Archive for December, 2010

As we celebrate the New Year, we’ll undoubtedly be thinking of what was, what is, and what will be.
We can’t change the past, (what was) but we can reflect on what we could have done better to improve our lives and those around us.  Reflect I say, not dwell!
We have no time to dwell on or be concerned with any negativity in our lives.  Make 2011 a year without aggravation.
We each have the opportunity to make today (what is) and tomorrow (what will be) better than the last.
In 2011, embrace your hopes and dreams.
Believing in yourself is the cornerstone of happiness. I Believe In You.
I’m a firm believer that when we take steps to improve our own lives, we positively impact those around us in more ways than we know.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!
Isn’t it nice to be alive and to be able to make decisions?
I hope all of your Heart Healthy Dreams come true in 2011. – Keith

Cookie Control

This really happened yesterday.
6 year old: “Mom, can I have a sugar cookie for dessert?”
Mom: They’re all gone.
6 year old: Where are they?
Mom: Ask your Uncle Keith
6 year old: Uncle Keith, did you eat the sugar cookies?
Uncle Keith: I did eat the sugar cookies
6 year old: MOM, I think Uncle Keith has a Cookie Control Problem.
All this from a 6 year old. I felt like saying; “I’m Uncle Keith and I have a Cookie Control Problem.”
The moral of the story – I need to control my Cookie Control Problem!

Unwrapping Your Gift

Merry Christmas and Heart Healthy Holiday Wishes to Everyone.
The greatest gift I receive will have no wrapping paper, no bow, and no nametag yet I’ll know it’s for me.
My gift is — Another Day.
Living with Heart Disease means I take nothing for granted.
The lights on the tree will be brighter, each ornament will be more special, the turkey will smell better, the cold air will feel fresher and the kids playing and running will sound like a symphony.
Everyday is Christmas and everyday is a gift. – Keith

I was just at an airport waiting patiently for my ride to pull up in passenger pick-up.
Two guys, one a traffic enforcement officer and another a motorist waiting for his passenger. These two guys started yelling at the top of their lungs hurling every swear word and insult at each other imaginable.  The traffic cop wanted him to move his car.  The driver had his passenger literally walking down the sidewalk. I though they were going to go at it.
I simply couldn’t believe how in the holiday season such a simple thing turned into a Heart Attack waiting to happen Stress Test for these two guys. Their Blood Pressure must have been through the roof – for nothing!
Take it easy.  Parking lots, shopping carts, and long lines are going to happen. Consider it part of the season. Relax. Take a deep breath. Laugh it off if you can.
The days will always come and go but adding stress certainly doesn’t help our hearts. – Keith

I ask parents to raise their hands if they want their kids to be Lawyers, Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Scientists, Senior Managers, CEO’s, etc….
They ALL raise their hands.
Then I ask them if it was all worth it if their child has a Heart Attack at 45 years old?
My Point-
Parents need to get involved and demand that funding continue in ALL health and physical education programs.
For the most part, each school district dictates its own curriculum.  Physical education should be mandatory through grades 12 and required every semester a student is in school. – Keith

Lunch With Open-Hearts

Today I attended the annual Holiday Lunch with the Mended Hearts Chapter of Las Vegas.  There were about 33 fellow survivors in attendance along with some friends and family.
One thing’s for sure, these folks take nothing for granted and cherish life’s everyday pleasures.
After Heart Surgery or Cardiac Intervention such as Pacemakers, Stents, Angioplasty, etc… Many people go through a depression phase. It’s not uncommon.
One of the best ways to get out of that “funk” is to be around and speak with others who understand what you’ve been through.
Support groups are a fantastic way to share personal feelings and experiences.
If you’re a survivor or family member of a survivor, please see if there’s a local Mended Hearts Chapter in your area and attend a meeting.
Many members are involved in hospital visits after patients have surgery or cardiac procedures.  I remember having a visit at my bedside by a member of Mended Hearts after my open-heart surgery.  I knew that I wasn’t alone. – Keith

I just watched the movie ELF with Will Ferrell as Buddy the ELF.  This movie inspires me to believe that anything is possible.  We limit ourselves too often by listening to what others tell us we can or can’t do, or more importantly what they believe is possible or impossible.
Belief, Magic, Hope, Faith, and the possibilities of infinity abound.
Imagination = Infinity!
Believe in yourself!
Did I mention I cry every time I see this goofy movie? – Keith

Heart Disease remains the leading causes of death in the US.
Obesity is an epidemic.  Obesity is a leading contributor and cause of Cardiovascular Disease.  It’s a well-known risk factor.
If Obesity is the most preventable of all the diseases, why are we having such a hard time doing something about it? – Keith

Americans born today have a greater chance of not living as long as their parents.  The CDC Center for Disease Control released new data that indicates that life expectancy has fallen.  Although it’s different for men, women, and minorities, the fact that it has declined is alarming.
A couple of the key trends noted in this report are that stroke has dropped to the 4th leading cause of death.  The article credits efforts of the American Heart Association as a reason for the trend along with major advances in stroke therapy.
Heart Disease and Cancer are still the #1 and #2 causes of death in the US accounting for 48{1ee8873d3da54571ef77633feec9b2f18618b0dba2f28faf42edb28003d1c6f7} of all deaths.
Obesity has risen to such high levels and contributes to heart disease and diabetes, both potentially leading to an early death. – Keith
To read the report click here: Center for Disease Control

OK, OK, When is enough, enough?
What would you do if you were told you can’t exercise?
The doctor just told me that I couldn’t exert myself until the first of the year. He said no more physical exertion such as treadmill, cardio, or heavy weightlifting until at least January 1.
I just had this biopsy on my bladder and it turns out I tried doing a little too much too soon.  (you can read my previous blog post) I’ve been climbing the walls and feeling like crap. I’ll spare everyone the details.
I need to allow sufficient time for healing at this point. No exceptions.
With the holidays here in full swing and not being able to exercise, how do I prevent a holiday weight gain.  The answer is quite simple although making it happen will be more challenging.
The only answer is to not consume more calories than we burn. That brings us to our BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate.
Your BMR is the number of calories you’d burn if you stayed in bed all day or sat on the couch and did nothing all day.  Our bodies burn calories even at rest.
At 5’10”, 210 pounds, male, My BMR is @1926 calories to maintain my weight.
To determine your BMR you can click on the link, enter your numbers, and find out approximately how many calories you burn by doing nothing.
If I consume fewer calories each day than my BMR shows, I’ll lose weight.  If I consume more, I’ll gain weight.  Simple but equally challenging.
What I can do is go for a nice walk.  I think I’ll be walking at the lake quite a few times in the next month.  At least I can walk. – Keith