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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Feb 2 is National Wear Red Day


This is your friendly reminder that tomorrow, February 2, 2007 is National Wear Red Day. Or National Red Dress Day or Go Red Day as it is better known amongst women. But heart disease, the number one killer of women, isn't just for women. So everyone, male and female, boy and girl, and even your fur babies, might consider wearing red tomorrow to call attention to the epidemic of heart disease in the USA and the world over.

Everyone (men too!) can support the fight against heart disease in women by wearing red on February 2, 2007— Go Red For Women Day. It’s a simple, powerful way to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke. By joining together with thousands of women, companies and organizations, and cities across America, you’ll help the American Heart association support ongoing research and education about women and heart disease.

As my regular readers know, I have a congenital heart defect called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In some patients, myself once included, it can be a silent problem that you can live with for many years without having a clue that you have a bad heart. I found out that I had HCM in my 20's when I had a routine echocardiogram and the doctor saw interted T waves. I was promptly shipped off to a cardiologist who diagnosed my HCM and put me on beta blockers for high blood pressure. I had no other symptoms for a long time, but eventually my heart, like many HCM patients, got tired and worn out working overtime for so long. Now I not only have HCM, but congestive heart failure. This is a very limiting form of heart disease, and I am fully disabled because of it. My heart just doesn't work well anymore. Eventually, it will stop working at all. I'm a prime candidate for a heart transplant.

Like most people, I never gave my heart much thought. It was just something inside that did it's job and kept me going. Now, it is such a huge part of everything I do that I can't forget it at all. My heart determines what I can and cannot do during the day. It limits my ability to go out and take some risks. It limits my ability to travel, to exercise, and to eat certain foods.

But I'm not alone in my experience with heart disease. Many women, more than women that undergo treatment for breast cancer, have heart disease. Because heart disease is silent for so long, women can walk around with a heart problem and not know until it is too late. So I urge you get your heart checked soon. Call your doctor if you have not recently seen one, and get a comprehensive exam. Keep your blood pressure and cholesteral low. Know your numbers. Take medications to ensure that your heart will remain healthy for many years to come. Know the warning signs of heart problems, cardiac arrest, or stroke. Know that congenital heart defects are on the rise among both children and adults. Too few people realize that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women (and men), but the good news is heart disease largely can be prevented. Spreading the Go Red For Women message Love Your Heart raises awareness of heart disease and empowers women to reduce their risk.

Participate tomorrow. Wear red to remind people that heart disease amongst women is a common problem that must be addressed. Go Red For Women Day has its own dress code. Wear your favorite red clothes or accessory—a red blouse, a red dress pin, a fabulous red handbag —put on red lipstick, or sport a red tie and red socks. Go red in your own fashion to show your support for women and the fight against heart disease.

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6 Comments:

Blogger California Highway Guy - Daniel said...

First, remember that today is National Gorilla Suit Day, so do remember to wear your gorilla suit.

However, tomorrow can't be National Wear Red Day, if NWRD is 2/2. Tomorrow is 2/1, as today is 1/31 (unless, of course, I didn't get the memo about the calendar change!)

31/1/07 1:54 PM  
Blogger California Highway Guy - Daniel said...

I'll also note that I've queued a post for my journal tomorrow on the day. If you recall, my daughter had open heart surgery at age 4 for a congenital heart defect.

31/1/07 2:53 PM  
Blogger Ms. Whiny Complainy-pants said...

Any excuse to wear my favorite color.

On Friday, however. February 2 is Friday. Today is Wednesday. Having said that, I will wear red.

31/1/07 4:33 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Daniel, I saw that Dress like a Gorilla Day (which I think was yesterday) on your blog, and we decided that we should combine that and Go Red and dress like orangutans!

And yes, I remember the surgery VERY well!

31/1/07 8:35 PM  
Blogger gordaboo said...

I was not aware of this. I shall be wearing red tomorrow for sure.

2/2/07 1:41 AM  
Blogger Carmi said...

I wish I could wear red every day. For the impact that heart disease has on all of us, it's the least we can do to make it obvious - and to inspire us all to take action.

4/2/07 10:26 PM  

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