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healthcare vs. medical care.

April 11, 2017

“Many people mistakenly believe that healthcare is synonymous with medical care. Health is, to a large degree, a matter of personal responsibility that must be exercised within the limits of genetic endowment. Educational achievement, income, and environment are also important factors.” – W.R. Barclay, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), from the article, “Editorial: Hypertension: a major medical care challenge,” published in 1976.

You want to be healthy? Take responsibility for yourself. Yes, it’s true that some of us will never be as healthy as others. We are born with different “genetic endowments,” as Barclay called them.

Also, if you are poorly educated, not earning much income, and are living in a dangerous environment, it will be harder for you to take responsibility for your health. Harder, but not impossible.

Why am I writing about health?

I’m sitting here in the little eating area just off the kitchen. My morbidly obese, diabetic father is sitting at the kitchen counter, trying to sort out his diabetic numbers, how much insulin to take, etc. He is struggling with a LOT of health problems. He just pulled himself out of a diabetic low, and has not been able to stabilize his numbers lately.

He’s also been limping around with a cane, and I can’t keep track of how many different kinds of doctors he sees per month or how many meds he’s currently on.

My mom is getting tired of keeping track of my dad’s multitude of medications, and I will soon be handed that onerous responsibility.

What about me.. my health? I’m between 15 and 20 pounds overweight, with almost all my fat concentrated on my abdomen, and the rest of it on other parts of my torso.

This is not good.

My dad’s health continues to deteriorate. I don’t have much hope for him. He’s 72, in case you are wondering.

I’m 44. I still have some time.

What am I doing about my health?

  1. Working toward being on a mostly vegan diet. I’m going to eat to live, not live to eat.
  2. Starting to regularly practice various forms of meditation to reduce stress.
  3. Getting back into the habit of practicing Tai Chi. Good exercise.
  4. Continuing to walk my dog almost everyday, except during the winter.
  5. Working out at a health club at least three times a week.
  6. Trying to have a better attitude about things.

I NEED to get serious about my health! It is not too late for me.

It is probably not too late for you either.


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