Heart of gold

Cardiovascular disease is killing us and it’s something we don’t think about very often. Someone sent the following video to me: Go Red For Women presents: ‘Just a Little Heart Attack’ I love how lunch packing just puts her over the edge. Sometimes I get panicky when I’m trying to pack my son’s lunch, too! Never thought it could land me in the ER!

I needed that semi-humorous video because I have been getting many more sobering reminders recently:

1) Four speech pathologists working for Chicago Public Schools have passed away since the end of November. It’s a large district so that accounts for roughly 1% of the speech paths employed by CPS, but it has left a big impression on all of the clinicians that I know (whenever I run into another speech path, a psychologist, a occupational therapist, or a social worker it comes up in conversation). I didn’t know any of the people personally who passed away and so I can’t be sure that heart conditions caused their deaths, but I do know that no one of them was older than 53. That is much too young.

2) My dad’s best friend is having a quintuple bypass today. Keep him in your thoughts.

3) It was three years ago this month that one of my coworkers passed away due to heart-related issues. He was an “old school” teacher (tough discipline) with a heart of gold — and just about to retire. I miss him.

So please:

  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise
  • Stop smoking
  • Control high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Get regular check-ups with medical professionals

Having a heart attack is not the only result of cardiovascular disease. Strokes are also a possibility. Ever thought about losing the ability to speak? to walk? to write? I don’t know the statistics, but I bet that strokes are more common than heart attacks.

Further reading:

You’re gonna live! Or not. Risk factors really count. (Chicago Tribune)

Risk for Heart Attack, Stroke May Be Underestimated (WebMD)

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4 thoughts on “Heart of gold

  1. So true that providing good food to kids gives stress to Mothers! So the issue deserved to have place in this video. Thanks for sharing the link!

  2. Strokes are scary business. My father-in-law was admitted for a moderate stroke on New Year’s Day. The MRI ended up showing at least a dozen tiny “silent” strokes that had happened over the years. His right side and his speech has been affected along with some reasoning skills. Thankfully, he has had great therapists who are working him very hard, and we can see the results.

    I agree with your list, but I would also add “Know your family history.” Heart problems run in my family, so I have informed myself about the signs and symptoms and have taken steps to reduce my risk factors.

    1. That’s a really good tip — thanks for sharing! (And my dad’s best friend is recovering well from his surgery!!)

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