I will say it again, Tony Soprano Dies at 51, Why is Everyone So Shocked?
James Gandolfini had a heart attack in Italy last night bringing a sudden end to his life at 51 years of age. The reports are flying around and as they do the emotion expressed almost as much as the expected sadness is shock. Shock because it happened suddenly, he was not outwardly ill, no obvious weight loss or hair loss or frailty as we see in cancer, just a report this morning that he is gone. There seems to be a much deeper fear in our society of cancer than heart disease. Maybe because it has such obvious symptoms and can last years as it does its damage, if not handled well. We are well versed in the painful and miserable treatments and side effects that come from chemotherapy and radiation, the hair loss, weight loss, pain and nausea. We are familiar with the emotional toll of watching a loved one die slowly and in pain and as much empathy as we may have we secretly pray that it never happens to us. The bottom line though is that cancer does not shock us, scares us yes, shock us no.
Heart disease takes more American lives than cancer. The first symptom of heart disease kills 40% of its victims. Heart disease can and is being detected in teenagers, well before most cancers will be detectable. Heart disease is more prevalent, effects us younger, progresses faster when detected than cancer as well. Yet we do not dread or fear it the same way. People do not do elective heart operations and bodily alterations to prevent this potential disease in the future. There are not special insurance policies for heart disease like there is for cancer and the big associations that raise money in its name do not have the celebrity or funding as its cancer counterparts.
I think this stems from the fact that we still believe that disease, cancer, heart disease or otherwise, happens TO us rather than develops FROM us. I also feel that is why people do not do what they need to do to effectively prevent, treat or heal from these conditions. There is a deep rooted belief that there is some mystical gene, destined circumstance or stroke of bad luck that holds our health or disease fate. Truth be told we know what causes cancer, heart disease and most of the conditions that effect us in our modern life. We know how to detect it, what contributes to it, how to prevent it and how to turn it around if we develop it....but most simply do not believe it. It is easier to say, "oh, it is my family plight to get this disease, I have THE gene you know, or some are just unlucky, such is life, we have done all medically possible." Therefor why change my life to try and avoid the inevitable? Why even change my lifestyle when sick? I GOT heart disease, I HAVE cancer, I AM diabetic. Can you hear the ownership here? Can you see the self acceptance of your lot in life?
Death from a heart attack is abrupt, but I do not find it shocking. A car accident, brain aneurism, a fluke accident, those are shocking. Heart disease builds over a long period of time, develops from distinct efforts and choices in our life and lifestyles, grows from the foods we eat, the exercise we lack, the chemicals we ingest, the emotional state we uphold and from the biology of our very beliefs. You can not be both healthy and sick at the same time. Disease is not an accident, although you can accidentally bring it upon yourself, it is not a malfunction or anomaly but rather a self defense mechanism being expressed in desperation to keep you alive. Terrorize your body with blood sugar and insulin damage and your body will get to the point where it has a choice, either die or develop diabetes to buy you some more time to get your act together. Choose to silence the symptoms of a disease with the medical approach while not changing what was driving the problem in the first place, simply "manage" your condition or "treat" its effects and you are accepting a life with that disease, a life that will not be as long or as healthy as it could have been. It did not happen to you, it came from you and is part of you.
My dear friends, colleagues, fans, family and opposition, we NEED to get REAL and deliver some TOUGH LOVE for healthy living. We need to take responsibility and step up and realize our own role in out LIFE and HEALTH and if you are a parent then the HEALTH of your children as well. We all, myself included, have made mistakes, followed the wrong path, been flat out wrong and as a society are paying the price. On our current path we are sick, diseased and dying. We MUST change our thinking, our goals, priorities and lifestyle efforts and health care models and approach. This article is not to condemn you but rather wake those asleep and inspire those who will listen and work with those who are interested. If you get offended by this concept....GOOD for you! It means something here has challenged your beliefs and your are contemplating the potential of either being wrong or making change....both are needed in this process evolving our health standards.
If you are not actively improving your health you are passively losing it. There are tremendous resources out there to help you, we are one of them. Call upon us if we can be of any service and help us in our efforts to teach these lessons by sharing our posts and contribute to our learning by posting your thoughts and comments.
Thanks Don Clum for the post: www.PatchogueWellness.com
Living, Working, and Playing in the Sierra Mountains. Helping to create: Life, Health, and Community.