Poll: Do You Suffer from Heart Disease?

1SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/7/2009 5:49 AM   :  118 comments

Yesterday was the 6th Annual National Wear Red Day and I do hope that most, if not all of you participated in this great cause. Bringing awareness regarding women and heart disease to the forefront is one way we can change the path in which our country and we, as women, are headed.

I was amazed that so many people were unaware of the impact heart disease plays in many of our lives. Heart disease was a manís disease or so I thought. It didnít even occur to me that I, too, suffer from heart disease, until I started doing research. I know this sounds strange, but I never equated my history of high blood pressure to my having heart disease. Talk about an Aha! moment! But that doesnít mean that I have resigned myself to a death sentence, either.

Five years ago at the tender age of 42, I was diagnosed with hypertension. I went to see my doctor for my annual physical exam in January 2004 due to my lack of energy and just not feeling well. When the nurse took my blood pressure she quickly left the room (did not tell me what it was) and returned with the doctor. My blood pressure was so high (200/100) that I almost gave my own health care provider a stroke. She immediately put me on an anti-hypertensive even before I left her office and then had me return within a couple of weeks for a follow-up. Thankfully, the prescription was doing its job.

Youíd have thought that would have scared me straight to get some weight off and get moving, but it didnít. I guess I was in denial that I could suffer from a heart attack or stroke at such a young age. Heart attacks happen to men and old people, not women like me, but oh how I have learned otherwise.

The big change came on February 9, 2005. Four years ago I was 190 pounds and barely able to walk without my feet, knees, and hips hurting. And letís not even begin to talk about the huffing and puffing I experienced when walking, especially up a flight of stairs. I donít know what really caused me to say enough was enough, except as shallow as this sounds, but maybe the fear that my Ďuniformí pants were slowly wearing away and I did not have anything else to wear. And like many of you, I refused to buy another size up.

I have since changed my life completely. This is no longer a quick fix to get to a number on the scale (like my many past failed attempts) but a lifestyle. This lifestyle allows me greater joy in being able to run, then chowing down on a batch of cookies. This doesnít mean I donít have the occasional oopsie moments, but they no longer last weeks upon end. I no longer allow the guilt of being anything less than perfect to keep me from my goal.

I still take an anti-hypertensive every day and probably will for the rest of my life, but I am blessed that I did not suffer a stroke with having such high blood pressure issues. A few months ago when I had to go to the hospital (I thought I was having a stroke but it was only a migraine) the neurologist mentioned after reviewing the MRI that I had a lot of weight matter in my brain, possibly due to years of uncontrolled high blood pressure. While there is nothing that I can do about the past, I can accept where I am today and to remind myself that this journey is not about a number or size, but about being healthy and embracing a healthy lifestyle.

Yours in health!

Have you been diagnosed with heart disease? Do you have a physical exam yearly? Do you monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis? What measures have you taken to integrate healthier choices into your life?


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Comments

  • LMCBUDDY
    118
    This is something everyone should be aware of. I was diagnosed with hypertension at 37 with almost the exact same story as Nancy. Thing is, I have never been overweight in the least. People always think I'm in great health just because I am naturally thin, but that is far from the truth. The scare of hypertension put me on the track of eating less salt and exercising, and I am amazed at how good I feel and how much better my body functions because of it. And yes, although I will always be on medication, there is a significant difference in my bloodpressure when I exercise on a regular basis. Just goes to show EVERYONE needs an active and healthy diet to be their best. - 2/4/2010   12:00:43 PM
  • 117
    What a coincidence.
    I just heard a commerical on tv to wear red on Friday in support of heart disease. - 2/3/2010   8:48:52 PM
  • 116
    I definitely think I qualify as an expert in this field. I am female, have had 7 heart attacks, 11 heart procedures, a triple bypass and have congestive heart failure. For those of you familiar with the term, I have an ejection fraction of 14%. How I am still walking around, no one seems to know but I think it's because only the good die young so I should be here for anther 150 years. Seriously, most women don't know the signs of a heart attack until it's too late. We don't get the same symptoms as men. It could be a pain in your jaw or between your shoulder blades followed by sweating and nausea. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please go to your nearest emergency room and get it checked out. The life you save may be your own.
    Erin - 9/20/2009   8:26:29 PM
  • AJCOELHO
    115
    I have high blood pressure. In part due to my family history of heart disease. I have been on meds for a few years coupled with baby asprin. I am also pre-diabetic for the past eight years. Not on medication yet. I am amazed at the number of young people who have told us their history. I am so grateful for this article. It could not have come at a better time. All of us should work on our health which is everything. - 9/20/2009   9:26:57 AM
  • STINKY255
    114
    I never had high blood pressure until I was pregnat and diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. Blood pressure was ranging at and above 200/100. I was admitted into the hospital and given BP meds, which did not work. One week later I had my daughter via emergency C-Section. My blood pressure has been high since the pregnancy. I am on a daily diuretic, but I still range between 160/90 to 140/85. For the past 3 years I have spine problems, swelling on and off in my legs and hands, and a squeezing pain in my throat/neck. I'm not sure if the blood pressure is causing these other symptoms. I have done some reading and found that studies are finding symptoms caused from high blood pressure more directed to pre-eclampsia. Not sure if this just a lingering problem. - 6/6/2009   12:32:32 AM
  • STARYSHINE
    113
    My brother died suddenly 4 years ago of suspected hypertrophic cardiomyopethy, the doctors never gave a 100% conclusion that that was what it was. He was incredible fit and healthy and not overweight! He was also only 17. I know its a form of heart disease, but don't know much more about it than that.

