These beautiful photographs were sent to me from Maretha Botha, who
is an author, gardener, and photographer.
The center of each flower looks like the heart.
I have a special love for all plants and trees, so these photos are wonderful gifts.
I am reminded of three very special people who had problems with the mitral valves of their hearts.
My grandmother had contracted rheumatic heart disease, which damaged her
mitral valve leaving her short of breath and causing several heart attacks.
Rheumatic fever was the diagnosis my mother heard when she was sixteen also causing
damage to her mitral valve. However, due to advances in medicine she received an
artificial valve in 1962. She was the first to survive this surgery and using the
heart-lung machine under emergency circumstances.
A friend had her aortic valve replaced a mere 15 years ago due to damage to it
during an aortic prolapse.
The advances that have been made in the treatment of heart disorders and disease are quite remarkable. People live longer now due to such diagnostic aids and treatments:
Angioplasty: to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins; stent placement.
Artificial valve placement: for the aorta or mitral valves
Bypass: replaces damaged arteries
Ablation: for atrial fibrillation.
Heart transplant: for those with end-stage disease
A dear and special friend had a transplant about 9 years ago.
He is alive today because of early research by Dr. Christian Barnard,
whose pioneering work has us where we are today.
What can we do to love our heart more?
1. Check your portion sizes. We do not need to overload our plates.
2. Fresh fruit and vegetables. 5-6 servings per day.
3. Whole grains are good sources of fiber.
4. Limit saturated and trans fats.
5. Eat lean meat, fish, and poultry as sources of protein.
6. Keep sodium intake between 1500 to 2000 mg per day, which is no more than 1 tsp.
1. Lowers blood pressure.
2. Reduces stress.
3. Boosts your mood.
4. Helps maintain a healthy weight
5. Strengthens your heart.
**Check with your physician what exercise program is best for you.
Other things we can do when you love to your heart:
LOVE ONE ANOTHER
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, EVERYONE.
May love fill your mind, your soul, and your heart.