Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Can cockroaches have heart attacks?

So, I have these huge cockroaches at my work. It's no big deal, and it is not surprising being that I work in the basement of a very old building. What is surprising is the size of these things. It is not uncommon to find a roach 2 inches in length. Most often I see these things in or near the guys bathroom. I avoid them if possible and step on them rarely, as I really cannot stand the crunching sound under my foot. Today, as I strolled towards the urinal in the men's bathroom, I came across one of these huge roaches. Avoiding this thing was impossible, so I simply kicked the thing to the side and went about my business. The roach ended up on its back and start flailing and kicking its legs and antennas, frantically attempting to roll back on to its feet. Then suddenly it stopped. After I was done with my business, I strolled over to the thing to see if it was just trying to catch its breath. It wasn't trying to catch anything; it was dead. This got me to thinking, "Can cockroaches have heart attacks?"

Reading the sign above, I can only assume that roaches can get cancer, but a heart attack? And I know my particular roach was working really hard to get flipped back over, but it certainly didn't seem like enough effort to warrant a heart attack.

I do know that people can have heart attacks. There are several examples in my own family that I can point out. I went for an extra long run this morning and Katie got worried I might have had a "grabber" when I had not returned in my normal time. For a second I thought the idea absurd, but I do know better. During my bout with poor health the doctor's were very concerned that I might be having some heart trouble. Plus, no amount of physical fitness can change your genetic disposition. There are two recent examples of physically fit individuals that I have known to have heart attacks. One guy was out for his regular morning run, had a heart attack and only survived after the people who found him contacted emergency services and started immediate CPR. The other guy was a close friend of my family and the cousin to one of my very best friends. He was running the Bix 7 last year, had a heart attack and died. He wasn't much older then myself, and was probably in better shape than even I. Women are not immune either. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in America.

Thankfully, after a treadmill test and EKG my doctor's have given my heart a clean bill of health. Now it is up to me to continue to eat right, exercise, and make sure that I have regular check ups with my doctors. I encourage all of you to get your heart health checked, at the same time discuss a good exercise program with your doctor, and start eating healthier. I don't know if cockroaches have heart attacks, but I definitely know that people do, and no one wants to be found upside down, dead on the floor of the men's bathroom.

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