    I just think if someone young and fit and healthy can die instantly with no warning(he was playing football and collapsed on the pitch) then we should definately all take notice of what we're doing to our bodies. I don't suffer with anything myself, but im still only 23 so im working hard to get fitter and lose my extra weight to prevent the problems before they happen. - 4/8/2009   6:21:13 AM
  • CARIANN717
    112
    Cutapie I am 39 and had a heart attack, went into cardiac arrest and was revived thankfully because I was smart enough to go to a hospital, I also ended up having a double bypass. Run- Do not walk- to a cardiologist! Please do not dismiss these symptoms they are serious! Please let me know if you need anything! - 2/20/2009   12:52:10 AM
  • CUTAYPIE
    111
    Well guys, .... how to begin?

    I'm scared! Last June our company sent out a nurse to take just your vitals to make sure you were healthy and not a risk. Well, the first day I had my BP taken and it was high but I told the nurse that I had just run up the stairs. I went back the next day thinking I was relaxed and low and behold it was up there again. The nurse said that I should monitor it and see my family doctor, which I did. She put me on a trial doze of Diovan 80 mgs. I was feeling fine so I didn't worry too much.

    Then in Aug. we found out that Dad needed a quintuple bypass. They admitted him at once and his journey began. Two weeks in one hospital waiting to get surgery and then the day was here....

    He didn't remember too much about the morning but to make a long story short, he pulled through the quintuple plus they removed the part of his heart that was damaged in 79 by a heart attack. I was his caregiver and now he lives with us.

    Then, it was my turn.... Dec. 15th was my first episode. I was curled up on the couch resting and was trying to sit up and oh my God, my arms felt like they weighed 80 lbs each and I then slipped onto the floor and found it hard to breathe. My dad gave two squirts of his nitrogen and after about 2 minutes the pain in the arms and the weight was gone.

    Dad and my fiance' wanted me to go to the doctor's but I said I was fine. So, two days later I went into emerg. and they did a ECG. The Dr. told me that everything was o.k. but booked me for blood tests and a stress test. Apprehensive and scared, but I tried to be tough and not think about it.

    Well, went to the stress test and the dr. said my reading was a bit abnormal, nothing to really be concerned about but she wanted to verify that it was normal even though it looked funny. So, I really wasn't concerned. Meantime had another attack at work.

    Went into the city to do a MIBI scan figuring I'd be able to go on the treadmill and they would find nothing. The first thing the dr. said was that my stress test was positive and I'm thinking what, the other dr. said it was just abnormal not positive. Then when I got on the treadmill my heart rate went up and he said no, we're not going to have you go on the treadmill. Instead they gave me a shot of some drug to make my heart speed up like I was actually working out. Then I got on the treadmill. He said we'd only go 1 1/2 minutes but we actually went for 3 1/2 minutes. On a scale of 1 to 10 I told him my chest was a 5 and at the 3 1/2 minute level a 7. He then had me sit down and put the injection in to slow down my heart. He watched the reading and said he wanted to see me again after the CT scan which takes 15 minutes. I went back and my heart rate was still high. He gave me a new prescription of San Bisoprolol 5 mg. As I left the room he came out and said whatever you do, don't forget your aspirin every day.

