Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In a month of pink, a simple call for awareness

Alicia Staley, kick-butt cancer survivor, advocate, and twitter-friend, has pointed out that pink gets a little crazy in October. Yes, it's an important cause - but should it drown out everything else? I get this and pondered what I might do here. In the end, I decided to cover the one issue I really know - Long QT Syndrome.

I have Long QT - those of you who have followed this blog for a while remember the episode that lead to that discovery. My heart dallies a bit between beats. In extreme scenarios, the ventricles can get tired of waiting and decide to go off on their own, funky-style. Lack of blood to the brain. Body shuts down. Etc.

This disorder does not seriously hamper my lifestyle. Now that I have my bionic pieces, it should have no impact on the length of my life, either, as they'll work to correct any rogue activity. Relative to what too many people go through with other issues, this could be nothing.

What gets risky is lack of diagnosis. I found out after a too-close-for-comfort incident that landed me in the hospital for a week. Long QT can be triggered by adrenaline (hence the kaibosh on Derby for me), and there's a possibility that it plays a role in the death of child athletes on the field.

Diagnosis, contrary to the recent episode of House, starts with an EKG. And here's my plea. If you have family members who have died suddenly after passing out. If your child is on medication for ADD - especially if they play sports. Get the test. They say the syndrome is rare, but I'd rather not hear of kids dying at soccer games.

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