Matters of the heart

Published 8:57 pm Thursday, July 15, 2010

I thought my heart was broken this week. Did I lose the love of my life? No. Did they decide to stop making the classic triple burger at Wendy’s? I certainly hope not. No, I had a few chest pains this week.

And while so much of my body has experienced pain before, it’s never come from that region in the past. I’ve been told by several doctors that I have a very strong heart. So perhaps it’s always been the one muscle in my body I chose not to worry about. It’s also the one that I’ve been incidentally packing with fat and salt, and pretty much enough pork rinds to reconstruct an entire pig or two.

But when the heart muscle starts speaking to you, you know it. The thunderous pounding of my heart Sunday evening was enough to make me get up out of bed and go for a run at the break of dawn.

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And if the heart is powerful enough to make me — a person who has said on a number of occasions that he wouldn’t run as long as he has a car or unless someone had a Saturday Night special to his head — then it is a muscle I simply must start paying attention to.

Don’t get me wrong, Suffolkians, I’ve been pretty good with my dieting, and my last blood work report from my doctor showed a normal blood sugar and good kidney function. So, I’m no slacker.

But after my little adventure in chest pain, I was reminded that the entire body must be attended to, not just one condition. Because, now I know that when the heart starts making a ruckus, the stakes get pretty high.

So, even though the preliminary tests have turned out to be nothing but a case of having a bit too much dinner or not enough of the right dinner, I am now more aware of how we can neglect our overall health. My heart spoke to me this week and I’m now listening. And I’ve promised my heart muscle that I will take her out more and show her a good time. Not as many pork rinds — and lots more exercise.