Today I attended a workshop for heart health given by speech professor, Michele Buc and nursing director, Cindy Waller. Michele, who was diagnosed with a congenital heart problem a few years ago, has decided to give back by educating other women about heart disease and heart health.
At the seminar, we learned many ways to take care of our hearts:
- Eat a heart healthy diet. (I am not good at this. I love french fries, ice cream, and pizza. And not just as a treat, but on a regular basis.)
- Get more exercise. (A couple of years ago, I would have given myself a gold star. But I’ve noticed that I’ve been slacking up lately.)
- Watch your weight. (Ugh. Let’s move on to the next one.)
- Quit smoking. (Finally a win for me. I have never smoked. In fact, I used to throw some of my father’s cigarettes out of the car window as a way to help him cut down on smoking.)
- Know your cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels. (These I know. They are not as good as they I want them to be, but probably better than I deserve.)
- Manage stress. (Some days, I’m good. Some days, I’m not.)
Probably everyone who attended the session today learned something about, not only being healthy, but also when to be concerned about symptoms.
But as I listened today, I also thought of the other ways people were taking care of their hearts:
- Michele could have certainly decided that she deserved to go out and have a lot of fun after surviving a heart scare. Instead she is helping other women prevent heart disease and offering comfort to those who are facing it.
- Cindy Waller donated her time to help educate her colleagues, and free time is not something a nursing director has an abundance of.
- I saw colleagues who gave me daily support when I was grieving over the loss of my father.
- I thought of the faculty and staff who regularly take extra time to help students navigate the confusing labyrinth of the first year of college.
Okay, so in the medical world, an enlarged heart is not a good thing. But in the metaphorical one, a big heart is. And people around me have that covered. Now we just need to put down the potato chips and pick up the weights.