Sadly, today we had to say goodbye to a feline family member, who had reached an enormously old age for a cat and, in spite of grumping his way through life, will be missed. This is a picture that The Programmer took of Darling two weeks ago. I like it because it looks like he's gone to cat heaven and is having a little rest on a cloud.
Just like humans, cats can have a hard time overcoming a poverty-ridden background. Darling was a prime example, developing all sorts of health problems probably as a result of the malnutrition he suffered as a stray cat. How do I know this sort of thing? Well.... I've been doing some reading..
From this stack of books I've (hopefully) extracted the most important stuff and put it into my first assignment of the semester. I've been learning a lot about the wider aspects of health - cultural identity, social integration, money, inequality - stuff I never really considered before because, in typical human fashion, I tend to concentrate on things that I see and know in my own life. It's a lot to assimilate and gets one thinking. What if I wasn't me? What if I'd been brought up in relative poverty, had not done well in school and been unable to get work, or had to take a low-paid job with stressful or unhealthy working conditions? What if I had grown up in the city, rather than the country and my cash-strapped, solo mother had been unable to grow veges, and get milk and meat from local farmers? What if she had not been a little bit hippy, insistent on daily vege consumption and horse riding instead of TV watching? What if everyone around me ate cheap crap, smoked and was unmotivated to improve themselves? What if I hadn't been able to run around outside because the neighbourhood was full of crime? I like to think that I'd still have had the drive to better myself and live a healthy life, but.. would I have?
This is what the study of the Socio-political context of health and healthcare is all about. It's about making society a place where it is easier to make the healthy choice, starting from a young age. At the moment, health statistics suggest that western governments are failing quite badly at this, and us bright-eyed Health Science students are out to figure out how to turn that around. That's all we want to do. Make the weseternised world a healthy place to live for everyone living in it. Easy. Should get that squared away in no time at all.
You see that little book at the top of the stack? That's my textbook for this course. Well, that's the one from the library - mine's still on the way from Amazon. That book cost $90. It's a skinny book. I do not understand how a textbook costs SO much more than a similar sized non-fiction book that is not compulsory reading for University students. Sure, it's hardly going to sell in the millions and be made into a hollywood blockbuster (assuming here, but the odds are with me), but geeeeez. I'm assuming it's really big on the inside, with extra space in the boot and five gears.