Today is National Wear Red Day, so today I’m supporting women and wearing all the red I could find! This day is about raising awareness for cardiovascular disease in women. 1 in 3 women die every year from stroke or heart attack, so this is more prevalent than you may know. It’s so important to live a heart healthy life for your future.
About a year ago, my mom had open heart surgery to fix a broken valve. She was born this way, so while we are talking preventative measure, this was completely out her control. Still scary and one that no one should have to go thru whether you can prevent it or not. I didn’t fully comprehend or understand what the doctors had to do in order to go in to fix her valve until right before the surgery. The doctor walked my dad and I thru what the surgery entailed. That’s when it hit me that my mom was literally going to be unconcious for a period of time while they fixed her heart. But yet they had to keep her body alive. In that moment, I realized how serious and big of a surgery this was.
I was a ball of nerves after that. The surgery was finally completed and we were able to see her. She was completely out of it and still on a lot of drugs and medicine from the surgery. Shockingly her first words uttered out of her mouth were ‘how is Lilly?’ That is my parents dog and she was so concerned something would happen to Lilly or worse how she was gong to feel knowing her mom wasn’t home. She is always worrying about everyone else when we were the ones worried about her! My dad and I went home to relax and I don’t think I’ve ever slept as long and hard as I did. The stress from the weeks leading up to the surgery was more than I thought I took on.
We went back up to the hospital that night and you would have thought my mom just had a routine surgery instead of OPEN HEART SURGERY. She was chatty and so with it. Today she is fully recovered, but that didn’t come easy. She was off work for over six weeks and had to complete weekly physical therapy sessions. And to this day there are certain foods she can’t eat. But the important thing is she is fully healed!
What can you do
There are preventive measures that can be taken to live a healthier heart life. Some things you can control and there are things you can’t control like your age, gender, family history etc. Make a change today in the things you can control like quit smoking, be more active or eating healthier. And not only will you feel better if you live a healthier life overall, but it will reduce your risk for having a heart attack or stroke.
After my mom’s surgery, I was a little nervous that this could be something that I could inherit. So today I try my best to practice what I’m preaching! I eat as many heart healthy foods as I can. Every morning for my snack, I eat blueberries and raspberries with Greek yogurt (all heart healthy), I munch on dark chocolate as a treat every night, I snack on almonds every day (I keep these in my desk drawer) and I enjoy one cup of black coffee every morning. Read more heart healthy options here. Make little steps every day to achieve the perfect combo!
How to Help
Donate, donate, donate. Every little bit helps. By donating you help raise awareness and assist in educational tools used to bring awareness to this issue. Click here to make a donation to the American Heart Association.
I did my part and donated today-did you?