    Can someone tell me anything? I guess I need some support and reassurance because I'm scared. I have been having pains again last night while first trying to go to sleep and then first thing in the morning when I try to get out of bed. I've only experienced some chest pain today at work but I'm trying to hide it as well.

    Can someone contact me for some reassurance please?

    Thanks,
    - 2/19/2009   4:04:14 PM
  • 110
    I have to say it was wonderfully eye opening to read ALL of the comments here. I don't have heart disease, but I sure don't want it or want anyone I know to have it either. This is a keeper to read anytime we need a reason to keep living a healthy lifestyle when it starts to seem like a pain. Thanks to everyone for being so open. - 2/18/2009   3:27:48 AM
  • JERSEYGIRL726
    109
    No, Praise God! My maternal grandmother had it, but she also suffered a bout with rheumatic fever as a child, plus she was diabetic. Less meat, more vegetables. Also this is my mantra: "The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead." - 2/16/2009   7:38:22 PM
  • 108
    I don't have heart disease, but I had family members that did, and ironically, it was prodominantly the males of the family. I knew since I was little I did not want any of those or other health problems, so I basically had to do the opposite of what they did with health and exercise (of what I knew back then). I have been blessed that I never had any major health challenges, but I realized after going through a year and a half of stress weight gain, I need to lose this weight in order to maintain this healthy stance.
    I am learning that more so than genetics, preventing and lowering the risks of health challenges boils down to what type of food we eat on a consistent basis and being physically active. I am thankful for sites like this b/c I'm still considered young, but I have the opportunity to not only help myself, but to teach others around my age (and even older) the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. - 2/12/2009   7:31:48 PM
  • 107
    MY Dad had his heart surgery when he was 42. I was in middle school at the time and had high cholesterol even though I was very active and fit. My dad died on New Year's night, asleep in his recliner, with a massive heart attack. I am now 32. I don't have high blood pressure, but I still have the high cholesterol and have since put on a little more weight than I should have. I need to lose about 20 lbs. to feel better about my genetic predisposition to heart problems.
    You would think Dad's death would be a real eye opener on this for me, since he was only 63. But I can't say it's really kicked in yet. Maybe I'm still too overcome with grief to fully take hold of the situation and start taking major action.
    - 2/11/2009   9:07:56 PM
  • BLUFFKIN
    106
    I have heart disease. Had a massive heart attach 12 years ago at 50. I have had polio, 19 broken bones, 3 concussions, a skull fracture, two tumors out of my chest, kidney stones, etc. I think that the best you can do is put it all out of your mind. I work out 5 days a week, against all doctor's orders, have lost 31 lbs. in the last year, feel great, play hockey, enjoy life. I also had a brain hemmorage at 21, left me paralized on the left side, they said I wouldn't walk again. Don't believe all the doc's tell you. Put it out of your mind and carry on. Life is too short to spend worrying about what might happen. Live, Love, Laugh. - 2/11/2009   6:07:02 PM
  • PHYLLG
    105
    February 2003 went in for angioplasty for SOB, hypertension, treadmill test showed pressure staying high. During procedure to place stent, had a heart attack. When all done, have lost lower left and back of my heart. At 45% function. Docs told me to go home and sit on the couch to wait to die. Yes, my sister went with me to the visit and she was not happy. I told the Doc "I have a 14 year old daughter who needs me....I'm not dying. Here I am 6 years later (13 of February is anniversary). I need to get serious with the weight (220 down to 179 when I found Spark...what a lifeline. I no longer work so I have no excuse to not take advantage of all the wonderful information being offered. Reading your messages and feeling the sincerity from other members who are trying to offer help has just turned me around. Thank you all. - 2/11/2009   11:34:11 AM
  • KAREN214
    104
    I do not suffer from heart disease, but I work for Cardiologist and see many young people who are out of shape and do not exercise. - 2/11/2009   6:32:38 AM
