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Your Health is in YOUR Hands May 1, 2010

Posted by The Barefoot MD in : Health , 3comments

The more I have learned about the human body, the more respect I gain for the marvel which it is.  I graduate from medical school in four weeks.  It’s been a long road thus far and I’ve got another four years of residency ahead of me, but the information I’ve learned and the information I continue to learn is amazing.

I’ve reached a point in my life where I have been thinking more seriously about my mortality.  Being privileged to know the most sacred details of so many people’s health care has opened my eyes.  Life is indeed, fragile.  In an instant, life can change in such a way never before imagined.  Whether it is a function of an accident or a lifelong insult of poor lifestyle choices, when life changes for the worse . . . we are not ensured a second chance.  While rotating at the VA hospital in Kansas City, patient after patient was admitted to the hospital for one reason or another.  However, many of the patients had something in common . . . an unhealthy life.  These men who served our country and sacrificed for the freedom and liberty of their fellow countrymen and women had quite often lived in a way that aged them earlier than they should have.  Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, poorly chosen diets, and an unhealthy life combined to a point where they were fighting for their lives.  Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Hypertension, Congestive Heart Failure, Obesity, Chronic Renal Failure . . . these were some of the most common problems listed on patient files.  Sadly, these problems are found throughout our country and many places in the world.  I recall looking into the eyes of one particular vet and telling him that he should give up smoking.  His response almost knocked me off my chair.

He said, “You guys have taken away women and alcohol.  Now you want me to give up smoking too?”

I said, “Sir, you have come here today seeking our help in your health.  You are the CEO of your health care, we’re simply the board of directors and will give you our best advice.  What you do with that advice is completely up to you.”

It made me sad to see so many people wasting their lives . . . seemingly trying to slowly kill themselves by the lifestyle choices they made.  Then, when their bodies could take it no more, they would come to the hospital expecting the doctors to fix everything they had done over a lifetime.  We all need to wake up.

Your health is in YOUR hands.  The choices you make on a daily basis, while small, will ultimately affect the quality of your life.  What you decide to take into your body will either help or hurt you.  Whether you decide to get up and exercise or just sit there and watch TV will, after a while, determine if you experience atrophy and injury or health and energy.  Of course, you cannot determine if you are involved in a life changing accident that will leave you changed forever, but the rest of your life is in your hands.

This blog is where we will chronicle our family’s trail to a happy and healthy life . . . barefoot style.