How I Really Feel About…….. Pain

Pain….. is something I deal with daily. And I am guessing that many of you do as well! It has just become a part of our daily lives and something many of us don’t give a second thought to. And most of us would give anything to have one pain free day where nothing hurt at all without having to take a pill to get that way. That being said it has become a BATTLE for some to actually get the medicine that they need to treat said pain. Thanks to all those who are abusing pain medicine it makes those of us who actually battle chronic pain to also be viewed as an addict to some care providers. It is so sad that people who have chronic pain and live in pain everyday have to jump through such hoops just to get the medicine that we need to be able to function.

I usually try to stay away from the highly debated issues like this, but I read something that really struck a chord with me this weekend. A fellow Lupie posted that she got to the point where she could no longer handle her pain at home with all the alternative options, and ibuprofen she has at home. So she went to the ER, simply because she didn’t know what else to do. And of course because her primary complaint was pain, she was looked at by some of the care providers that she was simply drug seeking. And I know she is not alone in this I know this happens all the time. It has happened to me when I went in to the ER with a Hemiplegic migraine, there was no test to show that I was truly in pain so its easy to assume that I really just want pain medications. I even had one doctor tell me that I was just a hypochondriac and that there was no reason for me to be seeking treatment in HIS ER.

That’s the whole problem with autoimmune conditions and chronic pain syndrome, there is not always a blood test or imaging that will show that the patient is truly hurting. Most doctors don’t understand autoimmune conditions therefore they don’t understand why we are in pain. If they can’t see a lab result change or something on an MRI or CT Scan to explain the pain they just don’t get it.  And it frustrates me to no end that I can’t be honest about my pain with some of my doctors without them looking at me and thinking I just want the drugs. When in all reality I just want a day where I can wake up and function like a normal person. I don’t like how the pain medications make me feel but if that is what I have to do to function then so be it. I think many of you would agree with me when I say I just want a day without pain. I would give almost anything to have a day, a week, a whole seven days where I didn’t hurt somewhere and I could do all the things that I want to do without having to spend the next day(s) in bed.

The government at the local, state and federal levels are trying to do what they can to change how pain medications are prescribed and filled to decrease the level of abuse. In some states you are only allowed a seven day prescription no matter what the reason for needing pain medication is. In other places you have to give a urine sample every thirty days before you can get a new script to show that you are really taking the medicine and not selling it. Pharmacies are now being linked in many states throughout their local areas to try to prevent those abusing drugs from doctor hopping and having multiple scripts from multiple different doctors. While all of this is positive and will hopefully start to decrease the abuse of pain killers. It has actually made it harder for those of us who really need it to function. We are being made to jump through more hoops then ever before.

The real question I guess is how do we change the views of these care providers, especially ER providers. Where they see a large amount of drug seekers everyday. What can we do to prove to them that we aren’t wanting more and more medications, that we just want help getting through this flare up. Even with our conditions in our charts that say LUPUS, MIGRAINES, ENDOMETRIOSIS or whatever conditions you have that cause pain, they still often times wonder. I have thought about this a lot and have come to the conclusion that we will never change the way they look at us. We just have to have tough skin and prove to them that we don’t want an extra script or something new to take at home, we just needs something to break the cycle we are in. Maybe one day more doctors and care providers will start to understand the conditions that cause chronic pain. Until then we are stuck in this horrible rut and just have to prove our self to each new provider, and show them who we are and what we stand for.

With Love,

Amber

The Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me

Even though I’ve been diagnosed with Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and Endometriosis there are still things I come across that I wish someone would have told me about. You all know what I’m talking about, those little “tricks of the trade” that people who have been dealing with that condition for awhile and no one shares with the newbie. So after having a discussion with several people across several different groups, I have complied a list of things by asking others who have autoimmune illnesses. The list we complied could apply to anyone, not just me, but could change the way you do or look at things!!

