February is “American Heart Month” for woman. For years, no one realized that heart disease affected men and woman differently. Even today, some are not educated enough to acknowledge so. I might expect such from myself. Good friends of mine who attend book club with me might not know this to be true. Relatives of mine who live under the desert moon don’t even know. Often, I still hear stories of many who are told “it’s all in their mind,” or of woman who are asked if, “hormones are to blame?” It’s time for a change!
The fact is women’s symptoms of a heart attack may be quite different from those we’ve heard of in the past. “She” may never feel pain in her chest, or grip her left arm falling to the ground. Instead, a woman may feel an upset stomach, agony in her neck, or be slightly short of breath. Feeling tired, she might seek a soft place in the shade to rest her weary head. Next, exhaustion may set in to the point where she’d take to her bed if time would allow.
Often the fairer sex is conditioned to put herself “last” on the list. In general, women wait far too long before seeking help, thinking their symptoms will pass. Sometimes women never complain or ask for help. Heart disease is real. It’s the leading cause of death, the number one “Chronic Condition” in our country. If you read this and have had symptoms, please do not wait. Dial 911, for God’s sake!
You may have noticed an abundant amount of “RED” this month. Cheery and bright, the color is not only to celebrate Valentine’s Day at the end of this week. Partly, it’s to bring awareness to this very important cause, Woman’s Heart Disease. If ever you have a free moment or two, learn the differences in heart disease between women and men.
Depending on where you live, toss on a red sweater, slip a red T-shirt over your head, clip on a red bow-tie, or wear a heart-shaped pin on your lapel. Show your support for Woman’s Heart Month. If you’re a woman, today it might be your own life that you save. If you’re a man, tomorrow it may be your mother, your wife, your sister, your cousin or maybe a good friend.