Saturday, January 26, 2013

Go Red for Women

We are nearing February which did not mean anything to me last year.  Last year I was still struggling with what my life would be like post heart attack.  What did being a heart attack survivor mean to me?  I really was not in the mind set to be able to celebrate being a survivor.  There was so much emotion wrapped in all that I had experienced.  In fact, last year on Wear Red for Women I did not wear red.  Well, I did wear a little red but only by default that my beloved Jayhawks are crimson and blue.

This year is a whole different story.  I have given out 100 Red Dress Pins to wear this Friday.  I have shouted it from the roof tops!  I am proud to be a survivor and will share my story with anyone that will listen.  The more research I have done on heart attacks, the scarier it is.  I hope that my story can help other women. To do this gives purpose to chaos.

The chaos was life immediately post heart attack when I had no idea what my limitations would be.  Could I recover fully?  I am among the most fortunate of heart attack survivors.  I suffered very little heart damage.  Have I mentioned why? Of course I have but to mention it again, I called an ambulance.  Less than hour between start of symptoms and the cath lab.  Time is of the essence as I showed in my post New Heart Attack Guidelines. I have a whole host of cardiac medicines I have to take and no matter what, will only be able to stop one of them ever.  If that is the worst case scenario, I am very lucky!

The purpose emerging from the chaos is to educate you and whoever will listen to me that heart disease is real.  It isn't something that will never happen to you.  I thought it would never happen to me and it did.  It happens to one in three women.  It can and will happen to you if you do not take care of yourself.

This February, no matter what town you are in, find your local chapter of the American Heart Association and find out here what they have planned.  All of them will have special events surrounding the 10th Annual Wear Red Day.  Learn more about Go Red for Women here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Time to Go Red!!

Next Friday February 1 is Wear Red for Women day!  So don your red and join in supporting the fight against Heart Disease.

I am so excited that my great hometown of Kansas City is having some really fun events surrounding this day!  If you are in the area you can find a list of events on our local American Heart association page:

They are having the second annual Red Dress Dash on the Country Club Plaza on February 1:
On Saturday February 2, my girlfriends and I are going to an event in The Power and Light District:
I am looking forward to a fun day with them!

How will you be Going Red this year?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Heart Attack Guidelines

This is the Heart Attack I had.  I am republishing this without permission, thinking no one will mind if it makes one person call 911 when they are having a heart attack!  I found this on the Yale Heart Study FB page.

New Guidelines Seek to Streamline Care for Worst Heart Attacks: TIME is of essence in saving lives

By Robert Preidt

Streamlined guidelines meant to improve treatment of patients with the most severe form of heart attack were released Monday by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

The updated recommendations are for a type of heart attack called ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). It occurs when a cholesterol plaque ruptures and a blood clot forms within an artery leading to the heart muscle, completely blocking the blood flow. This can lead to damage to a large area of the heart.

This type of heart attack strikes about 250,000 Americans a year.

"Time is of the essence in the evaluation and treatment of these patients," Dr. Patrick O'Gara, chairman of the guidelines-writing committee, said in an American Heart Association news release. "The sooner blood flow is restored, the better the chances for survival with intact heart function."

Percutaneous coronary intervention is the preferred treatment when it can be done quickly. The treatment includes balloon angioplasty to open a clogged artery, followed by the insertion of stents to keep the artery open.

Patients who are taken to a hospital where percutaneous coronary intervention is not available should be given clot-busting drugs, if safe, followed by transfer to a facility where the angioplasty-stent treatment can be performed if needed, according to the guidelines published online Dec. 17 in the journal Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The guidelines noted that patient delay in reporting symptoms is a major obstacle to timely and successful care of STEMI, and called for efforts to improve patient recognition of heart attack symptoms and to make people understand the importance of immediately calling 911 rather than traveling to the hospital by car, for example.

Among the other recommendations:

Emergency medical technicians should perform electrocardiograms at the scene to speed patient assessment and treatment.

To reduce brain injury, cooling procedures should be started before or at the same time as cardiac catheterization.

Patients should be provided with care plans when they're discharged from the hospital. The plans need to be clearly communicated and shared with patients, families and other health care providers.

Referral for cardiac rehabilitation is a key part of a care plan.


Executive Summary Guidelines:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

American Heart Association's 10 Years of Fighting Heart Disease in Women

This is a great video that the American Heart Association published today.  I absolutely love this!  If you have no other reason to GO RED on February 1, 2013, GO RED for me!

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year, New Determination

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a great holidays!  We had a great holidays.  I ate and ate and ate.  I have eaten enough and put enough foods back into my diet that I have gained back almost all the weight I lost.  I went vegetarian instead of vegan.  That means dairy is not my thing.  This requires a new determination to not only re-lose what I gained back but then lose the additional 23 pounds I had left.  In the end it is about being healthy and feeling good, but the number on the scale really does matter to me.

In a solemn reminder to pay better attention to the fact that I am 44 and I have heart disease, an acquaintance of mine died on New Year's Day.  I knew her years ago when we were kids.  I did not remain close to her but many of my good friends did.  There is a possibility she died of a heart attack--44 years old.  See, the farther I am away from my own heart attack, the easier it is for me to forget.  It is sobering moments such as this that lead me to a new determination not to let this kill me.

This acquaintance was the one in three.  I am the one in three.  My friend Beth is the one in three and my friend Stacy is the one in three. One of every three women has heart disease. Ladies, if you stood in a group of three women, are you sure that you are not the one in three with heart disease?  How sure are you?  As we begin this new year, please make yourself familiar with the symptoms of a heart attack and watch "Just A Little Heart Attack."  Go see a doctor and discuss your risk factors.

Organization is the complete key to me being vegan.  If I do not have something substantial pre-prepared for lunch and dinner, I just eat whatever.  Eating whatever led me to my first heart attack and I really don't need it to lead me to a second.  I really have to regain that organization.  I have been struggling with this but have a new commitment to get it back.

I also have joined the local gym.  The city runs it and it is super cheap to join and open 24 hours.  I have a friend from Jr. High that is going with me.  It is much easier to go when I know someone is going to meet me there.  I have worked out four of the last seven days.  I go again tomorrow.  Wish me luck in this new endeavor!

As January gets under way, we can look forward to Friday February 1, 2013.  This is the American Heart Associations 10th Annual Wear Red for Women Day.  You can order Red Dress Pins at  Celebrate and support the women you love with heart disease!  If you don't have anyone else to Go Red for, Go Red for me!