Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's the six year anniversary of my brother's death: get your blood pressure checked.

Six years ago today, I pulled the plug on my brother.

We were at Harborview Hospital is Seattle. There was, effectively, nothing left of his brain. Even in a coma, his blood pressure was up over 200, and he was skinny as a rail... and at the age of 53

I have high blood pressure as well, but it is well controlled with medication. After his death, we discovered that my brother had not had his blood pressure checked by anyone for a long time, even though he had Veteran's Administration eligibility... he had received his VA card and could have gone to a VA hospital to get it checked and to get his problem under control.

But like so many others, he was walking around as a physical time bomb and while he had it in his power to get checked...For whatever the reason, he didn't.

Two years ago, while I was at it, I had a colonoscopy because my wife said she'd kill me if I didn't. While it was completely negative, that was just another thing checked off the list.

And that's another thing people should have. Found early, colon cancer is typically not difficult to treat. But the key is to find it early. And to find it, you have to undergo this invasive test.

It wasn't fun. But it wasn't terribly painful or time consuming. And I do recommend the drugs. Good stuff, I must say.

But in all of this, take responsibility for at least your blood pressure. It can save your life.

It would have saved my brother's life.  But he didn't do it.

Don't be him.


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Anonymous said...

Kelly, might I suggest also that if someone feels some thing is really, really wrong, they should get checked out immediately?

How about for example diabetes? Ever wonder what the most expensive, long-term is? Cancer might be high on that list but ever see a preventable diabetic costs?

There are many others I could list, but I think you understand my point. -- Jeremy

Kriss Mitchell M.Ed., CRC said...

We miss him