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the Heart Truth

the Heart Truth

February 2, 2007

In 2000, the mother of a very good friend of mine died from congestive heart failure. I’d like to say that it was sudden. But it wasn’t. Unexpected, yes. Preventable, yes.

She had been sick for a few weeks with, what we came to learn later, were the typical symptoms of congestive heart failure. However, since she was a woman, her symptoms were ignored. She was sent home from the doctor who told her she had a cold. Sent home from the hospital and told she had bronchitis. Sent home from the hospital a second time and given antibiotics. Not once did anyone check her heart. She died that night.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked if I’d like to attend the Red Dress Collection Fashion Show in NYC. The Red Dress is a symbol for heart disease awareness and heart health for women. You can read about their campaign here.

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Sort of shocking, isn’t it? I can honestly say that I don’t give a moment of my time fretting about the possibility of dying from heart disease. I really don’t. Now breast cancer? I think about that all the time. Along with every other cancer I have ever heard of, leprosy, asian bird flu, or drowning when my car goes off of a bridge and I am trapped inside.

So, this is obviously a worthy cause. And I was excited to go. I haven’t been into the city for YEARS, which is sad since I only live a short train ride away. And I have never been to a fashion show. And honestly, I think my self esteem has been a little to high these days and I can stand to see some tall, skinny, beautiful people to remind me that I am a housewife, with a muffin top and sagging boobs. I kid. My self esteem has never been high.

But then? I found out that there was going to be a party at night! With celebrities! I have no idea what celebrities and I probably won’t know who they are even if they told me their names. But I will take pictures anyway like some kind of crazed shut in.

And because it is all about me, I have no idea what I am wearing. All my clothes scream suburban housewife. I feel like I am one small step away from white reeboks and high waisted jeans.

Since it is National Wear Red Day and I am going to be at this event, I felt I should wear red. But after buying and returning, and buying some more that I plan to return, I have discovered that I don’t like to wear red. I do not own one red item of clothing. I never realized that before this week. So today I bought a red necklace. It will have to do.

And before I hand my son back over his computer. My husband made us reservations at some “cool” historic hotel. Yes those are ironic quotes. To say I am slightly concerned is an understatement. I mean, I live in a “cool” historic house, when I go away I like it to be somewhere nice.

Posted by Chris @ 12:43 am  

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Comments

  1. Tricia says:

    But where’s your computer????

  2. daring one says:

    Have a blast. At least the cool old hotel will not require your blood, sweat and tears and will not contain any charming young people whose noses need wiping… at least not by you.

  3. Novaks8 says:

    Oh I hope you have a wonderful time!

    You deserve it more than anyone I know!!!

    (and you would look wonderful in a potato sack)

  4. Toni says:

    Have a wonderful time!

  5. diana says:

    I think this a great cause!!! I am a 25 year cancer serviver and also have congestive heart failure.(due to the cancer treatment) After the birth of my third baby I had a pace maker/difibrulater put in.
    I enjoy reading your blog almost daily.
    Thanks for bringing a smile to my day!!!

  6. Shelby says:

    One step away from high waisted jeans isn’t a bad thing since they are coming back. Gwen Stefani and Jessica Alba are wearing them..it’s all the rage if you can pull it off.
    Have wonderful time!

  7. Sara says:

    At least you won’t have to call a plumber in the “cool” historic hotel. Probably. Have a great time and post those pictures. I want to see just how many celebrities I don’t know too!

  8. Meritt says:

    Hey look - Nicki Hilton went to the Macy’s version of this “Kiss and Tell” red dress fundraiser…. and SHE didn’t wear a red dress…

    http://www.splashnewsonline.com/2007/02/02/spend-or-steal-spot-the-richer-lady/#more-638

  9. Katie says:

    What a good cause! Have fun and I can’t wait to see pictures!

  10. jody2ms says:

    You go have a blast!! And bring us back loads of pictures!

    If you head south into Greenwich, go to Balducci’s and get some yummy stuff to bring home to the kiddos. http://www.balduccis.com/pdf/Chelsea_opening_final_.pdf

    Louis “Pop” Balducci in the above article, was my grandfathers brother.

  11. Holli Smith says:

    WOW! That sounds like an absolutely wonderful evening! I’ve never been to the city and would feel so small and alone if I went! You wear whatever makes you happy and your little red necklace will be fabulous!
    You (more than anyone) deserve a night out with adults! And thank you for bringing to light a health problem that I didn’t know existed! It’s something I will definatley spread the word about.

  12. Woman with Kids says:

    I bet you’ll have a fabulous time. And if things are boring, you can follow the latest trend and get out of the car and make sure not to wear panties!

    Have fun!

  13. liz says:

    Have a raucous time. And thanks for reminding me to wear red today!!!!

  14. Meg says:

    PICTURES, CHRIS. PICTURES.

