May 26, 2009 § 5 Comments
Every once in a while you hear one of these random statistics that actually applies to you, and you sit up and pay a little more attention. Like a few months back I was pretty happy to hear Vermont was officially the healthiest state. Numero uno! How cool is that? I thought to myself, as if I personally had contributed to the state of overall healthiness by first: choosing to live here and second: managing not to get hit by a bus or fall down an elevator shaft on a daily basis. Yay for me! Us! Whatever! We’re not dead!
Even without the United Health Foundation’s annual beknighting of the healthiest state (take that Minnesota!) we all have this unconscious assumption- don’t we?- that living in a rural, traditionally agricultural community is a badge of some intrinsic kind of healthiness. So when we hear news like this we smile as if something we knew all along has been confirmed.
The tricky thing about these random statistics, though, is that before you can so much as pat yourself on the back for having the foresight to live in a particular place or be born from some genetically fantastic parents or whatever, you can bet your healthy little fanny there’ll be another random statistic coming down the pike to make you hopelessly depressed again.
In my case it was the stunner of a realization that Vermont, and my area of Vermont in particular, has some fairly high cancer rates: the incidence of three big ones- colorectal, breast and cervical- all reportedly higher than national average. Whoops. Yes, we’re all just delightfully healthy right up until the polyps metastasize. « Read the rest of this entry »