Waking Up Dead Is Bad

You should see your doctor often. If you do not currently visit a general practitioner I urge you to find one and schedule an annual checkup. Consider the following: You change the oil in your automobile every 3000 miles. You acquire special insurance for your electronics and even virus protection for your computers. You should take as much precaution for your own health as you do for your toys.

I have seen all too often the case where an individual hasn’t seen a doctor in years, and recently has been complaining about chest pain and left arm discomfort for several days and finally wakes up dead. Obviously you can’t wake up dead, this is a term I use to illustrate insanity of not seeing a doctor for obvious health issues. I like the term because it exemplifies the unexpected nature of death. It makes me think of Mrs. White from the motion picture, Clue. She said that her husband was a stupidly optimistic man. His death must have come as a shock to him.

Waking up dead is certainly unexpected and can be prevented. Let’s take for example the woman who had been complaining about abdominal pain and incessant weight gain for several months, but had not seen a physician for her condition. During her autopsy we discover a 45 pound tumor growing wildly in her abdomen, cutting off blood supply to vital organs and eventually taking her life. It takes time to grow a 45 pound mass in your belly. Her condition could have been resolved by a health specialist if seen early enough. This story is not isolated.

A more common story is the middle-aged man complaining about chest pain for several days, but decides that it must be indigestion and takes antacids to alleviate the discomfort. We find plenty of pink Pepto in his stomach at autopsy, but Pepto did nothing for his atherosclerosis. The chest pain wasn’t heartburn but angina due to coronary artery atherosclerosis. Heart muscle dies due to lack of blood supply and creates an infarct of the heart muscle that disrupts normal rhythm or worse. The heart muscle can weaken and rupture thus pumping blood into the pericardial sac that surrounds the heart which squeezes out its natural pumping.

Please see your doctor. This point is so important that the current political climate is overwhelmingly focused on health care reform to provide medical care to everyone – whether they want it or not. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t shrug off that consistent pinpoint pain in your side as constipation or that debilitating chest pain as indigestion. Please don’t self-medicate with alcohol and other numbing drugs in an attempt to mask the underlying issue. A trained specialist will prescribe the appropriate drug for your condition.

I apologize if this post seems like a helpless plea, but I see so many untimely deaths per day that can otherwise be prevented. I realize that there is no absolute cure for death. Death is part of mortality, but I know we can prevent untimely death. Frankly speaking, I don’t need job security. I would be happy to examine only a few cases per day as opposed to 8 or more. I know you would prefer it too.

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One response to “Waking Up Dead Is Bad

  1. It really is best for us to “keep our engines” checked. Wonder why people, generally speaking, are so apprehensive of Dr’s visits?

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