…These men are all brothers, all have heart disease, all would later go on to have multiple by-pass open-heart surgeries, and 1 passed away from a massive heart attack the year before I had mine.
Only 2 of these brothers are alive today – both dealing with heart disease and taking medications on a daily basis. My dad is the one on the far left, and my Uncle Neville is on the far right. (The two in the middle are my Uncle Edward and Uncle Norris.) My dad and Uncle Neville are the sole survivors of their siblings. Their sister also had heart disease and by-pass surgery, but she was not present for this pic.
These siblings inherited heart disease from their parents (my grandparents) who had heart disease and each underwent at least one multiple by-pass operation.
Heart disease seems to be so common – I think every other person I meet has a story about heart disease or a stroke in their family.
This is why I walk every year in the Orlando Heart Walk. This is why I’m walking again this year! Please consider donating to the fight to eradicate heart disease and stroke.
Once again, I have set the goal at $5000 for my Orlando Heart Walk team. Picture below of me at the 2021 Orlando Heart Walk next to my sign!
The Heart Walk is always so much fun! I like to meet up with my fellow Heart Sisters from American Heart Association’s Passion Committee so I can have good company and conversation during the 5K walk.
Sometimes, the American Heart Association asks me to do media interviews. Here’s the one I did before the Heart Walk last year – although, I never saw it, but I was told that it aired.
If you would like to join my team and walk with me the day of the Heart Walk, please let me know. OR…you can donate any amount at the link below, and that will go towards the $5000 goal that I’ve set for 2022. Help me reach my goal this year! The pandemic caused me to come up short the last couple of years. But please consider donating any amount you can afford. All donations are greatly appreciated. Maybe sacrifice an Uber Eats or Door Dash order and put that money where you know it will have an impact. I’m living proof!
Even though CPR and AED Awareness Week was the first week of June, I think it’s important to be aware year-round. I recently received my CPR Anytime Kit from the American Heart Association, and I wanted to share it with you along with some important information that I received from them. You can get your own CPR Anytime Kit at www.shopheart.org – what a great teaching tool for your family!
Important information about CPR from AHA:
Only about 46% of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives.
About 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend. CPR, especially if performed immediately, could double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.
Women are also less likely to receive CPR from a bystander. Barriers include fear of legal ramifications and accusations of inappropriate touching.
Adult & Child CPR Anytime kits contain everything you need to learn the lifesaving skills of CPR, AED awareness, and choking relief in about 20 minutes in the comfort of your own home. The self-guided training takes you through the steps – all you need to do is practice.
You can learn more about CPR and where to find training near you at cpr.heart.org.
Make it a goal this summer to train your family in CPR. You never know when it might be needed and whose life it might save.
It’s that time again! I’ve registered for the 2019 Orlando Heart Walk! I’ve done the Heart Walk every year since my heart attack, and each year I’ve been able to increase my donation goal because of YOU! This year, my goal is set for $6000! I’m a little over half way there already, and I need YOUR help…please!
The Orlando Heart Walk will be in November, so we still have a few months to raise the money. Every little bit helps. Feel free to share this post on your social media, share the link with your friends and family, do whatever you can do to help out. Every dollar counts. AND…your donation is tax deductible!
Today is the 5 year anniversary of my heart attack. Five years ago today I was fighting for my life at Dr Phillips Hospital – surrounded by amazing cardiologists, an attentive team of nurses, medical professionals, and staff, including a hospital chaplain, who all saved my life. The doctors say I’m a miracle.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about what happened to me that day. And I’m so thankful that I can celebrate five years of a healthy life!
I am excited to partner with Omron on this initiative.
I was recently given HeartGuide, the firs wearable blood pressure monitor, to wear for 2 weeks. Have you heard about this? It’s FDA-cleared and it’s new on the market. It’s a wearable blood pressure monitor that is a wristwatch and links to the Omron HeartAdvisor app that you download to your smartphone.
As a heart attack survivor and someone who used to have to check my blood pressure daily for weeks following my heart attack, I was excited to get this device and start monitoring my blood pressure again on a daily basis. I eagerly took it out of the box, downloaded the app, synced the device to my smartphone, and immediately tried it out! I have to say that I was hooked instantly.