-I wish someone would have been honest with me and told me that it may take MONTHS or YEARS to accept the changes brought forth by the illness. If you can ever truly accept the changes.

-I wish someone would have made it more clear that this is not something you can adjust to overnight! It may take a lifetime to fully adjust to the changes in your body, your energy level and your fatigue.

-I wish someone would have mentioned the depression that happens as you start to really accept the changes in your life is real. As well as made it clear that is is okay for you to feel that way! And suggested early on that seeing a counselor might be a good idea. 

-I wish someone would have prepared me for the fact that there is a very good chance that you won’t make a LOT of the plans you schedule, due to your health. Even if it was something you planned and were looking forward to. You just may not make it!! And in most cases your friends will never understand why you can’t just get up and go.

-I wish someone would have prepared me for the fact that not all Rheumatologist’s (or other drs for that matter) know much about Lupus or the way to treat it. And most even if they are familiar may not know the newest meds or what’s really best for each individual patient.

-I wish someone would have reminded me that no one will understand what is happening to me, and no one will stand up for me like I will. I MUST ADVOCATE FOR MYSELF AT ALL TIMES!!! (As do each of you reading this!)

-I wish someone would have told me that anytime I go to the dr or the ER with a pain related issue that I am most likely going to be treated like a DRUG SEEKER!  Whether I am or not. The drs don’t care. They just go off what they see before even talking to the patient!!!

-It would have been great to know that many of my friends and some of my family would turn their back on me and simply walk away! Because they don’t understand the changes in my life or just simply can’t handle it.

-I wish someone would have prepared me for the pain I would feel, not only from Lupus & Fibromyalgia, but also from Interstitial Cystitis and Endometriosis!

-I wish I had been prepared for the fatigue that Lupus brings on. It’s not like any fatigue I have felt before. It can honestly be totally disabling.

-I wish someone would have prepared me for the cost (even after insurance) that I will have to deal with and pay out of pocket.

  -I wish people understood that exercising and eating better will NOT cure my conditions.

  -I wish someone would have prepared me for how hard it is to keep a full time job doing the things you like once you are diagnosed with a life changing disease!

-I wish someone would have prepared me for all the dumb questions I get based on my conditions. I know people mean well, but their delivery could definitely be worked on.

– I wish someone would have prepared me for all the conditions that would come along after lupus. I had no idea that once Lupus came into my life that he would then invite all of his unwanted friend.

This is just a list of things that was combined from a poll Results from a questionnaire in an autoimmune support group, along with my own thoughts. I know many of you feel this way and could contribute many more points to the list. I hope you enjoyed reading this and it made you think about all the things that you have to deal with. Please feel free to share this with friends, family or others who suffer with chronic illness. And always remember YOU ARE NEVER ALONE IN YOUR JOURNEY!! There are always many of us out there willing to help and talk you through any struggle!!

With Love,

Amber

You Behind The Illness (tag)

I was tagged by Michelle Munt from JumbledBrain.com. Those of us who are chronic illness bloggers are always focused on spreading awareness and understanding, we sometimes forget to show who we are, not just “what” we are! So this tag is to help us share a bit more about our personalities and give you a better idea of who is behind the blog!! You can read Michelle’s Behind The Illness Post here. I have tagged a few other bloggers on my social media but anyone is more than welcome to take part. Thank you Michelle for nominating me to do this!!

Four places I’ve lived:

  1. Kansas City, MO as a baby and only for a very short time.
  2. Southwest Missouri
  3. Southwest Missouri
  4. Southwest Missouri

So you can tell I haven’t lived very many places. In fact I’ve lived in the same town since we moved from Kansas, City. That being said I’ve moved 11 times and lived in like 9 different homes! Just all in a 15 mile radius of the same town!

