Seven Day Health Quest – Part 22

29th December (Elders)

Murat’s handshake was impressive, especially after factoring in his age.  That was the first sign of vitality I noticed about him. It was refreshing.

Despite our “advanced” health care system

His hand shake at 97 years of age was very different than what you would expect from an average North American senior. Our elderly are plagued by arthritis and fragility, despite the supposedly apparent advances in medicine and our one of the “best health care systems” in the word.

Abkhazians did not have one of the “best health care systems”, nor did they have modern chronic diseases… figure that one out. Isn’t it ironic that our so called advanced medical system despite the exorbitant patient costs does not breed health, but poor quality of life?

Old age does not have to mean poor health

Murat’s hands were not arthritic. In fact his hands were perfectly capable, mobile, and in good shape. The skin on his hands was healthy. There were no signs of poor health such as yellowing, pigment loss, dryness, flakiness, liver spots, bruises, spider veins, sores, or bony outgrows.

He is 97 years old and if aging produces “inevitable” changes shouldn’t he have them all by now? Maybe these “old age changes” are not old age changes after all, but simply the cumulative effect of misguided health efforts? Hmm… it makes you think: is he some kind of mutant or Abkhazian’s health rituals are simply superior to our evidence based and absurdly expensive medical “sick care” system today.

Mobility worth copying

Walking was no problem for Murat. If you are expecting a man with a cane you are really far off. The man is perfectly mobile including bending and twisting. He required no assistance for walking, grooming or eating. In fact, he could be of assistance to others that have problems with these tasks.

I wish that kind of independence for every parent and grandparent reaching his age. Unfortunately our advanced medical advice is far from producing self-sufficient seniors. Our health expectations are so skewed that even TV ads equate senior independence with mobility aids, including the ever more popular mobility scooters. Shame!

91 and on a roof

Has Murat just been lucky? Not at all, you don’t live that long without a few “bumps and bruises”… Murat has a stiff neck, but not because of old age, but because of his boldness.

When he was 91 he fell from the roof and broke his neck. This is not a joke. He literary separated two of his vertebrae. What was he doing on the roof? He was working. He is a carpenter, after all. I do not find it amazing. I find it normal. What is amazing is that YOU find it amazing to have a 91-year old working carpenter on a roof. What I find amazing is that there are very few people his age that still can do it. I find it amazing that our view of health is so misguided that we mix up advanced age with low performance. We need to change this view and increase our expectations of self or we will never break the curse of seven prescription meds by 70.

To be continued…

CLICK HERE to continue reading Part 23

CLICK HERE to start reading from the beginning (Part 1)

X-ray of Murat’s neck after the accident

Abkhazia Uthing

Traditional Apple Butter from the Saint Jacobs Farmers Market. A traditional treat form that region of Ontario, which is similar to an Abkhazian pear condiment.
Mr. Murat Yagan, Circassian elder from the Caucasus mountain region of Abkhazia.

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