The monitor is so quiet and unassuming. Over the 2 weeks that I wore HeartGuide, I took my blood pressure everywhere – in the airport, at work, in my car (it was parked), in bed, on my couch, in the waiting room of my Dr’s office, at a restaurant – and no one around me ever suspected a thing. I was obsessed. I took my blood pressure at LEAST twice a day but usually 3 or 4 times a day. If it seemed a little high for my liking, I would take it again a few minutes later after calming myself down and relaxing and the numbers would go down. It was great to see how the numbers fluctuated with different factors – sodium intake, activity, anxiety, relaxation, etc.
Every night before I went to bed, I would go into the app where there is a prompt that says “tell us about your day” and I would complete the super short questionnaire where you check off boxes and answer whether or not you took medication, drank fluids, exercised, etc. This helps the app determine trends in your blood pressure numbers over a period of time. A cool feature of the app is that it will give you daily insights. For instance, it told me that my blood pressure tends to be high on Tuesdays. So then I can go back and think about what I’m doing on Tuesdays that may cause my blood pressure to be higher on those particular days. I determined that it was probably because I have an acting class on Tuesday nights and I’m always very nervous during the day leading up to and through the class because you have to perform monologues and scenes in class. So it makes sense!
On one of the last nights that I was wearing the HeartGuide, I actually got an irregular heartbeat detected during my blood pressure reading. This happens when an irregular rhythm is detected 2 or more times during a blood pressure measurement. This really freaked me out, and I proceeded to take my blood pressure 6 more times that night to see if an irregular heartbeat was detected again, which it was not…thank goodness! But this is definitely something that I will want to share with my doctor since it is not normal for me to have an irregular heartbeat.
Did I mention that HeartGuide also monitors your sleep pattern (yes, I wore it to bed every night) and tracks your fitness? I set a goal for my daily steps and reached it almost everyday! Now you can see why I was so obsessed with HeartGuide!
If you want to learn more about HeartGuide and Omron’s Going for Zero pledge, visit their website: Omron Healthcare
It’s here! The link to the Facebook Live segment that I did with Orlando Health is here! Please take a look and share with your friends, family, and colleagues. I had a great time with Alayna and Dr. Kolli. Both were so nice, and Dr. Kolli has some great information to share about heart attack signs and symptoms and about heart attack prevention.
Take a look for yourself. Thank you for your support!
This post was sponsored by Omron. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
Well, I’ve completed my 90-day journey with the OmronEVOLV blood pressure monitor. Over this time, I’ve had good days and I’ve had bad days; I’ve had good blood pressure readings and I’ve had bad blood pressure readings; but overall, I think things have mostly gone well.
It is comforting to know that if I am “not feeling right” (and if you are also a heart attack or stroke survivor, then you know what I’m talking about) that I can sit on my couch or my bed in the comfort of my own home in the middle of the night and check my blood pressure to see if all my numbers are normal. The monitor is even small enough that I’ve thrown it in my purse and taken it to work on those “not feeling right” days in case I needed to check my blood pressure throughout the day.
Generally, my numbers have been pretty consistent during the past 90 days, but a couple weeks ago, I did have a little scare when I checked my blood pressure one night and the numbers were kind of high compared to my norm. I continued to monitor my numbers throughout the evening, and they only dropped a little bit. I attributed it to a pill I had taken earlier that day and hoped that the numbers would get back to normal over the next day or so, which they did. But it was an alarming thing to see and to get recorded on the Omron Connect app!
My cardiologist has adjusted some of my meds since my last post, so I was interested to see if my blood pressure would be affected by the change. There has not really been a change, but that is one thing that I was looking forward to monitoring with the home monitor! So, I’m glad to have that ability so I can monitor how my body is adjusting to the med changes over the next few weeks.
A change I’ve made with my eating is that I’m now eating a serving of steamed broccoli almost everyday!
If I don’t get broccoli, then I’m making sure to get a side garden salad or some fresh fruit daily.
So I may not be getting all the recommended servings in daily, but I’m definitely getting in more servings over the course of a week than I was before, and that feels great! I’m better about this on the weekends when I have more control over my meals than during the work week when things can get crazy. So, on the weekends I try to do two vegetables and a protein per meal.
I have not purposely increased my steps lately but I did have a couple days last week where I was so busy that I got over 10,000 steps on 2 different days!!! Man, I was exhausted last week!
What successes did you have on your 90 day challenge? Did you make any changes in your daily routine/lifestyle? If so, do you plan to stick to these changes?
And remember Omron’s Going for Zero mission (which I personally think is fantastic) to eliminate heart attacks and strokes through prevention and education. Make sure to check this out and make it your personal mission, too!