This Friday (2/4/11) is not only the day that I fly south in search of warmer weather (and people who want to buy what I sell) – it’s also National Wear Red Day! This special day takes place on the first Friday of February each year to raise awareness of heart disease being the #1 killer of women and to raise funds to further the fight against heart disease.
I’ll be rocking my red and screaming my story (as usual!) and ask that you join me. Would you commit to telling at least two people some simple facts on Friday? Spreading information is the first step in fighting heart disease! For the record, I already have one friend that essentially converted her office into a heart disease awareness center (you da man, Dawn!) and another (to remain anonymous) who has promised to wear red undies – can you top these guys?! I would LOVE to see some fun/crazy “I wore red and_________________” stories in the comments! (For those technically-impaired, e-mail me and I will post the goods myself!)
• Heart disease is the #1 killer of women.
• More women die from cardiovascular disease than from the next four causes of death combined – including all forms of cancer.
• A woman dies from cardiovascular disease every minute.
• Only 1 in 5 women believes heart disease is her greatest health threat.
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
Since my end-stage heart failure was originally misdiagnosed, spreading awareness of symptoms is particularly important to me so that people can advocate for themselves in the future. My story could have been very different if I had recognized my symptoms.
• Shortness of breath, especially while lying flat
• Swelling due to fluid retention (often in the legs and other limbs, mine first showed up in my abdomen)
• Increased heart rate
• Tiredness, fatigue; persistent coughing or wheezing; lack of appetite, nausea
• Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain)
• Upper body discomfort (one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, stomach)
• Shortness of breath
• Cold sweat, nausea; lightheadedness
I am so grateful for all of the support thus far in joining the fight against heart disease and driving awareness of organ donation. I hope you will join me in wearing red on Friday! For more information, go to www.goredforwomen.org.