Monday, February 14, 2011

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!! It's a day for Wacky Sappy Love Poems, and a visit from the HEART!

by Jeanne Adams

Hi everyone! Happy Valentine's DAY!!!!! Today, we're going to have a TON of fun, and learn some things too.

Oh, and did I mention prizes and prezzies? Grins.

We'll have those too. Make sure you get your pencil sharpened and your mind in gear, because it's WACKY SAPPY LOVE POEM DAY! (there are some terms and conditions for winning, so you have to wait for the next bit to see how to play....)

As most of you know, it's alllll about the HEART around the Lair. Broken hearts are mended, singed ones (watch out for Ermingarde!) are healed, and there's always a happily-ever-after in our favorite romance novels and in the Lair.

That's what happens when you're a Romance Bandit or Bandit Buddy! Grins.

But in "real life" hearts are not always hurt by love, bad boys, rakes, dangerous dames or rambling roues.

Sometimes, it's genetics. Or maybe in some cases, it's our lifestyles that do damage to our hearts.

Here to talk to us today about HEARTS and heart health is Dr. RoseMarie Robertson, Chief Science Officer for the American Heart Association!

WELCOME, Dr. Robertson! (Dr. Robertson will be joining us LIVE at 11 a.m. ET, USA, to answer YOUR questions!)

I first heard Dr. Robertson speak at RWA National last year. And her advice and information about women and heart health bowled me over. There were so MANY things I didn't know about heart disease.

For instance, did you know, heart disease - NOT breast cancer! - is the NUMBER ONE killer for women, at any age? Oh. My. Goodness! I certainly didn't know that! And did you know that women's symptoms are totally different than men's?

None of that sterotypical chest-clutching for the ladies, thank you very much. It's more about dragging fatigue and upper abdominal indigestion.

Subtle, just like most of us ladies prefer - but dangerously subtle in this case, right, Dr. R?

Dr. R - That's right, Jeanne. Most heart attacks are NOT what you see in the movies! They're usually not so painful that you fall to your knees, clutching your chest. They're quite often "pain you feel you could put up with" - especially if, like many women, you've had other episodes of pain that eventually went away and didn't do you harm - like severe cramps or even childbirth.

But both men and women most often have typical sypmtoms. Those include: discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, tightness or pain. It can also involve one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or abdomen. Shortness of breath is also a symptom, with or without chest discomfort. Other signs - some of them the subtle things you referenced - are breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

As many as 1 in 4 heart attacks may occur withouth ANY pain, especially in patients with diabetes or older people. Since women, on average, have their heart attacks at an older age, as I mentioned, the're more likely to have one of these "painless" heart attacks, with just unexplained shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness or a cold sweat. Or even just unusual and sudden fatigue.

But these can happen in younger individuals too, so don't ignore these symptoms!!! The big difference is that the symptoms of a heart attack tell you that you're losing heart muscle every minute they go on. They mean "CALL 911! NOW!!"

Dr. Robertson, isn't it true that women are more likely to die from their first heart attack? Why is that?

Dr. R - Over the past decade we've done better in preventing or delaying heart attacks, and both women and men who have them have a much better chance of surviving, especially if they get to the hospital early so we can stop it in its tracks. However, if you look at all the deaths that occur over the year after a first heart attack, it's true that women are at higher risk. About 26% of women will die, as compared to 19% of men. That's at least in part due to the fact that women are older on average when they have their first heart attack, by somewhere around 6-10 years. The risk is always greater when you're older.

Eating a great diet and keeping the chocolate, wine and rich foods in moderation are all heart-smart things to do, but what are some good heart-healthy foods TO eat?

Dr. R - A heart-healthy diet is full of delicious foods! I start my day with strawberries, raspberries adn blueberries, or sometimes a banana on my whole grain Cheerios or eat that fruit alongside some whole-wheat toast or a whole-grain bagel. Some smoked salmon on that bagel is delicious and gets me half a serving of omega-3-rich fish too! If I want something warm on one of these wintry days, I'll substitute oatmeal for the Cheerios or I'll toss some egg whites or egg substitute in a pan with some low-fat shredded cheese (with just a pinch of double Gloucester or parmesan on top for some intense flavor!) and some mushrooms and spinach or other green veggies, grated or in small pieces. If I put it under the broiler, it's a frittata, if I fold it up, it's an omelet! Since it's hard to predict meals when I travel, I always take a plastic baggie or two of cereal, usually with some dried fruit, so I can have a healthy snack and NOT be tempted by the mini-bar! And that's just for breakfast!

Of course you should get your veggies too - that spinach I mentioned - or dark greens like kale or broccoli, or even lovely red beets. You can go to http://www.heart.org/ and search Nutrition for more tips!

YUM!!! All foods I love...well, maybe not the beets, but hey, that's just one that I won't eat. The rest? Yum. Gotta say I love the chocolate and wine, of course, though I prefer white. Grins.

(For those who love lists, WebMD has a list of the Top 25 Heart Healthy foods here: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/25-top-heart-healthy-foods )

They say laughter is the best medicine, and we do love to laugh around here. Which is why, of course, we’ve got Wacky Sappy Love Poem Day going for Valentines, and we want Dr. Robertson to be the judge for us.

Dr. Robertson, feel free to jump in and comment on the mayhem when you sign in!

Besides keeping a great sense of humor (and visiting the Romance Bandit’s Lair) what are some of the most important lifestyle changes that people should consider to be heart healthy? I’m sure stopping smoking is one…

Dr. R - Absolutely! Stopping smoking is the top of the list, since it's a huge risk factor. That's especially true if you use birth control pills - the combination raises your risk 35 times normal! Quitting can make an equally dramatic change for the better.