  • 103
    I recently went into the doctors office for a pre-op check for dental surgery. My blood pressure was so high that they put me on a BP medication. I joined here and am hoping to loose some of the weight that I know is contributing to my condition. I also got out and dusted off a treadmill I bought and then put in storage. I guess this was the wake up call I needed to get back to a healthier me. - 2/11/2009   1:07:54 AM
  • 102
    I have had hypertension for 2.5 yrs and managed to lower my blood pressure to the point I am now off the medication (doctor's doing, not mine). The DASH(Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet is the way to go and the best part - you can incorporate it with sparkpeople! It is a medically proven diet to lower sodium intake and calories, but you have to be very careful when you lower your sodium, so read everything carefully and like most things, once you get into it, its relatively easy to do. The American Heart and Lung Assn has the diet in full that you can download, save, print, whatever. Also, walking, walking, walking, but you probably already know that. - 2/10/2009   12:05:53 PM
  • 101
    I can't stick my head in the sand anymore....Thanks for the info. - 2/10/2009   10:30:12 AM
  • 100
    Okay, Okay. I get the message. I have had borderline High Blood Pressure for years and figured since my doctor hasn't done anything drastic, I must not have anything to worry about. Since starting on Sparkpeople on October 29, 2008, I have lost 20 pounds and have been consuming less than 2300mg of sodium per day (some days better than others). My blood pressure is lower, but not out of danger. Because you all have shared your stories, I'm not gonna let my fears stop me from getting this taken care of. I will have my doctor monitor me closer and will continue to eat healthy and exercise to get my weight down even more. This is scary stuff. But I will take care of my self. Thanks again. - 2/10/2009   7:49:12 AM
  • 99
    No heart disease, not yet. I did learn at 26, that I have a genetic mutation that puts me at a high risk for heart attack or stroke. Cannot be controlled through diet or exercise. - 2/10/2009   2:21:51 AM
  • 98
    Yes,I have heart disease! In fact the maternal females all have either died of heart disease or suffer from it. Grandma: died CHF, mom: strokes/hypertension, Self: hypertension, T.I.A., and I believe I've had a stroke (Primary says no! but Cardiologist/Neuro say T.I.A's definite.... Mind you I'm not 42 yet. I have all the negatives: african american, female, obesity, hypertension, and direct family line! I've notice now looking back when the females in the family maintain healthy weight = no problems.....gain weight = downhill spiral to death...I'm trying to end the cycle for my daughters. Did I mention: mother has terminal breast cancer as well. - 2/9/2009   11:24:21 PM
  • 97
    I have CHF,Diastolic Dysfunction, and several other problems with My heart. I went to the hospital emergency room last Thursday and was admitted and just got out this evening. I showed signs of a stroke but luckily it turned out to be caused by migrains. I was told that I am very high risk for a stroke. I received two orders from him. The first was not to go a day without taking a baby asprin and the second, to get plenty of exercise.
    So at least by joining Spark People in late Dec., I did something good for myself. Now I have to make sure to take the asprin, and keep the stresses down in my life.
    People, exercise is vital to existance. - 2/9/2009   11:16:01 PM
  • CLAWW855
    96
    I had a heart attack in 2002. I was 47 years old. I had a stent put in, and two years later I was back for another stent. In Dec. 2007, I had a double by-pass. It's a surgery you can definetly survive, but not a whole lot of fun. I was doing fairly well until last fall, and have been struggling since. I am trying to get back on the "horse" again. Sparkpeople has been a great help. - 2/9/2009   10:36:10 PM
  • 95
    Last month I had all the right symptoms and landed in the hospital for two days of tests. Fortunately it turned out to be GERD and I am now on med for it, but am happy that ALL tests came out great. I am calling it my Mock Heart Attack and although smiling, am still a bit scared by the whole ordeal and grateful to be in pretty good health. Losing weight has been a commitment to good health. - 2/9/2009   8:50:10 PM
  • 94
    This question prompted me to recount my recent history on my SparkPage.

