Waiting for the jug to boil seemed to take forever this morning. It was 10am and I had not yet had a coffee. I had also had nothing to eat but the need for coffee was louder than my need for muesli. My muesli was ready and the jug was still taking it’s sweet time to boil. Did it not realise I neeeeeeded this coffee, Right now.
Today I went to the pathologist to get some blood tests and an ECG in the name of heart health. I had to fast for the blood test and not having a coffee this morning nearly killed me. I know heart disease is much more serious than caffeine withdrawal, but this morning it didn’t feel like it.
The tests were pretty straight forward. Some bloods and then the ECG. It took longer to connect me up to the machine than it did to take the reading. Seriously. All those sticky bits and then attaching the electrodes to the sticky bits. It was a little unnerving, but I didn’t feel a thing. Even the sticky things were easy to take off afterwards.
The worst part of the whole process was talking to my GP. He measured my height and weight and discussed my terrible BMI score. This is the bit I wasn’t looking forward to. It’s not like it’s a shock to me that I am overweight. I know. But it’s one of those things I’m really defensive about and when the doctor told me my BMI score, I wanted to say “Oh yeah? what’s your’s Dr Fatty?”. But I didn’t. I just said “yep” and nodded. He wanted to talk about seeing a dietician. I don’t need a dietician. I need a motivational therapist. Or a personal chef. Or my mouth sewn shut and a feeding tube inserted.
But seriously, heart disease is not a laughing matter. Heart disease is the biggest killer of Australian woman. Heart disease is not just an “old person’s” concern. I have a friend in New Zealand that has had two heart attacks. She is thirty-five. My brother also had a heart attack at the age of thirty. Here are some startling stats from the Heart Foundation Website.
- Heart disease is the number one killer of Australian women
- Heart disease claims 27 female lives every day (9,780 deaths in 2011)
- Heart disease kills more than three times as many women as breast cancer (9780 heart disease deaths vs 2,914 breast cancer deaths in 2011)
- 90% of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease and 50% have two or three
The risk of heart attack increases as we age, but it doesn’t mean we can ignore it until then. Check here to see what risks you might have and how to reduce or manage them. It’s not that hard to get a heart health check done. It really isn’t. Picking up a problem early and managing it is much easier than dealing with the heart attack. Heart disease often has no symptoms. Don’t let your first symptom of heart disease be a heart attack.
The Heart Foundation has the most amazing website full of resources and answers to all the questions you could ever think of regarding Heart Health. I thoroughly recommend getting a check up and reducing the risk factors that you have control over before it’s too late. Heart disease is largely preventable.
So, what’s next for me? I get my results in a few days. If something shows up on the ECG, I will be referred to a cardiologist. But even if everything comes back OK, I still need to do something about my weight. I don’t have to wait for my results to get started on that one. So, when are you getting your heart health check?