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Avoiding Your Own Personal Hurricane

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Avoiding Your Own Personal Hurricane

By Mellanie True Hills

The human devastation from Hurricane Katrina touched our hearts in the US and around the globe. You may not have been directly impacted, but you may have been touched, perhaps through sharing your time or your money to help evacuees.

I was in the hospital for surgery during the aftermath of Katrina and contemplated the plight of the many in hospitals during this tragedy. Surgery and recovery are difficult enough under the best circumstances, but with no power, no water, windows blown from buildings, and waters rising rapidly, even basic medical needs are difficult to meet. You think of how much more difficult recovery would be being hauled out on a gurney through floodwaters.

We all have hurricanes in our lives. Yours may be named "heart disease", "stroke", or "cancer", which are devastating to individuals and families. Not only do they rob you of health, but may take it all, including your livelihood and all your assets.

Like hurricane survivors, you may feel that insurance and savings will see you through. But what if, in an instant, everything changed? In 2003, in spite of not having heart disease risk factors, I almost died in emergency heart surgery, and a few months later, I had blood clots that were a close call for a stroke. Both incidents happened as I got off airplanes, so as a consultant who traveled about 95% of the time, within a heartbeat, I was grounded.

If one day you could no longer do your current job, what would you do? Do you have a backup plan? Also consider that if you have a known health problem - such as heart disease or cancer - you can't get individual health insurance, or if you do, you may not be able to afford it. Almost certainly, it will exclude coverage for your condition. Just like a hurricane, the financial impact of a health problem can wipe you out.

But there is hope. While we can't avoid hurricanes, you can avoid many of these deadly diseases by what you eat, how you exercise, how you deal with stress, and how you take care of yourself. It's time to make a plan NOW for your health. Just as we utilized lessons learned from Katrina, you can apply lessons learned by others to fine-tune your own health plans. As Albert Einstein said, "The clever person solves a problem. The wise person avoids it." Make plans now for how you will avoid those personal hurricanes in your life.

Mellanie True Hills, the Health & Productivity Revitalizer, is a women's health expert who speaks and coaches individuals and organizations in creating healthy productivity. She is the author of A Woman's Guide to Saving Her Own Life: The HEART Program for Health and Longevity and the CEO of the American Foundation for Women's Health and the Atrial Fibrillation Patient Resource, Find out more at and
Copyright  2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 by Mellanie True Hills. All rights reserved.

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