Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: November 11, 2014”

Not in a single month

malloy CHUCK
MALLOY

 
In Idaho

Ten years ago this month, a cardiologist told me I was a prime candidate for dropping dead at any moment because my heart was clogging up, as if Elmer’s glue was flowing through my veins. I checked into the hospital the next day, and doctors were cracking open my chest for a five-way heart bypass that saved my life.

I’m telling this story because November happens to be American Diabetes Awareness Month – a time to focus attention on a growing disease that hits 30 million people in America and more than 80 million people who are diagnosed with a ticking time bomb called “pre-diabetes.” If we do nothing, it is projected that one in three people will have diabetes by 2050 and I can only imagine what that will do in terms of health care costs.

As I celebrate my 10-year anniversary of my new lease on life, this also is a good time to reflect on what I have been through, what could have happened and maybe offer some hope for those who are battling this disease. A clogged up heart was only one of the complications I have experienced since being diagnosed with diabetes 15 years ago. I lost a toe in 2001, essentially lost my vision two years later and left my job as an editorial writer with the Idaho Statesman.

Nobody dies directly from diabetes; it’s the complications from this silent killer that can make death a welcome relief in the later stages. Heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, amputations and nerve damage are among those complications. If I didn’t have the bypass surgery 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be around to tell this story. Instead … I’m 64 years old and feeling great. My heart is strong and healthy, my eyesight has fully recovered. I don’t know if my recovery was the result of the grace of God, or dumb luck, but I’ll take the result.

Diabetes is a horrible disease, but it is not a death sentence. It can be managed and some of the effects can be reversed (I’m living proof). There’s plenty of help for those with the disease, including the American Diabetes Association. The ADA also provides expertise in management and offers tips for a healthier lifestyle – such as more walking and smarter cooking. So, it’s isn’t all gloom and doom – although there’s enough information that can scare the daylights out of people. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and two of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. The rate for amputations for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes. The national cost for treating the disease is estimated at $245 billion.

The National Institute of Health and the Centers for Disease Control are entities that are working to find a cure. Aside from that, there are no grand government solutions. Individuals have responsibility to help themselves. It starts with the home and parents promoting a healthier lifestyle for their kids, who will be part of this world in 2050.

November is a good time to talk about all of this. But healthier living cannot be confined to a single month.

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Collister/State interchange may be shifted (Boise Statesman)
Clarkston asked to 'ban the ban' on pot (Lewiston Tribune)
Moscow looks at North Main Street lots for business (Moscow News)
First hard freeze expected in region (Moscow News)
Boise has VA claims backlog, no firings expected (TF Times News)

First hard freeze expected in region (Portland Oregonian, Corvallis Gazette, Pendleton E Oregonian)
OSU gains but UO loses in overall enrollment (Eugene Register Guard)
$16k fines assessed in bee kill (Eugene Register Guard)
Glenwood store fined for barring service dogs (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath schools buy propose-powered buses (KF Herald & News)
Natural gas project events scheduled (KF Herald & News)
Review Medford's stalled efforts at revitalization (Medford Tribune)
Hermiston cops to 'move along' panhandlers (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Walden calls on area forests to accept local concerns (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Portland proposes new road fee (Portland Oregonian)
Riley win gives Democrats 18 Senate seats (Salem Statesman Journal)

New Kitsap prosecutor moving in (Bremerton Sun)
Bremerton mayor targeting auditor budget (Bremerton Sun)
New Snohomish budget would raise pay and taxes (Everett Herald)
Cowlitz prosecutor ousted in final tally (Longview News)
Olympia strip club closes because of unpaid taxes (Olympian)
Clallam commissioner, prosector narrowly win (Port Angeles News)
Lower class size measure appears to win (Seattle Times)
UW regents offer public access for dinner meetings (Seattle Times)
FBI reports increase in 2013 Spokane crime (Spokane Spokesman)
Pierce County backs training for strippers (Tacoma News Tribune)
125 years for Washington state (Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima council considers top budget plans (Yakima Herald Republic)
First hard freezes expected in area (Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic)
Newhouse off to DC, while Didier doesn't concede (Yakima Herald Republic)