Sunday, February 19, 2017

Get your blood pressure checked: 12 years ago today I unplugged my older brother...

I was working in the Yacolt Food Bank today (Lewis River Mobile Food Bank) when the thought occurred to me that 12 years ago today, I unplugged my brother from life-support at Harborview Hospital in Seattle.

The middle brother of three (I'm the youngest) he died from a massive stroke that had made him incapable of speech, movement or feeling in 3 limbs and absolutely incapable of communication or anything beyond a vegetative state.

And it was a total waste.

My brother's name is Mike, he's resting in the Willamette National Cemetery.  Our oldest brother, Roy, had suffered a massive but not fatal stroke in 2000.  He can barely speak and is paralyzed on one side.  The irony is that he walked into the hospital emergency room and that's how he ended up.

Both of my brothers suffered from strokes: my mother also died from a stroke, and yes, there is a genetic component.

Of the 4 of us, I am the only one who had high blood pressure diagnosed and the only one undergoing treatment.

Mike had no excuse.  As a veteran, he was eligible for free-reduced cost medical care: he had opened u a VA account but had never once used it to get checked out.

Had he done so, he likely would still be alive.

Don't be like Mike.

All of the other 3 smoked like trains.  For whatever the reason, I never did.

But the thing is, for the most part, high blood pressure can be treated.  But only if it's discovered.

If you haven't had your blood pressure checked recently, go make that happen.

It's an absurd reason to die or suffer the other damage high blood pressure can cause (kidney, heart, lungs, and so forth) when it's painlessly detected and painlessly treated.

Do yourself and your loved ones a favor.  Go get checked, even if it's one of those free BP checking stations at Fred Meyer.  And if it's high, then get off your ass and go get treatment.

You're likely to regret it if you don't.

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