  15. CathyC says:

    Oooohhhhh, I hope it’s the Park Plaza! Have fun snapping all those pictures. I hope you’ll be kind and post them for us. I’m a shut in, too;)

  16. Chris2 says:

    Have fun! Um, the computer? I was so excited to hear how it’s working. I’m thinking, it’s not. Again.

  17. Heather says:

    How exciting and what a great cause! Have fun!

  18. Jordana says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your trip into the big city and your time away from the kidlets and out in society. You’ll look marvelous.

  19. steph says:

    I love the red necklace idea. Short black dress (right at knee), scoop neck, sleeveless (yes, you have nice arms) and heels. If you want to go extra fancy, get one of those red shawl-y things.

    I read in some magazine yesterday (I think it was last Feb’s Self) that when you are in a group of women, cross out half of them, because that is how many will have a heart attack. Half of those will die from it.

    good cause.

  20. steph says:

    and don’t forget to wear panties.

  21. Jennifer says:

    That is so cool. Have a wonderful time. You will look beautiful. And what a great cause.

    Also, I cracked up at part about your self-esteem.

    And didn’t you get a red coat for Christmas? Too casual?

  22. Becky says:

    I work for a cardiology clinic attached to a major research/teaching hospital in the South and this is an issue close to all of us here. Amazingly, most women don’t even know what CHF is, let alone do they worry over the condition of their hearts. Coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure are considered to be men’s issues often by patients and their primary care providers which creates a situation where easily diagnosed heart problems slip through cracks in the medical system until them become major problems. I’m thrilled to see someone outside of the medical field writing on this subject. I hope everyone who reads this blog will tell one or two friends, spread this life-saving information.

  23. Playdate Susan says:

    Red necklace! Good work!

    I woke up this morning a little sad that I wasn’t getting on a plane and meeting you in NYC. But you probably stand a better chance of getting lucky with Rob there.

    Probably.

  24. LadywithaLatte says:

    “I feel like I am one small step away from white reeboks and high waisted jeans.”

    Wow. This is what I wear. Nearly every day. Should I feel bad?

  25. Frauke says:

    Yay! Come on over to my City! Enjoy the party and let us know what fabulous people you saw/met!!!

  26. kathy says:

    I can’t think of any dress you’d NOT look spectacular in. Just make sure you wear those fuck-me heels with it. Oh, and the panties. Definitely the panties. Maybe a thong for Rob. I’ve heard people wear them and not just because they are masochistic. Well, *they* say. :)

    have a wonderful time. And I can’t tell you how nice it is to know I’m not the only one envisioning death by “locked in my seat going over the rail of a bride-itis”.

  27. kate says:

    Have a great time Chris! The red necklace will be perfect. I was in new york this week and it was awesome!

  28. peepnroosmom says:

    Have a wonderful time. You would look great in anything you wear, but the necklace sounds perfect.
    At least at the “cool” hotel you won’t have to do any renovations or painting.
    I am a 7 year cancer survivor and I think about it returning every day, but never give heart disease a second thought. After those statistics, I believe I should be more concerned than I am.

  29. Deborah says:

    Wonderful cause! I am wearing red today in honor of my dad passing away due to a heart attack. I made a donation in his name. I’m sure you’ll look great in red!

  30. Jenny says:

    How fun! Red is my best color ;)

  31. Danielle says:

    I hope you have a wonderful time.

    I would also not have any clue who the celeBRAT ies are. I’m soooo far out of anything cool.

  32. April says:

    So Kelly Ripa mentioned on her show this morning that she was walking the runway for this tonight! Pictures Chris! Pictures!!

  33. khristalee says:

    Are you famous? How do you get invited to these type of things if you’re not? You must be.

  34. rachel says:

    hope it was a wonderful time! I was wearing red yesterday (ok, it was red jammies, but still!)

    thanks for drawing attention to heart disease - you’re right, I don’t think about it much. But we want pictures! And your computer back!

  35. amy says:

    I too have no red. A burgandy necklace is as close to red as it gets for me.

  36. Michelle says:

    I’m wondering if cool old hotel means haunted! :) That would be fun and blog worthy for sure!

  37. Beth F. says:

    I hope you had a great time! I can’t wait to see pictures!

  38. jules11 says:

    Hi Chris,
    I have been reading your blog for a while but too chicken to comment.I love hearing about you and your family its 1 of the highlights of my day, you make me feel like a normal mom(called Mammy here in Ireland)Looking forward to hearing how you got on in NYC.Bye

  39. Marie says:

    I lost my mother to a heart attack 15 years ago (New Year’s day). The week before, at Christmas, she had complained that her arms ached - she wasn’t able to lift them higher than her shoulders. None of us thought much about it; we all chalked it up to holiday stress.

    The ironic thing is that we all knew she had a heart problem (her brother had had a heart transplant due to heart disease and hen she’d participated in a study at the Mayo Clinic, which was when she discovered her own heart disease). We just never saw it coming.

    I still miss her every day.

  40. khristalee says:

    okay lady, get writing about your good time at the fashion show! Now that you’ve gotten me addicted to reading everything you write, I’m jonesing for more! Where are you?