ISSUE 60 ISSN 1712-468
PO Box 418 Main, Stn A
Abbotsford, BC V2T 6Z7
PO Box 8000 PMB 386
Sumas, WA 98295-8000
Phone: 604-852-0566
Fax: 604-850-3003

When Death Comes Knocking


Ten days ago, I was sitting next to my dad in his hospital bed.

For the past few years, Dad has had a number of health issues and ended up in the ER with an 80% blockage of the carotid artery. While waiting in hospital for surgery, he managed to pull a leg muscle and because of the blood thinners he was taking, he started to bleed internally.

No one was aware that was happening.

Two days later, his blood pressure dropped to 60/38, his hemoglobin sank to 69 (should be 128), and his blood sugar soared to 22 mmol/L or 400 mg/dl. His body temperature was 34.5° Celsius or 94° Fahrenheit. When they rolled him out of the room for an emergency CT scan, we thought we had said good-bye to him for the last time.

Thankfully, Dad is recovering nicely and will be sent home in the next few days—but without the surgery. I am very grateful for the outstanding staff we have in our local hospital; they have provided great care for Dad.

In the time I have spent time in hospitals over the last few years, two things still amaze me.

  • A trauma response team can jump into action when necessary to save a life—a very impressive thing to watch. We are blessed in Canada to have a great medical system. Many of the illnesses and diseases that are successfully treated each day would have meant blindness, paralysis, or death a few decades or even a few years ago.
  • Our medical system is set up to be reactive—not proactive. Yes, emergency teams respond to a crisis. Yes, there are clinics for diabetes, heart, stroke, rehabilitation, addiction, and so forth. But they are not proactive. It’s all about what you can do after the emergency occurs.

Everything with my father has been reactive. If he has a problem, give him a drug. When he has a problem with that drug, give him another drug to counter that problem. Then give him another counter-drug to counter the other counter-drug that was countering the first drug. And so it goes in a vicious cycle until he was taking 8 to 10 different medications a day and not getting any better.

This past week, I had a doctor’s appointment myself. My cholesterol was a little higher than he liked and his first recommendation was to prescribe a drug. My response was, “No, thanks. I don’t want to become like my dad. Let’s find a way to solve this through diet, exercise, and a nice bottle of red wine.”

Wouldn’t it be great if our medical system started being more proactive?

When it comes to our income taxes in Canada, we can claim our prescription costs but not the cost of alternative solutions. Suppose we could write-off our gym memberships? Chiropractors? Naturopaths?

But no. Government would rather have people spend money with large pharmaceutical companies whose remedies often do nothing more than keep people sick and dependent on drugs, as opposed to getting healthy.

I know one of the key contributors to illness and disease is stress.

That’s where it started with my dad. He found himself in a very stressful working environment near the end of his career and during that time, had his first hospital episode. He was stressed so they gave him an antidepressant. His treatment has been totally reactive since then.

We know the part that stress plays in our lives, but very few of us do anything about the pressure we are allowing to build up in our minds and bodies. Part of the problem is that we aren’t aware of where the stress is coming from.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a tool that can easily pinpoint our sources of stress and allow us to put together a proactive plan to deal with it and improve the other areas of our health?

Well, CRG has just such a tool. It is called the Stress Indicator and Health Planner (SIHP). Part 1 of this professionally developed 24-page self-administered and self-scored instrument takes you through 120 questions. Once you complete it, you will perceive your stress and wellness levels in 5 specific sections.

  • Personal Distress (observable through physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms)
  • Interpersonal Stress
  • Wellness Assessment (including nutritional and health practices)
  • Time
  • Occupational Stress

Armed with your results, you progress to Part 2 of the assessment, The Health Planner—12 pages of specific strategies, techniques, and action items to help you make positive changes for improved health, higher performance, and a better quality of life.

Use the SIHP to Use it For
  • Identify Stress in 5 Critical Areas
  • Determine Targeted Action Plans
  • Incorporate Healthy Behaviors
  • Increase Job Satisfaction
  • Improve Quality of Life
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Corporate Wellness Programs
  • Each Family Member
  • Employees and Managers
  • HR Strategies








Far too many of us take our health for granted. Then, when it is too late, we somehow think a little pill will solve the problem—only to have that pill or pills cause more problems until we find ourselves in the ER with a life-threatening condition.

They say there are only two certainties in life—death and taxes. I don’t recommend evading the latter, but I do support cheating the former. One of the best places to start is touse the CRG Stress Indicator and Health Planner to determine where in your life you are being overstressed, then act on the practical steps outlined in the assessment.

You can start to live a proactive life today. The rest of your life depends upon it!

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