A study of 1,985 adult heart attack survivors finds that heart-attack risk rises to 21 times higher than normal within the very first day after a loved one has died.
That sharp increase in risk tapers off with each day, but is still almost six times higher than normal within the first week and stays somewhat elevated for at least a month.
ALS caregivers work through a cruel mix of physical exhaustion and a creeping grief of watching a loved one slip away. They don't have time to go to the dentist. They don't have time to get the blood pressure checked. They don't have time for the routine bloodwork that can give an early signal to something serious. They get all kinds of bad advice from well-meaning friends. A healthcare professional never screens them for depression. Forget the colonoscopy. They self-medicate for aches and pains and skip vaccinations because there just isn't the time to deal with their own health when their loved one with ALS is seriously ill. Healthcare delivery doesn't give them an express line to a physician when they call for advice or an appointment.