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Let’s Have a Heart to Heart Talk

Let's Have a Heart to Heart Talk

Today is Wednesday, April 19, 2017. It’s a very special day in the life of all of our family. Today is Mike Stollings, birthday, the man I love with all my heart!! This year is a milestone birthday for sure, one because it is a really BIG birthday numerically and also because he had a very concerning medical report a few weeks ago. Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that Mike and I were both set back by this report. We were definitely in shock. The only other people I shared it with was our girls, partially because I just could not talk about it. We were waiting for further tests to see what the next steps were. So we waited and tried not to worry, and by that I mean we all worried but Mike was such a trooper about it all, as usual, he brought strength to us. The waiting was so nerve racking as I know many of you have experienced. Thankfully, a wonderful cardiologist in town invited Mike to come in a little earlier so he could take a look at the test and determine future treatment.

If you can believe it, the test interpretation was inaccurate (praise God), it is a long story so I will spare you all of the details, (it was a little disturbing) but hearing the good news that day was like music to my ears. The whole situation had made me appreciate the gift God had given me even more, because after years of marriage we all tend to take each other for granted. During the time of waiting before we met with the cardiologist, we talked to each more, we walked together more, and we basically slowed life down to enjoy the presence of each other’s company. Honestly, nothing else really mattered to me at that time.

Mike’s dad and grandfathers, on both sides, died of heart disease (heart attacks) at a very early age. Mike’s dad was only 55 years old when he passed away. I certainly am not naïve to the fact that genetics plays a role in our health and can predispose us to certain diseases. That is one of the many reasons I am so passionate about a healthy lifestyle for my family. But I have to tell you I was shocked at the results of the test. We do indeed practice healthy lifestyles, but nevertheless, we were on track to change our lifestyle, even more, to swing that pendulum away from heart disease. Despite the great news we got from the cardiologist, we have tightened our belts, so to speak, on several variables. I am certain you probably know the lifestyle changes you need to make, but are you doing them? If you have a family history of heart disease or have been diagnosed with heart disease be sure and talk to your physician about the following lifestyle areas that you can control to make your quality of life superb and nourish your heart:

Nutrition- Talk to a nutritionist about a lifestyle nutrition plan that will work for you (If you would like to learn more about lifestyle changes that can nourish your heart, I really enjoyed the book, The Spectrum by Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D.) There is also a lot of great information available about the connection between inflammation and heart disease, many medical professionals are exploring this connection and believe this is an even greater connection to heart disease than cholesterol levels.

Exercise- At least 30 minutes a day of cardiovascular exercise. Something that raises your heart rate to a zone acceptable by your physician. The key here is consistency, doing 1 day one week and 2-3 days the next week, is not considered satisfactory.

Develop healthy strategies to deal with stress

Identify a loving support system to help you with your lifestyle changes

Regular visits to your health care provider

Happy Birthday Mr. Mike Stollings! We are celebrating you extra big this year!!

See you in the gym!

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