Monday, October 20, 2014

Survive and Thrive BlogFest

The blogfest is meant to bring awareness of disease prevention and early detection regarding medical conditions that may be averted or treated if caught in the early stages. Our desire is to motivate people to go in for early screening, and if a condition is caught early and treated, then our world just became a little better place to live.
The topics are wide open. You can post about a particular cause you support. Or you can share a personal or family experience that is near to your heart. What’s great about this Blogfest is you can inspire people to take care of themselves and their loved ones early enough to make a difference in their lives.
Hosted by
Stephen Tremp http://stephentremp.com/

I waited in the car at the middle school for my 7th grade son, James, to finish basketball practice. He walked out of the school rubbing his the middle of his chest. I questioned him about it and he confessed to having chest pains at times during practice and had experienced them months before when playing football.  After a visit to the family doctor who did and EKG and offered no answers, we ended up at the cardiologist. The doctor shook my son's hand, looked him up and down and said he knew what was wrong with my son. After an ultra-sound, his diagnosis of a form of Marfan syndrome was confirmed. People with Marfan syndrome often die early from heart conditions that result from this connective tissue disorder. If I hadn't noticed my son rubbing his chest, he might never have been diagnosed until the worst happened.

Though it doesn't happen often, the sudden death of a young athlete usually makes headline news. Almost all those deaths are a result of some type of cardiac failure. The majority of those cardiac incidences are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is a condition where the heart muscle thickens. Many of these deaths could be prevented by EKG screenings done before play is permitted such as is required in some other countries like Italy and Israel.  An abnormality on an EKG would then require further testing. On the other hand some physicians group claim there are too many false positives that would prevent healthy athletes from participation.  No one argues with the cost of these screenings, only the necessity. 

Young Hearts for Life is an example of a program that promotes and performs cardiac screening for your athletes. According to their website, sudden cardiac death claims 60 young people per week. These victims are most often male and participants in football or basketball.  I know many of my fellow bloggers had children who are or will someday participate in sports. Does their school and recreation organization require cardiac screenings? Read what other parents think about it.

James at the Broadmoor
The loss of a loved one hurts more than can be said. When it's a young person, perhaps a physically fit athlete, it is especially heart wrenching and so often preventable. As for my son, James, he has some life-long restrictions but he's a very healthy person. He has participated in track and field, baseball and cross-country since his diagnosis. He runs nearly every day, 10-15 miles, and lifts weights though he's not to ever lift more than half his body weight. He recently graduated from Penn State as a golf professional and is employed at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, the number one golf resort in the country for 2014. Every year he has an ultrasound on his heart and aorta and as long as his blood pressure stays down he's med-free. Not all parents have been as lucky as me. Is this a cause you could get behind?

We often think about health screenings as we age but there are tests we should insist on for our young people.  This blog hop was a super idea. Please read the other blogs and find some great causes to support and perhaps some health advice you should listen to.

Have you ever had an EKG? Do you know a young person with a heart problem? What health screenings to you believe are essential?

33 comments:

  1. Hi Susan - a salutary lesson for us all ... so many parents might dismiss their son's actions. I'm glad you didn't and I hadn't realised about this problem, though I knew about the young dying occasionally ...

    Definitely a symptom to be aware of .. and congratulations to James - who is obviously doing really well at something he loves. Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, thank goodness you caught that in time. It'd be very easy for most to dismiss some chest-rubbing. Glad to hear that, despite this condition, your son is doing so well today!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank God you were observant enough to follow through.

    When we're young, we tend to dismiss little pains as minor. I'm so glad you caught it early.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, glad it was caught early. Hope your son continues to monitor it and lives a long and full life regardless of his limitations.
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Both my daughters have premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), which causes irregular heartbeats. We found out by accident but there's no treatment, so I'm not sure knowing is a good or bad thing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. With so many kids suffering from issues and some dying from them, I think they should have screenings.

    I'm really glad you found out about your son's condition before something happened.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I do know about Marfan Syndrome - first learned of it when the volleyball player Flo Hyman died. I'm glad your son is thriving and getting excellent care.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Glad you found out early. I'm all for any testing that prevents or diagnosis and then helps control such things.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi, Susan,

    Wow. What a story, You are an amazing mom. To notice something so subtle.

    I agree, there should be testing for this and other maladies for kids. We as adults always assume our kids are healthy and may shrug off an ailment thinking it's nothing.

