Rich: my condolences for Hannah. I do not have kids and cannot imagine what it must be like for you.
Lorna: I'm glad to hear that David is doing better and hope his recovery continues. Earlier this year, my girlfriend had a quad-bypass without which she would have died. Now it's my turn for scary stuff of the cardiovascular kind. Your posts re: wills and organ donation are timely.
Just before the Fourth of July I experienced a transient ischemic attack (commonly referred to as a TIA or "mini stroke"). Unlike regular strokes, TIAs often leave no permanent brain damage or disability, which was my case. But they are often harbingers of more serious events.
I may have Marfan's syndrome
, a connective-tissue disorder. My gf called my attention to it because I'm tall, have extra-long arms and legs and limber joints. Reading about this syndrome's warning signs has been one "oh crap" moment after another: discovering that I have enough "obvious" signs that only a series of special (read: expensive) tests can rule it out. The worst effect of Marfan's is that the weak connective tissue leads to a propensity for aortic dissection or aneurysms. In some persons, sudden death the first symptom of aortic problems. Others experience TIAs and occasional stabbing and burning pain in the chest and/or upper back interspersed with mild discomfort or feeling of pressure.
Damn...I wish the worst effect of Marfan's was a tendency to bang one's head against the ceiling of a standard-height school bus.
I'm going to have an echocardiogram to check for the presence of a dissection, which would require going into my chest to repair it. Having neither job nor health insurance, I sure hope I don't end up in that situation: face expensive surgery or kick the bucket.
But I'm not ready to go...I don't have my skoolie yet, to say nothing about spending years enjoying it!
I haven't seriously considered donating my body to medical education, but I'll check out that website. Thanks.