One simple thing to do, especially now that spring is finally on the way, is to get moving. Walk for 15 minutes a day, then move it up to 30 minutes. Make healthy food choices - a diet rich in fruits, veg, whole-grains, two servings of fish a week, cut back (or cut out) high-fat, high cholesterol foods, get lean protein with sodium no more than 1500 mg a day if you can. Portion control is key! You can check on how you're doing, and get great hints from the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women program at http://www.goredforwomen.org/

Thanks for these top-tips, Dr. Robertson! We’re so happy to have you with us today. Are there other things you’d like to have our (mostly) female audience know? What about our guys?

Dr. R - Our guys are very important to us! And we've got some help for them as well. In fact, the AHA's MyLifeCheck is a great tool for both men and women. Try it out at http://MyLifeCheck.heart.org/ and see what you can easily change to improve your odds of living a strong and healty life, free of cariovascular diseases and stroke!

(Remember, Dr. Robertson will be with us LIVE at 11 am, so post your questions along with your poems...)

And now...Da RULZ for Wacky Sappy Love Poem Day! Give us a poem, haiku, cantrip, rhyme or verse using the following:

It has to have: Heart, Love, Healthy


And one or more of the following: Go Red, Red Dress, vegetables, fruits, (or named fruits or vegetablesm i.e. strawberries)

SO, the other thing is....GO RED!!!

At the end of the day, Dr. Robertson will pick FIVE winners!

Oh, you want to know about the PRESENTS?

That would be a GO RED Backpack filled with GO RED and Romance Bandit goodies, for one poster, AND cool magnets, heart-healthy cook books, and other prizes for the other four.

So rock on you Valentine's Poets, rock on!

116 comments:

Sheree said...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey! Sheree, you got the Golden Rooster for the day! Make SURE he gives you flowers and at least a ballotin of Godiva. Grins.

Happy Valentines Day to you too! Want to try your hand at poetry, or do you have a question for Dr. Robertson?

Helen said...

Well done Sheree he may be a bit hyped up after the Tim Tams he has had

Happy Valentines Day Everyone Hubby and I went for a drive down to Wollongong and I bought some more romance books then we had lunch by the beach very nice except for the rain we were going to go for a nice walk but the rain stopped us but is was a great day.


I am so no good at poems let me think on this one and come back LOL
Great advice Dr Robertson on keeping a healthy heart.

Have Fun
Helen

MsHellion said...

I hope we don't have to be any Wordsworth Poet Laureate to do this.


I love my heart—it’s the only one I got—
So because I love her, I love to be Healthy a lot.
I love my healthy greens and blueberries,
My oranges, broccoli, and cherries.
I’ll eat all the goodies—except for those beets,
But to make up for it, I get to my feet.
I walk around the block and store and mall,
I walk because it doesn’t feel like exercise at all.
And in February, I wear my red dress now that I’m fit and trim,
And the boys all whistle and shout: Go Red, Go Red, Fight and win!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Helen! I'm so glad you and your darling had a lovely Valentines Day down under where's it's already tomorrow. Grins. Sorry about the rain, though. Glad that nothing stops you from buying books. Heehee.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Whoa, Hellion! You rocked it! :> And as far as I'm concerned about poetry, the cheesier the better. Grins.

Love it! And ditto on the beets. I'm with you, girlfriend.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I know our Aus gals will have brought some fun by the time I sign on (later) in the morning! Looking forward to it, but for now...sleeeeeep!

Grins.

Laney4 said...

Greetings and salutations to Dr. Robertson.
Welcome to the Bandita Lair!
Come read all of our poems,
And then judge them, if you dare!

I hear GoRedForWomen.org
Is a web site all should check out.
There’s even a clip with Betty White
Who tells you what it's all about.

Our mission in life should include
Leading and sharing a healthy lifestyle.
One heart can love so many,
And that makes it all worthwhile.

Thanks for sharing this info with us;
We can’t hear it too many times.
I hope when you read all the comments,
You enjoy the variety of rhymes!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Laney4 said...

Hey there, Jeanne!

I just HAD to comment on YOUR comment. Couldn't resist.... You said, to Hellion, "the cheesier the better." Now, Jeanne, must you mention cheese when we're trying to discuss HEALTHY foods, LOL!!!

Sleep well. I'm toddling off now myself (since it's after 1:30 am here)....

Jane said...

Happy Valentine's Day. I think many of us need to start taking better of bodies and minds. I do love fruits, so at least I doing something right.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYONE!

Thanx sooo much for joining us Dr. Robertson! I do have a question for you. If you have a family history of heart disease, can you still overcome the odds and remain heart healthy?

WTG on capturing the GR today, Sheree. Remind him he is only allowed MODERATE amounts of dark chocolate and red wine. ;-)

CUTE poems, Hellie and Laney. I'm no good with rhyming poetry but may turn my hand to a few haikus later.

Helen, sorry about the rain, but your Valentine's day still sounded very nice.

AC

Sheree said...

The only form of poetry I write is haiku. Does that count?

Heart arrhythmia-
Due to too much chocolates
For Valentine's Day?

My low blood pressure
Not a problem because of
Heart-stopping kisses.

Donna MacMeans said...

My low cut red dress
Leads to exercise aplenty
which keeps my heart heatlhy
and the bling flowing steadily

(Grin) - Well, it IS Valentine's Day.

