From Good Idea to Action

Everybody has something they find frustrating.  For some it is traffic, for others it might be a service that doesn’t quite meet their needs or expectations. At the top of my list is to see people who have access to things that would make their lives longer and better, but they either ignore those options or choose alternatives that are less effective or even harmful.

There’s a story about a man whose house is being flooded to the level of his porch.  The police come with a truck to rescue him, but he declines.  “I trust in God to save me” is his reply.  As the rains continue, the waters rise to the level of the second floor.  When rescuers come with a boat to the second story window, again he declines with the same faithful response.  Finally as the waters are leaving only the roof exposed with the man sitting on it, rescuers in a helicopter are turned away with the same response.

The flood waters continued to rise and the man was swept away to drown.  When he got to heaven and faced his Maker, he complained that his faith was not rewarded with a miraculous rescue.  God looked at him in sadness, replying, “Who do you think sent the truck, the boat and the helicopter?”

In the past year, I have learned about very effective options to more effectively prevent heart attack and stroke.   Using evidence based strategies that go beyond the standard of care, I now know that I can better help my patients more effectively avoid the devastation of heart attacks and strokes.  I have been sharing this message and will continue to do so with my current patients and others who are interested.

I’m gratified by those who hear of this opportunity and embrace it.  Their health is now better in measurable ways.  But so many ignore or challenge the message, content to leave it to others to rescue them when symptoms develop.  Unfortunately, rescue doesn’t always arrive in time.  Prevention is timelier and more effective, and far less costly in terms of money, time and quality of life.

I have a friend who had a Carotid Intima Media Thickness Scan about 6 months ago.  It showed that his carotid arteries had plaque.  I suggested he talk to his doctor or come see me if he preferred, to figure out how to address this problem before it became serious.

However, he waited, because he had no symptoms and many other important things on his mind.  Five months later, he had fatigue, chest discomfort and shortness of breath with exertion.  Evaluation revealed serious coronary artery disease requiring coronary bypass surgery.  He’s recovering now from this procedure.  His business and his ability to serve his passions are all affected. It took a major operation and brush with death to get his attention to change the things that led to this disease in the first place.

His story is proceeding well, but why not act before it gets that serious?  What stands in the way of moving from thought to action?  Is it fear, time, money, lack of understanding?  Is it skepticism or waiting for a better solution?

We have fewer deaths from fires in our community because we practice prevention, not because we have more and faster fire engines.  Let’s use the same principle with our health, especially with those conditions that lurk silently in the background, arising to harm us without warning but with devastating effect.

In ways less costly or invasively than you might think, we can help you detect your disease, identify the risks that threaten your well-being, and develop a plan to eliminate those threats.  Call me for a consultation. You are worth it.