My Good News
First, a little tooting my own horn. I got an email and saw a post on Facebook yesterday morning from Feedspot, a blogging organization, letting me know that Never Say Die Beauty was chosen as #5 out of the Top 25 Beauty Bloggers Over 40. Yippee! They also gave me a cute medal that I can display on my blog. Nice!
About a month ago, I was picked as one of the Top 50 Beauty Bloggers (of any age), but I didn’t get a badge for my blog with that one 😉 I want to thank all of you who read and comment from time to time on Never Say Die Beauty! It was because of you that I got this recognition. xoxo
Now if only Sephora would think that my credentials are good enough to join their affiliate program so I could run their ads, lol. Well, guess I can’t have everything!
American Heart Health Month
February, Valentine’s month, is American Heart Health Month. So if you’re of a certain age, make sure you check your blood pressure and cholesterol. Here’s a link to a useful website about Heart Health Month from the CDC, Center of Disease Control, whose budget, I believe, is being cut unfortunately so corporations can have a big tax cut.
In spite of the fact that I’ve been a jogger for more than 40 years, I have high cholesterol and now high blood pressure. Boo. Unfortunately, my entire family on both my mother’s and father’s sides have or had a history of heart disease or precursors to heart disease. I inherited it. No matter how much and how often I jog (most days), and how I watch my diet (vegetables, fruits, lean meat, and cheese as a treat every now and then), my numbers won’t move on their own. If I were vegan, that might help, but I’m not willing to go that far at this point. A few years ago, I started taking cholesterol meds, and they made a difference. I also lost the battle of trying to get my blood pressure down through jogging and healthy diet. I finally agreed with my doctor that I would start taking blood pressure meds. In fact, we just doubled my dose.
Another thing that I did to try to get a handle on my blood pressure and stress level is to try meditation. Typically, I like things where I can move around like jogging or dancing, but I finally gave meditation a try. And though I can’t say that it’s a total success yet after just a few weeks, I am surprised that I enjoy it. In order to learn how to do it, I discovered a series on YouTube put together by a woman named J. Bittersweet. She has a 30 Day Meditation Challenge for Beginners. She also has Meditation for Stress and Anxiety, and another series about the Third Eye that helps me fall asleep, as well as Binaural Beats and Ocean Waves for Sleep that works like a charm. Here’s the link to the J Bittersweet website, but I mostly use the YouTube videos. They vary in length from about 5 minutes or so each for the Beginners Meditation to longer for the stress and sleep-oriented videos. You don’t actually need the video portion (she’s a cartoon character!) just the audio. I listen to it on my iPhone. I don’t always listen to them in order, but instead I replay the ones I find most useful.
In order to make sure that my heart is OK, I recently had a couple of EKGs. It was more than 5 years since the last one, so it was certainly time. I was surprised that now a technician rolled in a portable EKG apparatus right into my doctor’s office. It took less than 5 minutes. Yay.
As part of my check up, my doctor suggested I have a stress echocardiogram. Several years ago, I had two or three stress tests on different occasions. I would arrive wearing my jogging clothes and get on the treadmill for about 15 minutes or so, and that would count as my daily jog. Usually, the tech would tell me to get off already. I also had a couple of echocardiograms when I was in the hospital about 8 years ago after I inadvertently disturbed a wasp nest. I ended up with more than 12 wasp stings, and I went into anaphylactic shock, a state that can affect your heart. The wasp stings weren’t fun, but I recovered, and the cardiac workup was no big deal even though they made me check into the Cardiac Care Unit to do it.
So yesterday, I put on my summer jogging attire (scoop neck sleeveless top and short jogging shorts) and went in for my appointment. For some reason, I was very nervous about it. I sat in the waiting room trying to meditate, and a middle-aged male tech finally came out into the waiting room and called my name. I identified myself. He said, “Come with me. We’re going to have us some fun.” He didn’t say it in a friendly, joking way, but in a deadpan way. Regardless of the tone and manner, I found it disturbing and inappropriate. Rather than helping my nervousness, it made me feel worse. I followed him into the test room, and he held out a gown and said, “Go into the dressing area. Put on the gown open in the front and take off everything from the waist up.” I said to him that I was wearing my summer jogging clothes, as I had done at my other stress tests. He said that I couldn’t take the test without following his instructions. I thought about it. I don’t know about you, but I am not jogging for 15 minutes on a treadmill almost nude and without a bra for support. He could have easily attached the electrodes to my skin under my bra as had been done in the past. I said, “Thank you, I’ll pass”. He said, “Suit yourself”. I left.
I was very upset because I thought my doctor would be annoyed that I didn’t take the test. When I got home, I wrote her a message via the electronic message board recounting my experience and asking if there was an alternative. We’ll see what she has to say. In the meantime, I contacted a couple of friends who had the same test elsewhere, and I asked them about their experiences. They told me they kept on their bras during the test, and the technicians were all women who were very nice. I plan to call the Patient Relations phone number of the health care facility and talk to them about what happened. I came away feeling like that guy probably thought I was strange for not complying with his orders and for walking out. I think he said something like, “It doesn’t matter to me.” Nevertheless, I hope I can have the stress echocardiogram elsewhere or under different circumstances. It’s an important test to have to compare to my earlier ones, but I couldn’t do it under those circumstances.
I don’t usually write this kind of a post. Hope it’s OK to share my story and my feelings about it on the blog. I’m also wondering if any of you have had a stress echocardiogram, and if so, what was your experience was like? I’m now having a dispute about it with my local health center so I’d like to know how it’s done elsewhere.