Archive for March 23rd, 2023

It’s not always bad news…

Obviously, I wrote this before Nadyne succumbed to cancer and the COVID pandemic reared its ugly head.

Reason #46- Good Health

When you have your health, you have everything.  In my opinion, truer words were never spoken.  Quality of life is almost as important as life itself.  Fortunately for the Baby Boomer and subsequent generations, longer lifespans also include better medicine, better fitness, no smoking and less age-related maladies.  Once cancer is licked, the human lifespan will take another large step. 

When I was 10 and my grandparents were in their 60s, they looked like 85-year-olds today.  I have seen family photos of them, so I can assure you that it wasn’t just my view of them as a youngster.  They looked old.  Now in my 60s myself, I can appreciate how lucky I am.  When they say that 65 is the new 45, there is some truth to the statement. 

When you think of all the health risks someone born at the turn of the 20th century had to endure, you have to wonder how they survived to have a family at all.  Penicillin wasn’t discovered until 1928.  The existence of vitamins was only suggested in 1906.  Insulin wasn’t used to treat diabetes until 1922, just before the first vaccines were developed for diphtheria, whooping cough, tuberculosis, and tetanus.  The first flu vaccine wasn’t given until 1945.  Pacemakers were invented in 1952 and the polio vaccine was developed in 1955.  You can see that medicine has been a great boon to the human race over the decades.  Just think of life without all of these wonder drugs and miracle treatments.

Good health has been hampered by smoking more than any other human activity, and death from tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., still causing about one in five deaths each year, according to the CDC.  But death isn’t the only detrimental outcome from smoking.  My mom contracted emphysema from smoking all her life and was on oxygen for her last 10 years.  She spent the last half-dozen years in and out of hospitals.

But, let’s focus on the positive.  Each year, about 1.3 million smokers quit, and, since 1965, more than 40 percent of all adults who have ever smoked have quit.  Recent miracle cures and treatments for cancer, heart disease and other ailments abound, and science has provided stem cell treatments, DNA analysis, gene therapy, artificial organs and this past year proved the value of lightning speed vaccine development.  There are even more miracles on the horizon, like 3D printing of organs and other body parts, diagnoses by crowd-sourcing or via mobile intelligence, the use of bio-hackers, which will be ultra-sensors in your body or clothing, antibiotic “smart bombs” for directly destroying bugs in your system, and much more. 

It is a good time to be a human being, and the younger generations are even more fortunate.  Good health provides a happier life, with less stress and fear of contracting a serious disease and allowing you to better enjoy your hobbies and other favorite activities.  A healthy person gets to spend more and better quality time with their life partners and other loved ones, and will experience less pain in their lifetime.  Good health will save a lot of time and money than the alternative, with fewer medical procedures and doctor visits, and with preventive medicine being a lot less costly and stressful.  You’ll live longer, too, and will want to.

COVID-19 highlighted just how much we enjoy life when not faced with sickness or death in the family.  There is no doubt that our quality of life is directly affected by our health and the continuous improvements in medical care.


To highlight just how long health has been known to be important to one’s life, here’s a quote from 18th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer: “The greatest of follies is to sacrifice health for any other kind of happiness.

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