De. Robertson - I'm concerned that I'm drinking far too many cans of Diet Dr. Pepper. Is there a correlation between carbonated beverages and heart health?

Helen said...

I am so no good at poetry but I am going to have a go

Tomatoes are red
Strawberries are too
A lovely way to a healthy heart
Is a true love and lots of fun

Have Fun
Helen

Kirsten said...

A Healthy heart needs lots of love.
From our fabulous earth and the sky above.

So when summers bounty comes around.
Theirs loads of yummy stuff to be found.

Like cellery, beans and broccoli.
But if you think greens are shocking, let's see...

I advice you ladies to GO RED,
Loads oy yummy things to be fed.

Red grapes, bell peppers and tomatoes.
Fields of strawberries and red potatoes.

Healthy food makes a healthy heart.
And isn't that the greatest start.

Love yourself before you love another soul.
Do it with fruit and veg, in a ginormous bowl.

- Happy Valentine!! -

BADklv said...

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Here's to your heart healthy
and mine healthy too!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Laney4! That's great! Wow. I'm impressed.

You wrote: Thanks for sharing this info with us;
We can’t hear it too many times.
I hope when you read all the comments,
You enjoy the variety of rhymes!


This is so great! And so true!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Laney4 said: Now, Jeanne, must you mention cheese when we're trying to discuss HEALTHY foods, LOL!!!

Well, cheese is great for Calcium! So BONE HEALTH! WOOT! (And I do love me some cheeeeeese!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Jane! I'm sure you're doing a LOT right! :> And if you eat your fruits and veg, you're probably doing better than most Americans at this point. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Morning AC! Great question!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, well DONE, Sheree! That's great!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Great poem, Donna! Grins.

I'm going to await the answer to this: Is there a correlation between carbonated beverages and heart health?

As well, as I worry about this too. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

WTG Helen! WOOT

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Kirsten! I LOVE it!

Esp. this part: Love yourself before you love another soul.
Do it with fruit and veg, in a ginormous bowl.


Grins. I'll take a ginormous bowl of strawberries anyday...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey BADklv! Great poem! :>

Christie Kelley said...

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Great information on what to watch for with our health.

Anna Sugden said...

Happy Valentine's Day everyone - especially to our fab guest, Dr Robertson. Thanks so much for joining us and sharing such valuable information. Jeanne, thanks for enticing Dr Robertson to our Lair.

I'm particularly interested to know where hot hunks rank on the healthy heart scale *g*.

OK - cheesy poem/rhyme

It's Valentine's Day in the Lair
With hunks who are handsome and fair
They keep our hearts healthy
With exercise a'plenty
So join us for fun if you dare!

Joan said...

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!

Welcome Dr. Robertson to The Lair!

Fatigue...well, being an orthopaedic nurse on 12 hour shifts that would be hard to discern.

A couple of quick questions. Is it still recommended that if you think you are having a heart attack to chew an aspirin?

Also, any new and exciting treatments for congestive heart failure? Having had a mother who died in end stage CHF I'm VERY curious!

As to a poem....will have to think on that...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Christie! Isn't it great info?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Anna! Love that poem! Woot!

Minna said...

My heart right now is happy,
I say,
Books abot love and and romance
I found in the mail today
And healthy treats are on the way!

Happy Valentines Day and Happy Friend's Day!

From Wikipedia:
In Finland Valentine's Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into "Friend's day". As the name indicates, this day is more about remembering all your friends, not only your loved ones. In Estonia Valentine's Day is called Sõbrapäev, which has the same meaning.

Put a Little Love in Your Heart
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC2Q3FdpX6I

Queen - 'Friends Will Be Friends'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AIlz08fZos

desere_steenberg said...

Stunning advice thank you Dr. Robertson ! Happy Valentines day to everyone !

I am no good at poems so I ll have to pass on that one just wanted to make sure to thank Dr. Robertson for the stunning advice and to wish everyone a very happy valentines day filled with joy and love

Desere

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

hey Minna! Great poem! Grins. And glad your books arrived. More reading! More Books!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Desere_S! Isn't it fascinating? And some of it a bit scary. As Joan said, with work and (in my case) kids, sudden and unexplained fatigue is usually chalked up to K-i-d-s or w-o-r-k.

Grins.

And none of us are any good at poetry, that's the whole fun of it. C'mon, give it a shot! Grins. It's SUPPOSED to be cheesy. Hahahah!

Minna said...

Not to mention the books I found in the second-hand bookstore. I swear I took one bag of books there and had 3 bags left at home and got only few books from the second-hand bookstore. How come I have 5 bags of books now? I didn't get all that many books in the mail... If any one of you is on BookMooch, please, mooch some books from me! I need the space.

http://bookmooch.com/m/inventory/minttu

Minna said...

Free romance ebooks from Harlequin and Mills and Boon:
http://www.tryharlequin.com/

http://www.everyonesreading.com/

http://ebooks.eharlequin.com/0CFC7A20-F576-4EFD-96B5-7C75F3179B82/10/141/en/SearchResults.htm?SearchID=23344152&SortBy=price

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I think that is what is so scary about women and heart attacks. The symptoms are so easy to throw off because for the most part, we are always fatigued at the very least. I am an older woman with a very poor family history of heart disease. Way past menopause with aches and pains I never had before how am I to know what is age, arthritis, lack of hormones, etc. and what is a heart attack?

A poet I am not but I had to take a shot so please enjoy, or not, the following poem, it's all I've got.

Be still my heart
for I can see,
the man I love
watching for me.

We had planned for a
dinner date you see.
With plenty of vegatables
to stay healthy.

