It’s Get Naked Friday! My favorite Day of the week. It is a day where Married and Naked takes some time to focus on our health, our bodies and our self-confidence. Because our marriages deserve it.
I posted a couple of weeks ago that my mom was sick.
The silent killer was lurking in her body and she had no idea.
What is the Silent Killer?
It is heart disease.
I took my mom to the ER because she had been experiencing some pressure in her chest and some shortness of breath.
She was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease.
Four days later she was undergoing a 5x bypass surgery to correct clogged arteries that could have caused a massive heart attack and taken her life at any moment.
What is Coronary Artery Disease? Simply put, it is a build-up of plaque (cholesterol and other substances) in the arteries that supply your heart with oxygen and blood. When they are blocked a heart attack can occur.
She was so shocked that this life-threatening condition was happening inside of her body and she had no idea.
Luckily, Mom is recovering well and is feeling very grateful that the condition was caught in time.
Of course, after spending nearly every day in the hospital for 4 weeks, sitting by my mom’s side, I learned some very valuable lessons about heart disease,
Here is what every woman needs to know about Heart Disease
1. It Kills 1 in 4 Women
As women, we worry about things like Breast Cancer and Ovarian cancer. We go for our checkups every year to screen for these cancers. But, did you know that Heart Disease kills more women than all cancers combined and more women die from this disease than men every year.
I had no idea!
The Lesson I learned? Sit up and take notice of this disease that is taking so many lives. Get informed!!
2. It’s Not Like On TV
When you watch someone having a heart attack on TV they grasp their chest in severe pain and fall to the floor. But, in actuality, somewhere around 20-30% of people don’t experience symptoms at all and more than that experience mild to moderate symptoms that they may not recognize as a problem with the heart.
The lesson I learned?
Pay attention to your body!
Don’t ignore symptoms. Signs of problems might seem small but could indicate big problems in your body. My mom had been feeling mild symptoms for about two weeks before she spoke up about them.
Your body talks to you all the time. Pay attention to anything that seems out of the ordinary. With regards to heart disease, it may be symptoms like; unexplained intense fatigue, upper back, shoulder or jaw pain, shortness of breath, pain in the arm, or a pressure or tightness in the chest.
Symptoms can be mild, so get to know your body. If you experience anything like this, call 911 right away. Damage to the heart is irreversible!
3. You Have Power
There is one good thing about this disease. Unlike many cancers and other diseases, there are many things that you can do to significantly reduce your risk of Coronary Heart Disease.
Of course, we all know that we are supposed to eat well and exercise, but when you hear the statistics of heart disease . . .
Suddenly the importance of a healthy lifestyle can’t be ignored.
Although there are some risk factors that you can’t control, like family history and age (such as in my Mom’s case), many of them you can. Some of the ways that you can significantly reduce your risk of being the 1 among the 4 women to die from this disease are: quit smoking, limit alcohol use, keep your weight under control, keep your cholesterol below 180 and your triglycerides below 150, limit stress, and keep your blood pressure under control.
Having high blood pressure and high cholesterol significantly increases your risk, so keep them in check.
The lesson I learned? Do what I already know to do, but actually do it!
Exercise, eat right and get regular checkups including blood pressure and blood work.
I have learned a lot about this scary disease and will be taking steps to ensure that I lower my risk as much as possible.
I hope, as women, we sit up and take notice of the Silent Killer. It should not be ignored!
Take care of your body. If not for yourself, do it for your husband and your family. They need you around for a long time!!
Married and Naked