"Reading this*, I was struck by the general statements about diet preventable diseases. Heart disease, diabetes, etc - those things that people think a pill will fix. Well, I'm a RN in an ICU and here is what I see every day.* This was the comment that started the thread:
I see people - those same people that think the pills will fix everything - refuse to take those pills either because it is inconvenient ("it makes me pee too much") or because they just can't remember their meds correctly OR because they can't afford all the pills. The diseases stack up - its called "comorbidity" and with each disease (and its pills), they interact more and more and there are more side effects.
Heart disease isn't just a word that a pill or two will fix. It leads to (and looks like) this: Extreme shortness of breath - walking across the room will cause exhaustion and chest pain. Swollen legs up to 3-4 times their original size. Chest pain that prevents any sort of quality of life - forget playing with grandchildren, going fishing or to the casino, anything that might be something that seems "easy". High blood pressure that leads to strokes and difficulty with movement, thought, or eating and drinking. Imagine eating nothing but pureed food for the rest of ones life - steak gruel doesn't seem nearly as appealing as steak. Lets throw some arthritis in there - constant pain and difficulty of movement. Your recliner becomes your best friend and getting out of bed in the morning seems impossible because of the pain. Chronic pain does NOT go away with a pill. It doesn't go away at all as long as a person keeps doing the things that create it. Obstructive sleep apnea - now that one is fun - sleep in a recliner for the rest of your life, wearing a tight mask strapped over your face that forces the air into your lungs. And diabetes - first of all, it makes the heart disease a lot more likely. Think its all fixed with some insulin shots? Not so. It still leads to blindness, kidney failure (hook you up to a machine 3 days a week for 4 hours a day for the rest of your life - forget traveling with retirement. You're doing good to go to the store), amputations (didn't need those toes/feet/legs anyway) or wounds that just won't heal. I've seen wounds that tunnel 6 - 8" into a persons body that started with just sitting too long (easy to do, what with the shortness of breath, the arthritic pain, and the chest pain) - and these wounds don't heal. Because of diabetes.
And, the hospital becomes your best friend. Spending 6 months out of a year in the hospital because of this is not unusual. IV sticks, dressing changes, pneumonia, catheters, ventilators, and extreme boredom. Bad hospital food. Its really bad.
Makes some spinach look good, eh? When the disease is just a word, it is far less powerful than when it is an experience."
"I was reading a message board on a local group and someone asked if you would be willing to change your diet if you knew it would cause irreversible health problems in later years.I think it's difficult to make changes when you're young, when you feel invincible. But what do you say when someone continues to eat hoagies and Coke, continues to smoke, willfully, aware of the consequences, and ends up as above?
Here is one of the responses:'I am fully aware that my diet cause premature aging and will produce health complications down the road. But I am unwilling to change because I find it hard to deny myself the things I enjoy. It I had the will power, I would live on a diet of brown rice, broccolii and fresh berries...but I prefer chocolate cake and coffee' "