Is it possible to be scared to death? The term is used quite often by people describing situations in which their hearts were thumping hard and panic or exhilaration were in full supply. Of course when a person is using this term to describe a situation he/she could not mean it literally as he/she would not be standing there to tell the story. Except if that person were somehow brought back from the dead.
. But is it possible? The short answer is possibly, but not likely. When the human body is faced with a situation in which it experiences the fight or flight reaction the heart does begin to beat ferociously as adrenaline is released. Blood is pumped throughout the body at a quicker rate and everything in the mind and body quickens immediately.
This mechanism traces back to our ancient ancestors having to deal with wild animals, natural disasters and other variables we’ve been able to contain in recent centuries. And while it is meant to help the body react, to much adrenaline can be dangerous, sometimes fatal. Adrenaline causes calcium ions to rush into the heart cells, causing it to contract. If this happens for an extended time the heart muscle can’t relax. This can cause a rhythm called ventricular fibrillation, which the American Heart Association considers to be the most serious cardiac rhythm disturbance. The heart quivers and is unable to pump blood causing cardiac arrest.
Other factors come into play that can make the heart less prepared to deal with a high adrenaline situation; two major ones being stress and age. Those two factors were definitely in play in the middle of the night late last week when Roger Stone’s home was raided by the FBI. In his words “I’m 66 years old, I do not own a gun, I do not have a valid passport, I have no prior criminal record, I’m charged with nonviolent process crimes.” Why would the FBI conduct a middle of the night raid on a senior citizen with absolutely no criminal record to charge him with several non-violent offences? That’s a question for law enforcement but the results could have been fatal. He and his wife committed no offence nor were suspected of any crime that would have warranted tactical gear and semi-autos.
This is not a political website but arrests can be handled in a more professional manner. Raiding an elderly man’s home in the middle of the night is dangerous to the health of its’ occupants. A simple phone call would have prompted him to surrender. They could have also arrested him while he was at one of his daily errand stops. Health and well being priorities should be extended to anyone who is innocent until proven guilty, especially for non-violent offences