Heart shock a health pointer
“Kia kaha Bubu Guts!”
That was the caring and loving message I received from my mate John Tamihere just a few hours before I was wheeled into a heart bypass operation.
Yep, I never thought I’d be in this predicament – 47 years old, never smoked, no preexisting illnesses and no alcoholic tendencies.
In fact the last time that I was in hospital was when I was born.
This operation is a reminder that we are not invincible and men – particularly Maori men – have to get their act together.
One in every two Maori men aged over 40 die of a heart attack before they are 65.
That is an incredibly bad statistic.
It supports the argument that more has to be done in terms of educating the public about general health care and properly resourcing health providers.
Maori health providers survive on the smell of an oily rag, yet it’s our own people who have the worst health statistics. The government must do more or otherwise the health crisis that confronts Maori will worsen.
Maori too must lift their game because you can’t keep eating fish and chips and then bleat about the hopeless Pakeha health system or that it’s all due to the impacts of colonisation.
No – people must take personal responsibility for their health checks.
That’s how I found out about my problem.
I had no symptoms, no angina, and no obvious problems whatsoever.
Yet a routine check has given me an opportunity to avoid a heart attack.
So get out there and do the business – not just Maori men – all men.
Even if it means getting horrible messages from creeps like John Tamihere.
Listen to Willie Jackson on Monday at 10am on Radio Waatea 603AM