Four Places I’ve Worked:

  1. When I started working I was 14. I worked in the summer for a family opened company who ran all the permanent food stands at the local fair grounds. It was Interesting, and I learned many good lessons. But I HATED coming home smelling like a GIANT Corn Dog or Funnel cake.
  2. As I got a little older I spent a year or so during my sophomore and junior year, working as a hostess as the local Applebee’s! There I leaned about how to deal with hostile people and that I NEVER wanted to be a waitress. I was (and still am) far to clumsy for that!!
  3. My next job was at Staples the Office Supply Store, I worked for three years. I kind of did a little bit of everything in those years. My main job was a cashier/customer service rep. But I also worked in the Copy Shop and could do all things that might need to be done back there. I also helped out in all the departments if needed and stocked shelves. I even learned how to work in the cash office and prepare the deposit for the bank. I learned a lot of valuable skills at this job.
  4. My last full-time job was at one of our local hospitals where I worked as a PCA in the earlier years and an RN for the last 9 years. I did everything from bedside patient care to charge nurse on the ward. To pre-admission calls pre-procedure. All which were jobs I enjoyed and am glad I had.

Four favourite hobbies: This one is hard for me to choose my top favorites. So in no kind of order here they are below. I also couldn’t choose just FOUR so I added a couple more!

1. Spreading awareness of many conditions while also teaching others the importance of acting as an advocate for yourself.

2. Writing for my blog and being able to write about chronic illness. As well as talking about beauty products and how women can find themselves again after diagnosis.

3. Running my support group on social media for people with like illnesses! And making lifelong friends in this group!

4. Running my small Business selling Senegence. I get to play with makeup everyday and help women feel more confident in their own skin.

5. Reading, when I can!

6. Spending time with my little sister who is 18 and heading to college in the fall! Also I love spending a lot of time on ballfields watching her play. Sad that this summer will be her last year because she’s. It playing in college.

Four things I like to watch:

  1. I LOVE Grey’s Anatomy.
  2. I watch more reality TV then I would like to admit. I think I watch bc I’m Just shocked how stupid people can act and how these super rich people spend their money.
  3. I also really enjoying watching many VLOGS on YouTube. There are several channels I follow.
  4. I have recently started watching The Resident which I really LIKE. I’m only a couple episodes in and can’t wait to see what happens the rest of the series.

Four things I like to read:

  1. Anything by Barbara Taylor Sissle. Barbara writes with heartfelt emotion and page-turning suspense, her stories focus in ordinary families and what happens when they are abruptly confront with extraordinary circumstances.
  2. Kristin Hannah writes mostly women’s fiction. She has written the feel good books to more historical books. I’ve yet to find a book by her I don’t like.
  3. Jesus Callimg Devotional Books- these are by far the best devotionals written!

4 Other bloggers work – I like to hear about their lives and their health. I also enjoy reading others work because often times something they say will spark and idea for me to write on. And I just learn so much over all from so many different bloggers. Not just Chronic Illness, but beauty and lifestyle and travel!!

Four places I’ve been: Let me preface this by saying I haven’t done a lot of traveling but hope to one day!

  1. Washington D.C. – I think this may be one of my favorite trips. I went when I was a senior in Highschool to march in The Fourth Of July Parade without ha band. The reason it was so cool was that it was the first 4th of July parade in DC since the 9/11 attacks. So that will be a trip I will always remember.
  2. Los Angelos- I traveled there when I was nine. I have such fond memories from that trip. We went to Disney, road a boat from LA out to Catalina Island and I spent a lot of time in the ocean
  3. Charleston SC – I found this trip to be interesting because Charleston has so much history. The historical houses and everything.
  4. Cancun Mexico- This was an amazing trip, we went scuba diving (learned quickly that’s not for me), we went to a local mall for shopping, say some of the historical areas. The resort was fabulous. I would definitely go back with a different travel buddy!!