    The short answer isÖ

    Yes, I have heart disease. I have thickened heart muscle, valve regurge, palpitations, and moderate plaque buildup in my neck. I get a physical every year when itís time to recheck my thyroid levels. I have a wrist cuff sitting right next to me but I still forget to use it daily. When I do use it though my blood pressure is well within the normal range, itís also normal at my recent doctor visits.

    As for measuresÖ Iím here and Iím working on it.
    - 2/9/2009   5:43:54 PM
  • 93
    i feel quite lucky. I was diagnosed with boarderline high BP 5 years ago. I was warned by my Dr to do something about it to bring it down, or she would perscribe meds. With my weight loss and increased activity, my BP is now down to 112/64. - 2/9/2009   3:51:09 PM
  • DOLLYB1
    92
    Yes, I have heart problems . . I've had a heart attack, at age 59 . . then a heart bypass . . then a stroke. My parents both died young, 57 & 60 due to heart problems. My own children have inherited this dreaded thing . . my son at age 45 had a heart bypass, he had 5 blocked arteries . . my one daughter had a heart attack at 41 . . another daughter had several small strokes in her 30's . . my sisters have all had heart attacks, pace makers, etc. You'd think that would be enough to ring a bell in my head, wouldn't you? I NEED to get this excess weight off me and I'm trying, I just find it hard to stick to it. I won't give up! - 2/9/2009   1:23:18 PM
  • 91
    My mother died of a massive heart attack at age 46. Even though she had every risk factor of heart disease (she was a morbidly obese smoker with a history of heart disease in our family), they diagnosed her with indigestion and sent her on her way. Within months, she died. Heart disease is the number one leading killer of women in the United States, and I'm glad that now people are becoming more aware of this. Every day I'm aware of what I put into my body and how it affects me. Having a history of heart disease definitely makes me more vulnerable, but I believe that it's something I can overcome. I will not die of heart disease. I refuse to. - 2/9/2009   12:36:41 PM
  • 90
    i HAVE A DOC. APPOINTMENT IN A FEW DAY AND WILL HAVE ALL THE TEST DONE.. I HAVE HEAR PROBLEMS THAT RUN IN MY FAMILY..( MY DAD AND SISTER) MY FATHER PASSED AWAY AT 85 AND I KNOW THAT IF HE WOULD HAVE HAD BETTER HEART CARE HE WOULD STILL BE HERE.. I WANT TO MAKE IT TO AT LEAST 85 SO I HAD BETTER START NOW OR I WILL NOT..MY SISTER HAS TOLD ME THAT I NEED TO LOOSE WEIGHT FOR MY KIDS THAT THEY NEED ME TO BE THERE FOR THEM.. SHE WAS JUST TELLING ME TO MAKE BE SEE THAT I NEED TO TAKE THIS ALL IN AND DO SOMETHING BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE FOR ME... SO THANK YOU SIS AND I WILL DO IT .. I HATE DOC AND TEST BUT I AM GOING TO DO IT.. - 2/9/2009   11:51:52 AM
  • 89
    Heart disease is common on my dad's side of the family. My father, despite the fact that he was a life-long athlete, had a single bypass in the 80s. One uncle had two quads within a year of each other and another had multiple strokes before dying after a massive heart attack. Though one of my aunts died when her liver failed while she was recovering from a severe stroke, I also thought of heart disease as something that the men in the family had. In 2004 one of my (female) cousins died at 60 after a heart attack, and I finally got the message. I started to lose weight and eat healthier. Yesterday was the first anniversary of my brother's double bypass, which just reinforced my resolve to take better care of myself and my siblings. My sisters are both still overweight, one of them seriously so, but we've all taken steps to become more active and take better care of ourselves. - 2/9/2009   11:38:06 AM
  • 88
    I didn't realize the significance of wearing red on February 6 until I read this article! Funny thing though, both my love and I wore red on Friday, without even knowing the importance.

