Healthy living is a worthwhile goal to pursue though I imagine that the phrase means different things to different people. For me, one of the key components to healthy living is being drug free or as close to drug free as possible—the occasional recreational use aside.
Whenever I write one of these posts about our medicine based culture I feel a need to emphasize that I am not against medicines and drugs. I believe in science and the power of pharmaceuticals to accomplish great things when we are sick and in need of healing.
I have also witnessed the effectiveness of psychopharmacology for those with chemical imbalances that can be beautifully served by the right drugs.
But for the most part I think many people have a fairly blithe attitude towards incorporating a drug routine into their daily lives. We tend to trust that our doctors want the best for us and often take their advice without enough thought to necessity and side effect.
The genesis of this post comes from a breakfast at the Hampton Inn where we stayed overnight on our way home from a road trip to Ottawa. I could write a whole post on how great a night in a hotel with an indoor pool is for little kids but that will have to wait for another time.
When we went down for breakfast which consisted of some fruit and coffee—which I would classify as the healthy foods—and an assortment of sugar laden cereals, artificially sweetened yogurts, juices that couldn’t really be called juice and strange perfectly shaped omelets that weren’t half bad.
The three televisions in the breakfast area were all turned to the same cable TV report: A New Drug to Help Heart Failure. The bulk of the story reported on heart disease and COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
My father who smoked two packs a day for thirty-three years, died from a cocktail of COPD, type 2 diabetes, obesity, sedentarism and more. But I could just as easily say that he died from a cocktail of unhealthy eating and living habits that lead to a dependence on medication for an assortment of ailments that all caught up with him in the end.
I sat in the hotel eating area surrounded by processed food (they call high fructose corn syrup maple syrup for example) watching a news segment about a drug that will extend the life of someone with hearth failure or COPD.
While I am all for alleviating the suffering of sentient beings in any way possible, not once was there a mention of lifestyle change as a means to combat heart disease.
We get sick for a reason. We heal for a reason. Those people who don’t heal often fail to do so for very good reasons. We are meant to live drug free lives as much as possible. When we use drugs to support unhealthy lifestyles—such as taking acid reflux medicine rather than eating foods that don’t give you acid reflux—there is no reason to think the body won’t request some payback at some time in the future.
Adding a drug to the regimen in order to cover that bill is not likely to work in the long run.
There you have it. Thanks for tuning in to today’s edition of the cranky walking guy who writes a blog.