Thursday, February 07, 2008

Go Red For Us

Go Red for my long time friend Carly... who a few years back had some scary stuff going on with her heart. Her AV Node was having a personality crisis and thought it was supposed to loop around and go BACK through some tissue and repeat itself. It caused her heart to race real fast when she was overly stressed out and for her to feel like her heart was going to pound out of her chest. A simple surgical procedure fixed her up good (we hope).. and she put off having it because people.. at the end of the day, heart stuff is scary as all hell. I don't blame her for one single second, but she is walking breathing proof that you don't mess around with this shit and get yourself checked out if you suspect something is wrong. Trust your Doctors. If you don't like what your doctor is telling you.. get a new one. Remember that old Nike ad? Just Do It.

Go Red for my long time "e-pal" (as my son calls them) Abby. Abby gave birth to the most beautiful little girl in early spring of 2006.. who promptly broke her heart. Figuratively, and literally. Abby's got high blood pressure, which in turn caused her heart to harden.. and reduced function. My doctor told me that pregnancy is the best stress test you can give your heart, and in Abby's case this proved to be true and almost fatal. Her heart didn't deal well with her being pregnant, and soon after Ms. Anna came into this world, Abby went into the hospital to start the fight that would change her life. She is a testament to taking your doctors words to heart. She has since lost weight, adopted a healthier life style and added exercise into her daily routine. She is an amazing person, and we're happy to still have her here with us.

Go Red for me. Readers of my blog will know that just this past fall I went through a pretty scary spell myself. My heartbeat is irregular, which I have known, but my potassium levels were high and the doctors were concerned that perhaps my kidney wasn't functioning properly or some other wacky stuff was messing with my heart more. I wore a Holter Monitor for 24 hours that logged 116,000 beats. 13,000 of them are irregular. It works out to be that about 1 in every 8 beats that my heart does, beats sooner than it should and as a result my heart stops for a nanosecond to play catch up, and when it does it causes something they refer to as a slam, which essentially is a valve slamming back closed. 95% of the time, I don't notice any of this going on. I notice the "pause" more than anything.. that split second where my pulse isn't pulsing or my hearts not lub-dubbing. When my heart is racing, due to high strenuous activity, or watching last nights episode of Criminal Minds, I notice the slamming because it feels like my heart is going to bang itself right the hell out of my chest. I try not to put myself into these kinds of situations. Obviously there will be no marathon running in my lifetime. I am OK with this.

Go Red for yourself. Heart Disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of women. It doesn't have to be. Take care of your heart and it will take care of you.

1 comment:

Awesome Abby said...

I have a lot to catch up on here and to comment on, but I wanted you to know that I read this earlier in the week, and it lifted my spirits and made my day. Thanks for including me in your post and for mentioning me in such a Wonder Woman-ish manner. :) I'm glad we're friends, even if that does sound corny. Go US!