Four things I love to eat:

  1. Potato’s – I’ve yet to find any version of potato that I don’t like! Mashed, baked, fries, you name it I Love them all!
  2. Cantaloupe & Watermelon- During the summer I can not ever eat enough of these two. I wish they were around and fresh more than just a few months a year!!
  3. Spaghetti/pasta- This is another thing that I’ve yet to find a pasta or spaghetti dish that I didn’t like. Pasta by itself, with sauce and no meat, with meat sauce, with cheese, I LOVE it ALL!!
  4. Sweets- I’ve had to learn self control when it comes to this! But I love cookies, brownies, cakes, cupcakes and ice cream lol. I don’t ever buy any to keep in the house so I don’t have easy access to it. Lol

Four things I love to drink:

  1. Milk- in the weird person that could drink milk all day, with any meal! The only kind of milk I don’t like is Whole Milk.
  2. Water is my main drink. I really don’t drink anything besides milk and water. I know I’m pretty different. I’ve tried tea, coffee, soda, juice and I just don’t care for it!
  3. Hot Chocolate – the only time I drink this is the cool times of the year. I like to add a little milk to it and it’s soooo good!
  4. A Cocktail once in a blue moon! I rarely drink but I do like a good cocktail if I decide to.

Four places I want to visit:

  1. Hawaii – There are just so many gorgeous beaches and so many things to do if you want to. And it’s just gorgeous. What more could you ask for.
  2. Australia – It just blows me away to think that is a place on earth where there are wild Koalas and Kangaroos roam!! And to me that makes it sound amazing.
  3. Canada – I have always wanted to go to Banff, Canada! I’ve seen some videos of people who went and it looks absolutely magical in the winter! And to maybe see Niagara Falls!
  4. France – I probably mostly stay in Paris! Because I love looking at the buildings and castles. As well as the Eiffel Tower!!

I hope you learned a little about me from reading this. As I post this on social media I will tag for more people to do this tag!!

A New Way to Look At Feb 14th…..Aka National Donor Day

Image result for organ donation free images

We all know February 14th to be Valentines Day, the day of love and the day to celebrate the ones we love.  But to many it is a day to celebrate something much different. February 14th is not only a day to show your loved ones how much you love them, it is also a day to talk about organ donation.  February 14th is National Organ Donor Day. Which for some is different way to share love. That being said, how much do you really know about organ donation? Is it something that you would do? This can be a somewhat controversial topic, because not all believe in Organ Donation. That being said today I am just going to provide you with information on Organ Donation and you can decide how you feel.

National Organ Donor Day is observed every year on February 14th, and is meant to be a day to increase awareness about organ donation as well as the number of lives that are saved by donation. National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and the United Auto Workers partners, along with support of the U.S. Department of Health of Human Services and several nonprofit health organizations. Here is a statistic that honestly was a little shocking even to me. Did you know that right now in the United States alone there are 120,000 people waiting for a life saving organ? There is a focus on all types of donations on National Organ Donor Day. The focus is on donation of, organs, eye(s), tissue, blood, platelets, and marrow. The later are donated by living donors who participate in blood/marrow drives. It is also a day to recognize anyone we know who have been given the gift of donation, have received a donation or are currently waiting on an organ.

Here on some stats about Organ Donation (many that I was actually shocked by):

  • 33,611 transplants were performed in 2016.
  • 20 people die each day waiting for a transplant.
  • 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation but only 54% are actually signed up as donors.
  • Every 10 minutes another person is added to the waiting list.
  • Only 3 in 1,000 people die in a way that allows for organ donation.
  • Currently there are candidates for transplant on the U.S. national waiting list.
    • Nearly 2 out of every 3 people on the waiting list are over the age of 50.
    • Almost 2,000 children under 18 are on the waiting list.
    • Almost 70,000 people (58%) on the list are ethnic minorities

STATS FOR GRAPHIC ABOVE:Waiting List by (lowercase) Ethnicity (7/2017)Caucasian – 41.7%African American – 29.2%Hispanic – 19.5%Asian – 7.7%Other – 2.2%

STATS FOR GRAPHIC ABOVE:Organs People Are Waiting For (7/2017)Kidney – 82.9%Liver – 12.3%Heart – 3.4%Lung – 1.2%Other – 2.5%

  • In 2016, about 62% of organ recipients were male; 38% female.
  • More than 82,000 corneal transplants were performed in 2016.
  • More than 1 million tissue transplants are performed each year.

