Tag Archives: heart attack

Healing is a process many don’t understand.

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Changing your story isn’t easy,especially if it is one that turned your world upside down and inside out. It takes courage, tenacity, desire and will to move from the known to the unknown and trust that you will find something better on the other side.

There is an ‘after’ after a life threatening illness, but from the outside looking in, most don’t understand what it takes. I am speaking as someone who has been inside of a healing process, which included financial troubles.  I didn’t understand what it would take either until I went through it.

People on the outside don’t understand what it takes. I had people ask why I didn’t go out and get a job after having open heart surgery. Why did I need to have a fundraiser to help me through this healing process? Why was I so destitute? I had people say you look good so you should be good to go. I see you going for walks so why are you getting a job. Why do you have to ask for help. I have also heard that I created this illness with my thoughts so why can’t I heal by changing my thoughts. Other people I know recovering from life threatening illness have had similar experiences.

This made me think about what is really involved in healing and recovering and creating a new life story.

Healing is a process and many of the steps repeat over and over before they resolve. Recovery by itself takes desire, strength, trust and vision of something better. Those things take mastery of focus when you are in a “reality “ where you don’t feel well.

Here is a list of processes you go through when healing.

1-Life threatening illness

2-Shock

3-Fear

4-Grief   (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) Most people cycle in and out of these. Some get stuck in a stage.

5-PTSD (Anxiety, Depression, Fear, terror ) this is common when you have a life threatening illness. You wonder if/when it will happen again

6-Financial Difficulties( Fear, Worry, Increased body pain, Raise in Stess Hormones, Hopelessness, Self-Doubt, Feeling like a failure)

7-The healing Process itself (extreme illness, determining what it is, finding the right treatment, finding the right doctors, feeling better and sometimes setbacks)

8- Acceptance, the stage where you can start thinking about how to create a life that is better.

9-Distancing yourself from current reality, which can include pain and disability and side effects of the illness , so you can even think about something better.

10-Writing a new story for your life

11-Learning how to adjust and navigate the new story

12- Integrate it so it becomes part of your life.

As you can see, there are many things involved in the healing and recovery process. Each step takes time. You might look good on the outside but all of this is going on, on the inside.

I had three heart attacks, every four months over ten months. I didn’t have enough time between heart attacks to physically heal before I had another one. Each one took me back to the beginning of the healing process. By the time I had open heart  surgery, I was still healing from three heart attacks which made healing even more difficult.

The healing process is challenged further by the fact that you will probably face financial difficulties as a result.  53% of Americans with health insurance have difficulty paying their medical bills. More than a third of seriously ill use all of their savings to pay for care. 21% had trouble paying for basic necessities.  This should not be the consequences of getting sick in America.

So add this immense stress to the healing process and it is even more difficult recovering.

l say this to remind you that if you haven’t gone through a serious illness, please be a compassionate witness to someone who is. Understand they are doing the best they can under the circumstances and that if they had a choice this wouldn’t be happening. Don’t make assumptions.  Understand that recovery and getting their life back doesn’t happen over night. Even if they look good on the outside it doesn’t me they feel better. And if they have to ask their community for help, know that is uncomfortable, embarrassing and humiliating.

What a person in recovery needs the most is loving kindness.

 

 

 

 

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Heart Disease is an Epidemic

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#Healthyhearttip

Few people alive today are old enough to remember the beginning of the coronary heart disease (CHD) epidemic in the 1920s and 1930s, when physicians in the U.S. and U.K. began sounding alarm bells that an uncommon disease was rapidly becoming the leading cause of death. By the 1950s, their predictions had come true. A decade later, a new generation of physicians replaced their predecessors and began to doubt that heart attacks had ever been uncommon. Gradually, the idea that the disease was once uncommon faded from the public consciousness, and heart attacks were seen as an eternal plague of humankind, avoided only by dying of something else first.

According to U.S. National Vital Statistics records beginning in 1900, CHD was rarely given as the cause of death by physicians until after 1930. It used to be uncommon and now it is such a common occurrence that it’s an epidemic. It happens so often it’s like the common cold.

Did you know that 80% of heart attacks and stroke can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes. Here we are almost 90 years later and the medical interventions still being used are pharmaceuticals, stents and bypass surgery.

Doctors aren’t taught about natural supplements and nutrition as an option. It was natural supplements that save my life as far as I am concerned. What is considered a heart healthy diet is far from heart healthy.

