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Response to the bypass bashers

September 1, 2009

talking to a brick wall?

I’ve put writings from the past five months or so on this blog, but the whole blog world is really very new to me. I’m learning how to attract and draw readers here. I’m reading others blogs. Today, I did a Google blog search for triple bypass. I was curious if my own would show up. It didn’t but hundreds of them did. I learned that a triple bypass is a common name for a hamburger at the heart attack grill and also the name of a bike race. Most of the sites that referred to a triple bypass as the heart surgery I refer to it as, do so in anger. It seems that many feel a great deal of resentment because group health insurance pays for bypass surgery. They feel the needs of a few raise the rates of the innocent healthy eating and thin masses. Many don’t seem to believe it should be covered at all and that the need for bypass surgery is a direct result of a lifetime of glutinous eating.

Much of my unposted writing of late has been of the year preceding my own heart events. I am convinced, as are many of the women I now know with heart disease, that it was a breaking of our heart, emotional devastation that precipitated the near death experience. It was a similar, though smaller scale sadness I felt as I read those blogs today. Of course, all were written in ignorance. Research is unclear of exactly what role diet plays in Coronary Artery Disease. Many people eat a diet high in fat and suffer no dangerous build-up of plaque in their arteries. Still others are fit, healthy, thin vegans and die an untimely death from blocked arteries. My own father was thin, athletic, healthy and died of a heart attack when he was 34 years old. Though I make no claims about eating only healthy food, I have never been overweight. Other than an addiction to late night chocolate, nothing about my diet has ever been glutinous.

Perhaps our stereotypes in general are just the scapegoats for our fear. We can pretend that heart disease only effects those who look different from us and have a lifestyle unlike our own. We can make jokes about heart patients being lazy with eating at fast food resturants their only form of exercise. We can blame our high insurance premiums on the fortunate third who do not experience death as their first symptom of heart disease.

Or, we could understand that heart disease strikes both predictably as it did with me (One doctor told me, “Take your meds and eat healthy, but genetically, you’re doomed.”) or completely at random. Like Cancer, as much as is learned through research, even more remains unknown. And like any other life threatening disease, when it is ourselves or a loved one being courted by the grim reaper, we give no thought of insurance rates. I am worth the most valiant of efforts. So are you. Even the you who has a blog bashing the triple bypass patient. I know you would feel differently with a scar down the middle of your chest. Bless your healthy heart. I hope it’s healthy. If it’s not, I hope you too are part of the lucky third that angioplasty, stents or bypass saves whether our rates go up or not.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Wanda permalink
    September 26, 2009 4:42 pm

    You inspire me. Miss you and so proud to be our friend

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