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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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Health care and sustainability

California HealthCare Foundation presents some interesting facts about health care that I was not aware of.

Chronic conditions are the major cause of illness, disability, and death in the United States, despite the fact that much is known about how to prevent chronic disease and delay or avoid many related complications. CHCF examines systematic and comprehensive approaches to caring for patients with chronic disease.

Diabetes and Asthma are two of our leading chronic diseases.

Asthma has environmental components that deserve a look and another thought or two when we realize that diesel pollution and automotive exhaust contribute significantly to asthma episodes.

Diabetes is linked to poor diet -- too much sugar, too many processed foods. Another social behavior affected by our attitude about quality food sourcing.

Patient Self-Management
Around 90 percent of the care a person needs to manage a chronic disease must come directly from the patient. Evidence is growing that self-management interventions, such as self-monitoring and decision making, lead not only to improvements in health outcomes and health status, but also to increased patient satisfaction and reductions in hospital and emergency room costs.
I've been puzzling over the "health insurance" dilemna -- and can't quite accept the logic that everyone needs health insurance, no matter how much it costs.

The source of my angst comes from the example of my parents. They lived a simple life on an organic farm until their children were reared. They then sold most of the farm and it was developed ... and they had a modest income that kept them in food and simple housing at home until they reached their 90s. At which time they both died at home, by their own choice.

That actually sounds like a good example for how to live, even in this day of exotic drugs and million dollar equipment.

Another lesson I learned, unintentionally, is that they were both ready to die several years before their time came. They had fulfilled their mission on earth, were looking forward to their spiritual home, and felt they had no place in society any longer. Sad, but real.

A "natural lifespan" philosophy appeals to me. With the escalating population, the earth really can't afford to have all of us live forever -- and we have to ask the simple question, "How much is enough?"

The related question for me is, "How much health care is enough?"

As I age, my joints hurt a little, my moods shift, my digestion isn't what it used to be...and so forth. But with the lure of medicine advertising and health insurance, I'm led to believe that can all be wiped away if I just have wonderful insurance to pay for expensive tests and medications and follow up visits and more tests and another round for the next symptom of aging.

And we can work 50 and 60 hours a week to pay for all this testing. Does it occur to anyone else that maybe all this stress is part of what causes the aches and pains? Maybe living a simple life and tolerating a few aches and pains and accepting a normal lifespan is a realistic alternative to this merchandising madness.

The pressures to believe otherwise are very strong. I shutter as I write this. Even though, in my heart, I believe that simplicity and moderation are valuable and desirable, saying it outloud is heresy in the modern, urban, body perfect world.

There. I've said it. :-) I think I'll go have a walk in a park and forget about medicines and miracle cures for a few hours!