Island Senior: February is Heart Health Month – Part 2

Posted February 15, 2022 at 1:00 pm by

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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2 comments...

  1. I’m so glad you had a friend with you who was savvy enough to get you to the ER. Take care, Peg­gy Sue. We all appre­ci­ate you and every­thing you do.

    Comment by Louise Dustrude on February 15, 2022 at 2:00 pm
  2. Yes — good friends are what makes our life rich — (and full of life)
    So glad you shared with your friend — I too will do any­thing not to go to the doc­tor but we must admit when we have lost the bat­tle of self-care.
    Hope you are feel­ing bet­ter soon and you find the root of the problem
    Hap­py almost birthday!
    Cynthia

    Comment by Cynthia Burke on February 16, 2022 at 9:08 am

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