Saturday, August 16, 2014


My blog is 7 years old this month, a fact that is difficult for me to comprehend.  How can that be?  I just started it a few years ago....didn't I?  I thought I would celebrate the occasion by re-visiting some of the very early posts, either in their original form, or with some revisions.

Today's post first appeared in November, 2007, and has had a few minor revisions an additions.

During my years of medical training, which consisted almost entirely of managing patients with acute or chronic illnesses in a hospital setting, it was easy to imagine that life was over run with disease and illness. It was only after entering private practice did I appreciate that most people are not sick, and do not have low blood counts, abnormal renal studies, or abnormal chest X-rays’.  Abnormal laboratory results that were commonplace in the hospital would “stick out like a sore thumb” in my office practice.

I began to see the randomness of disease and illness. Yes, there are habits and behaviors that may promote well-being, but there are no guarantees; we are all vulnerable to the vagaries of genetics, circumstances, and chance.  With some exceptions, there is little reason to take credit for good health or blame for poor health. Thus I have learned to appreciate my own good health, and that of my family, and not take it for granted.

I have also seen the amazing resilience of the human machine and its ability to compensate and/or overcome a variety of physical and emotional assaults.  The symptoms of many illnesses are a direct result of our bodies attempt to overcome the offending insult. This has led me to believe that good health is more than the absence of disease and illness.  A healthy body is one that can withstand an illness and effectively compensate for the insults of disease.

The patients that I found difficult to deal with were those who could not understand why they were ill because they lived a “healthy lifestyle”, ate the right foods, and exercised.  They demanded to be treated and cured immediately.  (Yes, there are people like that.)

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