Saturday, November 18, 2006

Public Service Announcement: Hypertension

Greetings, folks!

I am feeling much, much better today. What an ordeal I went through! Let you know I was in two hospitals recently this month. I spent 1 week in the first hospital from November 2 to November 8. I was in another hospital again on November 12 to 13. I was treated for hypertension, chest pain, and other medical conditions that I shall not go into details here. At the first hospital I was informed by a doctor that I had nearly what was called a myocardial infarction (a minor heart attack). Wow - I was fortunate to have made it to that hospital in time! It was a close call.

Folks, I'm not the same man anymore since my release from the hospital. I feel changed in many ways. My long stay at the hospital made me think a great deal about my life. This is not the first time I've had a brush with death. But this was one of the closest I've ever had, quite a serious one! I feel very, very glad to be alive. You can't imagine how so precious and valuable it is just to breathe one more day of air!

To my friends and well-wishers, I am very fine, thank you. I am still undergoing a process of healing, which will take time. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.

Now, here is my public service announcement. Folks, hypertension is no laughing matters! I would strongly encourage my generation (age 40-45) to consider lifestyle changes because what happened to me early may happen to them later in their sixties! Whatever your age or background you come from, whether you are an athlete or not, get your blood pressure checked - often. This may be a lifesaver for you! You may never know when it may change, and you may never be aware of it!

If your doctor finds that your blood pressure is higher than normal (over 130 and up), it's time for you to consider serious changes, such as in diet and execrise. Salt is the culprit of many medical problems that are caused as a result of hypertension. If you happen to like salt or eating salty food, I would advise you to switch to sea salt or kosher salt, which are considered more nutritious than regular, table salt. Table salt (sodium chloride) is BAD for you! It causes blood vessels to constrict, thus restricting the flow of blood throughout the body, and it leads to dehydration, which is not good for the body. You'd be amazed at how much salt the average American eats. The normal requirement for body intake is about 2-3 grams of salt per day, but the average American eats more than 5 grams a day! Even if he or she doesn't sprinkle much salt on his or her food, it may still contain lots of salt that he or she wasn't aware of when he or she made a purchase. Frozen dinner and canned food, for example, contain high amounts of salt. Hence, my strongest advice to fellow hypertensives: if you were recently diagnosed with hypertension...AVOID frozen dinner and canned food! Don't touch them within ten foot! They're very, very bad for your blood pressure!

Also either cut down or quit drinking alcohol, and if you're drinking whole fat milk, BEST switch - to fat-free skim milk! If you don't like the taste of fat-free skim milk, try 2% at first for a while, then switch to 1% and later when your taste buds adjust, switch to fat-free skim milk. I guarantee you this will'd be amazed at how quickly your taste buds can adapt to! Or try this alternative and drink either soy or rice milk, which is good for your health.

You may have already heard this, but cutting down on red meat and eating more fish or poultry, followed by more vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains in your diet, can and do definitely cut down the risks of heart disease. Try it, my friends!

If you have any question about hypertension or heart disease or salt-free diet, email me. (I warn you, though, I am not a physician and my opinion here should not be taken as qualified medical opinion. You must consult your own doctor if you have specific issues or questions you want to find answers to. I can only provide information and links here.) I am willing to help other deafies understand better this issue of hypertension and heart disease.

That's it for my PSA here. Coming next, Artist's Statement re t-shirt.

- Dan McClintock

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