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Jim Thompson

By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

Most people act as though they are going to be the one person in the history of humankind who is going to defy the odds and, if not live forever, live to some indeterminate time in the future.

As they say, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”

Your body is daily sending you signals of impending problems. Your brain is, too (watch me do this! is a bad choice).

As I see it, you have three choices: be afraid of everything and do nothing, be pragmatic and judiciously consider all inputs you get daily from your body and the outside world, or throw caution to the wind and ignore all signs and signals.

I don’t recommend the first or third. The middle one, the one I recommend, takes the most effort but yields the biggest dividends. I am speaking from nearly 74 years of experience.

Now, as I have written here before, I was first diagnosed with cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on Valentine’s Day, 2000. Twenty-four years ago.

I have been told that long-term cancer survivors like me are very in tune with their body. The slightest changes and we are on it.

On Feb. 26, I experienced one of these moments. I had been working all morning just like I normally do. As is my routine, about noon, I took Broc for a walk. When I came back in, I sat down at the computer in my office. My right hand wasn’t working quite right. I was having trouble controlling the computer mouse and typing with my right hand.


I called Laura and ask her to come to my office. I told her what was going on, and it just seemed to affect the fingers on my right hand, from the last joint to the tip.  

We called my doctor. The three of us decided I needed to go to the emergency room.

With a CT scan that afternoon, the hospital saw a two-centimeter blood bloom inside my cranium on the left side. I had had the smallest of strokes. After many tests, it was determined the likely cause is high blood pressure, an issue I have never been diagnosed as having.

My fingers are recovering (I just typed this), and my medicines will likely change.

But the takeaway for the week is pay attention to your body. Here at the hospital, they told me they almost never see strokes at this early stage. Most stroke victims have these clues, they just wait until they are very severe before they go to the hospital. And that leads to a poor quality of life in the future.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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Matthew (not verified)

4 March 2024

I hope and pray for a sound recovery! On a related note, I had a clot in my calf in late November. I thought it may be a deep vein thrombosis, after a Thanksgiving day treatment at HDH and a follow up at the VA, it was just a superficial clot. The swelling and discomfort was still disconcerting for several days. (Note: it's understandable for most pharmacies and a hospital's scheduling dept. to be closed on Thanksgiving. But on black friday too? That's unacceptable.) Then I had another clot farther up into my thigh in early December. After more tests and follow ups with the VA and a round of blood thinner. I seem to be flowing efficiently again so far this year. I am fortunate and blessed to have very few ailments and conditions low these many years (1976 until present). So this blood clot business had me concerned, I actually was adamant about seeking medical care for this health incident. All is well now, and I'm looking forward to the golden years of healthcare utopia and bliss, ever since obama-care survived the checks and balances cutting room floor. (sarcasm...)

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