Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Heart of the Matter

I am thrilled to have Jolene as a fan. Jolene flew in by way of Twitter! She's also a geographic neighbor here in NEPA. Welcome Jolene! Welcome Tweeters & welcome everyone!

I am gratified today that persistence and faith have paid off. I have persisted in asking readers to leave a comment, and yesterday, a reader asked a question via e-mail that made me aware that I may indeed be reaching my goal of helping people and of creating a community.
I have faithfully believed that readers will start commenting and asking questions, so it looks as though my faith has been well-placed.
It's one question, but I'm thrilled that it was asked, and I hope it will be the start of a trend.
The heart of my writing career has been a community of readers. As a reporter in an office, with my name all over a publication for everyone to see, I received story requests, questions, even cries for help that no one else would answer.
The readers and their (our) community were the heart and soul of my job. And I loved it, I reveled in it. There was nothing better than meeting my readers, helping my readers, enlightening my readers and being enlightened by my readers.
The interaction and mutual spirit of community was close to divine. Our interaction gave me and my readers hope and clarity and purpose.
That's the interaction and spirit of community I want to create here at NEPAFollies.blogpsot.com, and not just with local people, although local people, neighbors, are always welcome and valued.
I also realized through the first question I've received that while I gave an account of my experiences with cardiovascular disease in an effort to help & enlighten others, I may not have been thorough or concise enough.
Here follows a synopsis of my symptoms and of the actions a woman may take if she suspects heart trouble.
My symptoms were shortness of breath with even minor exertion; back pain along the bra strap; nausea; irritability; aches and pains throughout my body(including mid to lower back and leg pain); lethargy; confusion.
I would suggest, although I am not a doctor, that based on the severity of symptoms, a woman see a cardiologist and ask for a cholesterol test, an EKG and a stress test. If symptoms are severe, numerous, or debilitating, get to an emergency room. Also, have your blood sugar checked.
As for the stress tests, I have had nuclear stress tests. And although no one wants to have a radio active substance pumped into their body, it's the preferred type of stress test for severe cases such as mine. I believe the nuclear test is also superior diagnostically. I had a nuclear stress test upon arriving in the emergency room once it was established through examination and an EKG that I was in trouble. I couldn't get through the stress test, as it requires physical exertion.
I now have a nuclear stress test annually.
Again, I'm no a doctor. Any one with these symptoms should get to a doctor, preferably a cardiologist, as soon as possible.
It is never too late (except at the point you're having an attack) to begin a regime of exercise, freedom from smoking, and healthy eating.
If you've already had a "cardiac event," get into rehabilitation. If that's not affordable, exercise and diet with the guidance of your doctor, a nurse practitioner, a dietitian, someone knowledgeable and aware of your health situation.
And although the American Heart Association reports that 90 percent of women have 1 or more risk factors for developing heart/cardiovascular disease, the AHA goes on to report that 80 percent of cardiovascular events in women may be prevented if women make the right choices for their hearts involving DIET, EXERCISE & ABSTINENCE FROM SMOKING.
Tomorrow marks the start of Lent, but even if you're not a Christian or religious, it's the perfect time to give up bad habits (fatty, sugary foods, smoking, etc) and to begin practicing good habits - exercise, eating right, etc! Spring is coming to us all! It's time to shape up for good health!
Keep those questions and comments coming! Keep reading! Tell a friend to become a reader! Let's create a caring, comprehensive (and entertaining!) community here @ NEPAFollies.blogspot.com
I can't do it without all of you!

1 comment:

  1. I actually didn't say this. This comment was posted on Facebook and I wanted to put it here to be part of the conversation. I cut & pasted it from the same entry on facebook. It's from Ellen, a reader.
    Hey Great Blog.. very informative. All women should read this. Also doctors could try to deal better with the different symptoms women present with during a cardic event. Some doctors are stuck in the mindset that every pain a women feels is related to the time of the month or the time before, during or after menapause....When some women press the issue....now it becomes an emotional problem. Thanks for sharing this with the women of NEPA. Ellen