Earlier in May, I was rear-ended on Route 2. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt except for some lingering soreness and pain. The $2,500 repair bill was covered by my insurance company, and due to the accident not being my fault, I didn’t have to pay the deductible either. Chesapeake Auto Body did an amazing job repairing my car, and in looking at it, you wouldn’t know it had been in an accident. However, when I go to sell my car, because of the accident the re-sale value is diminished.
OK, I know you are now wondering what the point of this post is. Obviously, a car is more easily fixed than the human body. There is less pain, blood and guts involved. And what can’t be fixed can be sold for parts. However, like a car, the original healthy state of the body is better than the repaired state. A minor cut is easily healed and within a week or so no trace of it is visible. A deeper one leaves a scar which may never go away. A severe scar can limit flexibility in the body, and severe internal scarring can interfere with major organ function. In this case, the body is “healed” although function is diminished.
Using another example, a healthy body functions better than one with diabetes controlled by medication. On the surface, the blood sugar measurement may be the same, however the underlying physiology is quite different. Diabetes not only presents as high blood sugar, it affects other organ functions such as your heart, eyes and nervous system.
Last week, my husband remarked “you know, one thing you can’t buy is health”. And it’s true, even all the money in the world cannot buy health. It is so precious, and maintenance is far easier than repair. Because even repair does not always restore it back to its original value.
There will always be life events and circumstances that we have no control over. I am inspired every day by what my patients live with and overcome. But this doesn’t mean we should throw up our hands and hit the couch with a bag of chips. Because every healthy choice we make reduces the chances we will be negatively affected by circumstances within our control. You may have heard that being overweight and active is actually better than being sedentary and of normal weight. In other words, healthy action now, regardless of the immediate observable outcome, is better in the long run.