STATS FOR GRAPHIC ABOVE:Transplants Performed in 2016 by OrganKidney (singular) – 19,062Liver – 7,841Heart – 3,191Lung – 2,327Kidney/Pancreas – 798Pancreas – 215Intestine – 147Heart/Lung – 18

  •  In 2016 more than 4 out of 5 donations came from deceased donors, and 1 out of 5 donations from living donors

I am honestly shocked by the number of transplants that are done on a yearly basis. Even after working in the health care field for 12 years, I was not aware of the need or the number of organs that have been donated. I think one thing that is clear is that the number of people needing organs far outweighs the number of organs donated.  In my opinion most people do not donate simply because they aren’t aware of the needs and because they do not understand the process, not because they just don’t want to, or simply don’t believe in organ donation. That is just my opinion and what I have seen in the research.

There are several ways that a person can donate. First is organ donation after death. According to Organdonor.gov  there are more than 125 million people who have registered as organ donors, but only around 3 in 1,000 can actually become donors when they die. There a multitude of reason someone could not be eligible to donate. Some of those are certain kinds of infections, or conditions like cancer. If you want to be a donor after you die, it is essential that you make your family aware of this decision and make sure it is your Living Will.  If there is no legal documentation that you chose to donate then it will be left up to your spouse or family to make the decision at the time of death. You should also be registered to donate and I will talk about how you can register to donate at the end of this blog.

Another way to donate is to be a living donor. The majority of organ and tissue donations occur after death. That being said there are organs that can be donated while living, these organs would be kidneys, as well as part of a liver or lung. Unlike when you die when your organs go to whoever is most needing that organ. When you do a living donation you can elect to give your organ to someone, as long as you are a match (which I wont be talking about in this blog). Many living donors donate to family or friends so they can have more quality of life. Surprisingly, there are just about as many living donors every year as there are deceased donors.

Do you want to register to be a donor but don’t know how? The easiest way you register through the DMV when you get a drivers license. You should also check the box and sign the back of your license to show that you want to donate. Another way you can donate is to go to the Organ Donor Registry and register through that website. It also never hurts to carry an organ donor card in your wallet. And like I discussed before,  you need to talk to your loved ones to make them aware of your choice to donate your organs so they can follow through with your wishes. Image result for organ donation free images

I am aware that organ donation is not for everyone. But I wanted to give everyone information on the topic. This is a very personal choice and not everyone will chose to donate. That being said, the more we are educated on what organ donation is and how it can benefit others, the better we can feel about the decision we make for our self and our loved ones.

I hope everyone has a great Valentines Day and will spend some time looking into organ donation.

With Love,

Amber

 

References:

https://www.organdonor.gov/statistics-stories/statistics.html

https://organdonor.gov/about/process.html

Celebrations

https://www.organdonor.gov/register.html

Finding Support

Support is essential when you are living with some kind of chronic illness. When your life changes and your health declines you feel more and more alone. At first your family and friends can’t seem to understand what you are dealing with. They try but in a lot of cases they really can’t understand what we deal with daily unless they live it. Sadly, as your health declines you often lose much of the support you did have, because people either can’t deal with what is going on or get annoyed that you can’t do the things you used to do. So where do you find support? Where can you find people who can sympathize with what you are dealing with?!?

Now days you can find just about anything on the Internet, including support. By doing a simple search on any web browser or on Facebook you can find a multitude of online support groups. A group can be found for just about every condition or diagnosis. But just because they are out there doesn’t mean they are helpful. An article written in 2011 for Science Daily stated that after a year of research the participants found less support from Online Support Groups than they did from in person support groups. But really it comes down to what suits your needs best. If you can find a group where you can make personal connections and feel like you can truly open up then you will gain from being part of that group. Whether its online or in person.

