The answer to why Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois had a stroke earlier this month is that no one really knows for sure.
He did not appear overweight, is in the Naval Reserve and so apparently kept fit, and was always a whirlwind of activity, showing no signs of pains or symptoms until the day he felt his vision blurring and his left arm going numb.
Incidents like his should remind us that medical science does not have all the answers, even though we wish they did. Our bodies are still a mystery in so many respects that we shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security just because we don’t have known risk factors for one health problem or another.
What we can do is avoid risk factors, such as smoking and obesity, that we do know about. And we can encourage our doctors to keep learning.
We wish the senator all the best in his recovery efforts. Stroke is something else that’s common in my family, so I know he has a lot of work ahead of him.
To read more about stroke check out What about stroke?.