My day at work
was full of stress
I rushed to don
my new red dress.

I am running late
and I so dread.
To watch his face
change and Go Red.

I sought to avoid
a heated dispute,
so I detoured,
and bought some fruit.

He was so happy,
his smile so cute.
How did you know?
How much I loved fruit?

Our date went nicely
and I must confess
It wasn't long that I wore
my new red dress! ;-) BG

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Dianna! That's awesome! I love it, esp. the last bit. Grins

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW Dianna, you're so right about the fatigue and working hard and all that. It's hard to know what's what, and I think that THAT is one of the dangers.

Rose Marie said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

Rose Marie said...

Hi Aunty Cindy,
You asked:
I do have a question for you. If you have a family history of heart disease, can you still overcome the odds and remain heart healthy?

Absolutely! We have much better ways to control the risk factors for heart disease these days, so even if you've had family members with heart attacks due to risks like high blood pressure, high bad cholesterol - LDL (or low good cholesterol- HDL), etc, you have a very good chance that we can make those risk factors normal! And of course, if smoking, or low levels of physical activity were causes, you can tackle those head on!

PJ said...

Happy Valentine's Day! Welcome, Dr. Robertson! Jeanne, thanks so much for inviting Dr. R. here today to talk to us about this very important topic.

There's a history of heart disease in my family (my mom died of a heart attack at 53) so my heart health is something my doctor and I watch very closely and have for years.

I walk my dogs every day and try to get in as many steps as I can. How many steps per day do you recommend for women in their 50's to help keep them heart healthy?

Rose Marie said...

Hi Donna,
You wondered:
I'm concerned that I'm drinking far too many cans of Diet Dr. Pepper. Is there a correlation between carbonated beverages and heart health?

Well, Donna, in terms of the heart, it's only an association, or a linkage, but we don't have proof that drinking those sodas causes problems with your heart. You may have seen a study reported last week from one of our meetings about this - where the group who drank diet sodas had more events. But the authors were careful to say that even though they tried to control for other factors like obesity, physical activity, smoking, etc, and couldn't find that they were responsible for the connection, they know that there can be other influences we don't yet know about.

Remember that we used to think that estrogen after menopause was of benefit for preventing heart disease - because there were several studies showing associations. Then we did the randomized, controlled trial, and found that it wasn't true! So always be wary when you see words like "associations" and "linkages." Studeis showing those are done to uncover the questions , not the answers.

Maureen said...

Wow, great guest, Bandits!

Having suffered sudden cardiac death in April of '07, I'm well aware of the risks to a woman's heart.

After my ICD was implanted, my day to day paranoia about it happening again lessened, but I still freak out a bit when I feel my heart do some odd bit of beating.

Is it true that a certain amount of skipping is regular for most of us?

And no, they never found a smoking gun for my incident, but on the bright side, there was no damage either.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Welcome, Dr. Robertson! Or, as you've signed on, Rose Marie! :>

We're so glad you're here with us today!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey, Maureen! You said: And no, they never found a smoking gun for my incident, but on the bright side, there was no damage either.


Well, that's a major blessing. That must have been quite frightening. I had some arrythmia last year, and after hearing Dr. R speak at National, I went poste haste and got it checked.

I'm all good, thankfully, and it was probably stress-related (who me? stressed?), but my cardiologist was quick to say, "if there are changes, I want you back in here right away!"

Grins. Nice to have someone on your side.

Maureen said...

Jeanne - My SCD left me so hypersensitive to anything other than a steady beat...it's hard to know when I should pay attention and when it's just a normal thing.

Though I do have my ICD to keep an eye on it. (ICD-interior Cardio Defibrillator, which will deliver a shock to my heart should it be needed. From inside.)

Stress is just so blasted sneaky...

June M. said...

Ok...this is going to suck but:

Strawberries are red,
My love is true,
To keep your heart healthy,
eat your fruits and veggies too!

As I said, it sucks...but it was all I could think of. LOL

hmanning[at]bellsouth[dot]net

Danielle Gorman said...

Happy Valentine's Day fellow Bandits! Hope it treats everyone well.

I am going to try and think of a poem but first I just wanted to add a comment about what Dr. Roberson said. It is absolutely true about women feeling it diffently. Last year my mom had a heart attack and almost didn't go to the hospital. When it was happening apparently she just thought it was her back acting up. She has really bad back issues and she just thought she was having an episode. When he husband came home and found her he noticed that she had lost all of her color so he wanted to take her to the hospital. My mom being stubborn and beleiving it was back pain refused. Then while they were arguing about it she lost feeling in her left arm and this is what finally prompted her to go. Thank god that she did.
My mom is now doing fine. I just wanted to let everyone know that it does affect us diffently.

I'll be back later with a love poem.

Nancy said...

Sheree, congrats on the Golden Rooster!

Nancy said...

Dr. Robertson, welcome! Thanks for being with us today.

I noticed your answer to Donna about diet soda, and it reminded me that there have been questions raised about sodas and other foods sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

From a cardiac standpoint, is there any difference between sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and the various artificial sweeteners?

Thanks again for joining us today and for all the great prizes the AHA has provided for the blog this month.

jo robertson said...

What a great post! Thanks, Jeanne, for putting it together, and thanks so much, Dr. Robertson, for sharing your knowledge with us.

I'm a cardiac patient and I say AMEN!! to everything you said.

And Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. I hope all your sweethearts are good to you today, but more, that you are good to them.

jo robertson said...

