Straight, No Chaser: The Top 50 Things I've Learned in 50 Years on Earth Related to Health (Part I)


Thank you for your indulgence, because today I’m going to deviate from the regular routine and share some life lessons. This took a while to figure out, but here’s a list of things about which I’m absolutely certain. Special thanks go out to the 50,000 patients I’ve cared for over the years for also being my teachers.

  1. If you’re happy in your personal life, your health improves.
  2. The biggest head scratcher of human nature? Pumping smoke and toxins into the part of your body you use to clean and nourish the rest of your body (I mean smoking) is the oddest thing I know that people willingly do to themselves …
  3. … except willingly infecting multiple partners with communicable disease. (Wear condoms!)
  4. I saw a recent episode of the TV program The Blacklist where a vigilante doled out punishment to child, elderly and spousal abusers by reproducing the same acts on the perpetrators of the crimes. Kinda makes you think… I’m not advocating violence, but abusers of all types are a special brand of inhumane.
  5. I’ll never understand why people don’t wash their hands after using the restroom. See it all the time. Folks, that’s why most of you have diarrhea.
  6. Wealthy people look like healthy people even when they’re sick … unless they’re drug addicts.
  7. Fear is why healthcare costs so much.
  8. Somehow people allow fear to prevent them from using preventative measures, but it doesn’t prevent them from engaging in risky behaviors.
  9. Most alcohol tastes so much worse than I once thought.
  10. The death of a spouse is truly the biggest risk factor for one’s death. (This is actually a true medical fact.)
  11. Water tastes so much better than I thought.
  12. 99% of the times in my life that I’ve heard the word trampoline, it has involved someone with a broken bone or other injury.
  13. Diabetics really are dealt a bad hand. I can’t imagine why anyone would eat themselves into becoming one.
  14. We are nowhere near as horrified as we should be about people who are depressed enough to take their own lives.
  15. Anything that comes out of your body that’s colored is bad (and that includes feces and urine, which are meant to be colored).
  16. A happy day is a healthy day.
  17. Estimates say that 25% of women presenting to an emergency room are victims of abuse. That estimate is probably low.
  18. I actually think I can now tell the difference in whether the food I’m eating is healthy or toxic.
  19. There’s something fundamentally wrong when someone with a concussion is allowed to continue getting hit in the head. Ever. Again.
  20. Birthing and raising a special needs child makes you appreciate the value of health.
  21. Most people prefer happiness to health.
  22. Most people seemingly would prefer to die quickly instead of suffering the medical consequences of how they’ve lived their lives.
  23. One’s health habits provide you a lot of insight into a person’s character and personality.
  24. I’m really lucky to have been a physician. It helps to be able to differentiate between the nonsense and science. I’d hate to have to depend on actors for my health information.
  25. Aging while still being healthy is delightful.

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