To the Editor:
I have become aware in the past year of a situation that I neglected taking seriously for far too long. That was not a wise thing, and I realize now I am very fortunate not to have paid dearly for not doing so.
It occurred to me that your venue presents an opportunity for me to warn others not to be as foolhardy as I have been. And that means acting your age even though your brain tries to say you are not that old.
Evidence speaks louder than words and that is what got my attention.
I started falling much more frequently and my old Airborne PLF’S (perfect landing falls) were not as good as they once were. I was tripping over things under foot, losing my balance, and running into peripheral objects.
When I mentioned it to an old friend he mentioned an old adage that became imbedded in my mind: “A fall starts it all.”
I harkened to that and soon began to recall a significant number of acquaintances that ended up contributing to the start of that proverb.
The answer of course is using a cane. Which I did while in the woods and fields, where I was aware few could see I was resorting to a crutch. Enter stage right, pride goeth before a fall. Battered and bent I am forcing myself to have it in hand after several bad falls.
I prided myself with practicing preventative medicine throughout my life, but know now that I did not follow through with all aspects.
I finally knew I had arrived to a critical point in the aging process this past December 12th.
I was on a field trip with four friends in a remote section of our fair township. We were traveling in a heavy duty pickup and, out of courtesy for my age and etc., I was riding in the passenger seat in the front of the cab.
It was late in the afternoon and we were on our way back to Thendara, my right hand was resting on my upper leg.
Suddenly I noticed my hand had become numb, which I found odd since I had not been putting any pressure on it.
As I pondered that further I noticed I was having a problem forming and coming up with words.
I immediately recognized I had the symptoms of a stroke.
I informed my fellow travelers and asked them to ask me some questions. They did and they came to the same conclusion.
We were closing in on Big Moose and stopped at a friend’s house there to see if he had an aspirin, which he did not.
The symptoms were entirely gone by that time, but we called the Big Moose Ambulance which hustled me down to Utica and Faxton St. Luke’s Hospital.
I was admitted, tested, medicated and put to bed.
The next day after more tests, I was kept another night.
Testing continued the following day before I was released with instructions and follow up appointments with more doctors.
I was treated royally and professionally in the hospitals new stroke wing, which was formed on November 9th of this year.
What I am trying to point out is that, without earlier first aid training, I may not have realized my symptoms of a stroke and not have gotten treatment.
There is no shame or lack of pride in being cautious in recognizing the signs of aging and taking common sense steps in preventing accidents.
The same goes for all aspects of life. It’s the reason it’s important to study history. Otherwise we are committed to making the same mistakes over and over again.
We are presently facing a similar situation on the world stage with the headlong inundation of refugees to countries with entirely different cultures and values.
It is hard to believe that there are not enough warning signs already proving that the whole process is doomed to failure on an epic scale.
It reminds me of leaping off a dock to rescue a drowning person with no safety devices, when life vests and a boat and oars are standing nearby.
Surely it would make more sense to resettle these people in nations with cultures and traditions closer to theirs.
The left and the right are deeply divided politically on this issue. The left contends that it is bigoted and mean-spirited not to open our hearts and borders to anyone who wants to barge into and displace those that sacrificed to build what we have.
I maintain it is patently obvious that the core of the Democratic Party’s sole interest in same is purely to bolster a further uninformed, government paid for voting base.
Let the thought for the week and more importantly on the subject be: Remember that the road to hell is often times paved with good intentions.