Sometimes You Have to Compare Risks and Rewards

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by Charlton Harris |

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My daughter celebrated her 20th birthday last week. She kept saying she wanted to take a trip. Initially, the destination was the Dominican Republic. Then she mentioned Miami and a few other places. As it turns out, she booked a trip to Los Angeles … using my “50 and older” discounts.

Clever girl. My daughter and I are a lot alike. She doesn’t let obstacles keep her from “doing her thing,” just like her dad.

My wife, my daughter, and my daughter’s girlfriend went to LA for four days while my son and I stayed home. At first, I was a little taken aback. I would’ve liked to go with them. However, because of pulmonary sarcoidosis, I can’t have the kind of fun I used to. I don’t use oxygen unless I’m doing a considerable amount of physical activity, but I would’ve had to travel with it. I feel like I would’ve slowed everyone down.

So, they went, and we stayed. It worked out for everyone.

Take a step back and evaluate

My son and I had a lot of time to hang out and talk. We’re very, very close. I share more with him than anyone else, so our time together was not only important but welcomed.

My son knows I’m a fighter. I grew up in a single-family home and was taught to never give up on anything, especially yourself. I remind my kids that in life, you’re going to face challenges. You may have no idea how you’ll get through them, but you must move forward, trust yourself, and never give up.

My son said he was going to quit his part-time job. At first, I was hesitant about him quitting without having another job in place. But his decision made perfect sense once I listened to his reasoning. Ultimately, it should make sense to him, not anyone else.

He wasn’t benefiting from the job. He’d been doing the same thing for years, but the lack of intellectual stimulation finalized his decision. He saw the job for what it was: a dead end. That can be mentally taxing.

I understood what he was saying and said I supported him 100 percent.

Risks vs. rewards

Sometimes I feel that way with sarcoidosis. I’m doing OK, according to my doctor’s standards, but I could do better.

In theory, I’m getting by. My doctor and I have discussed ways to improve my health, but as with all things, there are risks involved. Currently, I’m taking one medication for my blood pressure. So far, the lifestyle changes I made are helping, but if there’s a chance that things could be better, you have to compare the risks and rewards.

My daughter’s decision to travel sparked something in me. She wanted that trip, and nothing or no one was going to stop her. She’s just like me. I’ve been blessed with jobs that allowed me to travel throughout the U.S. and a wonderful family member that let me visit London. I always wanted to return, but life got in the way. I planned on returning for my 50th birthday, but five years later, I’m using oxygen, making frequent trips to the doctor, and not reminiscing about my trip to London.

Watching my daughter plan her trip really got to me. I have a lot of living left to do. It’s time to compare the risks and rewards. I believe my family and friends would agree that I have enjoyed more rewards than I have taken risks, so why not take bigger risks for bigger rewards?


Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.


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