A Healthy Heart for the Rest of Your Life

Michelle, a Matrix Nurse Practitioner, recently shared her personal experience with a heart health story and the ways to promote a healthy heart:

My grandmother of 98 years asked that I accompany her to a results visit with her Primary Care Physician (PCP) since I was “almost a doctor” and could help her understand anything if needed. For the record, I am a Matrix Nurse Practitioner and I gladly consented.

We were having a fun conversation when the PCP entered and warmly greeted us as if we were family. He reviewed the results of her lab-work, and then discussed decreasing the dosage on a few medications as she was doing so well.

He discussed continuing her current diet and encouraged her daily walk to the mailbox and back…about 1/4 mile round trip.

He asked if she had questions and spent a few minutes asking about family. He shook her hand and said, “You are such a wonderful person, and have the softest heart I know.”

When we got into the car, she looked angry which is unusual for my grandmother. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “I don’t have a soft heart! My heart is strong as an ox. I don’t think he is a nice doctor to wait until the end of the visit to tell me that!”

I looked at her and said, “He meant that you have a soft spot in your heart for your family, friends and life. He said you were a wonderful person and he meant it.”

She smiled and exclaimed, “He is the nicest doctor I know!”

Whether in the home, mobile clinic or facility, Matrix providers get an opportunity to promote a healthy heart. This opportunity may be presented, or stated in as many different ways as there are providers, but let me leave you with the following:

Help yourself to as much education as you can get. Know what your numbers are, and should be, for your BP, Weight, A1C, and Cholesterol for starters.

Eat a balanced meal that includes a protein, vegetable, starch and carbohydrate. Moderation is key. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day!

Activity should be a part of your daily routine. Start with what you can do, and then do what you can do every day.

Rest and Relax are the hardest to do but most important to plan into your life.

Take time for yourself, family and friends. Share your “soft heart.”