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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Top Priority

Take care of yourself first

Someone I consider a good friend was recently sent to the ER (Emergency Room).  She is being referred to a cardiologist and the outcome is yet to be determined at this time.  We should use this instance as a reminder that our personal health is and should always be a priority.  Not because we are selfish but because we are selfless.

We live to take care of family members and friends and the best way to do that is to make sure that our personal health is maintained.  I don’t know how many of my readers have noticed that part of airplane safety is to instruct adults that in the event that the oxygen masks drop the parent or guardian is to put their own mask first before helping a child or others.  The reason is that you can’t help others if you don’t take care of yourself first.

I once thought I was having a heart episode and my wife made the decision that I should go to ER immediately, I was 40 at the time.  The macho (very stupid of me at the time) in me convinced her that I knew the way and could get us there quicker so she allowed me to drive.  Fortunately, I got us there safely.

The Summer day was near 100 degrees, and I had been in the backyard digging a 24-inch-deep trench about 30 feet long for the cables leading to the house from a 10-foot parabolic satellite dish antenna. Around 4 pm I walked into the house, not feeling well.  As I got ready to take a cold shower to cool off, I went into shock so bad I was afraid to bite my tongue.  Among others, the weirdest thing I remember doing is jumping on to our master bed with my muddy work shoes on.  You need to know how much I respect (read that fear) my wife to know that I would never knowingly do that.

To make a very long story short, I was ready to make peace with the Lord, I swear that I even had most of my life pass before me in short order.  As it turned out I had managed to dislocate a couple of ribs near the sternum as I manhandled the satellite dish over a couple of fences and into my backyard.  The injury was further aggravated by digging the trench in the heat.

I still vividly remember what the attending doctor said to me with a very grave look on his face. Sir, I wish I could tell you (long pause), that my heart is as healthy as yours, but I haven’t been examined as thoroughly as you have.  Your problem is musculo-skeletal.  And with that I was released with some pain medication, and a referral to a specialist.

Ever since that incident, I take my health and prevention efforts very seriously.  I sincerely apologized to my wife for being so stubborn and promised that I would follow her guidance in the future regarding my health care needs.  Fortunately, I don’t have any health care problems, I subscribe to preventative measures.  I want to be around to provide for my family for as long as possible.  Quality of life should be the goal, so please take care of yourselves.  The best is yet to come……             

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