The Heart of It All

It’s February, the month of love! Everywhere you go there are hearts and candy and sweet valentine cards for that special someone in your life. While all of this is sweet and romantic, did you know that February is American Heart Health Month?  Heart disease is the leading cause among men and women in the United States causing 1 in 4 deaths annually.  The good news is, you can work to prevent heart disease.  It does not have to be a death sentence for you or someone that you love.  Maintaining an active lifestyle by moving 30-60 minutes per day can get your blood pumping and circulating like it needs to through all the vital organs and arteries in the body.  Both of my grandmothers suffered from heart disease – having two of the main causes: high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  While blood pressure can and most likely will exhibit warning signs, you will not know about your cholesterol unless you visit your primary care physician for your annual physical and blood work.  Checking in with your physician at least twice a year is very important to see where your numbers are.  Not just for your blood pressure and cholesterol, but for your a1c levels – which determine where your glucose levels lie, cardiac enzymes if you are at risk for heart disease, and a complete blood count which checks for a plethora of anomalies within your blood and organ operations.

Some of the contributing factors to heart disease can be considered hereditary.  So, the importance of knowing your family history is well…IMPORTANT!  As we are already ¼ of the way through the month of February, I implore you to evaluate and think about what you have done to improve your heart health and to prevent any cardiac events in the future.  Have you stared exercising and becoming more active?  Are you avoiding trans fats?  Have you reduced your sodium intake?  There is a thing called:” Life Simple 7’s,” which include core health behaviors such as smoking, physical activity, diet and weight.   On the flip side of the coin, you have the health factors which include cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose control.  All these factors combined or on their own and collectively can contribute to your overall cardiovascular health. 

My challenge to you – in honor of my two wonderful grandmothers who are no longer with us is to be heart smart this month and every month.  Don’t just take the month of February to meet the challenge, but from now and beyond.  I challenged all my followers on social media to strive to take 8,000 steps or more each day throughout the month of February, but DON’T stop there…keep going in 2019.  Heart disease can happen to anyone.  It can be the result of another medical condition because all our body systems work together.  Walking is a simple task that requires no additional equipment.  I have turned the space between my living room and my playroom into a walking track this week because my son was sick and I couldn’t go in the garage on the treadmill and I couldn’t go walk the neighborhood and although I may have looked foolish doing laps around the sofa and the maze of toys, I got my steps in! I encourage you this month, GET UP, EAT BETTER, MOVE MORE, CHECK YOUR OVERALL HEALTH, and most importantly, BE HEART SMART!

                 Follow me on IG @jerrica_and _jerome or @wife_woman_mother_magazine_ to be a part of this month’s challenge. You have time to catch up and send in your monthly step numbers to enter in the contest for a special surprise.  I want to see everyone making strides this month…literally.

January…Trial Month

January, the first month of the year, the month of renewal for most because of the New Year and resolutions, and the month of my birth. In 2018, that first month of the year seemed to go on FOREVER, there seemed to be around 77 days in that one month. It was so long, everyone in the social media universe realized it and memes ran rampant throughout the Twitterverse,  Facebook, and Instagram. However, this year it rode a G5 from the 1st to now. Time has passed so fast until I haven’t had time to organize my thoughts or even complete a sentence it seems because the month has basically said, “No Ma’am!”.  I have come to the conclusion that I may be suffering from the “holiday flu.”

What is the holiday flu you ask? It’s that hangover you got in college that took days to go away except this is not an ailment from drinking, but from all the family and friends, holiday parties, cooking, taking the kids to their functions, my husband being on vacation the last 3 weeks of December and the first 2 weeks of January, not enough sleep type of ailment. I had big plans for January but I had to call in sick for the entire month! I’ve only successfully managed to keep the kids alive, feed them, get them to school daily, keep them clean, manage the household, take them to orthodontist and doctor appointments and spend a great deal of time on the phone passionately discussing with insurance about things that were already being done…but hey, it’s a new year and a new deductible!  A proper date night has yet to be arranged with my husband, I haven’t set monthly goals, hell – my tree is still up and fully decorated.

So, January you were my trial month to see if 2019 would be a successful year and as rough and rocky as our relationship started – I see big things happening from here on out. In short, 2019 I have decided to stay and not skip ahead to 2020…as if I had a choice. CONTINUITY is the word for the year and it means the unbroken and consistent existence or operation of something over a period of time. There will be a continuous flow of progression throughout this year and beyond, but for now I’m just trying to survive January.

Stepping out on Faith!

20150510_135641So, I’ve decided I’m starting a magazine. I’m meditating and praying for guidance.   This is not only for me, but it’s for my family and many other families out there looking for guidance, information, and a little entertainment. I’m hoping to have a Oct. / Nov. Issue at the latest…we’ll see where the Lord is leading me. Faith is how I roll, and I’m channeling my God like faith and putting my faith where my mouth is.  This is something my pastor recently preached on and it’s sticking with me for a reason.  I’m stepping out on faith to do what’s best for me and my family.

Is there something holding me back?

Life is a brief intermission between birth and death, enjoy it.

I have experienced a lot of loss this past 7 months and each situation I have handled in a different way.

The death that hit me the hardest was the death of my father. We knew he was sick, but we didn’t know the extent of the situation until he stopped talking, developed that far away stare,and stopped eating. I received the call around 6 am January 11th and although I wasn’t expecting it, I knew it would come.  I cried that moment, but I didn’t cry again about it,  I haven’t been to the cemetery since the day of the funeral, I haven’t cried about it since that day, and I feel like something is wrong with me because I haven’t mourned him like I should. Is is because I knew he was suffering and my prayer had been that once he began to suffer, I asked God to take his suffering – even if that meant taking him too. I didn’t want to see him suffer, knowing that my mom was his primary caretaker and it was taking a toll on her as well. Hopefully soon I will get the nerve to visit his resting place and actually get that cleansing cry that I need, but I know that it will be something that I have to do alone.

Left:Daddy with his great-nieces and his granddaughter

Insomnia

Here I sit, headphones on, Sade telling me I know her better than that…she’ll be there by my side. Well Sade, I’m here alone with no one but myself because unlike everyone else I’m awake! That is not your fault Sade, but you make being awake a little more bearable.  I’m resting in the good ole’ recliner because I am in my 5th week of a 12 week non-weight bearing tibial plateau fracture which sucks. I was supposed to be days away from a beautiful beach vacation with my wonderful husband, my two beautiful children, and my lovely mother who has been great with staying with us cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children. Unfortunately accidents happen and they keep you from taking those precious moments to frolic in  the ocean and pack on unexpected bills that currently sit neatly on the table beside me. It’s been an adventure that’s for sure. I had a surgery that I wouldn’t be able to recall but I can see the scars. I think I have taken so much powerful medicine that the insomnia medicine doesn’t even work anymore! I know this much, I cannot wait until I have two good legs to walk on and I can enjoy my family.