy a long and healthy life, York’s Retirement Planning Centre is offering two seminars on “Growing Older, Staying Healthy” on Jan. 29. An introductory lunch-hour seminar focuses on men’s health while an afternoon session is devoted to women’s health, with presenters Dr. Miroslava Lhotsky and Judy Turner, both Canadian authors.

Those interested in attending or who want further information, please call ext. 66228 or e-mail A complete description of the seminars and presenters is on York’s Retirement Planning Centre’s Web site at

The following article was submitted by Karen Gray, coordinator, Retirement Planning Centre, about someone who advises people to pay attention to their health.

Inertia…or It Can’t Happen to Me

Today, I was talking with one of our York staff members who gave me permission to tell you his story.

Frank was very active through his youth. He never had a problem keeping his body slim and trim. After university, he took a position at York where he quickly felt that he was tied to his desk. Lunch was always on the fly – a hamburger, a slice of pizza, donuts or cookies. Whatever he ate was quick and usually fat-filled. Then the kids came along. Rushing from work to pick the kids up after school before his wife came home resulted in more than the occasional take-out dinner.

By the time Frank reached 39, his weight had soared from 189 to 235 pounds. At his pre-Christmas check-up, his doctor gave him a lecture about putting on too much weight. Frank knew the doctor was right, but he was too busy with students and a conference.

Frank did start a walking regime but he began to weight suddenly and drastically – about a pound a day. He was constantly thirsty and rushing to the bathroom all the time. He had severe cramps in his calf muscles “like someone was pounding a stake through them, especially at night”, and his vision started to blur.

Even with these symptoms, Frank had too much work to make an appointment with his doctor. Finally, three months later he walked into his doctor’s office. His doctor immediately noticed the sudden weight loss, gave him a urinalysis test and promptly diagnosed him with diabetes type 2.

Frank said he always thought illness happened to older people. Then he discovered that being overweight is a factor in who gets this type of diabetes, not necssarily old age. He now has his diabetes under control. He is taking medication twice a day and testing his blood sugar level once a day, but has to deal with some unpleasant side effects of the medication. He feels lucky that his vision returned to normal. “What if I’d lost my sight?”

Frank advises others, “Watch your weight, and think very carefully about what you eat. Go out for a walk for a half hour three times a week. And educate yourself – find out the symptoms of common diseases. You think it can’t happen to you. Well it can.”