an ancient disease

This morning we learned that late last night another one of Tim’s brothers, age 57, survived a heart attack. I’ve come to the conclusion that September is heart attack season. You may recall that last September one of his brothers, at age 51, had one, and Tim himself, at age 54, had one in September 2007. It will be interesting to see if the three youngest brothers make it out of their 50s without repeating the pattern laid down by the three oldest brothers.

Apparently the gene came from their maternal grandmother, who didn’t survive her heart attack at age 54, and their maternal great-grandmother, who didn’t survive her heart attack in her 50s – not sure of her exact age. I remember Tim’s mother was thrilled to have made it past the age of 54, only to succumb to lung cancer at age 60.

Egyptian Princess Mummy Had Oldest Known Heart Disease

Poor Princess Ahmose Meryet Amon – her name means “Child of the Moon, Beloved of Amun.” A CAT-scan of her 3,500-year-old mummy revealed “blockages in five major arteries, including those that supply blood to the brain and heart.” Interestingly, “The new study suggests that genetics may be even more important than thought in causing atherosclerosis, and the mummies might hold clues to which genetic factors are involved.” Tim’s cardiologists were certainly very interested in his medical family history. Researchers have yet so much more to learn about cardiovascular disease.

12 thoughts on “an ancient disease”

  1. Blessings to your family, Barbara… Genetics does play a big role in so many illnesses, although some folks can curb their genetic predisposition through lifestyle. Other’s can’t. Barry has been researching heart disease almost every day since his A-Fib diagnosis. It’s not a blockage of the arteries, but other problems in which heredity is involved. Hope the researchers break through this field to learn even more. (I am so glad that Tim’s brother survived.)

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Kathy. I know what you mean, an uncle of mine had two heart attacks, both followed by by-pass surgery. He did everything he was supposed to do, lost weight, took up jogging, ate a low-fat diet, etc., he had never smoked, and still he had a third heart attack which killed him.

      I didn’t know anything about atrial fibrillation, so I did a little research on it myself just now. It’s amazing how the heart works – it’s a wondrous marvel. I hope Barry is in good hands medically and good for him taking the initiative to do his own research – he will be a wiser patient advocate for himself because of it. Blessings to your family, too, Kathy….

  2. HeartLight to you and yours, Barbara.

    That darned old gene pool isn’t always a pleasant place to swim, but born it it, we are. Like Kathy, I hope that researchers are able to break through the DNA chain and provide swimmers with water wings and other helpful floating devices (so to speak) so that the gene pool becomes a therapeutic pool — a place of laughter and restoration.

    1. Thank you, Laurie. It’s true, we all have to play the hand of cards we’re dealt, the best we can with what we have been given. That’s my little metaphor of life – but I love thinking about your gene pool evolving into a therapeutic pool. 🙂 I’ve been reading a lot lately about how being a vegetarian has actually reversed heart disease and diabetes in some people. Wondering if it could be that simple…

    1. Thank you, Val. They are all very lucky than modern medicine made it possible for them to survive – the first one at least. When I allow myself to dwell on it I start dreading the inevitable next time, but I try to live in the moment, stay in the present, and make the most of whatever extra time has been given to us.

  3. Hi,
    I’m sorry to hear about the trouble the family are going through.

    The Ancient Egyptians could not survive a lot of illnesses that we still have today, but with medical breakthrough some of those illnesses we are surviving, and I believe as time marches on medical research will keep finding ways of beating these type of things.

    1. Thank you, Mags. I think that article said the Egyptian princess was only in her forties when she died. I was reading an article that said that in the past, researchers had to use a lot of resources to come up with vaccines and treatments for infectious diseases, but that now they are starting to focus more on the non-communicable, lifestyle and genetic diseases. Amazing advances are already in the offing…

  4. Hi Barbara,
    My mother-in-law died from something heart related. Not important what it was. What is important is twenty years later her daughter had a simple procedure – day surgery – to repair the same problem with her heart, and now at age 76 sis-in-law is running about with more energy than she’s had in many years.

    1. Isn’t it amazing? I bet your sister-in-law is very happy she is alive in this period of history! As I approach the age my mother was when she was diagnosed with breast cancer I am hoping that if it happens to me I will have a better chance of surviving it than she did.

      Modern medicine truly is performing miracles and I am grateful for all these advances that have saved my husband’s life. But I hope modern medicine will start concentrating a little more on preventing life-style aggravated illnesses in the first place.

      Sorry I didn’t see your comment here until just now – I was cleaning up my old posts to make them fit better in my latest blog redecoration. Uff da!

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