Oh, forgot my wacky poem. Okay, I'm truly no good at this, but here goes:

You brought me flowers,
You brought me wine,
You gave me your heart
As a valentine.

But the best you could do
So we'll never part
Is exercise, eat well,
Take care of your heart!

Deb said...

I just wanted to say that I know how important it is about heart healthy living. My mom has heart problems and my husband has had 2 heart attacks; mind you, he's young, so it is always at the back of my mind about his health. He had his first when he was 45 and his second 5 years ago at 50. Weirdly enough, he had female symptoms the second time and my mom has experienced the male symptoms.

Rose Marie said...

I love the poetry! But MsHellion, I do love beets (Really!) - Maybe you could substitute in turnip greens - they are definitely not my favorite!
And Jeanne, "Well, cheese is great for Calcium! So BONE HEALTH! WOOT! (And I do love me some cheeeeeese!)" - and HEART HEALTH too, as long as I keep the cheese low in satutated fat and the portions small enough that I don't turn into a great wheel of Mammoth Cheddar (a Whole Foods favorite here in Nashville). For including in a recipe, I like to pick the strongly flavored cheeses (like sharp Cheddar, rather than mild) so I can just use a small bit. Low- or no-fat dairy - a great part of a healthy diet.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi June M! I thought it was great! :>

Rose Marie said...

Hi Anna,
I love your
"hunks who are handsome and fair
They keep our hearts healthy
With exercise a'plenty..."
Cuz who ever said it had to be all jogging! Hey, do any of you do WiiFit exercise? I got one for Christmas a year ago, and I'm such a sucker for the games that I added about 30 minutes a day to my exercise time when I'm home

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Danielle! You said: My mom being stubborn and beleiving it was back pain refused. Then while they were arguing about it she lost feeling in her left arm and this is what finally prompted her to go. Thank god that she did.
My mom is now doing fine.


Wow! I'm so glad her hubby insisted she go. Whew, close call. Glad she's doing well now too.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Rose Marie, I had to LOL about this: the portions small enough that I don't turn into a great wheel of Mammoth Cheddar (a Whole Foods favorite here in Nashville).

Heehee. Our house is The Cheese House. We love cheese. Fortunately, nature's been good to me with low cholesterol, so I'm not as affected, but I do try to watch my intake lest I too, become the Wheel of Mammoth Cheddar. Snork!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi PJ! Hi Nancy! Hi Jo!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Deb, that's a bit scary. I'm sure though that he watches it carefully - and you do too!

And remember to take care of YOU while you're taking care of THEM too!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

RoseMarie, I do the Wii Fit, and I know several of our Bandita's do as well. We just got Wii Resort - a whole new raft - harhar - of games and challenges. Big fun!

Rose Marie said...

Hi PJ,
Great to be walking those dogs - I recommend it for eveyone - whether you have a dog or not! The average American walks about 3500 steps a day. If you can work up to 10,000, you'll see a big difference in how you feel. And maybe put a tape recorder in your pocket to capture those great ideas that will come to you while you walk.

June M. said...

Oh...I wrote a little rhyme a little bit ago but forgot to add that I had quit smoking ove 9 weeks ago after about 20 years. I started when I was a teenager, young and stupid but quit in December and will NEVER smoke again!

hmanning[at]bellsouth[dot]net

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

RoseMarie, Several of us have "drunk the kool-aid" so to speak about this new gadget, the FitBit. It's a glorified pedometer that lets you track your steps, and you go and input your food intake online, the fitbit synchs up with the online site, and it tells you if you've been active enough to balance your caloric intake. Pretty cool! It's a mindfulness thing - and I've dropped a pants size! Wheee!

It also tracks your sleep, which is REALLY cool!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

June M said: I started when I was a teenager, young and stupid but quit in December and will NEVER smoke again!


WOOHOOO, JUNE!!! WTG!! Grins. You rock that, girl!

Rose Marie said...

HrdWrkdMom,
You're so right! Fatigue is very common. Two thoughts - 1. I know it may seem counter-intuitive, but a good exercise habit can often reduce fatigue overall, and when you're feeling drowsy, getting up and moving around for 10 minutes is often more energizing than a nap (not that I don't love the occasional nap!)
2. For all the heart attack warning signs, the key is something appearing that you can't explain, often coming on in a way that surprises you. Those symptoms are triggered either by a sudden change in the heart's ability to pump (e.g., shortness of breath - we say SOB for short, so don't think - well, I don't know what you'd think, but don't :-) or lightheadedness), or by an autonomic nervous system reaction to even a tiny heart attack (nausea). If any of these symptoms occurs and lasts for more than 5 minutes, what should you do? (Everybody answer at once!!)

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, it's a party here! And, Sheree, I see you collected the party animal extraordinaire! Actually I'm not entirely convinced the rooster HAS a heart (all those weeping passed over hens weeping like wet...hens in the coop).

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. And thanks to Dr. Robertson for being our guest today! We often talk about hearts but perhaps not in this sense!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, I'm lovin' the poems! I knew Laney, our resident bard, would come up trumps but everybody else is doing a fantastic job too! Keep them up!

Oh, dear, not sure I'm feeling poetic today. It's post-Val's Day here in Oz, you know!

If I give you my heart
Don't take it apart!
Unless you are smart
And a surgeon of Heart
Thou art!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Okay, first welcome Dr. Robertson! Glad to have you in our Lair!!

Now for my wacky poem:

Raspberries are red
Blueberries are blue
Eat them daily and
They'll be good for YOU!

Okay, sappy, but hey, it's true.

