NAA member starts heart health support group

By O.C. Mangold, CAI, AARE, CES, GPPA

Acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die. It is most commonly assumed the cause is plaque, which is an unstable collection of lipids (cholesterol & fatty acids) in coronary arteries. However, Dr. Chauncey Crandall, M.D., F.A.C.C., Chief of the cardiac transplant program at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. states in his February 2012 Heart Health Report that stress hormones can cause blood clots resulting in occlusion of coronary arteries. This also leads to heart attacks.

Most Auctioneers often create stress in their lives due to scheduling, family malfunctions, overwork, emotional situations, insomnia, indigestion and a variety of unhealthy conditions. The process is known as the “fight or flight” response. Therefore, according to Dr. Crandall, even if you eat healthy you may still be a candidate for heart attack if your life is quit stressful.

Another study by Veronique L. Roger, M.D., MPH of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., identifies a 30-day “Red Zone” as the first 30 days after a heart attack when 50 percent of the 1.1 million men and women who suffer heart attacks each year don’t survive. Once again anxiety and stress can be a major factor. These results were published in the Nov. 5, 2008, issue of the Journal of American Medical Association.

Some other factors contributing to heart disease are aging, genetics, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, eating habits, psychological issues, use of tobacco and lack of physical activity. Stress may be the precipitating cause of some of these factors, especially eating habits.

I am 73 years old and have had two heart attacks and two heart surgeries. Upon discharge from the hospital the last time I sought to find a heart support group as I had severe depression and anxiety wondering if my next step was my last. There was no support group in our community or northern Phoenix. After much thought, prayer and discussion with professionals, I organized “Heart 2 Heart.” The purpose is to develop spiritual, mental and physical support to heart patients. As well as heart patients we have also had cancer patients attend.

We greet each other with “It is good to see you today.” If I don’t see you or you don’t see me one of us is no longer here. The old standby of “How are you” is frivolous as no one really cares or has the time to listen if you tell them.

A local pastor starts each meeting followed by a professional speaker. Physicians, psychologists, dietitians, fitness directors, pharmacists, EMT’s and other professionals disseminate helpful information for maintaining a heart-healthy life. “Heart 2 Heart” is open to anyone including family and friends at no cost. All speakers donate their time. A recipe exchange is an interesting part of the program.

I have been an Auctioneer for more than 40 years. With certainly I can attest to the tight wire we sometimes experience as Auctioneers. My wife and I work together in everything we do. Sometimes our lives have been stressful, but we are always there when the other has needs to resolve. Our “Golden Years” include travel, our three sons and four grandchildren, our puppy, Ike, two horses, Blue and Rusty, and we look forward to start each day with a “Walk with the Lord.”

This article should not be interpreted to be a source of information for diagnosis or treatment of heart disease but contributing factors used by the writer in his own experience as a result of cardiovascular disease.

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