Sunday, July 24, 2016

We are WHY ❤️

How I became involved?

So many people ask why and how I became involved with the American Heart Association and honestly I just knocked on their door. My maternal lineage is riddled with Heart Disease and Stroke. My Uncle was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and needed a heart transplant in order to live. He wasn't able to get on the registry in time and unfortunately their were other factors in place that kept him from receiving the proper treatment that he should have received. He died at the age of 38 (I was 2).

My Grandmother was always a healthy and vibrant woman. Outside of having been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure and being a Breast Cancer Survivor, their was nothing else wrong with her. One day she suffered 1 massive stroke and would later suffer from 2 mini strokes. Although she was able to have better care than my uncle which included physical and speech therapy she would die at the age 70 from complications (I was 10).

My Mother was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Disease in 2009. My Mother who is a registered nurse had been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure to years before. One the day of her yearly physical, her doctor took her blood pressure and would not let her leave his office. He immediately sent my mother across the street to the emergency room where she was place in CICU. My mother's blood pressure was at stroke level and they did not understand how she was even alive. While in the hospital the Doctor began to put together a plan which featured new medications, monitoring, and diet for my mother. She spent a whole week (including Mother's Day) in the hospital. That truly changed my mother's life for the better. By the grace of God and truly a caring doctor she is now healthier than ever before.

My journey began in 2014. While in school and working 3rd shift at a local hospital I became sick. It was a constant feeling that I couldn't shake. It was accompanied with dizziness, weak muscles, and no energy. It also got to a point to where I could not walk or stand on my own. Now, I don't play when it comes to my health so the first place I ended up was the ER. After being released I went to see my doctor and went through 6 months of testing. I was eventually diagnosed with Hypotension.

A lot of times as women we lead very active lives. Some of us are mother's of multiple children, wives, girlfriends, entrepreneurs, corporate professionals, and the list goes on. We are so busy that the last thing we think about is what state we are in physically. When I say physical, I also include the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspect as well. Each one of these things feeds off the other. Most of us set goals each year to live our best lives but that can't occur if we are NOT putting our health first.

Here are 3* small changes that can help you to make a big difference. .

1. Schedule a visit with your doctor to talk about your overall health. If you have a history of Heart Disease and Stroke  definitely make this apart of your conversation with your Doctor. Also have your Doctor help you create an outline to get started on your health goals.
Your goals will included: Identified Goals, Steps to Accomplish them, and a timeframe to complete.

2. Add exercise to your daily routine. Start off easy by adding 15 minutes at least 3 times a week for 1 month. The next month start off walking 30 minutes. You can also meet with a personal trainer to have a consult and get a work routine set that will work specifically for you, your needs, and your goals.

3. Increase healthy eating. Start off with healthy yet easy meals that you can prepare for yourself and your family. Also, make it an effort to teach your family about other healthy options that are outside of their norm.

These are the 3 easiest and smallest ways to start making a change. Trust me, it takes time getting use to but the journey is all worth it.

Remember in order to live a productive and fruitful life WE must ALWAYS put our health first.

Here are 4 facts that keep me in line. .

1. Heart Disease is the #1 Killer of Black Women nationwide.

2. 7.6% of Black Women have coronary heart disease.

3. The "Stroke Belt" or "Stroke Alley" is a name given to a region in the southeastern* United States that has been recognized by public health authorities for having an unusually high incidence of stroke and other forms of cardiovascular disease.

4.* Heart Disease and Stroke are the #1 Killer of Black Women living in the "stroke belt".

Know the facts!! Know the symptoms!!

Visit American Heart Associations virtual home to learn more on how you can get involved, donate, or simply live a HEART healthy life.

Lorean Mays
National "You're The Cure Advocate"
Chattanooga Heart and Stroke Ambassador 
American Heart Association
American Stroke Association 

The Sophisticate Chronicles

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