Public Service Announcement

August 7, 2015

Long-time readers of this blog will remember that five years ago I suffered a bi-lateral pulmonary embolism that nearly killed me; my right lung was 100% blocked, my left lung 60%. This past Tuesday evening I suffered a second pulmonary embolism. It was not nearly as serious as the first, I even went to work as normal on Wednesday, but with growing pain during the day I went to the hospital on Wednesday evening, was diagnosed, received medication to break up the clots — two shots in the belly, twelve hours apart, no fun I assure you — and came home Thursday afternoon.

Broadly speaking, there are two contributing factors to pulmonary embolism. The primary factor is blood chemistry, and that’s genetic; there’s nothing you can do about it, though if you know you are predisposed to blood clots, as I am, there is medication that can attenuate the risk — I’ll be talking to a hematologist in about two weeks. The secondary factor is lifestyle: smoking and obesity are both contra-indicated, as is a sedentary lifestyle. Sedentary in this context doesn’t mean sitting in front of a computer monitor for hours a day — recall that Serena Williams, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, had a pulmonary embolism a few years ago — it just means that you spend a few or several hours a day sitting still.

I assume that most of my readers are computer programmers, as I am, and spend much time sitting still. I urge you to get out of your chair every forty-five minutes or so and walk around for five or ten minutes to get your blood moving. It may save your life.

I’ll have another exercise for you next Tuesday.


14 Responses to “Public Service Announcement”

  1. FA said

    I hope you get better soon!
    I always wanted to buy a height adjustable table -> now it is time!

  2. matthew said

    Good advice. Get well soon and all the best.


  3. Paul said

    I wish you well. Let me use this opportunity to say how much I enjoy your web site, not in the least because I learn a lot from your solutions and the solutions of the other people.

  4. Graham said

    Best of luck on your recovery, and thanks for the PSA.

  5. informatimago said

    Thank you for the advice, I definitely need it! (I can stay 12 hours sit in front of the computer in one row).
    Best recovery!

  6. Samir said

    Reblogged this on Muhammad Samir.

  7. gonx said

    Best of luck in your recovery. Take care and get better soon!

    PS: Love the site, it forms a good portion of my non-work fun, learning and programming.

  8. Keith Flower said

    Thanks so much for your great work, and here’s hoping you feel better soon!

  9. danaj said

    Get well and thanks for the update. You have so much energy, keeping this site going regularly.

  10. brainydexter said

    Hope you recover soon!

  11. Michel S. said

    Here’s to a speedy recovery and effective long-term medication, and as with everyone, grateful for the PSA. Take care!

  12. Rodnee said

    Get better soon and thank you for this site. God bless.

  13. slabounty said

    I haven’t been here as much as I’d have liked recently, but still read regularly. Wishing you all the best and thanks for all work you do here.

  14. A good tip that has helped me with my back and legs is to sit on a gym ball. They come in various sizes these days so should work for any height. It also helps to build core strength. Thing is, you can’t really sit still on them, and constantly make micro movement to adjust, which on a chair are soaked, on the ball are amplified.

    I hope you find something that works for you, good health!

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