Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Odd book titles

Saw this at CVS yesterday. Talk about titles that make you stop and go "Huh?" My first thought was "How does anyone have a successful heart attack?!"

I had time to kill while waiting for prescriptions to be filled, so I decided to flip through the book. Learned a few interesting things rather quickly. These two surprised me:

1. One of the early (and most often overlooked) symptoms of congestive heart disease is unexplained weight gain. As the heart becomes less efficient, you become edemic. Peripheral edema (swollen hands and feet) is fairly noticeable, but fluids also build up throughout the body, including your abdomen.

2. You find yourself eating less, because you're feeling full sooner (fluid buildup in the abdomen pressing on the stomach), but you're not losing any weight, and your clothes are feeling tighter.

The other symptoms are more obvious -- you get tired faster, find yourself feeling exhausted after doing something (climbing stairs, walking to the bus stop, going for a bike ride) that you never had any trouble with before, or have shortness of breath after not much exertion. Of course, a lot of those symptoms are also things it's really easy to discount as just being part of getting older so a lot of people ignore them until something more dramatic happens.

I did buy the book -- I figured that when my calendar now includes regular visits to a cardiologist's office, I am part of the demographic the author is targeting. If nothing else, maybe the next time the word "ablation" comes up in conversation in an examining room, I'll be a little better prepared to deal with it.

1 comment:

  1. I have never fussed and worried over my heart and I've over worked it pretty hard at times. To the point that it took me to the floor. Get tough or die I say.

    When I was young I had a bad heart murmer (sp) and was not expected to live long. But it just seems to get stronger over the years.

    It or something will fail me someday, but I don't spend much time fussing about it, I just live for today and seldom go to doctors and don't take any meds.

    I have no intention of getting old enough to be shitting in a diaper again. I'm not afraid of dying, that isn't a concept to an omnipresent spirit.


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