Second Chances In Life - Making Them Count

By
Home Stager with Innovative Artistry

I just have had the pleasure of finishing work with a man after a long 15 hour day.  During our day together, I discovered he had just returned from an illness, & it was his first day back!  He is a young very healthy man.  Very slender, & it was difficult to guess what his age may have been, because in my opinion, men usually are able to genetically fair better than women. 

My friend's name is Joey.  Joey had been out three weeks with his illness.  As our work involves being very physical, I was paying special attention to his "signs", the abbreviated way to describe my observing him.  I still could not imagine what he was going to share.  He looked GREAT!

Joey shared with me, that he had just had a "heart attack"....all heart attacks are extremely serious of course.  However, he had the symptoms & suffering of this heart attack for over three days!!  The symptoms were not like you may normally suspect, but much more subtle.  He had a pain in his shoulder blade area which was not relieved by Chiropractor, Massage, Aleve, then Percocet until finally he went into the emergency room from pain on the sides of his body now coming from both sides.  He said the odd part, "they were not directly from the front area of his chest".  I sat in awe. 

My first thought that this was just three weeks ago!!  My next thought was how young, slim & healthy he appeared.  My last thought which I could not get over the rest of the day, was of course, the fact that all of his symptoms could have been let go in any of us.  He could have gone for several more days, as we go, with our work??!!  

Joey may not have had that second chance...

Guess how old Joey is??  Joey is 35 years old!!  He does have some cholesterol history in his family & he had been given medication to take, but in the line of work that we share, he could be 3 days & forget to have it with him.  Eleven months later (of not taking the prescribed medication as he should), he had to have a titanium stint put into his heart from a blockage.

I have to tell you that while Joey looks great, his is slender & about a 29inch waist without an ounce of fat on his body.  He is 35 and given a second chance. 

We do have to look at those second chances & try to make them count.  I returned home from New York, the night of September 10, 2001.  I was right by the Twin Towers & I had gone out of both Boston & Newark that month.  I awoke to have my coffee with a shock that is still with me & we are all very familiar as we approach the anniversary a decade later.   This could be another subject, but to stay on topic.  There were human losses we can never replace, many of us & I were given a second chance.  I have had other illnesses that I have been given a second chance.  I am not sure how many of you have had this as well? 

I needed to share Joey's story, as it just stunned me yet again back to reality, that we have to "make life count" as you never know when you are going to get that second chance.  I wanted to "pass this forward" so that others may have an opportunity for that "second chance".

Of course I was so protective of him & he was bouncing right back with a 15 hour day his first day!!  The seriousness that I wished to share is that he is 35 years old & we have to pay attention.  Age does not determine "health"....nor is it a guarantee.  He is such a joy, I can see why he totally was meant to have that second chance & I was blessed to be in his presence today.  It allowed me to be able to share his story with you in case you have subtle symptoms to go & have them checked.  I don't want to dwell on the dire portion, but the preventative options & the areas that can be helped to prevent heart disease.

Okay, it is late & I don't have any graphics to go with this, nor is it in time for the other deadline, as this post is not about that, but I felt it extremely important to share!  Joey & a group of us will be laboring away this Labor Day weekend thanks to his second chance.  It has given him perspective though on things regarding family, & balancing work,...even though today was not how he had intended to balance ~ the awareness is there to refocus on "what is really important"?  It is not the petty things I can assure you that, for either of us.  Have a Wonderful Weekend!!  Hopefully this is helpful to someone and allows early detection.

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Rainer
139,841
Ridhi Raheja
Movement Mortgage (Illinois) - Naperville, IL
FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan

pam, Thank you for reminding us not to take the gift of life so casually.

Sep 04, 2011 02:10 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,391,277
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Pam, in life you never know what the next day will bring. Thanks for the reminder.

Sep 04, 2011 02:31 AM #14
Rainmaker
570,170
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA
Pam...that us quite a story and truly a reminder to make every day count.
Sep 04, 2011 02:51 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,109,145
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Pam-A great reminder to take care of ourselves and how fragile life can be.   Simply beautiful post

Sep 04, 2011 02:56 AM #16
Rainer
102,314
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Dear James ~ Yes, very short & the further the years go along the faster & briefer it seems to become.  It was a shock & to look you would have never guessed.  He did have some genetic factoring, but stress & I am sure being on the go had a LOT to do with it!  So young!  Thank you for visiting.

Dear Cindy ~ Yes, life is very fragile & September 10th was just like any other day in our comfort zone of life & work...who would have thought the very next morning.

