Am I Paying for Your Lifestyle?

I’ve been looking at the people around me and it has occurred to me that the problems with healthcare isn’t just with the insurance companies or the medical providers. It’s more about the way people live—and die.

For instance, I was having a conversation with a man who recently went on a trip. Instead of staying at a nice hotel, he chose a rather scuzzy one. It wasn’t because of the price per night. It was because he could get a “smoking” room. I told him he needed to quit smoking anyway and here was his response. “Tommie, I’ve been smoking far too long to quit now.” WHAT?? You have to be kidding! Has he never seen anyone dying from lung cancer? It’s one of the most excruciating, agonizing things to watch. Watching can’t even come close to the firsthand experience.

I’ll never forget my initial encounter with someone who was so afflicted. There was a smell in the room that I recognized as death. Why would someone choose to keep doing something that can cause his life to end that way?

Then, this is the time of year that heralds the beginning of junking it up. No, I’m not talking about junk as in drugs. I’m talking about junk FOOD. Halloween is just around the corner and it gives kids and adults alike an excuse to eat candy to excess. I realize there are “healthy” treats out there, too, but unless they are apples (without candy coating) and oranges, a lot of them are little better because of a high percentage of sugar. Sugar lowers resistance to disease and, with the flu season upon us, that can compound the problem.

Thanksgiving is next month and the gorging continues. Christmas is next with more cakes, pies and cookies. Not to mention the turkey, ham and mincemeat if you are so inclined to eat them. If not the actual stuff, maybe you prefer the fake steak, phony baloney and not chicken. In vegetarian circles, it’s all the rage. I should know. I used to buy it by the case. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, Holiday Roast is sometimes hard to find. I don’t know but what the real thing is better for you than the manmade. Of course, the manmade hasn’t been injected with hormones but the soy variety has naturally occurring hormones, anyway. Six of one and a half dozen of the other, I’d say.

For all but us tee-totalers, holidays are a good excuse for toasts. For hard-core drinkers, it can be a holiday if the sun rises in the east. Can you say “cirrhosis”? Even the occasional drink can kill brain cells and it only takes one turn behind the wheel with a few too many to kill innocent people if there’s an accident.

Now, I have come full circle to the original intent of this post. Every bad decision you make that affects your health can impact what I pay in insurance premiums and medical costs. More and more, people are relying on doctors and hospitals to “fix” what they, themselves, have broken. Isn’t it time to take back the responsibility for your own health and well-being? I’m not perfect. Far from it. However, I’ve come a long way from where I was five years ago. Have you?

2 Responses to Am I Paying for Your Lifestyle?

  1. Cassandra October 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    Tommie,

    I think your post is true in many ways besides health. People’s bad financial decisions mean we pay more in taxes for the stimulus packages, the bailouts, the Cash for Clunkers program, etc. Yes, bad health choices mean higher insurance premiums. Other people smoking puts me at risk for lung disease. Other people drinking puts me at risk for auto accidents with drunk drivers. Refusal to believe in God or to actually act like a Christian may put me at risk for having to put up with bad attitudes, bad language, violence, etc.

    Sometimes I wish we could live in a bubble but I really do think that ALL decisions affect other people in some manner. I think this is why God stressed the two most important commandments – Love Him and love others. If both those commandments are followed, everyone’s lives would be better.

    • Tommie October 18, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

      That’s true, Cass. Everything you said. My narrow view is on the health aspect but you brought in a larger view.

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