Health What could be more important then the health of your body ? Your marriage ? Your job ? Your age ? Your bank account ? Your kids ? Your past or your future ? or all of the above ? The answer no because nothing is more important then your state of well being but all the other aspects impact your health. Nothing worse or more immediately pressing then if something goes wrong with your health. Hopefully it’s just a broken bone or a torn ligament. All doctors can fix that, in fact they’re very good at repairing physical damage. As long as they can see it they can heal it. However, if you happen to have a mysterious illness that makes you intermittently sick then often times you’re better off reading your horoscope then consulting a physician. Not unless you just want to swallow a smorgasbord of pills and try out a mixed batch of meds with more side effects then a high school chemistry experiment. That at least has been my experience. Maybe this sounds a bit crass. Not all doctors are a disappointment to the ailing mystery patient. There are rules to the exception but generally doctors are too busy, too inundated with pharmacological wonder drugs, too hemmed in by insurance companies, hospital policies and time constraints to be able to give your case the attention it deserves. Modern medicine is full of fantastic and wonderful theories; abstract reasoning can almost explain everything but doctors are not faith healers; they’re not miracle workers; they are body mechanics, drug pushers and damage controllers. Unlike nurses, doctors are for the most part overrated as far as their abilities to heal are concerned but more often then not they are the ones we put our faith and trust in when our bodies fail, mostly thanks to our own negligence. It is our reckless disregard for our own bodies that lead to it’s eventual malfunction and disrepair. We punish ourselves relentlessly with binges of food and drink, abuse at work and sports, exposure to harsh environments and extreme weather. Our bodies are very resilient carbon units and most times can heal itself given some rest and pampering. The other night, while doing the dishes, I brought up this topic with Klare. “You want to talk about health ? What’s wrong with you ?” “Nothing I swear, oh well apart from a bad case of gas, nothing worth mentioning.” “Like everything else in life health is mostly a matter of common sense. Treat your body like your lover.” I raised my eyebrows to Klare’s consternation. “Well pet, this obviously doesn’t mean much to you does it ? I’m talking about tenderness, attention, consideration and knowing all your body parts intimately, from your ears to your toes.” I kept drying the same dishes over and over but I got Klare’s point. As usual she was right on the money. I did some thinking and came up with these basic truths about health: Overweight people are not in good shape. A junk food diet does not make for a healthy body or an agile mind. Excess consumption leads to dramatic results. The body likes moderation. Healthy people are not sick. Fat people fall down and break bones. Starvation is not a diet. Stress is normal, distress is not. Doctors are not faith healers. Old people live a long time. You’re healthy if you never need a doctor. The Healthcare System is like an cruise ship. The Captain and officers are the doctors, the deck hands and service personal who look after the passengers are the nurses and the passengers, well they are the patients. If the cruise liner runs out of fuel (money) it starts to flounder and will eventually drift off course. Our Canadian Cruise Ship is a ship where everyone get’s on for free. It’s a wonderful ship with well educated officers and a fabulously passionate crew. We all get the same treatment but sometimes we have to stand in line or opt for a cheaper procedure but mostly we don’t have to concern ourselves about paying for services. In other words: we’re allowed to get sick and treated without having to re-mortgage the house or gut the children’s education fund. The American Cruise Ship is a splendid and luxurious liner where passengers are treated and housed according to their ability to pay. The first class passengers get everything, treatment and drugs with a view, all administered by liveried officers and plucky nurses. Although the majority of passengers are crammed into the hold below the waterline the ship itself is of the highest technology and staffed and equipped with the brightest officers and the most expensive and latest gadgets. In order to board the American Health Care Cruise you better carry good insurance or plenty of cash or large limit credit card. It can be expensive and devastating. Should I even ask the stupid question: Which cruise would you rather be on ? Apparently they both headed for the same place. Health.