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Healthy sarcasm

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The well-intentioned (and rather attractive) presenters on the television science program “Catalyst”Β  recently spent half an hour giving birth to this ill-conceived issue of dubious parentage;

“When old people STOP taking ALL their daily between 5 and 20 prescription medications they begin to feel healthy again.”

Now who would’ve thunk it.Β  Considering one of those “medicines” was probably Warfarin (rat bait) and God knows (or perhaps She is equally bewildered) what other toxic chemicals were contained in the colourful geriatric pill cocktails.

It is high time that these brilliant researchers stopped whispering sweet nothings to us from the back row of the arena, and instead donned their medical matador gear to do some serious fighting inside the bullring.

The beast they should be confronting is this;

For the majority of people, if they simply stopped spending their entire lives overloading and polluting their bodies with fat, sugar, salt, nicotine, excess protein, food additives and drugs (legal or otherwise) then collectively got off their arses to exercise daily, they would not need to visit the peddlers of toxic pharmaceuticals nearly as often in later life, or live their final years nibbling away at rat bait.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a large portion of black forest cake topped with whipped cream.

All this self-righteous proselytising is making me hungry…..and giving me a headache……but nothing compared to the intensity of the one facing health educators as they attack their single greatest challenge of the twenty-first century.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

31 responses »

  1. Well, I have dental problems and…..wait, lost my train of thought. OH, can I have a piece of cake too? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    **Ahem, back to what I was saying. Yeah, this sounds familiar. All matter of science is instantaneously wiped out with the advent of Fox News, chatty talking heads who have it ALL figured out, just a few sentences, a playful toss of the hair and suddenly they’ve revolutionized theories that, before their makeup job, had solid foundations for decades.

    From the little I know, GOF, I’m pretty sure those brilliant researchers would love to be invited on those programs. But unless they agree to preach to the choir, they shall remain forced to whisper. Especially if the Bushes of this world have anything to say about it.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome to share my cake Emmi….but you can have all the cream if you like…..I won’t touch it. πŸ™‚

      Sometimes I despair. Our health system is overloaded and in shambles and the only realistic solution is to have individuals take more responsibility for their own health.

      Fifty percent of Australian kids are somewhere between overweight and obese. Messing around at the edges of the problem won’t fix it. Education will. For starters some really explicit images of clogged arteries and open heart surgery or diabetic limb amputation might get us to sit up and take note.

      Diet-linked good health knowledge has been with us for a century or more, but modern man thinks he is immune to all the basic principles which apply.

      Reply
      • By cream do you mean….FROSTING? Oh, bless you!! πŸ˜€

        Speaking strictly about American obesity, I wonder. That junk food has been around for ages, we ate it, yet our nation’s kids are out of control obese too. To my eye it could be blamed on anything from poor diet and no exercise, to more complex factors like genetics (overweight people more likely to have kids….?) and pollution, which has been linked to everything from breast cancer to thyroid problems.

        Our state and much of New England has relatively low obesity rates. Part of the hypothesis is that our weather is more temperate and there are many parks for people to exercise. Down South, where obesity is much higher, not only is the food more fatty but the humidity and heat is unbearable. I could hardly walk a block when we visited.

        There was a really compelling Frontline special about this, which pointed out that kids in the 1950s, parents used to yell at them to come indoors for dinner (because the kids loved playing outdoors). These days, parents have to yell at kids to go outdoors.

        Reply
        • That’s just it. Too much texting, video games, TV, time on MySpace, not to mention school. There’s no outdoor activity anymore. No activity at all. (She types while sitting on her butt in front of the computer) (But at least I’m slim!)

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        • First…by “cream” I meant the undiluted fat skimmed off the top of cows milk…maybe the “frosting” which brought a huge smile of anticipation to your face is what we call “icing”? …sugar based decoration…..but you already know that when you get me in the kitchen I’m out of my natural environment. πŸ™‚

          Thanks Emmi for your observations about geograhical influences on obesity.

          A recent catchy message about sensible eating is to “not eat anything that your grandma would not have eaten”. ie…she probably lived mainly on fruit and vegetables and unprocessed untamperedwith natural foods. Certainly in Australia at that time there were very few franchise outlets selling greasy takeaway food…..and indeed most people could not afford to “eat out” anyway.

          And both you and kimkiminy correctly point the finger at lack of exercise….for kids and adults. Schools are hesitant to allow children to “move” because of the risk of litigation……..ahhhh dear……I feel another loving blog appreciation of lawyers coming on. πŸ™‚

          Reply
    • Another reason to prove You Are Awesome.

      Reply
  2. Drink more red wine!!! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  3. Well noted. Rich’s 87-year-old mom recently had a fall, and it seemed it was due to being woozy from the eleventy-odd meds she was on. The doc at the hospital immediately took her off all but a couple. She felt much better. But then, of course, she went back to her regular doctor, who has her back on them all, plus a couple more — and she takes his word for next-to-God’s.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your story kimkiminy……we give too much power to doctors expecting them to”heal us” and not enough time to our own lifestyle choices which influence our future health status.

      Reply
  4. I’m getting to that age where the doctors want me to go on all sorts of cholesterol-lowering, blood-thinning, pain-killing pills; but now that I don’t have health insurance, I seem to be fine now. πŸ˜‰

    Seriously, I think I could live with all these little ailments, stiff knees, bad back, rising blood pressure now; but if I ever became like my poor mother, who can’t tell a Friday afternoon in October from Christmas Day, I’d hope to go sleep and never wake up. Doctors are good at prolonging life, but they don’t seem to realize it’s the quality, not the quantity that’s important.

