Change Must Happen

During a conversation with a friend, she told me about someone she knew who had a heart attack in January. Unfortunately for this person, he was not making any changes to his eating habits. His wife said she was too tired when she came home from work to cook and he said he didn’t know how. He continued to eat the same convenience foods and eat the same restaurant foods –  the same ones that contributed to his condition in the first place.

This saddens me, because it doesn’t have to be this way. This person should keep in mind that the foods he ate and the habits he had are what brought him to his heart attack, and medicines alone will not prevent another. Changes must be made.

My husband was committed to avoid repeating his experience and so he took his recovery very seriously. And so did I. We cleaned out the cupboards and removed the foods that contributed to the heart attack and I started cooking better meals. We stopped going to restaurants and he started going to the gym. Over a year later and 50 pounds less (for each of us)   –  he’s doing very well and has reduced his risk for future heart events significantly.

I understand it may be hard for some of you; some of you may not have a spouse/partner who is willing or able to help. But there is so much information out there, so many resources, you must make this your priority. If you don’t have anyone to cook for you perhaps this is the time you can learn. You must take your doctor’s recommendations seriously and you must make changes. As the saying goes “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. Please, make the changes now.

Reach out to friends and family, reach out to me – let’s work on making the changes so you can continue to live and become healthier day by day.

Organizing & The Healthy Heart Toolbox

While J was in the hospital, we started a notebook to keep track of all the important information and instructions we were given by each nurse, doctor, care-person and specialist. Not just for his heart condition but also managing his diabetes and health in general. We used his  notebook to not only track his blood pressure and his heart rate (for our curiosity) , but also helped us remember the names of the people that came to see him. There were SO MANY different people! Plus medication names and dosages and what the medications did or why he was given a particular medication at a particular time. It was all very overwhelming.

When he was discharged from the hospital he was given handfuls of papers  – all sorts of  new information, even a DVD. Some of the paperwork explained the steps he needed to take – booklets and programs and some paperwork related to the medications he needed. There was a lot of “stuff” that he now needed to manage and being organized is extremely important – now more than ever in order to successful manage the recovery. When we got home we put everything into a plastic ‘sleeve’, to keep everything together and kept the file on his nightstand for easy access. A year later, we are still going through the file to refer to the information in it.

There are many different styles that you can find in the office supply stores or office supply sections of the major big box stores. Here’s a sample of the folder:

plasticsleeve

 

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