Friday, February 25, 2011

Heart failure awareness week

Photo illustration from LHSC event showing Dr. M. Arnold.
This was "Heart failure awareness week" and London Health Sciences Centre held a public education event in one of the hospital auditoriums Wednesday.

Dr. Malcolm Arnold, one of the heart failure specialists at the event, says:

"Although we are seeing rates of other heart diseases decreasing, heart failure cases are rising in the population. Heart failure is now the most common diagnosis in hospitals for patients over the age of 65."

"Through careful lifestyle management and treatments it is entirely possible for someone with the condition to continue living a healthy and active lifestyle. There are many advances in treatment and good health management that can improve symptoms, prolong health and keep people out of the hospital."

Clearly heart failure is not automatically debilitating but there is a pressing need for heart failure awareness. Learning about the signs and symptoms of heart failure is the first step in protecting oneself.

This event was especially important to me. My mother died of congestive heart failure, a good friend is on diuretics to control his water retention caused by heart failure and I may have a heart condition known as ARVD which can lead to a progressive loss of healthy heart muscle. Tests to confirm my heart disease are ongoing.

Events like this one are an important part of a well-rounded, total approach to health care.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shadows on snowy slopes, superb

The shadow cast on the snow doesn't accurately mirror the fence.
I had to go to the hospital Saturday. This may sound odd, but I was in an incredibly good mood. When you are puzzling through a serious heart problem, a blue sky above bright, white snow with cold, crisp, winter air makes one feel oh-so-alive. And that a-l-i-v-e feeling spells happiness.

On the way home from the hospital I saw the shadow featured today. The road home went up a small hill  leaving the university grounds — the hospital is just north of the university. A black iron fence ran beside the roadway. The moment I saw the shadow cast by the fence climbing that small hill, I knew I had a picture.

Saturday was one fine day!