Sunday 9th of January 2005
The following was sent to me by a friend and I would like to share it with you.
'I would like to share with you an actual but very sad occurrence which hope may get you guys to ponder over what constitutes anxieties, extremities and unnecessary over reactions. A long story... but worth reading for lessons learned.... you may want to pass on to others.
One of my friends' father who is a retiree in his mid-60s, is perfectly healthy looking and behaving normal, plays his round of golf each Sunday, does a fair bit of gardening, keeps himself busy the rest of his time helping his son's (my friend) little retail business, and goes on tour/trips every now and then .....
He was persuaded by his daughters and other well wishers to go for his medical checkup which he had last done before retirement some 10 years ago. He didn't see the need to do it as he was feeling perfectly ok and healthy. Of course he didn't want to spend the money. After persistent persuasion from his family he finally gave in (his daughters agreed to foot the bill).
First his blood test revealed a total cholesterol count well above the 5.2 threshold (in fact close to 6). The doctor advised that he went for his stressed ECG test.
Again he had to be persistently persuaded to go thru that test, which he did. And it revealed some abnormality with his heart.
Now the doctor advised that he went thru angiogram. He resisted again and again after much pestering he subscribed to that invasive test.....which revealed three (3) blockages in his heart. And the doctor advised he went thru angioplasty.
This time he was adamant not to go any further. But it was like the end of the world for his family members who were all highly educated people with learned common sense. They went thru the highest mountains and deepest oceans to convince the old man to go thru angioplasty.
The surgery was successful. And he was given a clean bill of health. His heart is revitalized and cleared of all blockages.
After returning home from the hospital, his family (especially his daughters) put him on a 'healthy' diet. Strictly no meat...only vegetables and fruits, with perhaps
an occasional dish of steamed fish... no oil.
The result.... the poor old man became weaker, couldn't drive his golf ball the distance he used to, got tired easily when he did his gardening, lost a lot of weight (which everyone was happy because they see him getting healthier that way), went to bed unusually early ('cause he got tired sitting up late watching the sports channels).... in a nutshell he actually got weaker and probably suffering from malnutrition!
Hardly 2 months after the angioplasty he passed away, supposedly from heart complications.. All of a sudden, a few family doctor friends were able to offer explanations. One of them had this to say...
Heart blockages do not happen over-night. They are built up of time. And the body has somehow gotten used to the blockages. As long as the effects of the blockages are not life threatening, it may be best leaving them alone. Maybe it is better not to know about this. For most men at that advanced age already have blockages, some may be even worse. Not knowing it has one clear advantage. There won't be any STRESS imposed on the person.
And STRESS is the killer.
Some may not respond well with angioplasty. With the heart cleared of its blockages, the blood flow will be unrestricted. And sometimes the body (even the heart may not be used to this new revitalized condition) may not know how to cope with it quick enough. Coupled with a 'healthy' diet of just fruits and vegetables which are not the usual and normal intake of this person, may and can do further damage.
So it's a combination of all these that could have killed this poor old man who was, just 2 months ago, a healthy bubbly man living a perfectly normal STRESS FREE retired life.
Today my friend and his siblings all regretted what they had done to their father.
Moral of the story is not to be extreme and take everything in life in its stride and with moderation.
One more thing.... my family doctor, age late 40s, hardly takes meat, a good sportsman, has a total cholesterol count of 6.
Some times it's in the genes. Like my 99 year-old mother-in-law who lives by herself, does her own marketing, cooks her own food, never eats any meat that is not
fat all her life, hates lean meat, cholesterol so bloody high .....and she is still kicking and so mentally alert. One thing....she's got NO STRESS.
She only gives STRESS to all others around her.
That's probably why she's living alone by herself.
So my friends... Don't get paranoid and stressed up for nothing!!! '