If you visit the LFA website (Lupus Foundation of America) you can find a page just for research and information on your condition. There are tabs for newly diagnosed patients, a tab for children and teens, a tab for caregivers and even information for healthcare professionals. This can be helpful for everyone, they can find any kind of information that they are looking for that helps to understand the condition you are dealing with. Also on this page there is a link to help you find a chapter in your area that may have support groups. I was a facilitator for the local chapter in my area for awhile. Sadly, the chapter eventually closed even though I live in the third biggest city in our state due to lack of interest. A lot of people do not even know that groups like this exist. Despite our efforts to spread the word we were never able to grow the group enough to keep it going.

If you are looking for local support groups or informational meetings many hospitals have groups in place. They may not have a group that is just for individuals with Lupus, but there are usually groups in place for things like arthritis or something similar. If your hospital doesn’t offer a group of any kind, you can also check with other hospitals in your area. Chances are pretty good that you can find a local group somewhere near you.  You can also ask your doctor for recommendations of any groups that are available in your area.

If in person groups are not for you you can always search Facebook for support groups like I referenced above. If you search for Lupus Support Group, in the Facebook search field you will get at least 50 groups. There are groups for people in certain states, people with multiple diagnosis, people with SLE, or Discoid Lupus. My point is that you can find a group for just about anything. Not all of them will be for you so I recommend trying a few different groups. Personally for me after I spending several months searching for “The” group for me, I still couldn’t find one that really felt like “home.” So I gathered a few of my lupus sisters, who I had gotten to be good friends with, and we started our own group. We named it Lupie Groupies. Over the years since I started the group we have grown to over 600 people in the group.  But we are able to keep the small family like feel. And that is important, I think we all need a place to go where you can be open and vulnerable and not feel like you are being judged. If you don’t have that safe feeling you are less likely to really be open or gain any benefit from the group.

The biggest complaints I have heard personally about online support groups is that they are all doom and gloom and full of people who always complain. And that is possible. When you have a major diagnosis that is a major part of every part of your life there will be some gloomy days. If you find a group that you feel is to negative than move on and find a new one.  In order to really benefit from a group like I said before you need a place where you can be open and vulnerable. But you also need a place that is uplifting and supportive. Without those qualities you will not benefit from the group.

You also need friends that are supportive and uplifting. That can be more hard to find than a good support group. Honestly, the best friends I have who keep me going are people I’ve never met in person. They are people that I have found over the years in online support groups. They are the people that I can whine and moan to without judgement, because they get it. I don’t have to worry about judgement when they ask how my day was and I am completely honest. To many it seems strange to have friends you have never met, but I am okay with my being people I haven’t met. These women are always there for support and I am always there for them. My biggest recommendation is that you find a good group to join and make friends with some people in those groups. Those are the people who will get you and how you are feeling and truly support you!! I also recommend giving your family and local friends some time. They to are dealing with the life changing diagnosis that you are, they are just dealing with the changes in a different way. They need time to think about, research and get used to the new diagnosis and how it is going to impact you and your relationship with them. In most cases they will come around and be supportive at some level. Some more than others. And some never will get it. But sadly that’s just the way it goes.

The takeaway here is that you need support when you are dealing with a life changing diagnosis. You may not find in the most conventional places like in your family and friends, and that okay. We have to take it where we can get it. Without good support we can’t truly deal with the changes we are experiencing and that can impact your health in a negative way. If you can find a good support group then stick with it. It really be can be life changing.

