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.