Monday, February 23, 2009

{heart} your heart

Hope you don't mind a little time-out from stamping talk to hear a little about my personal life and a bit of a public service announcement!

As most of you probably know, February is National Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about heart disease, which remains the leading cause of death for American men and women. And as most of you probably do not know, I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So I am now under a doctor's care, after too many years of my own laissez-faire health management and a few years with no medical insurance, and I am determined to do everything in my control to live a long and healthy life. I know there are a lot of women out there (and men, too) who put off dealing with high blood pressure and cholesterol, since there are usually no symptoms associated with it. So I want to encourage all of you to take the time to {heart} your heart!

To that end, I am now on medication to control my blood pressure, and have changed my eating habits to lose weight and try to bring my cholesterol levels under control. In fact, in the last 6-1/2 weeks I have lost 20 lbs! And today I underwent a Nuclear Stress Test to determine whether my heart is healthy enough for me to sweat to the oldies with Richard Simmons. There was really nothing to it, but I had worked myself up to such a state of anxiety that my blood pressure went so sky-high that they almost had to cancel the test! After a half-dose of a mild sedative, they finally got me down to a manageable level and proceeded with it. Turns out the hardest part of the whole thing was figuring out how to stay on the treadmill, since I had actually NEVER been on one before and kept almost falling off the back of it; my doctor had to keep his hand on my back to keep me in one place! And let me assure you, no matter how scary the "nuclear" part of it sounds, it's a piece of cake! (Edited to add: Actually, the hardest part of the whole thing was cutting out caffeine for 2 days before the test!)

I'll get the final results back shortly, but I'm not worried. From all accounts it seemed to go fine. My life is really, really good — filled with blessings and happiness. And all of you out in blog-land are part of that. So take care of yourselves! Go get your blood pressure checked and do whatever you need to do to make sure we can share our love of all things stamping for a long, long time.


Chickengirl said...

Wow, I did not know about all of this. I'm glad you have taken the right steps toward a healthier lifestyle. And wow...losing 20 lbs!!! That is quite an accomplishment! I haven't seen you in quite a while, so I look forward to seeing the new you!!!

Oh and I am sure the caffeine cutting was very very hard. Yikes.

Lori Stilger said...

Hi! My friend, Becky, asked me to post this message to you! :)
Go here...see if you can leave a message and tell her I cant get the stupid thing to take my comment...tell her to email me
her email isnt listed and I cant get the word verify to load at all