One of my favorite snacks these days is:

Roasted Almonds, cried cranberries and semi-sweet chocolate bits.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Okay that's DRIED cranberries, not CRIED cranberries!

desere_steenberg said...

Ok here goes everything , To my pure heart I love your dearly and so I promise to take excellent care of you yearly so that you'll remain healthy !

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

THANK YOU, Dr. R for answering my question and all the others. You are an AWESOME GUEST!

I'm also amazed that even in our little community here, heart disease has touched so many of our members. We can overcome this terrible killer, everyone! We need to hang together, encourage and educate one another.

HUGS to all,
AC

Rose Marie said...

Hi Joan,
You asked: Is it still recommended that if you think you are having a heart attack to chew an aspirin? Actually, the guidelines have never recommended this to people (though there is a viral email that is suggesting it, just as there was one a few years ago suggesting that you could cough your way through a cardiac arrest while you drove to the hospital - not in my neighborhood, please!). Several reasons: 1. people might think the aspirin ws for the pain and wait for the pain to go away, 2. some people are allergic to aspirin but don't know it, 3. people aren't all that good at diagnosing their own heart attacks - and there are some things that can mimic a heart attack, but actually be something that would be worsened by taking a blood thinner - a dissecting aneurysm, or a perforating ulcer, just as a couple of examples. So it's best to call 911 and let them give you the aspirin. And you want them there fast, since they will bring a defibrillator, to be able to correct the otherwise fatal heart rhythm that takes the lives of many people who wait too long to call. And they will get you to the place that can open a blocked artery if you have one.

Tawny said...

Ahhhh, I'm loving all the poetry!!! GREAT job, ladies :-D

Dr. Robertson, thank you so much for being here with us today and for the excellent advice.

What better way to celebrate Valentine's than to take good care of our hearts.

Laney4 said...

You're a sweetie, Anna; thanks for your comments.

Sometimes poems come easily to me, as I can just let the words flow. This time, however, was more difficult when including all those words and phrases. Just when I thought I had it right (write? LOL), I'd realize I'd used "health" instead of "healthy", for example, or "loving" instead of "love". Jeesh!

Not only did the above poem take forever (to me) to write, but I had a first poem I threw out because it was totally inappropriate. Since you are an admirer of all my efforts, I've dug through my recycling to type it here for you. Remember: it is TERRIBLE! Just wanted you to know that even I, resident bard Laney (LOL), mess up (on numerous occasions)....

Go Red, young ladies, Go Red!
That's what Dr. Robertson said!
To have a healthy heart
You must love yourself first
Or what happens is you'll end up dead.

Not exactly uplifting or poetic, is it? I just couldn't figure out how to clean up those last three lines to make a point yet rhyme too.

Happy Valentine's Day, one and all Banditas! Now let's get back to reading some NICE poems, LOL!

traveler said...

Great post today. Thanks.
I dance the night away in my Go Red Dress
I love peppers, broccoli and romaine lettuce
To keep my heart healthy and strong
It is important to concentrate on apples, blueberries and watermelon
My daily outings keep me energetic and fit
It is unwise to be inside and sit
Sunshine, fresh air keep my spirits high
And now you know the reasons why.

Janga said...

I hope song lyrics count as a poem.

When I Make Lunch for You
(with apologies to Michael Masser)

Today we celebrate our hearts, we two.
It seems the healthy thing to do.
Today no junk’s gonna find us.
We’ll leave high glycemics behind us
When I make lunch for you.

Today I celebrate my love for you
With fruit salad I hope will please you too.
Today our scales will be falling
And better health will be calling
When I make lunch for you.

Today we celebrate our hearts, we two.
With new energy that’s gonna come bursting through.
Today there'll be no distance between us.
What I want most to do is take a walk with you.
Today.

Today we celebrate our love, we two
And soon these old hearts will seem brand new.
Today we will both discover life as vegetable lovers
When I make lunch for you.

Today we celebrate our love, we two.
Go Red!

Joan said...

Wow Dr. Robertson!

We even have administering an ASA on our Rapid REsponse protocol....

Rose Marie said...

Hi Joan
And in case you thought I forgot your second question:
Also, any new and exciting treatments for congestive heart failure? Having had a mother who died in end stage CHF I'm VERY curious!
The best "treatment" of course is prevcention, so preventing the cardiovascular diseases that lead to heart failure is best - controlling high blood pressure, which can lead to heart failure by itself, and high cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes - all of which make coronary artery disease and heart attacks more likely. Some much rarer things we can't do anything about - viral infections of the heart muscle (myocarditis) can damage the heart muscle, and women can get a kind of heart muscle problem in and around pregnancy (peri-partum cardiomyopathy). But the overwhelming majority of problems can be prevented!

petite said...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Exercise is a daily routine
Which keeps my heart healthy and in tune.
My lovely garden with veggies galore
Provides me with a wonderful store
Tomatoes, spinach and carrots are great
My go red dress when I skate
Apples, plums, pears and peaches
These are the juiciest and sweetest
A heart to love and care about
Is what counts, no doubt.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz, isn't that a song? "I crieeeeddd crannnnnberrries...."

No?

Oh, welll.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

WTG, Desere_S! See, that wasn't painful at all, and it's GOOD too! Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Laney4 said: You must love yourself first
Or what happens is you'll end up dead.


SNORK! I love it!!! Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Traveler, this is great!

I dance the night away in my Go Red Dress
I love peppers, broccoli and romaine lettuce

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, Janga! I'm ROFLMAO!!! This is GREAT!!!

