Matters of the Heart

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Honestly, I’ve been trying to post all month and it’s been kind of hard because, well, my heart still hurts…and, it’s been a crazy time (more about that later).

I couldn’t let the month of February to pass though without acknowledging that it is Heart Heath Month.   Many of you know that Barb, our pink ink, was also a tremendous advocate for Heart Health, serving as a heart health ambassador for the American Heart Association.   Last year this time, she posted an inspirational Valentines Day message on her Pinkwellchick blog about some people in her life who had taken steps to be heart healthy.

Did you know that heart disease is the “#1 killer of women, and is more deadly that all forms of cancer?”  See https://www.goredforwomen.org.

As someone who has been “battling” hereditary high blood pressure for the past couple of years  (taking and switching medication, watching my diet, and it STILL isn’t “under control”),  I am RIGHT NOW re-committing myself to getting in front of this.   HOW ABOUT YOU?  My husband and I started the 40 day Daniel Plan, in an effort to have a more disciplined approach to our diet, exercise, and prayer life, and now I just have to stick to all parts of it.

Seriously, I shouldn’t need any additional reminders after what happened just a few weeks ago.   Fortunately, it all turned out ok.   I was rushing around town taking the kids to school,  and got an early morning call from my girlfriend who is my children’s godmother.   We often talk early in the mornings before starting our days, but it was unusual when I received a call from the hospital a few minutes later.    She had worked all night (as a nurse), and had passed out several times at work (fortunately at the hospital).   Without delay, my husband who is a doctor at the hospital and like a brother to her, rushed to the hospital, and I came shortly afterwards.   By the time I arrived, she’d had several more episodes and a decision had been made for her to have surgery and have a pacemaker installed!  We learned that she had experienced a cardiac arrest.   See https://www.goredforwomen.org/about-heart-disease/symptoms_of_heart_disease_in_women/cardiac-arrest-vs-heart-attack/.   She is 54, everybody, and otherwise in pretty good health.   I saw her before she went into the operating room, and she didn’t look good at all.   I said a prayer with her, watched her wheeled into surgery, and went outside and fell into my husband’s arms….I begged God not to let me lose another friend right now.  The surgery went well (Thank God) and she came out of the operating room saying “Girl, this is a mess…”   It was!  She went home the next day, and is still recovering, but grateful for the quick action.   Before this happened you could say that my girlfriend had a few pounds to lose (don’t we all!), but has been faithfully attending Weight Watchers, eating right and had just started a work out program.   She does not have high blood pressure or other conditions that would have made us suspect that this might happen, but she has been dealing with a tremendous amount of stress lately as she cares for her mother who is in the hospital and her elderly father.   I’m talking to myself and to you guys…manage your stress, people!

The best advice is to seek IMMEDIATE medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms  (see http://www.goredforwomen.org/about-heart-disease/symptoms_of_heart_disease_in_women/symptoms-of-a-heart-attack/), manage stress as best you can and continue to do all you can to monitor your heart health.   DON’T DELAY…DO IT TODAY!

I can’t imagine a more loving tribute to Barb than for all of us to take better care of ourselves, and to appreciate this life that we are given.   It will do my heart good this weekend to spend some time with Blayre and my Shelby in AZ, and you can believe that we will get some exercise in!

Finally,  I hope this beautiful tribute to Barb (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70pdHA_vosA) that was done on Valentines Day and features the B’s, brings joy to your heart and reminds you of what love really looks like…Happy Heart Month…I miss you girl with all my heart!

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In your honor, I already did a long walk this morning, will follow up with another this afternoon, and will eat a heart healthy meal tonight!   XOXOXO