Was at a relatives house last week for a birthday celebration and met a national treasure who was visiting from the Philippine Islands. The 90 year old in the picture above. Sweet lady, quiet but when engaged in conversation, comes alive with smiles and hugs. She was walking around as my brother in law says with zero gravity; taking a cautious step, holding onto furniture, stepping with the other foot, advancing her feel for the next piece of furniture.... I sensed she was observing and enjoying the camaraderie. I always ask an elder about lifestyle to figure out what I can take out of life to hopefully propel me to the same age without many failures. Seems she just didn't go to the doctor! (Also lived in a northern town in the PI that is known for indulging in less meat and more veggie dishes.....please see my youtube video on switching to a whole food/plant based diet)
During my short stint in Orlando FL (while I was riding out my 18 month restrictive covenant with Central Dupage Hospital after leaving the "new administration") I would run into many 80 year olds getting around on golf carts. Only difference was these guys were on a slew of medicines and a bit overweight. (please see my youtube video on BMI) So what was the key to this great grandmother surviving past alot of her younger contemporaries? Not sure. I have my guesses but not what I'm writing about today.
While here, she was brought to the doctor for something small but ended up being placed on 2 medicines. The blood pressure medicine I can understand. At her age, chances for stroke are high so keeping bp low is good (unless it makes her dizzy and fall) But here is the surprise. The doc checked her cholesterol and said she should be on a statin (a cholesterol lowering medicine). Let me break it down for you:
-lady lives through Japanese occupation of the Philippines
-lives through a dictator
-lives through a revolution
-gives birth to and raises a large family
-avoids going to the doctor save a cold or cough
-avoids PAP smears and mammograms
-eats a mostly plant based diet
-works her share and stays active
-keeps a low body weight
-makes it to 90
-then a doc in the US says he found an elevated cholesterol while she is visiting and suggests she would live longer by lowering cholesterol with a medicine? He probably didn't ask the bullet points above....I wasn't there and cant blame hime since if all you have is a hammer, everything will look like a nail. What Andy Weil and Tierona Lowdog taught me over the last 2 years was that it takes a great detective to extract the right clues from the interaction between patient and healer. (What more if you have time constraints of 10, 15 or 20 minutes!) Ask the correct questions, have a true healing purpose inside your words and be genuinely involved in finding a path to wholeness.....the answers will reveal themselves on what is best for this person. If being pragmatic and following algorithms for designing health are so right, then why is the US in this predicament of spending so much money per person yearly (6000-8000 dollars each!) and 1 in 3 are obese. (take a count of 3 people in line at your next dinner and observe how many are overweight)
-make sure your doc is listening to your answers, make sure you are listening to the messages your body is sending you, make sure you do all the research on a medicine, its benefits and side effects before you or your loved one start, make sure you work to achieve maximum healthy living and have as many odds stacked in your favor when you make the lifestyle change. Goal is to try and get to 90, be happy and have a community behind you.
(for the flipside to this click here)