If I had written this last night, it would have been full of tears and railing misery, again - because I had just finished reading another story in the paper about a young person who'd died of a heart disease they didn't know they had. As it is, I don't suppose waiting a day has improved matters that much.
I suppose it's like when you buy a new car: all of a sudden, that car is all over the road. You'll see it three times on the way to work in the morning.
Well, no, I guess it's not quite like that, is it? I mean, I read the obits now, in a way I never did before, and I pay attention to tribute pages in the paper, rather than just scanning them idly on my way to Fashion or Arts & Entertainment. And more and more, there are soul-shattering examples of people under thirty dying by surprise, because their young hearts are inexplicably broken.
Because Frankie was 25, young and strong, even though he'd already had two fainting spells, nobody thought to test his heart until it was too late.
Seventeen-year old hockey players who collapse on the ice, and twenty-one year old basketball players in the prime of life... Exactly four months after Frankie died, I saw the obituary for a sweet looking man in his mid-twenties; he lived about an hour from me, and his family lost him exactly the way we lost Frankie.
In the fifteen months that he's been gone, it seems I keep seeing stories in the paper about young people - mostly men, but many women as well - who die suddenly, who were in seemingly good health, who had never had anyone take a look at their heart.
Have someone take a look at your heart.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 25 or 34... go to your doctor, and ask for the echocardiogram they wouldn't think of giving you because you're under forty. Make it a routine, at least every five years. Do it even if it's just so you can hear the squelch of your aorta; do it so your doctor can tell you that you're perfectly healthy... because being perfectly healthy isn't something you just want to assume.
Happy Valentine's Day, poppets. Spread the word, spread the love.
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