Despite the authority’s warning about the rapidly approaching flu season and their encouraging docs to immunize their patients, many people still refuse to get immunized.  

What was truly frustrating was that I would spend 5 minutes teaching each patient about the importance of the flu shot despite the fact that I made my living treating the flu!  Yes, while I made a few bucks off the vaccine, I would make a lot of bucks treating an individual with the flu.  If my patients listened to my advice, I would not see them very often.  Medicine is a weird business!

Like it or not, my job was to prevent disease and injury when possible, even if it put me out of business.  Today I want to share another valuable health fact with you in hopes of saving you pain and suffering.

Four decades ago, in a place far, far away (Arlington Heights), a much younger version of me worked as an ER doc.  Practicing Emergency Medicine was thrilling.  You almost never knew what was coming through doors and had to be ready to treat any and everything!  There were times when you could anticipate what you would see and one of those times was the first snowfall of the season.

The first snowfall always brought “ATTACKS!”  Take your choice, heart or back, the attacks poured through the door and were bad.  Snow removal is hard on the body even if you have a snow blower.  Think about it.  Do you train for the heavy work of snow removal?  Do you stretch prior to going to work at heaving shovels full of snow?  DO you cold acclimate?  Of course not!

You are superman or woman.  Despite your sedentary lifestyle, you get into your winter gear and start shoveling.  You start to sweat.  Your pulse rises.  You get short of breath.  An elephant sits down on your chest.  Two hundred thousand dollars later, you have a triple bypass.  Now, you exercise at the hospital (cardiac rehab).  Eventually, you go back to work.  

For $200,000 dollars, you can have a professional plow your driveway for the next 75 years!  Yes, you could have gone to work, collected your salary, and saved yourself the scar that you now wear down the middle of your chest if only you had treated yourself to a snow removal service.

You say your heart is fine?  How’s your back?  Shoveling snow is definitely hard on your back.  Heave, hoe and feel the zinger in your back that takes you to your knees.  The damn pain shoots right down your leg!  If you are unlucky, it also shoots into your groin.  Certainly, the back attack is preferable to the heart attack, but not by much.  I know, my back is a chronic source of problems.

As your doc, I strongly advise you to hire out your snow removal and go to work at whatever job you have.  Pay a professional and avoid seeing me.  Do it yourself and you’ll still pay a professional, only that professional will be me and my colleagues.  Your choice!

Selling health is what I do best.  Treating you when you ignore my warnings is what pays the bills!

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