Dear Lenn ~ Yes, most definitely!  An Agent's day is extremely stressful...  The drive throughs in general are always jammed at lunch time, if it is not a vending machine or the near by convenience store....  True, in this case genetics did play a part, as well as did the medication that was supposed to be taken, and then there was very, very stressful environment to top things off.  At 35 though, & him being a very slender man, I don't think he took the medication seriously, or that something so serious could happen to him.

Dear Mike ~ Wow, 32!!  You too are a walking miracle!!  I am sure that was a shock.  I am sure it was also difficult to watch so many loved ones & then be worried yourself!  We are glad you are here with us!!  Congratulations with taking care of yourself & I am sure that your loved ones treasure the gift every day!!!  <3 <3  Thank you for sharing your story!

Dear Daniel ~  True, "every day is a gift".  We just have to be appreciative & learn to take care with it.  Thank you for stopping by.

Dear Cheryl ~ Yes, we do have to take care of our health & I am the worst about getting too busy...even with a set back, then I get back & find my self caught up again in the race....  We have to try to find a balance & take care.  Thanks so much & hope it was helpful to others.

Dear Ridhi ~ Yes, things can happen so quickly, so very quickly or with warnings we may not be aware or recognize.  Joey had a shocking story & I hope it helps others.  Thank you for visiting.

Dear Michael ~ You are so right!!  I have learned that several times in my life & lost loved ones & friends very early.  Sometimes we drift back to the rat race & someone like Joey comes along to jog us back to the "reality". 

Dear Christine ~ It is something we have to make sure we stay conscious of....... I am definitely more focused on what can I do today to make a difference to the max with more emphasis, especially with the important people in my life, my family, & things in life I have passion.  I don't worry as much about the petty things.

Dear Sharon ~ You of all people are aware!  Thank you, & thank you for stopping by & many BIG hugs to you!!  

I do say prayers & try to always remember to be grateful & not take things so for granted.

Sep 04, 2011 03:39 AM #17
Rainmaker
342,759
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Hi Pam - Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  Of course, someone in their 30s wouldn't think they're having a hearta ttack!  Most women don't recognize the signs either.  Mike and I lost one of our best freinds last year to a sudden, massive heart attack, and we miss him dearly.  It pays to take care of yourself. 

Sep 04, 2011 03:41 AM #18
Rainer
102,314
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Dear Julia ~ There are no words to express the results of a loss like that, nor the loss of a best friend...other than I am sorry.....& hugs.    I lost one of mine at 46 from cervical cancer that spread & compounded into luekemia.  She had found out at 40, & passed at 46 with two girls still in school & a husband that adored her 16 years her senior.  Her symptoms minimal as well & it was stage IV, which another story in itself.   We had been best friends since we graduated high school & took our first job together....  There is not a day that goes by I don't thing of her.  My uncle on my mother's side died at 21 from Brain cancer.  My mom lost all of her immediate family before they were 50 & she was in her 20's.

Heart Disease is one of the number one killers as Mike said, and I still am watching Joey with kid gloves as we go to work today!  A walking miracle.  Thank you so much Julia for sharing your friends story & hopefully these stories will help others.  Thank you for visiting & sharing always!  Hugs!

Sep 04, 2011 03:51 AM #19
Rainer
102,314
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

I have to go to work again today with Joey & thanks so much!  I will check back, but it may be late again.  I posted this in the wee hours...hopefully it won't be that late today.  Hugs to all & hopefully you are enjoying family & have a GREAT Weekend!!

Sep 04, 2011 03:53 AM #20
Ambassador
1,155,350
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

I'm 43, still young my most measures, and while I personally don't have any medical issues my family history is full of 'em.  So, as I've gotten older I take much more time to pay attention to little "issues", try to stay in shape, and go to the doctor at the first sign of anything wrong.

Sep 04, 2011 04:20 AM #21
Rainer
102,314
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Dear Bryan ~  It is sooo important!!  Yes, 43 is still young!!  We just have to stay aware...  As Mike stated in his testimony, he was only "32"!!  Joey, was "35"??  In Joey's case it wasn't as if he were doing an athletic sport...he was doing his physically demanding & stressful job.... So easy to no recognize the subtle things.  Thank you for sharing!  I agree staying physically fit & check ups are wise.

Sep 04, 2011 05:16 AM #22
Rainer
233,428
Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY - Frisco, TX

Wow! What a story and appropriate title. I know of some folks who still don't appreciate their second chance.