However, I now have that tune stuck in my head, drat you.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Petite said: Tomatoes, spinach and carrots are great
My go red dress when I skate


Grins. Veggies AND excercise! I love it!

jo robertson said...

Great poem, MsHellion! We love that kind of cheese in the Lair, much better for your heart than the edible kind!

Pat Cochran said...

Jeanne,

Thanks for bringing Dr. Robertson
to visit today! Good information!

My haiku offering:

Love, you have my heart,
my vegetables, also, but
not my red dress, too!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

jo robertson said...

Thanks for the caution about the estrogen/heart disease connection, Dr. Rose Marie. I had a complete hysterectomy at age 42 and took estrogen far longer than I needed to, I think.

And thanks for clarifying the "association" and "linkage." Sometimes these studies are confusing and contradictory.

Fact or fiction. Fish oil supplements are good for maintaining heart health.

Maureen said...

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways
I love thee enough to put an apple in thee lunch
I love thee enough to make thee a healthy salad with thee dinner
I love thee heart and hope it beats long and strong

Happy Valentine's Day!

gamistress66 said...

berries are healthy
whether in red or blue
may you're love have
a heart that is true

:) that's why I'm a reader
rather than a writer :)

happy v-day all

Rebekah E. said...

Thanks for the great post. Happy V-Day.

jo robertson said...

I'm a great lover of cheeses, but have learned I have to limit the amount, so those strong-flavored ones work well by giving you the feeling of richness without the fat.

Dr. Rose Marie, I keep my cholesterol under 150, but I never did have high (over 200) cholesterol. Still, I had an event and angioplasty when I was 47. Is this unusual?

jo robertson said...

Dianna, with my first heart event, the only "different" symptoms were nausea (like very bad morning sickness) and the feeling of a fist in the middle of my chest trying to push its way up my throat. There was virtually no pain and I was reluctant to call 911 because I'd just had an EKG the day before and everything looked normal.

My advice is to know your body.

Laurie Faelan said...

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Hi, Dr. Robertson! Forgive my ignorance but if you exercise, don't smoke, have no family history, have good blood pressure and Cholesterol, eat well and are at a normal weight, and see your doctor regularly to get EKG tests, would you still need to be concerned about heart attacks?

And is there any way to determine if there has been a previous heart attack?

Thanks!

My attempt at poetry :)

My HEALTHY HEART beats with my LOVE for him,
I’ve set up a love nest under the ancient elm,
Chocolate covered STRAWBERRIES dangle from the tree limb,
In the scarlet RED DRESSed pail I bought on a whim.

Pat Cochran said...

OOPS!

Miscounted my haiku syllables!
Must adjust:

Love, you have my heart,
vegetables, also, but
not my red dress, too!

Pat Cochran

Beth Andrews said...

I am loving all the fabulous poems! We have such great talent here in the lair *g*

Dr. Robertson, thanks so much for the informative post and answering questions.

Jeanne, thanks for putting all of this together!

Happy Valentine's Day :-)

Rose Marie said...

Hi Maureen,
You've had quite a saga! Isn't it wonderful that sometimes we can actually stop what would surely be the loss of a wonderful person! I'm so glad that you had no heart or other damage, and yes, many people have palpitations (extra beats or skipped beats). However, with your history, if you have any change in your heart rhythm, I'd think your doctor would want to know about it. Certainly if any episodes of palpitations were associated with lightheadedness, I'd check with them immediately. But it's great to have the protection of your ICD - your own electronic guardian angel!

runner10 said...

Go Red is the color
For love is in my heart.
It is a wonderful start
to a healthy life.

Happy Valentine's Day!
I am spending the night at home alone. So sad. May husband is out of town with work.

Rose Marie said...

Hi Danielle,
I'm glad your Mom had someone to keep pushing her to go to the hospital. You know, people get to the hospital much more slowly if they 1. ask a family member, 2. ask a friend, or 3. ask (call) their doctor than if they ask a stranger. The patient, family and friend - and sometimes even the doctor - have a lot of denial to work through before they act. The stranger, on the other hand, doesn't want the blame if things go badly, so s/he acts to get you out of his zone of responsibility quickly.

Slush said...

Sheree, congrats on the Rooster!

Happy V-Day to all of the Bandits and Buddies +the hunks.

Dr. Robertson, thanks for all of the great advice on keeping a healthy heart and sharing those symptoms.

Now for the poem:
What is true love?
Red roses or strawberries.
A heart that is merry.
A red dress or fine wine
Healthy dinners amongst the pine.
No in fact true love is is just that.
Doing what you like or what you wish.
Regardless of the end game or what is served in the dish.

I'm no poet.Lol! But this was fun.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, man, I LOVE all these poems! Dr. Rose Marie, all your answers are so interesting and informative too!

Rose Marie said...

Hi Nancy,
You asked - From a cardiac standpoint, is there any difference between sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and the various artificial sweeteners?
While this has been of a lot of interest for a long time, I don't think we really yet have the kind of information we need to reach firm conclusions - but I'll tell you what I think. I don't believe that there is any evidence that artificial sweeteners pose any harm to the heart. There are differences in how the body handles high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is a mixture of fructose and glucose (in roughly the same proportions as in honey) and sucrose (table sugar), which is broken down by the body into fructose and glucose, the research looking for deleterious results of HFCS has been equivocal. Now what's clear is that excess intake of any type of sugar can lead to dental caries and weight gain/obesity. If you eat a healthy diet that includes all the nutrients you really need, you only have about 100 calories left over for "treats" - men, since they're bigger on average, get about 150-200 calories. It's ok to spend those on a sugar or a healthy fat (poly or mono-unsaturated) or protein. But what's not so good is to get beyond the calories you burn. Does that mean that Michael Phelps gets more calories than I do - sure does!

