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Unseen, Unheard, Unfelt: My Heart Was Begging for Attention

“It’s all my fault. I caused this.”

Have you ever been hit with the realization that your own actions, or lack thereof in my story, directly contributed to your health crisis?

That's the serious reality I faced when I discovered my blood pressure had soared to dangerously high levels.

The truth is, I've always done a pretty good job of leading an active lifestyle and making mostly smart food choices. And then the pandemic. My life just like so everyone else’s was thrown into a state of unknown and disarray. The closure of the world, a painful ankle injury, and the challenges of menopause significantly altered my daily routine. Instead of seeking alternatives to stay active and healthy, I found comfort in food and alcohol, leading to a sedentary lifestyle and weight gain. Or plain and simply: I started feeling sorry for myself. This shift had a severe consequence: a startling increase in my blood pressure, uncovered during a routine medical check-up.

Learning about my high blood pressure was a shock. I now had a clear understanding of why high blood pressure is often called the "silent killer."  I had no real symptoms! Despite my background in health, fitness, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I was now facing a serious health issue head-on.

A detailed discussion with my doctor brought my family's history of heart issues into sharper focus. Given my family history record—my mother's journey with high blood pressure since her 20s, my grandfather's untimely death at 56 due to heart problems, and my father's heart attack and cardiac episodes —it became more than clear that medication was not just an option but non negotiable, alongside significant and necessary lifestyle changes.

The mix of emotions that followed was overwhelming. I was scared, angry, and full of regret because I let things slide so drastically during the pandemic. I felt guilty, and angry because you would think I knew better. I felt regret because  it was all my fault.

However, I also knew feeling sorry for myself wouldn't fix anything. So, I decided to change what I could. I was downright  terrified by the thought that I might not be able to recover. But beneath these feelings was a powerful motivator: It totally pushed me into action — frankly, inaction was not an option.

Embracing the journey back to health has been both challenging and rewarding. I've made deliberate changes to my diet, increased my physical activity, and accepted the role of medication in managing my condition for the time being. This path of recovery and self-discovery has emphasized the importance of proactive health steps, self-care and self-love!

I learned the crucial role of regular health check-ups in identifying issues like high blood pressure early on. Early detection is a huge link in the chain of life saving steps we can embrace!  And I think it’s important reminder that our health decisions impact not only ourselves but our loved ones too.

As I continue to navigate my journey, I'm driven by the conviction that change is possible and that every step towards wellness counts. I hope maybe my story, as simple as it is can serve as a call to action: prioritize your health, schedule those doctor's visits, and embrace the lifestyle changes necessary for a healthier future.

It's never too late to start caring for your heart and health. Start with one foot in front of the other!

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