Matters of the Heart

I used to think of my heart strictly as this mechanical processor that kept me alive by divine order.  Since I've been a mom though, I've come to realize that my beating heart is more than a machine, but a meditation, starting someplace in the past, leading someplace to the future, with a very strong hold on the present; not only sustaining me, but guiding me, and even thinking for me...

But this big little heart of mine has a beat so fast that it once needed morning and evening cocktail of little pills to calm it down.  And before giving birth and then learning all of systolic and diastolic pressure and pulse rates, I had no imminent reason to care passionately about my heart beat at all.

For all that it is and all that it does, this, lover of lovely things & life-keeper that is my heart, cannot keep doing good without my cooperation.  Like the time I was totally out of blood pressure control medication because my VA primary care doctor erroneously discontinued my prescription. It took damned near an act of Congress to get a new one.. And as I swallowed the last dose on hand, I believed that my heart beat and my blood pressure were under control only as long as those last pills I took were in my system.  And in a weeks time, my meal planning and cooking went from relatively smart nutrition to uber heart support and high performance heart nutrition.   I went beyond exercising and eating right to embracing macro whole foods for a gravely significant purpose.. I lived aware -like a fever dream with vivid revelations of me laid up in some cardiac unit or buried dead, leaving my daughter to graduate college and get married without me. I was overly concerned that something bad could happen fast and even silently.

Even while on active duty, mastering the 15 minute mile and half, racquet ball league and bowling league play, even bicycling was my delight, I never gave any actual thought to  what it takes to really take care of the heart.. if it's the kind of heart that needs taking care of. But at this stage in my life, it's a joy to embrace heart health, as well as whole body spirit and soul health, if you love life.  And for the record, I do love life. 

Back when I was seriously low on meds, I spent half a day scouring magazines and nutrition sites to figure out what else would help me lower my blood pressure naturally.. Then I went grocery shopping for heart healthy blood pressure nutrient rich foods only.

And as an  enthusiast of R&R, B&Bs and hitting lots of healthy Zs, I was needing to see a healthy heart beat to get better sleep; to meditate and visualize the hows and the whys worked wonders after I found this helpful and educational heart video. I was able to close my eyes and get restful sleep, feeling every hard and dedicated beat at about 120 laborious resting heart beats per minute.  Waay too many, even for me.

I don't mean to over complicate this.  Back then, I just really needed to figure out a plan to keep my "high strung" heart calm while waiting for my medication to arrive.  I admit I believed it could be the end, and I took steps to make sure my house was in order, just in case.  Surely.. Hypertension stage 2 is just that serious.  That's all I'm trying to say.  And I wasn't willing to stress out for a quicker cure by trudging over to the Dallas VA. But I'm glad somebody got it together enough to send my medication express mail.  Since that time, six years ago, I thought I was very committed to saying farewell to the easy way of managing my blood pressure.  And because I've been a full time student and freelancing, I'm still using doctors who are on the government payroll. I minimally spend my money on shakes and pills and nutrition bars and such, but max out on the mindful living and loving touch.  For I do believe in my heart of hearts that my heart and my life are worth the things I do specifically for them more than the things I don't do.

© This original photo & commentary by Jackie D. Rockwell |All Rights Reserved © 2008-2018 |

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