    Heart attacks run in my family and my love's. We are both concerned about our health and are making choices now (we're in our early 30s) for a healthy lifestyle. We're hoping that the choices we're making will have an impact on those we love, who are at risk for heart attacks; losing a family member would be devastating. - 2/9/2009   10:39:13 AM
  • 87
    My Mom had heart disease, both of her parents did, as well as her grandparents. I started having trouble with my heart at 32. I have an arythmia (probably butchered the spelling on that), and occasionally it goes a little crazy. My b/p is fine, my cholesterol is just above normal so it is treated with meds. I had a stress test with the radioactive dye and it showed everything as being fine. I use the same doctors that my Mom went to, they have all of her records already there so I don't have to try to spout out all the problems she had. I go at least 3 times per year for checkups and blood work. Watching how it progressively gets worse has made so I am proactive with my heart rather than reactive. I exercise as much as I can, and have started adding whole grains and freggies to my diet on a regular basis. The biggest change for me has been eating at regular intervals. I was a "skipper" and the cardiologist and internist both told me "no, no, no". - 2/9/2009   10:34:32 AM
  • 86
    I was diagnosed with high blood pressure at 40. I struggled with it and said there is no way, I work out regularly and had reduced my weight to a healthy range. I finally accepted it and am on meds to control it. My cholesterol is great due to all the exercise I do. Anyway, my brother had a massive heart attack at 46. Fortunately he lived to talk about it. This issue is near and dear to me. - 2/9/2009   10:25:25 AM
  • 85
    Yes, I've had a quintuple bypass at age 54. I've been diabetic for 17 years, well controlled, but that plus my family history caught up with me. I had no symptoms, other than fatigue, but I work 2 jobs and lead a very active life, so that didn't send up many alarms. I'd had a clear stress test and it was only the fact that my "healthy" brother had a heart attack that made them take a closer look. I was only days or weeks away from a major heart attack, most likely, according to my cardiologist, since the main artery into my heart was 95% blocked.

    I now do an hour a day of exercise to increase cardiac function and have tightened up the diabetic control. But, most women don't understand at all the risks they face and the fact that women's heart disease doesn't always show up on the radar the same way that a man's does.
    Evelyn - 2/9/2009   10:05:23 AM
  • 84
    Hi..I'm new here but I can't help but share my 2 cents worth. Both parents have the full package....bhp, diabetes, high cholesterol and have had a heart attack. My grandmother had a stroke and was bedridden for 18 years. My parents' cardiologist, on a visit to my office on day, gave me a stern warning to start taking the necessary precautions. Little did he know that at the time I was already deemed borderline hypertensive and I was battling with a weight problem since the birth of my son. On a regular doctor's visit, he said that tests show my sugar level was borderline and although my bhp was at the time borderline, he had strongly recommended starting a walking exercise program....which I did not adhere to. Although it was not intentional, one day a customer asked me when I was due to give birth.....THAT was a wake up call. I went home that day with her remarks in my mind, took off my clothes and looked into the mirror...and realized that the customer was right....so I made a strong effort since 2001 to start walking....firstly with a friend who is also diabetic and hypertensive. In 2007, in a new job, due to high stress and poor management treatment, my bp went up to 160/140...my meds were changed from Propranalol, which I was taking for many years, to Talliton in addition to the Natralix. Now, I have ditched the job, look at eating more healthily [still have a little more way to go but subsequent tests have shown that I am no longer borderline diabetic] and walk in a nearby park roughly 4 - 5 mornings per week for 1 hour each session. Over the years, I meet other regular walkers who will join me in my walk so you strike up a conversation, tell some jokes ,exchange contact numbers in friendship, etc, some will pass with a teasing comment and some will comment if they have not seen me for a while or call if I am missing on the track.....overall, I have made a lot of good friends and they have been my source of encouragement that I try not to miss a session....although I sometimes find it hard to get out of a warm bed at 5 in the morning. Despite my best efforts, my bp shifts between borderline hypertension and Stage 1 hypertension. - 2/9/2009   7:56:24 AM
  • 83
    I don't have heart problems, but my husband had a heart attack at the age of 40. I thought he was healthy, and didn't realize how sick he was. His massive attack took him away form me and three children. I am really concerned about my children because heart disease runs in his family. - 2/9/2009   3:01:41 AM
  • 82
    Yep I've had one and was only 45 at the time. Didn't know it when it happened either....I had to have it show up on an EKG when I went for preoperative testing for carpal tunnel a month or so after I had it. - 2/9/2009   2:01:36 AM
  • 81
    I was at the grocery store and noticed a lady wearing ALL red. I said "Are you wearing that for HEART day?" She laughed and said "YES", and I told her I had on an ORANGE jacket, because I didn't have red. (I dislike washing red clothes, so I avoid buying them.) - 2/9/2009   12:10:19 AM
  • 80
    One more thing. I wore red along with my 20 kindergarten students. They are learning the importance of eating healthy - 2/8/2009   11:55:56 PM
  • 79
    I want to take care of my health. Heart problems run in my family, my father died 16 years ago at age 55 after his 4th heart attack. My only brother has encountered heart problems. I have 4 males cousins who are brothers that have had heart attacks. I do not want to be an victim that is why I join Sparkpeople to learn how to stay healthy. - 2/8/2009   11:54:32 PM
  • 78
    My blood pressure is fine, but my cholesterol is just "ok." The big shock last year was when my father, who is 65 but exercises and eats as though he were a 30 yr-old health guru, had to have a stent put in his heart because a major artery was nearly completely blocked by plaque. Wow. He is now on medication, but what an incentive for me to eat better, lose weight, and have my cholesterol monitored more closely. I wore red yesterday, both for him and for myself - knowledge and action are the best defense! - 2/8/2009   11:20:27 PM
  • 77
    When I was younger I suffered from low BP, and about 5 years ago at work I had a major headache and decided to check my BP, I was advised by a nurse to see a Dr, which I did and now I have high BP and I am borderline high cholesterol, since joining SP I have been more out going and eating much healthier; evenrhough I've lost weight and feel more energized I'm still on meds, but a lot more educated about this disease. Thanks SP. - 2/8/2009   11:05:22 PM
  • 76
    I had a "cold" last year which aggravated my asthma and it went on and on and on. My doctor finally did some other tests and they waw something in a lung x-ray that frightened her. They refused to let me leave the hospital that evening and then kept me a couple of more days. I left with an appointment to see a cardiologist who ran a chemical stress test on me. That was horrid, but I know now it was horrid because of the partial blockage they found. When this started, my blood pressure had went up for the first time in my life and the doctor started me on benecar. While I was in the hospital they added furosemide 40mg and Klor-con. The cardiologist added Cardizem LA and a nightly aspirin to complete the deal. I had a scare in November and it has gotten me back to careful eating. I am now dealing with a vitamin deficiency, and I'm willing to guess that some of the cutting back I did on any food that could be problematic has hekped to trigger that. Now, I have to overcome physical issues to get regular activity in and stick with things so that this can at least take a back door to my life and family. It had to have been easier to deal with the weight in a healthy way long ago. - 2/8/2009   10:21:32 PM
  • 75
    I did have high blood pressure, but since loosing weight, it has maintained a healthy level. I am back on bp medicine, but that is to treat what the doctor said I may have had for years, but only 'surfaced' since loosing weight - my Raynaud's syndrome.