When I was in the hospital after one of the heart attacks, they brought me a menu and I order the things that would fit with the Paleo diet I had been on. Lots of veggies and a hamburger without a bun, no wheat and no dairy. Soon after my food arrived a nurse ran into my room and grabbed my tray and told me I couldn’t eat that and that my food needed to come from the Heart Healthy Menu.

She arrived a few minutes later with a large plate of spaghetti, covered in sauce with meatballs! I was stunned! If this was what was being fed to heart patients as heart healthy, it would appear they were trying to kill people off! This wasn’t the exception. All of the heart healthy food was like that. If it was low sodium and low fat you could eat it. Nothing else was taken into consideration.

I wrote my book to address what wasn’t being address. Things you can do to prevent heart disease in the first place .Mystick Creek Publishing 

#Resilientheart

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Heart Tip:Hug a Tree

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#healthyhearttip

Most of you know, if you have followed my journey, that I love trees and that I even adopted a tree named Grace. This tip is about trees.

Introduction to Chapter 40 from Resilient Heart…Hug a Tree

“It used to be that hugging trees was something that only hippies practiced and that it had little value aside from how humorous it looked. Now it has been validated by science to have incredible benefits for both people, the trees and the planet. Contrary to popular belief, hugging, leaning up against or being near a tree can boost your health in several ways.

Part of the healing power of the forest is due to various oils, called Phytocide which are found in wood plants and some some fruits and vegetables. Trees emit them to protect themselves from germs and insects. Forest air doesn’t just feel fresher, inhaling Phytocide improves immune system function.”

In Japan walking in the woods is called Forest Bathing and it has been prescribed by Japanese medical practitioners for a long time.

“The scientifically-proven benefits of forest bathing includes:
Boosted immune system functioning
Reduced blood pressure
Reduced stress
Improved mood
Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
Increased energy levels
Improved sleep

I experienced all of these things and forest bathing was a huge part of my recovery

Painting is from my series of 32 paintings I did to heal my heart.

Buy the book #Resilientheart

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Yoga for the Heart

 

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“Yoga will boost your heart health! The heart wants to stretch, breathe, move and dance and yoga helps you do that.

When you enter a typical yoga class you will often hear some reference to the heart. Backbends are often referred to as “ heart openers.” You will hear things like “lift your heart” or “shine your heart forward.” Many teachers will talk about the heart chakra, which is the energy center in the middle of your chest. This kind of metaphysical heart-language is common in yoga classes but rarely do teachers talk about the benefits of yoga on balancing the cardiovascular system.

In December 2015 the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology published a review of yoga and cardiovascular disease indicating that yoga may help lower heart disease risk as much as conventional exercise, such as brisk walking. Exercise that increases your heart rate like cardio, isn’t the only kind of physical activity that can help prevent or manage heart disease. The calming, centering, integrating exercise of yoga is good for the heart too. Combine aerobic exercise and yoga and you get even more benefits. “

Excerpt from Yoga of the Heart in the book Resilient Heart.

There are so many yoga videos on YouTube that you can start out with a 10 minute, easy practice and build up to 30 minutes or an hour from there. Even 10 minutes a day will make a difference.

All the paintings in this series of heart healthy tips is from my series of 35 paintings to heal my heart.

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Grounding for Heart Health

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#healthyhearttip

I am passionate about spreading the word about heart health and I am sharing what I learned during my 2 1/2 year journey to heal my own heart, as a way to educate others so they can keep their heart healthy. I had to step out of the traditional box of medicine to save my life. I hope you find these tips helpful ❤️

Excerpt from chapter 35 The Heart of the Earth in Resilient Heart : A Holistic Approach to a Healthy Heart for Women

“Imagine yourself as a child. If you were like me, you never wore shoes and you loved running barefoot through the mud. It was wonderful to feel the water splash and the mud squish between my toes. Dirt, who didn’t like dirt? I even ate dirt sometimes and now I am finding out that it was a good thing for my gut. So it looks like we were on to something when we were children and were naturally drawn to go barefoot.

Could a simple thing like going barefoot outside help your heart? I wanted to see for myself if it would help my heart heal.

It turns out that the sensation we feel when our feet contact the earth is more than just a great feeling. The therapeutic touch of Mother Earth is filled with remarkable health benefits.

A practice called Earthing emerged some years ago and doctors and scientists are beginning to discover that it has many benefits for our health. One of the most promising benefit points to the effect that the contact of earth on skin can have on heart health…”

I can’t wait for Winter to be over so I can get my bare feet back on the earth!

Resilient Heart: a holistic guide to heart health for women

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