People Die from Heart Attack and Stroke Because They Don’t Have a Plan

It’s true. About fifty percent of heart attacks end in death. If you can get to a hospital quick enough the chances of surviving are higher of course.

For some reason, it’s in our nature to take good health for granted. We tend not to pay attention to our health until we get sick. If we get really sick, then we really pay attention.

What if you had thought of your health just a little bit earlier?

Studies show that amazingly, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

I just watched a movie about Jean-Dominique Bauby. The movie is entitled “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” It’s a true story of a 42 year old, successful editor of Elle magazine, who succumbs to a cerebral vascular accident otherwise known as a stroke. A massive stroke, which leaves him 99% paralyzed unable to speak, unable to move on his own.

His only communication device is his left eye.

He can blink his left eye.

 Through this medium and with the help of a dedicated staff of nurses and a linguist, he is able to write his memoirs.  It took 200,000 blinks to write his story, ten months, three hours a day in thought of what to write and four hours a day in working with the transcriber who repeated the most often used letters of the alphabet, until Jean-Do blinked, letter by letter, word by word, he was able to communicate his feelings of frustration and anxiety of being a prisoner of his cerebral-vascular accident.

The story is difficult. It’s awkward to think about. It’s unpleasant.

So let’s rewind a moment.

Jean-Do’s freewheeling lifestyle, fast cars, fast women and cigarettes, rapacious appetite for alcohol and drugs, robs him of his health and life comes crashing down with a thunderous roar. Then silence. Unable to speak, unable to move.

Like the story of the tapestry that goes awry, this started with few small decisions, conscious or unconscious. Here are the stats regarding vascular diseases.

Risk factors: (CDC)

Inactivity: 39.5%

Obesity 33.9%

High Blood Pressure 30.5%

Cigarette Smoking 20.8%

High Cholesterol 15.6%

Diabetes 10.1%

How easy would it be to pick up the activity level in your life? Lose 5 to 10 lbs? Learn techniques to lower blood pressure through diet and stress reduction? Stop smoking? Balance cholesterol? (Notice I didn’t say lower cholesterol). Reduce sugar consumption?

If you lowered your risks by 5% or 10% by creating a plan and then following the plan, the pain of stroke or heart attack can be avoided.  Do you have a plan? Would you like to write out a health plan?

Some suggestions:

I will work out at the gym one more time per week.

I will eat more veggies than carbs.

I will drink water instead of sugary drinks.

I will limit alcohol to one drink a day, preferable wine. (The benefits of alcohol intake only holds true with limited amounts, exceed the beneficial amount, and you lose all benefits.)

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