Sunday, August 24, 2008

How to reduce incidences of heart attacks

At any age one must be fully aware of the importance of exercise.

One of the musicians I most admire. Sir Paul McCartney. He had a secret(?) heart operation?

Exercise for cardiac rehabilitation.

Keep slim!! One has to really work hard for it. But it should not stress you if you have more rounds and curves. Just try your best and be comforted.

Your heart when the surgeons operate!!

Many years ago, the people of Sibu were terrified of heart diseases which would come "too suddenly" and without warning. When a person died of a heart attack his relatives would say that probably he had eaten too much "pork leg" or he liked the belly pork too much. What else could be blamed for a person's death?

We all now know today that death comes as a result of so many causes ,natural and unnatural. Expected and unexpected. And some folks live long lives and others very short.

In the 1950's and 1960's little was known about cholesterol,healthy diet,and good health practices. Very sadly my grandfather,my own father and several uncles succumbed to heart attacks besides many others in Sibu.

Over the years doctors practise preventive medicine by helping the public through health talks and even workshops. Dietitians,nutritionists,and other health practitioners became popular occupations . And then the onslaught of direct selling catapulted the society into a frenzy of food fads and crazy expenditure on food supplements.

Aerobic studios sprouted up every where.

Beauty and slimming salons for ladies and even men were established.

The various sports fields became teeming with young and old of different shapes . They virtually walk for health.

All these are the washback of a more affluent lifestyle.

The usual care , which is really very simple ,we must take in order to prevent heart diseases:
1. Eat simple food with less meat,salt ,sugar and oil.
2. Live a stress free life
3. Avoid too much alcohol and smoking. Better still if you can abstain.
4. Avoid late nights and having too many worries.
5. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
6. Have annual health check ups.

We have to be very thankful that general hospitals in Sarawak have up to date facilities and there are so many good resources for cardiac patients. The Kuching General Hospital has one of the best , if not the best,cardiac units in South East Asia. 4 years ago,today,I was on the operation table for a by-pass. It was quite a normal,run of the mill operation,but it was scary indeed.

My rehabilitation was a wonderful experience because family,relatives and friends and even strangers rallied around. I had the best rest (6 weeks) I ever had in my life. All the days which followed the successful operation made me feel how wonderful it is indeed to be alive! I have renewed respect for everything around me. Perhaps God has also granted me a new demeanour - I have become slow to anger and would like to keep it that way. It does not matter if people think that I am a pushover. I smile even more. And I am still very thankful for all the flowers,fruits,visits,prayers and advice given. I have a thankful heart and I hope for keeps.

We all know that not every one can survive a serious heart operation.A famous surgeon once said," It is my hands that operate a patient. But it is God's grace which cures him."

When God gives us life, we must learn what is our purpose on earth. this reminds us of the Methodist School Motto - Seek,Find and Serve. Our society continues to need people who can serve well. And in order to serve mankind well we must remain healthy.

Heart diseases continue to be one of the top killers in our society. But the good news is medical practices and good public health care with support from the media and education department and other government organs have helped to prevent an increase in heart diseases.

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