Frightening WAKE UP CALL for me and Heart Disease

Wake up call for Heart Disease…

As I write this, my memories flood back to my Dad, my wonderful, brilliant, loving, happy, “healthy” Dad leaving us in 1975, suffering a fatal heart attack at age 47.  I was 22 years old. I’m now 60. My heart feels this loss every, single day.

Yesterday, my heart felt something different.  My heart was getting a message from my Dad.  My heart felt an urgency to WAKE UP, damn it.  WAKE UP.

I was at the GO RED for WOMEN American Heart Association Luncheon in downtown Providence with my Mom, my daughters Audrey and Jane, and my husband Barry.

Audrey gave the Keynote Speech, talking about losing her grandfather before she was born, a loss that has affected her life and the lives of her children.  My Dad never held any of his grandchildren, read to his grandchildren, played with his grandchildren, or gave any of them his signature gigantic hugs. Audrey’s oldest child is named for my Dad, William; and Audrey is now expecting her 5th child, a baby girl who will be welcomed by 4 older brothers, William, Alexander, Benjamin and Henry.

Audrey talked about her expertise, Social Media, and how important and valuable it is for women and men to get messages out to millions of people about the dangers/threats/deadliness of heart disease through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogging.  Audrey sent out a Tweet (@AudreyMcClellan – she has 31,000+ followers) yesterday morning, asking her Followers to Retweet a fabulous Hands-only CPR video by the American Heart Association, featuring Ken Yeong, and by 1:00 pm, over 200,000 people on Twitter had seen the it.  THAT’s spreading info!

I listened.  I felt exactly what Audrey was talking about; but I felt it all the more IN MY HEART because before the speeches and luncheon, all attendees were given the opportunity to go through a series of tests/indicators/assessments – measuring Cholesterol, Glucose, Blood Pressure, Body Fat Percentage, Height and Weight.

How cool and fun!

Was I particularly worried about my results?  Well, I do have serious family history of heart disease; but I eat so well and I exercise and do yoga and run marathons and swim and bike and even did a Half Ironman at age 58.  I keep up very nicely with my 9 grandkids, thank you.


Numbers don’t lie and the consequences are alarming…

As I listened to the speakers at the GO RED Luncheon talk about heart disease among women as THE #1 KILLER OF AMERICAN WOMEN, and watched the “Tweeted” video about CPR, and listened to advice to keep an eye on each other, and listened to my own daughter’s speech about spreading the news of heart disease on every Social Media outlet possible to HELP SAVE LIVES…


I’ve discussed my family history of heart disease with my family physician and he keeps a close eye on things, but seeing those numbers outside of my physician’s office on a beautiful sunny day at a HEART HEALTHY event… well, that is the definition of WAKE UP, Sharon.  That was my Dad.

My “numbers” tell of HIGH RISK for heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and even kidney failure.  Fortunately for me, my lifestyle of eating very well, exercising and knowing family history risks, my other “numbers” look pretty damn good, if I do say so myself;  my Body Fat Percentage is “Healthy”, my Glucose is “Optimal”, and my Body Mass Index is “Normal”.  I like those words.

I will be researching ways to get my Cholesterol and Blood Pressure in better check-off categories.  Pronto.  I will do whatever I have to do… because I DON’T WANT TO DIE.  I know that pain.  I know that loss.  I know that void.  I know that heartbreak.  I don’t want to leave my family or this earth.  Not yet.

You see how important events like GO RED Luncheons are?  You see how crucial it is to listen to experts and other women and share ALL YOU KNOW about Heart Disease with EVERYONE YOU KNOW?

Please do.  Please listen.  Please get your “numbers” checked.  Please do something about “bad” numbers.

Please share information through every source you have with everyone you know.

Please learn Hands-only CPR.  Please learn to PUSH HARD AND FAST (watch the American Heart Association video and laugh as you learn!).

Do it for your heart. Do it for the hearts of those who love you.


I know I will…

Yep. That’s me. And I think I have this Hand-only CPR thing down!




Frightening WAKE UP CALL for me and Heart Disease was last modified: July 17th, 2017 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (2)
  1. It really is sobering to feel physically fine, but to see numbers that tell a different story about what might be happening inside. You live a very healthy life, and inspire so many women already, but this is the kind of reminder that all women, regardless of how thin, or active, or ‘healthy’ should get screened, get the facts and get educated. Thanks for sharing your stories!

Frightening WAKE UP CALL for me and Heart Disease was last modified: July 17th, 2017 by Sharon Couto