    Reply
    • Well said HG……I am certainly at a time in my life when I need to confront the inevitability of more serious age-related ailments. There is an increasing awareness here that patients have the right to challenge the medical profession’s habit of prolonging life at any cost.

      I have just completed an “Advance Health Directive” which is a legal document outlining what treatment is to be provided in the event of loss of mental capacity to make a decision. Hopefully this will prevent my life being prolonged unnecessarily.

      Now all we need to do to ensure compassionate and humane treatment of people in the final stages of life is to make euthanasia legal. Sadly that is unlikely to happen in my lifetime.

      Reply
  5. I love reading the side effects sheet with medication – can cause constipation or diarrhoea, fevers or shivers, runny eyes or dry eyes…usually the only thing it doesn’t do is make one better! FIL has survived on medication for about 30 years too long – I wish he would stop taking it NOW! For the good of our health.

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    • Some of the small print that comes with medicine is really scary……I wonder if they don’t make up some of the side effect just to cover themselves against litigation in case something unexpected pops up in a patient.

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  6. No GOF, God is most definitely a he – if God was a she, the world would be a hell of a lot more organised….

    Those pill organisers scare me – you know the ones, divided into spaces for each day and then each day into spaces for each time of day….and some of them are huge!!!

    As for obesity…..stop giving the kids the latest electronic games for Christmas and buy them bikes again!!!! ok simplistic response but it’s no coincidence that obesity rates have risen along with technology developing…

    (As an added bonus your elecricity bills will go down if little Johnny and Sally aren’t spending every waking hour in front of a game/PC etc.)

    Reply
    • It might be wise if I made no further comment on the sex of God, CC πŸ™‚

      My Mum for a short time ended up in an old-folks home, and those “pill organisers” were conversation starters between all the patients who would have great pride in the number and colour of the pills that filled every compartment.

      Your solution for obesity might be simple, but it will work. Kids of my generation spent every spare moment running around, bicycling, climbing trees and hitting cricket balls into neighbours backyards.

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      • Oh I can so iamgine the competetion to get the most and the mosst colourful range of pills!! Better off giving them a box of smarties!

        Both me and Mr CC despise electronic games with a passion…..we only have one concole in this house (a very old PS2) and it is used very very sparingly – kids haven’t asked for it for months!
        When I talk to parents of my kids’ friends there are some who are the same as me – hate them with a passion so don’t let kids use them all the time right through to the ones who basically use them as babysitters (to those I nod and say very little for fear of offending).
        And then, of course, you find the homes where every room has a tv – including each child’s bedroom…why?why?why?why?why?
        (So many rants…so little time)

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      • Or farm kids spent 4 hours a day WORKING. Whatever it is, it’s movement. We ate fried *everything* and burnt it off.

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        • Good point…..us kids used to live on the “dripping” fat left over on the bottom of the roast lamb cooking pan.

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          • Mum used to use the dripping from the bottom of the grill pan – makes the best gravy etc etc etc
            Folks would be horrified if the same thing happened now….
            In saying that though, I don’t reduce fat etc in things and the kids eat a LOT! And they burn it off. We’re on a property and just the walk to the bus each morning takes a few minutes…add in going woodcutting, collecting cow pats for garden, helping digging the gardens – and eating the veges (home grown cheap and better!) Older ones have to ride 3km to go to their mate’s place….none of us are overweight and other than the eczema which 2 of the 4 have (thanks genes) the trips to doctors have been minimal..Master 15 only ever been to a doctor twice in his life, Miss 9 once – just to confirm she really did have chicken pox.
            It’s not rocket science

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  7. Old people do seem to get prescribed the most ludicrous number of tablets. Mind you, it’s not just old people. I got prescribed all sorts of lovely coloured pills to take to get the Crohns and IBS under control. I spent 6 months desperately trying to remember all of them before giving up, deciding I couldn’t be arsed and coming off all of them. I then stopped eating stuff with wheat in and fixed it myself. Seems to me that people are too quick to reach for the pills and forget to try the simple, non-chemical routes first.

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    • Go Vicola.

      That’s a serious problem you have there. My BiL has it and has had a couple of meters of bowel removed so far. I have the much easier to manage Colitis and have never been hospitalised with it.

      I don’t mess with the dosage though. Any time I cut back I cop it 2 weeks later. Regular as clockwork.

      Incidentally on GOF’s theme, my Maccas diet is their latte and occasionally cake. I don’t know if their cakes are better than their burgers and fries but it works for me. Besides carrot cake has a vegetable in it, doesn’t it?

      (Liz has given up on my logic.)

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    • My lungs were damaged in a fire about 8 years ago–I truly needed several meds the first few years but I’ve found as long as my general breathing is fine, I go OFF them (til I get a respiratory infection and then go back on to keep everything as open/ dry as possible).

      Instead, when I can due to injuries or immune disease, I *workout*. Not only that but an old RN told me singing was excellent for keeping the breathing healthy, so I sing in my car to and from work and when I walk (not jog) on the treadmill in the tack room (where no one can see/ hear me).

      There’s usually at least one thing we can do without drugs to help!

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      • I’m sorry you have these medical difficulties to overcome MT but your final sentence really sums it up. The future of medicine will hopefully include a more holistic approach, and using the knowledge of all the alternative and traditional therapies available in the world.

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  8. I am amazed by the number of drugs advertised on the telly here – and they all suggest you ask your doctor for them……. my mother in law does just that and she counts her daily pills out into a ziploc bag! It can take her 3 or 4 glasses of water to take them all!

    Reply
    • I’ve noticed that trend starting here too on TV urging patients to go back to the doctor and get the latest medication for high blood pressure or arthritis.

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