Celebrating Hearts

 In 2022, Tip of the Week, Uncategorized


Dina Pinelli was a model of good health. A yoga instructor, she used her treadmill daily, and ate mostly organic, non-processed foods. Dina reported feeling sweaty and was short of breath when walking her puppy. Donnese Tyler was at a PTA meeting. She took a sip of her water, and it tasted salty. She also had a sharp pain in her chest, and a “discomfort in her throat.”
What did Dina and Donnese have in common? They were experiencing different forms of the same deadly thing – serious heart issues, leading to heart attacks.
Dina knew something was wrong in the middle of the night when her puppy started licking her hands. She had a pain in the center of her chest like she’d been beaten up, and both of her elbows and wrists ached. She tried stretching through the pain, took an Aleve, and finally got back to sleep after about 45 minutes. A week later, she collapsed while walking on her treadmill with heart attack number two. That’s when she sought medical assistance. Doctors found she had 100% blockage in an artery, and a stent was inserted to prop it open.
The next week, while walking the puppy with her father, the pain returned. She went back to the doctor, and while in the hospital, had her third heart attack. The issue was her high blood pressure, and she was finally prescribed beta blockers to reduce it. Click here to read more about Dina’s story.
Donnese, like Dina, was also in denial about what was happening to her during that PTA meeting mentioned above. But two other moms at the meeting stepped in and drove her to the hospital. She was diagnosed with a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), where a tear forms in a wall of a blood vessel in the heart, separating without warning which can cause a blood clot, potentially leading to a heart attack. Those PTA moms saved her life by taking her to the hospital. Donnese’s story can be found here.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart attacks are the leading cause of death for all adults in the United States. In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, one out of every five deaths were attributed to heart disease. It is estimated that someone has a heart attack in the U.S. every 40 seconds. That’s at least one person having a heart attack during the time it will take you to read this safety tip.
Your heart is a vital organ in your body. It pumps blood with life-giving oxygen from your brain to the muscles in your toes. It also pumps the oxygen-depleted blood back to your lungs to receive more oxygen. Most of us want to have healthy hearts. Some of us, like Dina and Donnese, must do a little more work to help our hearts to be healthy, like monitor blood pressure, take medicine, and have regular medical check-ups.
What else can we do? There are some medical conditions and illnesses that make it harder for your heart to do its’ job, like high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, or obesity. If you have one of these conditions, talk to your health care provider about how to manage your health.
Know the symptoms of cardiac arrests and heart attacks. The common ones are intense pressure in your chest, pain radiating down your arms or into your jaw, neck or back, feeling weak, light-headed, or faint, and unexpected shortness of breath. Women can experience other symptoms, including unexpected tiredness, nausea, or vomiting. If you or someone you are with experience any of these symptoms, act fast. Call 9-1-1 and/or get them to medical help immediately.
Tomorrow, we celebrate Valentine’s Day, usually with cute red hearts. We think it is even more important to celebrate your heart health. Learn more about heart health by visiting the American Heart Association.
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