Tuesday, December 01, 2009

So Fragile, So Strong

I have two acquaintances one IRL and one in cyberspace who have recently had very scary, very sudden medical problems.

The first one, as he came out of the swimming pool in early November, was struck with such a severe and sudden headache he was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. It turned out to be a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage (which involves bleeding around the brain). From what I understand this is often fatal, but in his case he not only survived but is back home and aside from some debilitations that will be with him for the remainder of his life he is getting back into the swing of life, even singing in his church choir last Sunday. He has a wife, grown children, grandchildren and a bevy of friends happily awed by his progress.

The second one collapsed in a restaurant a couple of weeks and was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. It turns out she had a massive stroke and apparently had another one in the hospital. From the last update I read she is finally out of her coma, but her right side is pretty much unresponsive. She has a husband, children, many friends and many more internet friends waiting anxiously from day to day, moment to moment, hoping and praying that she comes through this.

I just mention these things to you for a couple of reasons:
  1. Life is fragile so don’t take for granted that you can always get around to telling those you love that you love them.
  2. Brain injuries can be devastating. Time is of the essence. If you, or someone with you, exhibit symptoms such as sudden outset of a severe headache, passing out, dizziness or confusion call 911 right away. Don’t take the chance that it’s nothing. Better to have it checked out and be sent home with nothing wrong other than not eating enough that day than to have a stroke that goes undiagnosed and untreated for too long. I do believe the outcomes of both of the cases above were helped by quick responses by those nearby and by medical responders.

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