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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000676.txt from 2000/09

From: LeliaLoban@-----.com
Subj: [kl] risk of stroke
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 09:24:41 -0400

Andy Laszlo wrote,
>A clarinetist recently had a stroke.
>Does playing incease risk of stroke to someone already at risk?
>I see people go red when they play blow instruments and assume it increases
>blood pressure in the head. Doctor says it is ok to play but he does not
>play anything so maybe not aware of risk.

I'm glad to see the words "already at risk" in this message and I think
they're important. I'm not a doctor and can't give medical advice, but just
as a matter of information, think about how many wind players we all know who
have *never* had a stroke. Also, without minimizing the possible risk to
people who do have a reasonable concern because of a pre-existing medical
condition, I hope wind players won't become overly-solicitous of other wind
players to the point of butting into their business. Fair-skinned people go
red in the face with minimal, perfectly safe levels of exertion. We get
awfully tired of explaining that, even though we try to show proper gratitude
for the well-meant concern.

Despite being a mutt, I somehow managed to collect all the recessive genes
from both sides of the family and turn out a blue-eyed blonde with skin so
pale that it won't take a tan *at all*. I do my share to keep the sunscreen
manufacturers profitable. With a slow heart rate and low blood pressure,
stroke ranks low on the list of things for me to worry about; but when I used
to run marathons (for non- competitive recreation), I constantly had to fend
off well-intentioned (but interfering and distracting) people who assumed
that my flushed face must mean something dire. If a fair-skinned person
flushes easily but otherwise shows no signs of illness or distress, the red
face may mean nothing.

For people who do have good reason for concern about their blood pressure,
maybe it would be helpful to take the clarinet to the doctor's office and
play during a blood pressure reading, to see what's really happening, instead
of guessing about what might be happening.

Lelia

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