My tonsils are huge. Every doctor who has every examined me agrees. And it’s the reason, they believe, that I’ve been getting strep throat on and off for the last few years. I was last afflicted in August and that time the infection caused another health ripple.
Without going into too much medical detail, the strep caused my thyroid to go out of whack and I became temporarily “hyper thyroid”. One of the side effects of hyper-thyroidism is a racing or irregular heartbeat, and is the one symptom that really concerns doctors.
For the first time in my life my heart would start racing while I was just sitting there and it caused me to think about my heart health in a way that I hadn’t ever before.
I’ve got a clean diet and moderately active lifestyle. It never occurred to me that I might be at any risk for heart problems. But here I was, limiting my activity, stopping my running – just as I was getting started – because I needed to avoid elevating my heart rate.
It’s all resolved now, but I’m left with a new appreciation for the old ticker. On Valentine’s Day, our family will focus on love and hearts but this year it won’t be just the ones made of cinnamon.
This year, I want us to celebrate Valentine’s Day by moving our bodies and feeling our blood pumping because we can and that’s not something I want to take for granted anymore.
My plan is to work with the kids and my husband and come up with a heart-healthy dinner menu and an active family activity that we can do together. Given that it’s a weeknight I’m thinking of suggesting a Valentine’s Day family dance party where we play only songs about love but I’m open to their ideas.
We’ll still make valentines, decorate in red and pink, celebrate the people we love, and remember how lucky we are to have each other. But I also want to bring focus to each beat of our actual hearts and how fortunate we are to have healthy bodies that do their jobs for us each and every day.
Want to help us build our playlist? Use the comment section to suggest some (heart)beaty tunes for our party.