Is health your last frontier?
skeeze / Pixabay – Is health your last frontier?

I read an interesting blog the other day. One of the goals for this blog writer was to never get admitted to a hospital. I laughed at first and thought about it for the rest of the day. I have to agree with him after a lot of thought. Too many things happen to us when we enter a hospital for treatment.

Obviously we have to work at staying in excellent health every day of our lives. I’m fortunate in many ways – good genes, good family history, good attention to my own health, etc. I’ve had more than a casual interest in health and nutrition for almost 30 years.

The Navy required that I have a flight physical every year (over 30 of them). I had to pass the flight physical to continue on flight status. And, I did, without a problem. Of course, I had the usual cold or flu or other temporary malady, but it wasn’t until very late in my life that I had anything serious. A few years ago I had my gall bladder removed.

Nutrition, diet and fitness play a major part in our lives. We control all three. We eat what we choose to eat – for better or worse. We exercise (or not) when we want to. I am a summer exercise person. I don’t like cold air, so I don’t do much outside exercising in the winter time.

Nutrition is a topic very near and dear to me. I am a chemist by education and I really like to delve into the chemical responses and interactions of vitamins, enzymes, supplements, etc. I want to know ‘why’ something works or doesn’t work.

I’ve noticed that as people (my family in particular) enter the hospital, they are subject to the wide range of illnesses typically found in a hospital environment. Infections and pneumonia are the things I dread the most when one of my parents, brothers or sisters enters the hospital. I entered the hospital for removal of my gall bladder and caught pneumonia the first day I was there. That should never happen. I was released four days after entering – overcoming my surgery and my pneumonia, but I had to work at both of them.

Hospitals should get someone back to the same level of health they had before they entered the hospital. Their health should not get worse as a result of a hospital visit. As people age, their health begins a gradual decline. It is part of aging. Hospitals should not accelerate that process.

Sometimes a person has a serious illness and can never overcome the results of treatment, or the side effects of the medicines they are taking. I dread the side effects of prescription medicines more than the disease in many cases. I am one of those people who reads the paperwork included in the prescription medicine packaging. Sometimes I elect not to take the prescription medicine and find another solution.

It is critical to work on prevention than correction for your own health. Yes, doctors can correct what might be wrong. But, you are responsible to prevent yourself from getting into a correction mode. Some things can’t be helped based on heredity or accident.

But, there are many other things we can prevent based on the lifestyle we choose to live. A poor diet, smoking, no exercise, lots of stress, poor nutrition, etc. can lead to a lower quality of life when we need it the most. A great diet plus exercise is not always the perfect answer either. I believe you need to know a little bit extra to make your life worth living and to enjoy that life into your very old age.

3 Responses

  1. Well said, Red. And thank God you were in good physical shape entering the hospital for your gall bladder surgery. Yes, you stayed for four days. Just imagine if you didn’t take care of yourself.

  2. Valid points. I am happy that I don’t have to take any prescription medications at this time. I also enjoy exercising so that has been a consistent part of my life. Sometimes things happen that are unavoidable. Wishing you good health in 2018.

  3. It’s so true that our own self-care impacts on our health. But when it comes to hospital-acquired infections, the major cause is inadequate hand hygiene and non-compliance with infection control protocols.

    I’ve spent a lot of time working in and visiting hospitals, and I’ve watched hospital employees consistently skip hand sanitizer stations while patients and visitors respect hand washing requirements. I’ve watched orderlies take infected materials from one patient room to another. I’ve seen nurses “duck in quickly” without washing their hands. All of this has repercussions.

    I remember reading that transmission of hospital-acquired infections was significantly reduced during the H1N1 scare. That’s because it was the first time adults in the prime of their lives were at risk. So hospital staff feared for their own lives and, for once, adhered to infection control protocols. Unfortunately, after that scare things went back to normal.

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