One of the downsides of learning more and more about health is that we can tend to get a bit blase about  things. By that I mean we can ignore those little niggles we get from time to time, either marking them as
simply a temporary inconvenience or else as something ‘we’ll get to when it starts to get annoying’.

Well, over the last couple of months, I have seen two examples of ignoring inconveniences that have had starkly different outcomes.

The first was with a chap who on the whole – apart from a bit of a beer belly – you would think was  actually quite healthy. Indeed you get the impression he thought he was healthy even though when he exercised or exerted himself, he found he was getting a bit short of breath.

Sadly he did nothing about it and even when one morning he had what felt like a lump in his chest, he still refused the pleas of his partner to go to the doctors as after all “it’ll go away in a bit”.

By 8pm he was dead of a heart attack. You can clearly see the moral of this tale. If something is not right, find out why and if your knowledge is lacking ask someone who can get to the root of the problem.

Just don’t ignore what your body is telling you.

Another real life tale concerns John, a friend of mine whom I had not seen for a few months. Yet when I last saw him, he was as fit as a flea and mentally razor sharp.

Over the course of the few days I was with them, my friend’s other half raised concerns that John – at 67 – was starting to get dementia. Something his mother apparently had suffered with – though not until she was in her seventies.

However, something in John’s behaviour did not quite seem consistent with all the other people I’ve met suffering from varying progressions of dementia.

Like most people, I did not want to interfere but I could not rest easy so I asked John’s wife how long had this been going on and she said it had started out of the blue last summer.

I then asked her if anything unusual had happened around the same time, like a fall or something of that
nature.

She said yes it had, while working on their property, John had got up after inspecting something he had
uncovered while using the excavator and hit his head on the digger bucket – knocking himself out.

Alarm bells started to ring in my own mind. I told Debbie that this is something that cannot be ignored
and she should take John to see their doctor.

Well, she did that afternoon, and all the time they were away, I was worried that perhaps I had caused them to be anxious over nothing and it really was dementia. In which case at least we would know about it and could get John seen by someone who has successfully treated dementia by natural means.

An hour or so later, they came back from the docs just to tell me the doctor had examined John and told them to go straight to the hospital emergency as – for one thing – his blood pressure was through the roof and secondly, they could not determine what was causing it.

So off they went…

At the hospital, John was given every test and scan you can think of and – while in the hospital – the  medics noticed his face was also dropping on one side. Scans confirmed brain lesions – the sure sign of a stroke.

This story has a happy ending though.

With the right treatment and meds, John was out in a few days and he has very quickly regained his former vitality and sharp mind.

But it could have been very different!

Virtually every day our bodies are trying to tell us something. Many times it’s just a case of “I don’t like
that food you gave me last night” or “I could really do with some proper sleep”.

Yet sometimes the message can be more profound and listening is not enough.

Sometimes, we need to take action and respond without delay.

All the best,
Mark

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