From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

“It’s never too late to take your heart health seriously and make it a priority.”   Jennie Garth

This past month was dedicated to a rising awareness of heart disease in women.  However, we should keep in mind that we all are at risk of developing some heart disease or condition.  The human body is a perfect machine with organs interacting to perform vital functions and the heart was made to never skip a beat.  Some chronic diseases can lend to difficulty in breathing and locomotion.  Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a chronic disease that affects the heart pumping system.  The primary function of the heart is to pump precious fuel to keep the human body functioning.  The classic symptoms of CHF are retention of fluids as evidenced by weight gain, edema of the legs, and difficulty in breathing.  One of my fond memories of my father is that he and my brother took extreme care of their Volkswagen.  They almost weekly would remove and clean the motor to help maintain it in perfect running condition.  We can compare the human body and a car motor.  However, like any machine, we can expect some wear and tear.  CHF does not mean necessarily that the heart is about to fail, but rather the heart may be weak and the effort to pump blood is difficult.  The best maintenance to keep our hearts in optimal working condition is to recognize the symptoms of CHF and be proactive to help maintain a healthy heart by following preventive measures such as better eating habits, physical activity, and weight control which help us live longer lives.