Saturday, February 6, 2010

Broken Hearts - Unbeatable Spirits

Today was grueling. Painful. Exciting. Eye opening.

Through out my life, I have been blessed with one gift - just one - people will talk to me.

What I mean by that, and I say this with absolute humility, people tell me their story. Even the most secretive people in the world, eventually tell me their inner most secrets. I am not sure why - they just do.

Today, was no different. Granted I was asking for their stories, but to see the emotion and honestly was beyond moving.

Today was the National Casting Call for the Go Red For Women movement. As the Communications Director, I got to interview the participants.

This was not the first year I got to do this. This was our second casting call - but this one felt different. I don't know if it is because of all of the things I have been going through with my health this year, or if it is the fact I got some really bad news yesterday about my dad's health - but today was hard.

I spoke with close to 30 women (and 2 children) who in some shape or form has been changed MONUMENTALLY by heart disease. Majority of the women are in their early 40s. Early 40s.
I am just 3 years away from 40 - so their stories really spoke to me.

Many of these women either experienced a heart attack, two of them have post partum cardio myopathy... just a wide range of issues. Strong women, young women - it was just too much.

Just last night, my mom mentions (very flippantly), "Did you hear? Your father found out he has an enlarged heart and two blockages. He says he will go back to the doc in a month."


As if this is the flu or a random rash??

Today I spoke with a woman with an enlarged heart - and guess what? She is on a 5 pill cocktail to extend her life... just a little while more.


I guess the mix of the stories I heard, the tears I witnessed, then my health - NOW my father's heart health is too much to handle. Too.. too.. much.

It is my passion to get people to join this trek with me to improve their risk factors.
Hell -most days I am doing a piss-poor job of it (food wise) - but damn it - I am trying... when I can.

My heart my be broken (figuratively.. and well.. looks like for real.) But my spirit - my spirit is unbeatable.

I could not share my journey today, because I work for AHA. But I can assure you, my heart health is NOT where it should be.

I have concern. I am terrified. And now - I will have to stand by (from afar) and watch as other's just shrug off their issues.

Damn it.

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