Monday, February 28, 2011

Matters of the Heart

February is National Heart Month and I would be remiss if, as a health care employee, I didn’t do my part to spread awareness. But awareness, as you all know, begins with being aware. Because you don’t commonly find adults in their twenties sitting around talking about heart disease, the realization of being at risk had never crossed my mind.

After receiving a wake-up call at my yearly well woman exam, I decided that I had some tough decisions to make. Faced with turning thirty this year, I have been in deep thought about my life thus far and ultimately what type of example I want to be for my daughter. How will I make her aware of all the inevitable health disparities of our ethnicity? Most importantly, how will I teach her to overcome these pitfalls?

I found myself overwhelmed with sadness at the thought of my daughter being filled with fear and uncertainty if something were to happen to me. Because she is my heart, the choice was obvious. Taking care of me would be the best way to teach her the way to a healthy heart.

 I have rededicated myself to regular exercise and changing my eating habits. Because every journey is tough in the beginning, I leave little love notes to myself and pictures of my inspiration (my precious daughter and her beautiful smile), to keep me aware.

My challenge to all who read this: What have you done for your heart lately? 

Nikki Hall-Branch is a communications coordinator at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post, Nikki. Good for you for living healthier to set a great example for your daughter. She'll thank you for it when you're both old ladies! :)

    I think I'll take your tips of love notes and picture inspirations to use for myself, as I continue to get back on the healthy (healthy eating, especially) track. As for what I've done for my heart lately? I ran the Cowtown 10K this weekend, and am getting back on track for my half marathon training. :)