Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Look to the left

No, no, no, don't turn your head! Look to the left of this window! See what's coming?

This coming Friday, Feb. 6, is National Wear Red Day! This was begun in 2002 to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Although more women will die of heart disease than all leading causes of cancer combined, women are still denied care or told that it's stress or acid reflux causing their chest pain because women can't possibly get heart disease. Hmm.

Yours truly has observed Wear Red Day for 4 years now after a nasty scare. I was getting terrible heart palpitations and chest pain, which was later identified as the annoying combination of hyperthyroidism and costochondritis (the inflammation of the joint attaching the ribs to the breastbone). This was no brief incident--it took about 6 months to pinpoint exactly what was going on, and a heart problem was suspected. Probably wasn't suspected enough, however: I may have been in my early 20's, but I don't think my doctors should've spent all that time trying to find something minor instead of sending me straight to a cardiologist to get an echocardiogram just to be sure! Again, I was fortunate it wasn't a heart problem, but many women go to the emergency room with similar symptoms, get a prescription for Zantac, and have massive a heart attack a few hours later.

So I'm doing my tiny bit for the day. Would you contemplate wearing red on Friday? (Men, Chris is doing it too, so don't be shy!) And check the links below to see if there are any events in your area--Dallas is the home of the American Heart Association, so I may be in luck this month!

NHLBI - The Heart Truth
Go Red for Women (the web address, I admit, looks shockingly like Gored for Women)

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