Sunday, January 30, 2011

Because Everyday of Your Life is Valentine's Day...

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,
I try very hard to keep our little tearoom as our imaginary salon of escapism, but sometimes I have to come back to real life. I am posting a new collection of my silk brooches in my Etsy shop this weekend, and I have created two brooches in honor of "Wear Red Day", which is February 4th. Starting today and throughout all of February, I will be donating 50% of the proceeds of the sale of my red and black anatomical heart brooches to The American Heart Association.

If you aren't aware of it, "Wear Red Day" brings more attention to the issue of heart disease in women. Contributions assist with continuing public education. Many people do not know that heart disease is the number one killer of women and you do not have to be older for heart disease to affect you. I had my first heart attack at 38. On Christmas Eve, I quietly celebrated my 10th year of survival. My most recent incident happened this past May (I blogged about it here.) At that time, they implanted a stent into my heart and they do not expect me to have any other problems.

Because so many women miss their symptoms, and they are often different in women than they are in men, here are some of the ones you might not expect:
-Shortness of breath
-Dizziness or lightheadedness
-Sudden pain in your jaw, back, arms or stomach (mine starts in my jaw, but quickly moves to a heavy, painful pressure in my chest, followed by severe pain and tingling in my arms and hands.)
-Nausea and/or cold sweats (one of my hospital room-mates thought she had the flu)
-Depression, anxiety and very often, an impeding sense of dread (Is this our intuition speaking to us?)
-Sudden and unexplained fatigue
-Increasing or worsening bouts of heartburn.
-Sleeping difficulties (many middle aged women experience this, but when it occurs when other symptoms, you should take it as a warning.)

You do not have to be overweight, you do not have to have a high cholesterol reading, you do not have to have any sort of sugar problem, you do not have to be older and you do not have to have previous family history.

If you experience these symptoms, call 911 IMMEDIATELY. I felt terrible in a way I had never felt before, but it can be much quieter than that. DO NOT drive yourself to the hospital and do not let someone else take you. The EMTs have treatment they can administer even before you reach the ambulance.

Stay alert. Stay alive.

(There's great information at the Livestrong site too.)

And what will I be wearing on February 4th? I will be wearing this t-shirt. I got it in Paris when Mr. V and I were there for our first anniversary. If doctors hadn't known how to help me 10 years ago, so many things in my life wouldn't have happened. I wouldn't have been married. And I wouldn't have gone to Paris at all.

Everyday with my love Mr. V is Valentine's Day for me.


  1. Betty,
    what a blessing that you found the right help when you needed it!
    Thank you for sharing your experience and your thoughts and warning about this killer! Thank you also for your generosity in helping those who are in need. Your silk brooches are exquisite works of art and so poignant and the thought behind it is truly heartwarming.

    I hope you weather the snow storm well, you and your loved ones stay well and warm and that the power stays on,
    warm hugs,

  2. Hi Betty -Merisi sent me here, and I am so glad she did. Your brooch is awesome. Thank you for sharing the important information on women's heart health and your personal experience. Wishing you continued good health! I'm wearing red today too.

  3. Oh this is very very scary :(
    I'm so glad you're okay now and aware of the symptoms.
    I tend to be a real hypochondriac so I can't think too much about these things :-S

  4. No worries, everything will be fine now!

    And now, we are back to the fun and imaginary world. . .

    See you at the Valentine Tea Party on the 14th!




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