It’s incredibly fascinating. The way people respond to me when I share that I survived a heart attack 6 months ago. There is a pretty predictable response or two. The first is always related to the genetic component. The second is that I look too fit or am too young. From time to time someone will say “damn, if YOU had one I’d better go to the doctor!”
The American Heart Association isn’t doing enough. IMHO. There really isn’t clear education, detailed information and specific points communicated to the general public. If there was, 1 out of 3 women wouldn’t be dying from a heart attack or heart disease. Right?
I’ve begun to deny any gene related possibility when someone asks. Because I think that it diminishes the need for understanding that only YOU/ME can control our own health. I’ve watched people relax when I say that my father died of a stroke in his 80’s. As though it all was sorted from that point–they didn’t have a genetic component. Honestly, I thought cancer would get me as it had my mother.
It’s far too easy to write off all the other issues that create heart disease and heart attacks. My cholesterol numbers didn’t do it. And I’m not convinced it was the cholesterol at all. It’s just not that simple.
Having lupus means my body is regularly inflamed. Being gluten intolerant for years before I figured it out kept my body inflamed. My work life has been stressful for a variety of reasons. Surviving 9/11 increased my stress. The medications I’ve been on for PTSD are known to thicken heart arteries over years of use play a big part of things. The toppled economy had such negative waves in my life that it, at times, raised my blood pressure.
My nutritionist says I’m lucky that my general healthy eating and exercise helped keep things at bay. True enough. My cardiologist said that he’s seen men who drive trucks for a living, some eating crappy, high blood pressure and cholesterol but the one who eats well and doesn’t have any other issues almost dies from a heart attack.
That’s why I think the public is seduced. It’s time to be more outspoken and join together with a louder voice than Breast Cancer awareness.
This pdf is better than I’ve seen in other explanations regarding lifestyle. However, most people don’t know what “reduce” sugar, limit trans-fats etc really means for them. And it’s not until heart disease has taken serious hold in the body do people start asking the right questions.
I’m still working out my jewelry line. HeartMatters Jewelry is something that I want to see help educate women.