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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 15 - Matters of the Heart

1 Feb 2006

When it comes to February, we usually think of Valentine's Day when it comes to what I call matters of the heart.  The heart is symbolic of life, love, and passion.

These past few weeks, another matter of the heart has touched my mother's and my life.  My mother had a mild heart attack.  Symptoms were subtle as she felt no pain in her chest.  She had pneumonia and was taken to the hospital for treatment and that is when the good doctors discovered that she had heart disease. 

So, we thought we generally ate healthy foods, had regular exercise, not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages regularly, and we should be fine.  But, there may be other conditions we have overlooked.  And, in mom's case, she has high blood pressure and diabetes -- two risk factors in heart disease. 

According to the guidebook produced by Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre, other controllable risk factors in heart disease are smoking/exposure to second-hand smoke, high cholesterol, lack of regular exercise, obesity, and stress. 

There are also some uncontrallable risk factors, which include heredity (family history), age (older people have higher risk), and gender (coronary artery disease is more common in men than women).

Here are some comparisons between two types of matters of the heart.  It may seem odd to compare love/passion and heart disease, but, here goes.

1.  Both can come on full force and it's like you were hit by a truck ten times!  You can fall in love so fast, and you could get a sudden massive heart attack -- both are rather dangerous. 

Sometimes, love and heart disease can be subtle - it develops over time and you may not feel anything, and may not feel anything unless it was brought to your attention.  That gives a different meaning to the phrase, "Love is blind" -- in other words, you didn't even know it!  So, I guess what I'm saying is, we will not all feel love or heart attacks in exactly the same way.  Err on the side of caution, and check yourself out and try and get to know yourself better before you get into real trouble.

2.  Healthy love and a healthy heart takes lots of time and patience to develop.  If you're looking for fast love and a fast-track solution for a healthy heart -- you may be asking for trouble.  Remember the song, "...you can't hurry love.  No, you just have to wait..."  And, if there was a song about having healthy hearts, I think it would be along the same lines (Can anyone think of a song about healthy hearts?)

3.  Sometimes, you can make mistakes in diagnosing love and heart disease (or heart attacks).  I've learned, through my own experience with health issues, that one problem may be due to another or perhaps, they are related.  In my case, problems with digestion will not only effect my stomach and intestines, but, it may contribute to my skin problems too.  So, when it comes to matters of the heart, seek expert  or experienced advisors for assistance.  There's no sense in getting hit by a truck over and over and over again -- and you wonder why the truck kept coming at you.  Well, maybe, you might need someone to tell you to get out of the way!

4.  In order to have healthy love and a healthy heart, there are risks involved.  You risk rejection when in pursuit of love.  You risk exhaustion and possibly, hurting other parts of your body, if you focus only on your heart.  Risks are worth taking, but, I think it's important to have balance too.  I realize that each individual will have his or her own ideals about love and being heart-healthy.  Anyway, just have fun dating, have fun exercising (doing your cardio workouts), have fun "walking across Canada" (lol) -- just HAVE FUN!

Hope you all have a wonderful February and have a sweet Valentine's Day with family, spouses, kids and friends.  (Eat some chocolate on my behalf, so that I'll feel like I'm very satisfied!)

Be well,