Heart to Heart with Mama
May 8, 2011
By: Stacy Sawyer
So it's Mother's Day. Each year I hope this will be the year that something special happens, maybe my husband will take the kids to get me something or I'll get breakfast in bed. But truth be known, it will be the same daily routine. I'll get up when my toddler wakes, then about an hour later I'll wake everyone else up in the house to get them ready for the day, about an hour or so later I'll be screaming "Let's go!" because we'll undoubtedly be running late for church. So instead of the same daily routine, I'm taking it in my own hands and have decided to make this Mother's Day special for me and my mom.
This year I'm going to treat my mom to lunch and have a very important conversation with her. I'll admit I don't really want to have this conversation, but everyone needs to. I'm talking about heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. One out of every thee women dies of heart disease. And our family history is full of heart disease and stroke. You hate to think about that statistic when you're in a room full of women. It could be you, your aunt, your mom, your grandmother, or even you daughter.
I know, it might not sound like the typical Mother's Day gift, but it is a gift of life. Plus, I've come to the conclusion that we either go thru a couple minutes of awkwardness or deal with years of pain without her.
So, I'm going to share with you my agenda of the conversation:
First Family History - "So Mom, what did Grandma die of?" "Heart problems." "And what about Aunt Jo?" "A stroke when she was just 42." After I've established family history and valid concern I'll move into step two.
Review our current health. This will take us to www.mylifecheck.org
for our current heart health score.
Thirdly, we'll determine ways we can improve our heart health. Maybe we'll start walking together or planning heart healthy family meals.
Then I'm going to encourage her to become a volunteer of our advocacy efforts at www.yourethecure.org
because every voice needs to be heard.
Lastly, we'll sign up for Go Red For Women at www.goredforwomen.org
where we'll get information on how to improve our heart health.
I think the initial start of the conversation might be a little weird, and knowing my mother she'll act as though I'm worrying about something that doesn't need to be worried about. But we here at the American Heart Association know that prevention is key. So with that, we shall see how it goes.
Hope you can do the same with your mom this Mother's Day. Enjoy your special day Moms!
Communications Director -- American Heart Association
I invite your questions and feedback
Groups & Non-Profits Article 5901
Stacy Sawyer is the Director of Communications for the American Heart Association. She can be reached at (989) 225-7513.
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