With Love,

Amber

Go Red for Women, Women’s Heart Disease

You may have likely heard a LOT about going red for women lately, as February is Heart Health Awareness month. But was does Go Red really mean, Well, according to Go Red For Women the Go Red for Women initiative started in 2004 due to the fact that women were not paying attention and often dismissed the thought of heart disease. As they saw it as an older mans disease. So the Go Red for Women initiative was started by American Heart Association to raise awareness to the fact that heart disease and stroke is the number one killer of Women! They felt that the Go Red for Women was a passionate, emotional and social initiative that would empower women to take charge of their own heart health!

So let’s look at some statistics about Heart Disease and women:

  • Heart disease and stroke are the cause of death in 1 out of 3 women each year. It’s estimated that heart disease kills one women every 80 seconds.
  • There are an estimated 44 MILLION women in the United States alone who are affected by heart disease.
  • Approximately 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
  • Higher Lifetime risk of stroke are found in women.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Hispanic women, killing approximately 21,000 yearly.
  • Heart disease and strokes are the leading cause of death in African-American women, killing over 48,000 women yearly!
  • 80% of heart disease and stroke events could be prevented by lifestyle and education.
  • In general fewer women survive their first heart attack then men.
  • Hispanic women are more likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women
  • Symptoms of a heart attack can be much different in women vs men.
  • Women who get involved the Go Red for women movement live healthier lives.

These statistics are sobering. One of the above facts that needs to be discussed further is the fact that the signs and symptoms of heart attack can lookvery different in women & men! So let’s look at typical signs of a heart attack that many know, and signs seen in women.

Signs of a Heart Attack in men:

Pain: may have pain in between shoulder blades, arm, chest, jaw, left arm, or upper abdomen and pain may occur at rest. The pain is often be explained as an elephant on the chest or crushing chest pain!

Other Symptoms: dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness, clammy skin, sweating, heartburn, indigestion, nausea or vomiting, feeling of anxiety or impending doom, or shortness of breath!

Signs of a Heart Attack in Women:

Pain: Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, or pain in the center of your chest. It may either last a few minutes or come and go. (They don’t generally have the crushing chest pain that men do!). They may also feel pain in one or both arms, the back or the stomach.

Other symptoms: shortness of breath with or without chest pain, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light headedness.

As with men, the most common sign is chest pain of some kind. However, women are more likely to experience fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath or pain in the back or jaw.

As a women what can I do to prevent a heart attack or heart disease and stroke?

There are many ways that this can be done. But here are some of the most common ways that we can prevent heart disease.

The biggest way we as women can prevent heart disease is EDUCATION!!! Any women with the right information, education and care by physicians can treat, prevent or even delete the risk of heart disease. Some studies have shown that by making healthy choices deaths from heart disease have declined by 330.

A person with heart disease is also at risk for a stroke. Not just a heart attack. So let’s look at the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Let me just stress that if you or a family member feels that they are having a stroke, one should get medical attention immediately!

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke:

  • Trouble walking, speaking and understanding as well as numbness of the face, arm or leg. (Numbers is generally noted on one side of the body)
  • Weak muscles, problems with coordination, stiff muscles, overactive muscles
  • Balance issues, fatigue, lightheadedness or vertigo
  • Blurred vision, double vision, sudden visual loss, or temporary loss of vision in one eye
  • Difficulty speaking, slurred speech or speech loss
  • Difficulty swallowing, headache, problems understanding what others are saying, mental confusion, rapid involuntary movement

Here is a list of lifestyle changes that can be made to prevent strokes and heart disease:

  • Don’t smoke, and if you do currently, you need to quit ASAP!
  • Watch your blood sugar and make sure you are keeping it within a healthy range!
  • Watch you blood pressure and with the help of a physician find a way to keep it in a healthy range.
  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Know your family history
  • Find a way to get active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a healthy diet

Even though Heart disease & Stroke are the number one killer of women, it is preventable. We need to share information and education with all women to make sure that we all know the things we can do to lower our risks and prevent heart disease.

With Love,

Amber

References:

– Heart.org

-goredforwomen.org