    SO glad your son is doing well. He definitely looks very healthy!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was 29 yrs old when I nearly died from cardiomyopathy from a VIRUS! Yes, a virus damaged my heart tissue. Good meds have helped, along with my heart remodeling itself. Just gotta watch the blood pressure too.

    Anyone with any kind of heart issue needs to be taking Coenzyme Q12 (CQ-10). It's pretty expensive, but can be found anywhere. My cousin, who's a world renowned cardiologist, told me to take it after I got out of the hospital. CQ-10 is probably why my heart was able to remodel itself so well. It's super safe, can't really hurt yourself taking it, and benefits the heart the most - along with all of your organ functions.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How fortunate you caught that and could take steps to keep your son safe!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good that your son was diagnosed early. I've had a few EKG's. I was diagnosed with heart arrhythmia when I was 47. The doctor said that it was likely a condition I was born with and since it was worsening it would probably have killed me if it hadn't been treated when it was. I used to have difficulty in gym class when we did strenuous things. I thought it was all due to being out of shape, but now I realize it was likely also due to my heart condition. I never thought of this back then.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

    ReplyDelete
  13. So glad you were able to catch that while your son was so young! And being a golf professional is so cool and is able to run every day. Things worked out!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great idea to highlight youth and temper that push to have all boys, especially, participate. One has to be sensitive to small warning signs which you were.

    Good for you, Susan for being curious, and it might have been your knowledge of first aid that helped. We have to be aware, and not fear doctor checkups and tests.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes. I had an EKG and echocardiogram when I was 12. Back then I was terrified, but now I can fully understand the importance of these tests. I'm glad everything is ok now!!

    my blog: morgankatz505.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. This was a wonderful and inspiring post. So glad everything worked out.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, I'm so glad you noticed him rubbing his chest. I didn't know it was such a problem. Thanks for this informative post.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I wonder how many young athletes who have died have what your son has? You were a keen observer and you did not give up! I am so glad he is doing well and I believe more diseases that most people are unaware of need more support. Does it run in families? Do the Dr's know?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow! What a great thing to discover his illness before his death. It's a little difficult to always listen to our kids because they sometimes whine a little (what? all the time?) but we really need to stop and listen.

    I'm so glad you listened.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Holy cow--how terrifying! I think this may be what happened to a guy I knew in college--19 year old young man--I know it was heart. Very glad you got it diagnosed early enough your son can address it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Its a great lesson...to discover the illness before it became serious. We have to be vigilant.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm glad your son is doing alright, and that you were pro-active to have him seen as soon as you noticed something.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've heard of athletes suddenly dropping dead on the field or right after the game. It's incredibly sad. I didn't know it was so common, and that there is a way to prevent it through EKG screenings. Of course their lives are worth whatever the cost. I will be keeping this in mind regarding my athletic little nephew. Thank you very much for this post, Susan.

    ReplyDelete
  24. So glad you noticed your son's actions & got him to a doctor.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Yes those stories of youngsters collapsing during a soccer game are alarming. So wonderful that you saw your son rubbing his chest and took some action.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Good thing you're an observant mom. And I had no idea there were so many fatalities every week due to sudden cardiac death!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow - so glad your son is okay! Thank good for your instincts!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow, what a blessing it was caught early!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm so glad they caught this early with your son! I worked briefly with a little girl whose older brother had died of a heart attack in high school while playing basketball. I don't know if it was the same thing as your son, but it was the first I knew this was a thing that could happen to kids. My son is very athletic, and reading this makes me nervous. No, we aren't required to have heart screenings for athletics. I sure wouldn't mind that being a requirement.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The necessity to screen athletes is very real. Saving one life is worth all the expense. Hope all is well. Good job, Mom.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank goodness you picked your son up that day, and acted quickly when you saw his symptoms! It's so true how boys often feel they have to "take it like a man," and don't want to worry us when they're ill. I agree that schools should have mandatory health screenings. Sounds like your son is doing great at the Broadmoor! It's a wonderful resort, and I'm sure you enjoy visiting. Hope your handsome, and talented son continues to do well.

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  32. It's so easy to dismiss the aches and pains of children and teens are "growing pains". After all, at their age, what could be wrong? Thank goodness you followed through.

    ReplyDelete
  33. That must have been quite a scare!
    Thank goodness you were so observant and proactive!

    ReplyDelete