Some research studies have linked consumption of large amounts of any type of added sugar — not just high-fructose corn syrup — to such health problems as weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition, and increased triglyceride levels, which can boost your heart attack risk. But there is insufficient evidence to say that high-fructose corn syrup is less healthy than are other types of added sweeteners.

Pat Cochran said...

Jeanne,

My next poem tells the tale of
what life was like before modern
medicine had the knowledge to
help save cardiac patients.

A history of heart problems
Scarred my Dad's family
Taking one member after another
The disease treated us shabbily.

Dad left this life too soon
Despite all that was done
We lost him on the surgical table
The family was less one.

(Frank T. Castillo, Sr. passed
away during open heart surgery
in September of 1970.)

Rose Marie said...

Hi Laurie,
Great question:
"If you exercise, don't smoke, have no family history, have good blood pressure and Cholesterol, eat well and are at a normal weight, and see your doctor regularly to get EKG tests, would you still need to be concerned about heart attacks? That sounds pretty good to me! There are some other risk factors, like diabetes and levels of the various different types of cholesterol and triglycerides that also can influence your risk, but let's for the sake of argument say that those are all perfect. In that circumstance, I wouldn't worry about a heart attack, but I'd still want to know about the warning signs of heart attack and stroke, since accidents can happen, and some of the causes of those events aren't related to the factors above. Those "health factors" - smoking, cholesterol, etc - tell you a lot about your risk of developing atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries," aka coronary artery disease. But those can all be perfect and you could still have a heart attack due to a coronary dissection, and if you did have heart attack symptoms, the right thing to do would still be to call 911 to get to treatment fast!

And is there any way to determine if there has been a previous heart attack?

Rose Marie said...

Laurie -- oops - I hit send too fast! "And is there any way to determine if there has been a previous heart attack?"
Yes, indeed. Both EKGs and echocardiograms are easy tests that can show evidence of a prior heart attack. The EKG shows heart attacks by measuring changes in the pattern of electical activity of the heart. The echo actually lets you see the heart walls and valves moving (quite neat!) and areas affected by heart attack don't move normally. Heart scans and MRIs can also show evidence of a prior heart attack, so we have a lot of ways to see what's happened before.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Slush! I love the poem!

Nancy said...

Rose Marie, thanks for the answer on sweeteners. Yes, it is very unfair that guys in general get more calories.

On the other hand, they have less wardrobe variety. Or so I tell myself.

Rose Marie said...

Hi Jo,
"Dr. Rose Marie, I keep my cholesterol under 150, but I never did have high (over 200) cholesterol. Still, I had an event and angioplasty when I was 47. Is this unusual?"
There's no question that it's unusual for a woman to have a coronary event under the age of 55. Not unheard of, of course, but unusual enough that it counts for your family members as a risk factor of its own - "a positive family history of early coronary disease." Now, there are a number of possible reasons for coronary events. Most events are due to atherosclerosis, and mean that you and your family should make sure that every one of your health factors are perfect. That means not just keeping your total cholesterol perfect, but also your LDL and HDL and triglycerides, and being sure that you don't have diabetes, or if you do, that it's well-managed, that your blood pressure is normal and that you don't smoke. Hopefully you're physically active and at your lean body weight. And it's worth asking your doctors whether they think you might have had another reason for your event, like a dissection or coronary artery spasm.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

This is all so fascinating, Rose Marie. I know that after talking with you this summer, when I had some continuing issues with arrythmia, I went straight to my cardiologist.

Since I had family history as you were mentioning with Jo - my late father had rather serious issues with A-fib - I figured it was a good idea to make sure.

Fortunately, as I mentioned, it turned out to be nothing serious (echo and ekg and stress test all showed healthy, well-functioning heart muscle!), but it could so easily have been something else.

So listen to the good doctor, ladies and gents, and get that ticker checked if you have ANY concerns.

Rose Marie said...

Hi Deb,
I'm glad your husband is paying attention to his heart health, since 45 is young even for a man to have a first heart attack. Make sure that he makes it clear to his doctor that he wants to make all his risk factors perfect. This kind of history may prompt early testing of blood pressure, LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides even in children in the family. He might want to try the AHA's MyLifeCheck on our website - it's a great way to assess your risk and then track it as you improve it.

Rose Marie said...

Jeanne, this FitBit sounds great -- I'll have to take a look at it! Thanks for the hint!

Rose Marie said...

Hi Jo,
Another great question:
"Fact or fiction. Fish oil supplements are good for maintaining heart health."
The AHA's Dietary Guidelines and the ones released by the USDA just recently agree on fish -- both suggest that you should be sure to get two servings of fish - preferably fatty fish - in a week. We have the most data about actual fish itself in terms of health, but if you just can't or won't eat fish, better fish oil supplements than nothing at all. But there are so many great ways to eat fish - I do the tuna and crackers bit for quick lunches, and love a baked or broiled filet with some fresh dill for dinner. For speed, I put a couple of those filets with my favorite herb of the moment, some lemon juice or a splash of white wine, a bit of sea salt and pepper, some veggies, a few capers and artichoke hearts in a tightly-folded pouch of heavy-duty aluminum foil and put it in a 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Yum!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Rose Marie, you can check the FitBit out at www. FitBit .com (without the spaces, of course!)

And that recipe you just posted sounds delish!

jo robertson said...

Thanks so much for the cogent answers, Dr. Robertson!