Thursday, November 01, 2007

Calling Teacher Gerald: yes, it probably is your heart

Browsing some Taiwan blogs the other day I came across a post by Teacher Gerald, a 51-year-old American expat who lives in Taichung. He describes waking up with pain deep inside the chest which worsened as the day wore on and later on he had shortness of breath. Unfortunately, after some googling he makes the mistake of thinking that the absence of other common symptoms such as pain in the jaw, arm and neck etc. means that it's not his heart that's the problem.
Uh-oh. Any severe pain in the chest, especially one that feels deep inside, needs to be checked out by a cardiologist. Considering he may very well have a life-threatening condition, I find it odd that he seems so set against seeing a doctor. I guess he has his reasons.

As you can imagine I was quite disturbed by what I read so I left a comment urging him to see a heart doctor ASAP. It would be awful to hear that he died of a heart attack and be left thinking that I had the opportunity to try to persuade him to seek immediate help but didn't because I couldn't be bothered (or some other excuse).

I have asked other Taichung bloggers to leave a comment encouraging him to get help before it's too late but so far no one has taken up my suggestion. If anyone reading this feels completely indifferent about Gerald just think how you would respond if Teacher G was a relative or friend of yours. Now get over to his blog and suggest that he might like to get his buns over to the cardiology dept. of China Medical University Hospital pronto.

UPDATE: I left a comment on a heart health blog called Heart Cipher about Gerald and the next day I noticed that "Anonymous" had left a long comment on Gerald's blog pointing out that Gerald "[o]bviously was having a heart attack". He also makes the excellent point that the result of a heart attack may not be death but permanent incapacitation.

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