By LARRY M. JONES
With a family history of high blood pressure on my mother’s side of the “tree,” I carefully monitor mine on a daily basis. I bought one of those fancy little BP monitors that keep track of the readings, and it even interfaces with my computer. Each time I visit my family physician, I can take this information for him to review and make appropriate adjustments to my medications as necessary.
A few years ago my blood pressure was a “little out of whack,” and my doctor told me then that I had two choices for correcting this problem. I could make significant changes to my eating habits and lifestyle, or I could take a little white pill each day. For an old codger like me, that was a no “brainer.” Gimmie that pill!
Years ago, the giant chemical company, DuPont, used the slogan, “Better living through chemistry.” A few years later I recall another large German chemical company, BASF, used a similar advertising line, “We don’t make a lot of things; we make a lot of things better.” You know what? By golly, I think they were on to something.
When I was growing up down on the “pore farm,” I witnessed many infirmities of old age that my own grandfather was enduring. In the 1940s and ‘50s, he didn’t have access to the magic pills we enjoy today. These advances in modern medicine didn’t exist. DuPont, BASF, and a host of other innovative corporations had not yet done the research and development necessary to provide us our better lives.
In addition to medical advances, immense improvement has occurred in nearly every facet of our existence. When I compare the things we used a half century ago to those we have today, I am astonished by how much easier our lives have become. While working in my shop last week, I injured my hand slightly, and to stop the bleeding I put a Band-Aid on it. Despite the fact it was on the palm of my hand, the bandage held tightly to the skin, even after working several more hours in my shop. Band-Aids I would have used in the 1950s wouldn’t have stayed on 10 minutes under these conditions. Today’s “skin plasters,” as Grandpa Jones might have called them, come in an infinite assortment. They may be water proof, flexible, medicated, designed for specific body parts, or have Bugs Bunny’s picture on them. Some work so well, they’re hard to remove.