Help Yourself and Get Better

Help Yourself and Get Better

A few years ago, I was teaching a Heart Health seminar.  When we finished the seminar, I was approached by a woman.  Let's call her, Mary.  The conversation went like this:
Mary: "Dr. Greiner, I'm here on behalf of my husband.  For the past 10 years, his health has gotten worse.  He's on more medication than ever and feels terrible.  His test results are terrible and I'm wondering if you can help him."
Me: "Mary, you said you were here on behalf of your husband, correct?"
Mary: "Yes, that's right."
Me: "Why is he not here?  Is he incapacitated?  Is he out of town?"
Mary: "No, nothing like that.  He just didn't want to come."
Me: "How long have you been married?"
Mary: "Almost 40 years."
Me: "Would it be safe to assume you know him better than anyone else?"
Mary: "Yes."
Me: "Since you know him better than anyone else, on a scale of 1-10, how willing do you think he is to change his lifestyle to get better?"
After about a 5 seconds pause
Mary: "Honestly, I don't know."
Me: "Mary, if he isn't willing to change what's necessary to get better, neither me or anyone else can help him."
Unfortunately, I haven't seen that woman since nor have I met her husband.  The reality is, the best health information in the world means nothing if you aren't willing to change what needs to be changed.  This is obvious.  My question is, what are you waiting for?

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