Island Senior: February is Heart Health Month – Part 2
Posted February 15, 2022 at 1:00 pm by Peggy Sue McRae
When I wrote my last article, February is Heart Health Month, I knew I should be following my own advice. I didn’t know how much. We tend to imagine heart disease as that crushing blow to the chest delivered by a heart attack but heart disease can also be kind of sneaky.
Last Saturday I went over to a friend’s house for lunch. When she asked, “How are you?” I answered honestly, “Not so good,” complaining of puffy feet and short breath. Within the hour I was entering Peace Island Medical Center through the Emergency Room for a two-day stay.
We all need that friend, spouse, son or daughter, or good neighbor, who will say to us, “I’m taking you to the hospital”. I’d volunteer on my own if I were hit by truck but otherwise I’m a real home remedy kind of person — and I was on the right track taking hawthorn for high blood pressure and nettle tea to relieve water retention. However, my gentle remedies couldn’t quite do the job like an I.V. of Lasix.
When the heart is not working efficiently enough to move fluids around the body, they build up, hence the puffy feet and trouble breathing (it wasn’t the mask after all). As I was relieved of fluid my blood pressure steadily came down and I was breathing a little easier.
Next, I see a cardiologist and get an echocardiogram then confer with my regular doctor. After that, I’ll be going for a sleepover in Anacortes to be evaluated for sleep apnea (when low oxygen chronically disrupts sleep). That I was already evaluated for sleep apnea at Peace Island doesn’t satisfy the insurance industry.
As I look forward to my birthday next month I’m blown away by the fact that the class of ’70 is now turning 70 years old. The good news is none of us are going through this alone. Everybody ages and while it ain’t for sissies we do have the blessings of camaraderie. I am so thankful for my friends.
Photo: From Room 2 at Peace Health Hospital.
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