Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lifestyle Diseases

We received a rude shock at work in the past one week. There was a health camp conducted at my company where they did a battery of blood tests, measured blood pressure, height, weight etc.

R and I work for the same company. To our utter disappointment, R has now been diagnosed with mild hypertension. We visited a cardiologist yesterday and did a proper evaluation. He is to begin medication starting with only half a tablet. But still... hypertension is not something he or I had associated with his age. We always imagined that it would take more than a dozen gray hairs before he or I would develop this sort of a problem.

But that's not just all... A number of R's peers have been diagnosed with such problems as well, mild hypertension, borderline sugar problems - many of them are well on their way to developing lifestyle diseases which means they may need to take medication or control their diets for the rest of their lifetime.

What does this mean? Is the quality of our life so poor that we develop such diseases at such an early age? My grandmother wasn't diabetic until I was 12 or 13 years old. My mother is a diabetic now - when my daughter is just 7 months old. And my grandparents did not have hypertension - my still surviving lone grandmother still doesn't have it. But my daughter has a parent with hypertension - mild or not.

I read a lot of books, but i generally dismiss the books that talk about slowing down, taking life easy... But maybe there's some truth in it? I always think of people talking about poor health in IT as doing stereotyping and being cliched... but is there something to it after all?

Isn't it time to rethink the weird work life balances we have in IT? Why isn't there a union for IT workers? I think the industry has matured in so many different ways. Isn't it time for this kind of a maturity as well?

Ok time to go back to work... Needed to say all this somewhere and what's better than here...

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