Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Echocardiograms, Healthcare and Me...

I've been the recipient of more healthcare over the last year than I've experienced in all my other years put together. Seems there is always something to worry about when your age teeters over the half century mark. I was lying on a table today, watching my heart pump on a video screen during an echocardiogram. The screen clearly showed the valves moving; I could listen to the blood whoosh through the chambers of the heart. This magnificent organ, that just keeps working, 24/7, day after day, night after night. Amazing!

Any worries? I haven't met with the cardiologist, but it appears there isn't too much to worry about. Some thickening of the walls of the heart might indicate that my blood pressure has been on the hypertensive side. But the valves looked like they are working splendidly. Next week I will be having a stress echocardiogram. That will give us more information in regards to the health of my heart.

Fingers crossed.

Of course, we've known how to have a healthy heart for years: exercise, careful on the fat, eat veggies! Fruit! Don't smoke. Keep your weight down. Keep a cheerful attitude. No fast food. Don't eat the Industrial Diet. Probably be a good idea to stay away from the GMO's too.

The Hippies were right about diet and nutrition.

Knowledge and practice often don't go hand in hand. And so I've not exercised over the last decade as much as I should; I've not eaten well, not because of Joni who is superb nutritionally; I travel and stop at McDonald's for those lethal one dollar McDoubles way more often than I should. Quick and easy and deadly. My life hasn't been low stress. I have a high stress job that literally beats me up. I commute a long, long ways to work. People who spend a lot of time commuting tend to get fat. It happened to me.

Off with this blubber!

Things aren't hopeless, and hopefully, I haven't gone over the cliff.

All in all, I trust the medical system. We have great drugs and great machines and great procedures. But it sure would be better to not need all these things. We forget most healthcare is self-care. And the best way to avoid a health crises is simple: exercise, eat right, keep positive, reduce stress. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. True.

Tomorrow another doctor. This time we will talk about my rib and back injury and come up with a plan as to how to deal with it. It has been four months since I was attacked in the workplace and injured much more seriously than we first thought. But Hospitals only have so much patience with employees and there is a tendency to be ridiculed for being hurt. It doesn't help that this hospital manages its own Workman's Comp, which seems like a terrible conflict of interest to me. People are herded back to work much too quickly. Tomorrow, I will find out if they want me to try and wrestle through more work days on a Modified Status, or if we will wait until after I have some injections into my back in two weeks to deaden the pain.

I'd meant to tie all this into commentary on the measles outbreak in Texas amongst those who don't vaccinate their kids. But, alas, I'm tired and we can wait on that sermon for another day.

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