Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"This house is ca-leeen."

No, not my house. As much as I can brag about many other things . . . . many other things . . . a clean house ain't one of them. No, this is about a different kind of clean.

A friend of mine told me about a mutual friend. That he had had an episode of arrhythmia and went to the hospital. He came out with a pace maker. Not so bad. Just has to stay away from blasting sites, and every time his wife uses the garage door opener, he passes out.

Actually, the bypass he had years ago, has started blocking up again.

This is the luck of the draw, folks. I have no idea how long this friend will live. Maybe years. But, he's a walking time bomb and there's nothing he can do about it.

We live in an amazing world and an amazing country. While there's much to be critical about regarding healthcare costs, we have, bar none, the best system of care in the world. I've had a heart valve repaired that most thought would last about 10-20 years. It's forty years later. Medications to help my heart pump and I may never need a replacement valve.

I've had blot clots in my lungs. Two days in the hospital and injecting myself in the stomach with heparin and I'm fine. That's just me. There are countless stories of people who have benefitted from todays advancements in medicine. Read Rick's thanksgiving story about his heart attack.

But, in spite of all this. The people, the medicine, the equipment, and the procedures, nothing comes anywhere near close to good health than . . . choosing your parents. Heart disease exists in my friends family. We live with this notion that we can control things. If we just . . . fill in the blank. I eat butter, eggs, bacon . . . not a lot. But, I never go out of my way to avoid them. My cholesterol numbers are to die for. Other people look at an egg and have a heart attack.

We have no control over these things, folks. The absolute best we can do is detect early. Which brings me to today. I had my colonoscopy today. Happily. At 51, I want to know. Fortunately, there's little history in my family. As such, this boy is clean. Nothing. No polyps at all. I'm good for ten years.

It's a small thing, yet a big one just the same. Of the many things I have no real control of in my life, this is one I don't have to worry about for a while now.

1 comment:

Deekaman said...

You are correct about much of our healthcare system. And the only thing worse would be if the same people who brought us the IRS and DMV gave us healthcare, too.

We also have some control over our health, but arguably, much has to do with genetics. Some can be overcome with a sensible diet and regular exercise, but much can't.