Monday, August 27, 2007

Fun for the Wrong Reason

I'm doing the right thing for the wrong reason and having all kinds of fun.

When I chose lifestyle changes over medicine I began reading on nutrition, cholesterol, factors contributing to heart disease and healthy habits. Julie joined me in this adventure and has been reading with me. Normally she drives us to work and I drive us home. Now, I drive both ways and she reads aloud one of the books that we purchased. We've learned more about fats, organic chemistry, inflamation, cholesterol, flavonoids, isoflavones, fiber, vitamins and other items that I knew existed. It's been pure fun.

Part of the enjoyment has been trying new foods -- soy products, salads made from fish high in omega-3s, grains that I didn't know existed and other exotic foods. Julie takes the lead in food choice and preparation and everything she's fixed has been a winner on my menu score card.

Why all the fun for the wrong reason? As I've thought back to the night that we went to the emergency room I've become convinced that I was dehydrated. I passed out due to the dehydration and was feeling pain from the fall I had a few days earlier. There's nothing seriously wrong with me and I'm not concerned about my health. So, the reason I'm working on nutrition and lifestyle changes is not to improve my health but to prove the doctor wrong.

Occasionally, I hear a prideful conversation praising U.S. health care and damning the Canadian system. It always irritates me because it's based on rumor lacking facts -- facts about Canadian health care and U.S. health care. In my opinion and from my recent experience, I don't think we have an excellent system. We have high rates of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other preventable illnesses. Medical professionals prescribe diet pills, antidepressants, insulin, statins and medicines to control hypertension rather than treating the cause of these concerns. We are sent from specialist to specialist and nowhere does the responsibility settle. Few have the courage or integrity to say "you don't need drugs -- you're too fat, you need to exercise more, you need to learn and eat better nutrition or you need to develop some social support".

I've having an enjoyable time improving my health just to prove the medical community wrong. Childish perhaps but fun.

With the changes I'm making, rather than live to be ninty-some, I'll live to be over 100 and have all kinds of fun growing old.


Blogger Buffalo said...

I'm too fat. I need to exercise more. I do eat healthy though.

The Canadian health care system is on a province to province basis. In some provinces it is better than in others. Here in Manitoba it seems to work well. There is an unconsionable shortage of diagnostic equipment such as MRIs and sonogram machines. The wait to access one of those tools can easily run from 3 to 6 months.

The majority of the folks around here are slim, trim, and do a lot of walking.

Life is sweet, isn't it?

8/27/2007 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger morningstar said...

And here in Quebec the media says we have long waiting lists for all tests and surgeries and you can move to the head of the line if you wish to pay...

In my experience - if i have needed a test it has been done within a couple of weeks and i haven't paid one extra cent (thank goodness cause my extra health insurance is not all that good)....

i am lucky enough to have found a doctor who agrees with me that meds are not always the way to go.... neither is surgery...... i am content to watch my diet so i don't need gall bladder surgery (and i don't care how easy it is these days... i don't believe in unnecessary surgery) i was also content to suffer the slings and arrows of menopause rather than swallow a handful of hormones each day to postpone the inevitable......

here's to a healthy life style.... i would rather do that than pay good money and swallow pills.....


8/27/2007 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger barefoot gardener said...

I agree with you that meds are over-prescribed, and applaud your decision to explore other options for your health.

I disagree that it is all the doctors' fault, though. Doctors, in my experience, are always telling their patients that they need to make lifestyle changes. Most people ignore them. The doctor's job is to keep their patients happy and healthy, so often their only choice is to medicate.

Each individual needs to take responsibility for their own health, rather than go looking for a "fix-it" pill. If everyone in the world did this, maybe doctors could focus more on other things. Cancer research, Alzheimer's, diabetes...things that cannot be dealt with through healthy living alone.

8/28/2007 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger Mysti said...

{With the changes I'm making, rather than live to be ninty-some, I'll live to be over 100 and have all kinds of fun growing old.}

And I hope you will still be blogging all that fun and the wonderful secrets of success. Oh, who am I kidding. If I live to be that long... the last place I would be is in front of the computer. {grin}

8/28/2007 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

I had the genes to live 100-plus, but alas, I became addicted to nicotine at an early age and only just now managed to quit smoking, so the damage is already done to my respiratory system, so If I'm lucky, I MIGHT outlive my Mom, who never was able to quit until she was felled by COPD and emphasema. I eat healthy but now that I quit I have to exercise and I am trying, but being basically lazy in that regard is not helping any.

8/30/2007 04:06:00 PM  

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