What are you doing to Protect Your Health?
As a man in my mid-50s, I seem to spend a fair amount of my time reflecting back on my earlier years. The days of my childhood seemed so simple. I remember going to school and then coming home and doing chores, homework, and then maybe watching a little TV or reading a book, and then I was off to bed. Nearly every day followed the same sequence of events. Although, Friday nights were extra special. My family would all gather in our great room after dinner and watch a scary movie, like Godzilla. It’s funny how much times have changed. In those days, movies like Godzilla, Werewolf, or Dracula, seemed so frightening to me.
Saturdays were fun as well. I got to run errands with my mom and dad, and since my father spent such long hours working at a local hospital and doing free-lance work at a privately owned lab during the week, I was even more excited to see and spend time with him during the weekend. He and the tales of his life were fascinating to me. I could listen to him tell stories about his childhood, World War II, or any number of seemingly random stories or events that he shared with me.
When our time together was over, I realized that there was never anything random about what he told me or the discussions we had. He was a brilliant and highly educated man who shared his life with me in a way that was entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring. None of our time together nor or conversations were ever wasted. We talked about life, religion, politics, how the human body worked, philosophy, and general health topics. He was never at a loss for words on any subject and often took what time he had to teach me about the value and complexities of life, and all that it afforded.
My dad loved to walk, and would often take the entire family or individual members of our family out for long walks, where we would discuss specific topics of his choosing or sometimes of mine or another family member. As a little boy, I never knew how valuable this time with my dad would be until I got older. One of his greatest gifts was that he could share both complex and highly valuable information in story form. He understood that many people love to hear a great tale, and they would often remember even the minutest details years later.
As a microbiologist, my father could share lots of interesting and helpful insights about all kinds of health topics. Sadly, and ironically, one day the walks with my father stopped. I didn’t know why at the time, I just knew that my father was forced to go to the hospital for an extended period, and no one could tell me why. As I recall, I was only five years old at the time. This ordeal was terrifying and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He meant everything to me and not having an understanding of what was wrong with him and why he couldn’t come home disturbed me greatly.
It seemed like forever, but eventually my father returned from the hospital. He never seemed quite the same to me, but eventually our walks did resume. I remember the first walk we took after his doctor gave him the okay. He explained to me that he had a disease called diabetes and his life would change greatly as a result. I had never heard of this disease up to that point, but would never forget it after that day. The disease did not only impact my father, the consequences it had on his life would become painfully apparent over the years to each and every family member. As time went on, he became highly preoccupied with his disease process. He had to be very careful about maintaining a proper blood sugar level, because if he didn’t, he was at great risk for passing out. Life for all of us got quite complicated. He had to be cautious about what he did and didn’t eat, everything he ate had to be measured out in exact portions, and he had to inject himself twice a day with insulin in order to help regulate his blood sugar.
I couldn’t possibly understand as a child back in the late 1960s what the ramifications of being diagnosed with diabetes really meant. As the years went by, I grew and matured, and got to learn firsthand how devastating diabetes could be for an individual. My father was an extraordinary man. He was not only a physical specimen, but was kind, generous, and often the smartest man in the room. He had memorized entire plays by Shakespeare when he was in college and could even recite many key passages in multiple languages, decades later. As the years went on, I witnessed the ravaging of all systems of his body. No part of him would remain untouched. At the end of his life, this extraordinary man had suffered from heart attacks, mini strokes, renal failure, was nearly blind and then was finally taken by dementia and pneumonia. Watching his deterioration was a crushing blow to my mind and spirit. It seemed so unfair and has left me searching for answers and solutions to health disasters like diabetes for nearly a quarter of a century.
We are now at the end of December, 2015, and we have a much better understanding today than we did in 1967, about how to prevent or manage diabetes for those who develop the disease. Sadly, time ran out for my father, but that doesn’t mean time has run out for you. For those of you who are not diabetic, the best way to prevent becoming one, is to find a healthcare practitioner who can help educate you about the importance of living a lifestyle that simply doesn’t promote the likelihood of you become a diabetic. Whether you have type I diabetes, which is caused by autoimmunity, or type II diabetes, which is caused purely by poor lifestyle choices, we know today, that you have a choice. You do not have to become a statistic, but you do have to make lifestyle choices that promote health, not disease.
To start the year 2016 out right, I am going to do my part by promoting an educational and screening program to help prevent the rise and continuation of diabetes in America. This disease has gone unchecked for decades. In 1958, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicated that approximately 2,000,000 people in the United States suffered from diabetes. Statistics for 2015 indicate that more than 22 million people are currently suffering from diabetes, and the figures are continuing to increase every year. The direct and indirect cost of this disease to Americans is an astounding $245 billion. Diabetes is also a disease that drives many of the worst healthcare challenges, like dementia, blindness, cardiovascular disease, increased infections, cancer, high blood pressure, strokes, amputations, and renal failure.
It’s time for you to do your part. Don’t be another victim to this disease process. Educate yourself now by calling me, Dr. Bulmash, at Health Matters, and tell them that I sent you. If you do, your first two visits with me will be discounted by 25%, and if you act before December 31, 2015, you’ll receive an additional discount of 25% on your first two visits. Our number is 770 – 740 – 8228. Call now