    And don't be fooled with the age issue - two of the younger teachers in my building - one 30 (male) the other about 27(female) are regulars visiting the nurse to have the pressure checked and have been sent home due to the elevation in the blood pressure. - 2/8/2009   8:33:17 PM
  • 74
    Heart disease knows no age barrier..........all of my "older" family members either had or died of heart problems.....and then my 34 yr. old baby brother died in his sleep.........I have had scares of chest discomforts but all test have been normal - 2/8/2009   8:09:30 PM
  • SPINNYBOO
    73
    My BP is too low: I pass out regularily and have Long QT as a result.

    My cholesterol is too low: lower than my children's. (MY triglycerides are through the roof, though)

    I am pregnant with triplets and over-weight: welcome gestational diabetes if I am not careful....I listen to my doctor and ACCREDITED websites only. - 2/8/2009   7:02:58 PM
  • 72
    Fortunatly I don't have heart disease, high B/P or cholesterol, but I could have if I had not decided to change my lifestyle and get healthy. the high b/p and cholesterol runs in my family so I do work on keeping it at bay. - 2/8/2009   6:09:43 PM
  • 71
    No I do not have heart diease. THANK GOD. but I do have high BP and high Cholestrol and I take medication for both, I try to eat healthy and I take a asprin a day. I do have my annual check-ups and I have to have my cholestrol checked every three months. - 2/8/2009   6:00:00 PM
  • 70
    Yes, I had hypertension and was taking medication. How did I lower it? By losing 55 pounds in 9 months. I still take some medication but not near what I was taking. Not only did my blood pressure improve but also my blood sugar and my cholestorol. - 2/8/2009   5:32:47 PM
  • 69
    Yes I had open heart surgery Dec 7, 07. At first the docs said I had breathing problems and decided to give me a treadmill test to see how well my heart was for exploratory surgery. They hooked me up to all those wires and the nurse went to get the Doc. He looked at the resting rates and said, no treadmill. She needs a valve replaced. So I am now recovering (it's slow over 60) and watching what I eat and exercise. I hope to hang around for a long time. Of course I have had red on all weekend. - 2/8/2009   5:23:59 PM

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