Whoopee! Next month it’s my 67th birthday and this blog, #VixView, is my celebration of life. The goal is to stay alive for three more years. Why three years, I hear you ask?
Dying early -the magic of 70
Let’s blame it on the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goal number 3 target 3.4:
By 2030 reduce by one-third pre-mature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and wellbeing
So if I die between the ages of 30 and 70 years, it is too soon. Well not me specifically, but people who live with non-communicable diseases (NCDs). You get the drift – so I am hanging in for 3 more years. It sounds a bit like an electioneering slogan. But it isn’t. It’s deadly serious. Really.
An activist – why me?
Today I coexist with over 20 health conditions, all NCDs, with the first illness, psoriasis, starting in my first 500 days. I have a most productive and interesting life despite this seemingly woeful state of my health.
Being an NCDs activist gripped me tighter each time I survived another near-death experience (NDEs). Trust me, NDEs change one’s perspective, one’s way of being. I found that to live, I had to fight for my life. So that’s what I do and along the way, I do it for and with those who living with NCDs. I learned radical self-care.
Note: Don’t scoff too much about NDEs. Remember Angelo Agrizzi and what he did after his NDE?
50 years on
If that isn’t enough, this is my 50th year as a health professional working in the health sector. It feels like an alien place. I have a 360º view through all the learning and experience. My beacon remains the Alma Ata vision of primary health care.
Today, with profound sadness, I see us facing many of the challenges from when I first began back in 1970. I recognise that the health system in our noble land often fails us, its people, irrespective of where we get care: public or private. Evidence is all around.
Travel with me
So join me and find out if I make it. #VixView