I want to share a video with you. A video of a marvelous little machine that has been cranking along for the past five-plus decades. This is a video of my heart.
What you’re viewing is a partial recording from an angiogram I had this week. I’m waving all HIPAA privacy protections to share this bit of magic with you for a very good reason. I want to ask you for at least one, but preferably two things – your time and your money. Neither in great quantities, but anything you offer will mean more than you can imagine.
It’s time for the American Heart Association’s Heart Mini 41, the third such event in which my family and I will participate.
Those who know me well enough are familiar with the cardiac issues I’ve lived with for the past 30 years. You can read more here, so I’ll forego the extended details. But over the past week, another chapter of my story was added when I experienced some chest discomfort on the way to work. The long and short of it…I’m okay. False alarm. Maybe the seatbelt was too tight. Maybe it was Monday night’s dinner making a return appearance. Who knows. But we now know I wasn’t experiencing a cardiac event.
Here’s the thing, though. When you have a history, docs tend to check every possibility to make sure the ticker is behaving itself. Hence, the angiogram and accompanying video. Good news! The pipes appear to be clean. Must be all those walks with my buddy Pudge.
All this adds an emphatic point to why I’m taking part in this year’s Heart Mini…and why I’d like you to join me. But first, back to the video for a moment.
I want you to notice a few things:
First, those fine looking veins and arteries! Clean as a whistle!
Then there’s the black cable-like thing running across the bottom of the screen. See it, with the little springy gadget on the end? I have to assume that’s the cardiac catheter. Or a toilet auger. The former, I hope.
And there are a couple hook-like wires hanging around. Those would be the leads running from an implanted cardiac defibrillator to my heart muscle.
Finally, there’s the defibrillator itself, appearing right at the end of the video in the upper right corner.
This represents a tremendous amount of very sophisticated technology. Not to mention the research and development behind those technologies. And, of course, there’s the education and training of the physicians and researchers and engineers and every other person over the past few centuries that have elevated cardiac treatment from leaches and bloodletting to the kind of techno-party going on now inside my chest. And guess what? All that technology and research and education requires funding. That’s why organizations like the American Heart Association exist, to help foster new treatments, new technologies, and better education to help people like you and me live healthier, longer lives.
Now, the ask.
Please join my team, SecondTakes, on Sunday, March 18 for the Heart Mini 41 5k Heart Walk, beginning at noon. There’s nothing I’d appreciate more than a groggy group of friends and family helping me make it up that damn Columbia Parkway hill on the backside of the walk. You can register to be part of our team, right here. And when you join, don’t forget to recruit other walkers and donors. Let’s clog Columbia Parkway like a cheeseburger-filled artery!
If you can’t make the walk, please consider sponsoring my own 5K sojourn. Just click on the link above.
I appreciate your friendship immeasurably. Thank you so much for making my life worth living. And thanks for any level of support you can offer as we trot together for healthy hearts!