Thursday, February 3, 2011

Welcome to Heart Month!

February is many things to many people.  The second month of the year, Valentine's Day month, Black History month.  But, since the discovery of Bean's heart defect, it has become American Heart Month for me.  It seems like all things point in the direction of paying special attention to the heart this month - Valentine's Day revolves around hearts, Bean was born in February (the 19th to be exact - and almost two months early, so this was not the original planned date), Bean had a heart problem that required her to get a new heart...so, I will be spending some time talking about heart issues this month on my blog!  Not all of it will be health related, but a lot of it will be.  So, hopefully you will find it in your heart (pun intended) to read along and maybe you'll even learn a little something here and there. 

Next week is Congenital Heart Defect awareness week, so I will save much of my pediatric heart information for then.  This week, I was thinking I would just focus on heart awareness.  So, today, to get the ball rolling, some background information on American Heart Month.

Congress decided in 1963 to require the President to deem February American Heart Month each year.  The American Heart Association led the efforts to get it started.  The focus for the American Heart Association is to build awareness and to raise funds for research and and education.  According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one killer in the US and on average, every 25 seconds an American will have a coronary event.  And that isn't a night out or a birthday party, but a stroke, heart attack or other interruption of normal cardiac activity, often severely debilitating the person suffering it or resulting in death. 

The bottom line is a need to take care of your heart.  The fact that Bean has someone else's heart beating inside her little body still amazes me to this day.  In honor of her donor and her donor family, I want to make sure she takes good care of that heart.  I realize that I need to model behavior for her if I want her to do the things she needs to do.  It isn't complicated stuff really, but I definitely have neglected many of the things I should be doing.  So, in honor of American Heart Month, I am renewing my commitment to living a healthier life.  I made an appointment for a physical on Monday, where I will get all the battery of tests performed.  I am also trying to lose some weight. 

So, I challenge any of you reading this to think about what you will do get more heart healthy this month.  In the interest of aiding you in that effort, I will focus my next post on providing a number of different ways you can easily achieve the goal of improving your heart health!  So, tune in if you're interested in making changes but are not sure about just what you should do!

Here's to your, my and everyone's heart health!  Let's reserve donor hearts for those with defects by keeping healthy hearts healthy when possible!