SEARCH BLOG: HEALTH CARE
My mother arrived from Florida yesterday. She is here to celebrate here 90th birthday along with several other birthdays and anniversaries in our family that fall within a 2-week span.
Had she been born a mere 90 years earlier, she likely would have not survived beyond 50.
She caught a mild case of tuberculosis working in a factory during WWII (the common variety of 70 years ago when TB patients were housed in "sanitariums" and forced to stay in bed before the 1st generation antibiotics was available...before the advent of HIV/AIDS whose sufferers can't be "stigmatized" with forced care so they can't spread the disease). She spent a year in bed recovering. The year after she recovered, antibiotics were developed to quickly treat that less virulent version.She is a walking, driving, jet-setting example of the effectiveness of our health care system.
Since then she has survived, cancer, cataracts, and artery-clogging cholesterol. She also has arthritis, but that is also under control.
There are some differences in the system now than she experienced earlier in her life. Diagnosis and early treatment are available for those who have the inclination or resources to have annual checkups.
Unfortunately, there are many from all economic strata that will spend a few hundred dollars on an iPod or fashionable clothes before they invest in their health. Sure there are some who simply cannot afford to get an annual physical... even a cursory one. But that's a very small percentage of the total population.
For the vast majority of Americans, if we feel healthy, then we don't think about the possibility that some problem could be lurking within. It's only when the problem becomes obvious or serious that we take action. That's human nature. But it is also the reason that so many people die before they reach 90 years.
We invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, education, cars, jewelry, music and comic book collections, and everything else imaginable.Somehow, too many of us fail to invest in our health and the time above ground that it confers.
And, ultimately, all we have is time.