Posted by guest blogger Mommynator.
I got off the phone this morning with one of the sleep technicians after she told me her husband had just died. His stage IV cancer was diagnosed only about four months ago and was unresponsive to all therapies as it had metastasized to all over his body.
How, one asks, could he get to stage IV lung cancer without a clue?
Well, that's the 64 million dollar question.
It seems that Mr. R ignored symptoms, thought they were something else and never availed himself of the opportunity to catch his cancer early. I won't be too overly critical, because who hasn't in the heat of life's busyness ignored things like symptoms, blaming them on fatigue and stress? And then only paid attention when everything falls apart.
Well, as a public service, I'd like to remind each and every reader of this blog that you are important. You are important to your friends, family, co-workers, and other social networks. You are important to yourself. You're even important to the people on this blog and we would miss you terribly if you ignored things to your personal peril.
So here is a list of things you should not ignore no matter how busy you are, simply because you are important and your place cannot be filled.
Prolonged fatigue that does not seem to go away no matter how much sleep or rest you get, or how well you eat or in the presence of vitamin supplements.
Prolonged respiratory symptoms, especially a cough that won't go away. Even if you "just" had a cold, and you're still coughing after two weeks, get yourself to a doctor. It could be as simple as bronchitis (which in and of itself is no joke) to asthma to other disorders.
Chest tightness and/or pain with or without sudden severe fatigue. Don't even try to explain it away. Get it diagnosed properly. It could be your heart, it could be asthma, it could be high blood pressure. Check it out. Especially you women - heart disease does present the same way as in men (chest pain radiating down the arm). Women are more likely to have their heart disease misdiagnosed although because of intense education efforts (Go Red), doctors and hospitals are more aware of this.
Sudden dizziness and/or brief blackouts. This could be symptomatic of everything from blood sugar irregularities to transient ischemic attacks (TIAs, which are tiny strokes that could lead to a large one) to seizures.
Long term numbness and/or tingling in any of the extremities. See above.
Unexplained weight gain or loss. If you're still eating the same way, you need to figure this out.
Likewise, unexplained changes in your bowel habits.
Changes in moles, specifically if they suddenly start growing, have irregular borders and/or exhibit many colors in a single mole.
If you're stressed and/or possibly depressed, get yourself checked out. If it's "just" depression that's not going away, there are short term therapies that can help you start functioning normally again.
You get the idea. Don't keep blaming your busy life. MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS OKAY.
And reach out to your friends and family, your house of worship (if you have one) and blow off steam. In fact, there are people here who have plenty of empathy and wisdom about dealing with stuff. Talk to us if worse comes to worst.
And if you get some medical news that you're not sure you understand, make sure to nag your doctor until you do understand. And if you still don't understand, throw it at me and I can find things out for you.
Please, folks. Take care of yourselves. I know we all have to die some day, but let's try to put that off (God willing) as long as we can.