There are moments in your life, good and bad, that you will never forget. For me, one of those moments was a phone call from a few months ago.
At 5 am my wife was awakened by her phone ringing.
Before she could even say hello, I could hear someone crying on the other end.
Her sister’s voice came through:
“Dad had a heart attack.”
My wife was in complete shock, sitting there in silence, and while I was in a flurry of activity, dressing her, lacing her shoes, making sure we had the car keys and insurance papers the only thought running through my mind was “how could this happen”?
My father-in-law had always been a robust man. His work involves heavy lifting and while he may drink a few times a week and smoke a cigar on a weekend fishing trip, he was never a man that over indulged.
But he was also never a man who paid special care to his cholesterol and blood pressure either.
As it turns out, he had been having heart attacks throughout the weekend.
Heart attacks don’t always make you clutch your chest in agony and fall over rigidly on to the floor.
He had only been experiencing mild chest pain and difficulty breathing. It came and went throughout the weekend and everyone assumed he was having panic attacks because of stress from work.
Today we are quick to dismiss any pain or discomfort we experience. We ignore warning signs in favor of meeting that deadline or finishing this project.
More than 1.5 million Americans suffer from heart attacks or heart related diseases each year and heart problems are the leading cause of death in our country.
Why is it that we treat our most important organ with such indifference?
Do we assume that it will always be there even if we don’t take care of it?
Anything that works as hard for us as our heart does, deserves better treatment than we offer it. Collectively, as Americans, we need to take better care of our hearts.
Start small with every day changes to your habits and activities. Take that kick boxing class you’ve been eyeing at the gym.
Try a green tea instead of the triple espresso you get at the corner coffee store each morning. And always remember to check with your doctor after you experience any unusual pain or discomfort.
My father-in-law was lucky. Even after two days of heart attacks, doctors were able to remove the blood clot in his heart and place a stent to ensure blood flow.
His experience was a warning to take better care of himself.
Don’t wait until you have a health scare, start taking care of your heart and your health today.
Take charge and take care,
Lee Daniels, Princeton Nutrients Staff
If you’ve already had a heart scare, tell me what you did to get back on your feet.