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PSA: The Heart You Save Might Be Your Own

“If you hadn’t come in, you would’ve been dead before the end of the year.”

Ever since a doctor spoke these words to my husband, I’ve looked men in the face and said, “At least once a year, go in and let a doctor listen to your heart.” I try to make them understand. My husband was doing great too. He had no symptoms. He was feeling fine. Yet, unbeknownst to him, a tendon in his heart had popped. As a result, his mitral valve wasn’t processing blood the way it should have. If I (ahem!) hadn’t put us on a regimen of a regular annual physical, nothing would have sent him to the doctor to discover that he had less than twelve months to live.

Who knows if any of the men I’ve said this to have listened to me. Who can blame them? Sometimes we’re at cocktail parties. Sometimes family gatherings. I’m a little off-topic, as you might say. Yet, I keep crying in the wilderness of male health.

A stethoscope, that’s all it took to hear that tale-tell abnormality of my husband’s doom. Sometimes it takes more, honestly. But, really. If a doctor leaning into your chest, the cold metal of his antiquated stethoscope pressed against your skin can foil the grim reaper, isn’t it worth it?

Recognizing that men and women view wellness differently, I’m sending a shout out to those of you who live with and love men. At least once a year, send them to the doctor. Let the doc listen to their heart. A little preventive care for them might keep your own heart intact.

here’s to creative synthesis . . .

men's heart health, mitral valve prolapse, open heart surgery, regular physical for men, why get an annual physical

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