Sep 04, 2011 05:22 AM #23
Rainmaker
229,831
Nathan Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Davenport, FL
Your Central Florida Real Estate Expert

That's a touching story. I try everyday to live like there is no tomorrow. When I was 24 I was stationed in Cherry Point, NC as an elctronics technician on Marine Corps aircraft. We took a helicopter ride one day and a buddy (who was 21 at the time) started have a pain in his back. We landed and they took him to the hospital to check it out. We never saw him again. He passed away from a massive heart attack. He was in better shape than anyone I'd ever known and it happened to him. Since that moment I have loved for the here and now because you are not promised tomorrow.

Sep 04, 2011 05:23 AM #24
Rainmaker
323,845
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Pam, thanks for taking the time to share this story - hopefully we will all be more watchful and careful with our bodies!

Sep 04, 2011 05:36 AM #25
Rainer
102,314
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Dear Mike ~ Yes, there are many that are taking things for granted every day & running with those risks     :( thank you!

Dear Nathan ~ First let me thank you for your service!!  You have an incredible story!  Wow at 21!!  I can not even begin to think having a friend basically go right before me, although that risk is there every day!  Taken so very young!!  Of course I have children in that range as well.  I am sure that has left an impression forever.  Thank you so very for sharing!  Again, thank you for your service to us!  My future son-in-law is an A&P mechanic & works on both helicopters & aircraft.

Dear Melissa ~ Thank you for reading!  If it helps anyone, it will be worthwhile.  It was an incredible story that I thank Joey for & felt it should be paid forward for others to benefit!  Thanks so much for leaving a note.

Sep 04, 2011 07:12 AM #26
Rainer
255,449
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Hi Pam,

I just turned on my computer a little while ago and saw this post.  It is a wonderful piece.  I know I have been given second chances many times in many different ways, not in this manner perhaps, but I am so grateful nonetheless.  Sometimes it is just not our time, as in Joey's situation.  Someone was watching over him for sure and I would suggest he has many things that he has not accomplished yet or lives he has not touched. As someone said in one of the comments, all we have is today, this moment in time.  I do believe in taking the best care of yourself that you can, eating right, getting outdoors with activities and hobbies which relieve the stress of today. Whatever it is that suits you and your lifestyle.  We are after all the stewards of the bodies we have been given.  Such a good reminder for all of us.  Thank you again

Mary

Sep 04, 2011 09:51 AM #27
Ambassador
4,042,649
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Pam- what an incredible story.  Twelve years ago my husband had a similar experience, though he did not have a heart attack.  It is so important not to take these kinds of symptoms lightly.  Thankfully Joey was given a second chance.  (Congrats on your Feature!!!)

Sep 04, 2011 12:32 PM #28
Rainmaker
565,766
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

Hi Pam,

Thanks for a great post to help us put life in perspective and learn again the lesson of appreciating every day.  It's called 'the present' because it is a gift to us from our Loving Father.

Best of success to you and Joey!

Sep 04, 2011 12:57 PM #29
Ambassador
2,577,648
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Having gone through a life changing event 30 years ago and having a family history of cholesterol, I do appreciate the value of rest, a healty diet, and taking time to smell the roses. Money pays the bills, but can't give life.

Sep 04, 2011 01:08 PM #30
Rainer
40,746
Buki Burke
Ventura, California - Ventura, CA
(805)377-0236, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services CA

There is a lot we can do for ourselves. Besides exercise, there is diet. Check out this link about President Clinton's vegan diet http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/podcasts/gupta/site/2011/08/29/sgmd.last.heart.attack.cnn

Sep 04, 2011 05:06 PM #31
Rainer
102,314
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Dear Mary ~ Thank you & I felt it is my gift too, to share!!  It could happen to any of us..  Julia reminded us that Women are no less a target, the other cases were Men.  The outdoors is very helpful to me when I am able to make it a priority...  Priority was I think the gift of the story, as well as Jordan's reminder that it comes from above.  Again, thank you.

Dear Kathy ~ I am sure that was scary with your husband & I hope your husband is & stays well!!  Yes, it is important to keep those things in check.  Thanks again.

Dear Jordan ~ Yes, absolutely, it does put things in perspective & the Lord above does watch out for us...I don't think he would have been able to go three days otherwise! Thank you so much!!

Dear Ed ~ So, glad that you survived that, and are here!  I hope things are stable for you??  Yes, genetics are a large factor in some cases.  Thank you for sharing.    You are absolutely correct!!  Money does not give you life....  We know this, but sometimes we need a strong reminder...  I know your family & friends are very thankful.

Dear Buki ~ Thank you for sharing this useful link & I am sure others will enjoy referencing this healthy alternative! 

 

Sep 05, 2011 06:07 PM #32
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Pam Hills

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