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By Victoria Alwin

The cost of plumbing


It is amazing how a clogged drain can ruin a day and then comes the expense of unclogging the drain. Because my house is only a couple years younger than I am, and I was far younger last millennium, I asked how much it would cost to replace the pipes. The estimate was between $2,000-$3,500. A friend of mine has to have the pipes in her house in Arizona replaced and that estimate was about $6,000. Either quote seems like a lot of money to me and I doubt that I am alone in that thought.

What does the cost of plumbing have to do with nutrition? Humans also have “plumbing,” only we call it the circulatory system, a network made up of blood vessels. We have all heard that a poor diet and the lack of exercise, as well as smoking, can clog the arteries, but many people seem to believe either it won’t happen to them or that enjoying their “bad habits” is worth the cost. That “cost” for a cardiac surgeon to fix the “clogged pipes” can run between $70,000-$200,000, depending on what is done, where, and any complications. Yes, insurance may take care of most of the bill, but what about the deductible? One of the major reasons for bankruptcies iss the cost of major medical problems.

Then there is a matter of pain. Most of my patients who survived a heart attack, and the subsequent cardiac bypass surgery, have told me that they would do ANYTHING to avoid the pain of having their chests sat on by an elephant and then cut open. It can take weeks to recover, at least, depending on whether there were complications. Not only might there be out-of-pocket costs, but there is the amount of time lost from work, which vacation and/or sick leave might not cover. More expense.

Still think that hamburger and fries or cigarette is worth whatever the cost? Or, too tired to walk? Changing to baked instead of fried foods can cut down on the amount of blockage. Studies have shown that walking 20-30 minutes daily, slowly, can decrease the chance of a heart attack by 40%. These are small and comparatively painless ways to avoid trouble. If you still think that the cost is worth the fried habit or smoking, think about what you could do with the money you will be giving away for that clogged pipe to be repaired. I don’t know about you, but I could go on a dream vacation for $10,000 to $100,000, which would NOT include spending one to two weeks in a hospital. Think about that dream vacation the next time something fried calls out your name.


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