175, 106, 63, 77, 110/70, 22
These aren’t lottery numbers. They’re my heart health numbers: overall cholesteral, LDL (“bad” cholesteral), HDL (“happy” cholesteral), triglyderides, systolic and diostolic blood pressure, and BMI.
Today is Blog Your Heart Out Day and I’m doing my part by asking you: Do you know your heart health numbers, too?
I used to be afraid of my numbers. All my numbers. Scared. To. Death. Thought if I just ignored them, they weren’t real. Even though my doctor would discuss them with me during my six-month checkups, blood pressure was the only thing I took quasi seriously about my health. I’ve had high blood pressure since I was 22 – regardless of my scale number – and before that with each of my pregnancies. I take two medications daily to keep my numbers normal.
Finally, in 2005, with my scale number at 300, glucose levels above 100, my triglycerides above 280, cholesteral at 280, and the memory of my father fighting for his life after suffering a second heart attack at age 58, I took off my blinders and started the long (and permanent) journey to heart health.
Heart disease has long been thought of as a man’s disease, but it is the #1 killer of women. Knowing your numbers is the first step in understanding your risk for heart disease. To learn more, go to Go Red For Women. I joined the site and found a ton of great info about heart health. If you’re on Facebook, become a fan by clicking Go Red For Women Fan Page.
Don’t be afraid of your numbers. What you don’t know can kill you. For me, once I embraced them, I was no longer afraid. Why? Because I realized I had the power to change them and control them. They no longer controlled me.
My Refuse To Regain blogging partner, Dr. Barbara Berkeley, has written a blog today, too, about her family’s experience with heart disease. See “Triumph of the Heart.”