Heart Disease is the number one cause of death in America, and as is so often the case, women, poor people, and people of color are disproportionately affected. National Heart Month, designated by congressional order in 1963, was created to bring attention to the impact of heart disease, yet the death toll continues to rise and the disparities remain entrenched. The #HFLW mission is to dig up and remove barriers to wellness that allow dis-ease, like cardiovascular dis-ease, to root and flourish in certain populations. Join me this month to talk about it.
As hard as it’s become to love my body through the challenge heart failure imposes on it (and if I’m honest before h.f.), I absolutely don’t not-love her. I do worry that she will up and leave me altogether. The truth is, our relationship will end because all bodies end. It’s no secret that all of them are fallible and impermanent despite the corporatizing of them that says we can make them otherwise.
We have a social contract in which our measuring stick for harm is familiarity and this contract puts us all at risk. Communities divest from perceived offenders (part of the premise of prisons) until and unless we perceive the offenders, not as offenders but as homies and relatives; dates or partners; familiars. Though they may have harmed or admitted to harming or being party to harm, to call them out is disruptive or shameful to the community unit, so we don’t name them offenders and absorb the harm, effectively normalizing it.
Every single one of these people had a navel and a name. They occupied space and time, somebody's and eventually their own. A fact that is so simple it's almost unremarkable except that I think its plain-ness makes it remarkable. A navel and a name. Today, marks the anniversary of their end in 1978. The [...]
"Your heart is not pumping like it should," the cardiologist said. "You're in heart failure. It's amazing that you're running at all." He said her ejection fraction was at 20%, meaning 80% of her blood stayed in the heart's ventricle instead of pumping through her body. "Do you want me to start running less?" she [...]
In early 1979, when Eugene Smith returned “back to the world” from the Guyanese jungle, my father had made his return “back to the world” more than a decade before, following his completion of a tour in the Vietnamese jungle. When he first returned, my dad was a 22-year-old husband and father of one – like Smith upon his return. Smith’s wife and one child, however, were not waiting for him, nor were they with him; along with Smith’s mother, they had died in the jungle with over 900 other members of Peoples Temple.
too long miles later & I have sputtered like this engine needing, I bet, to tug the cables.
For the first time in four years my ICD "delivered therapy," which I discovered days after "the event" when my electrophysiologist's nurse called to ask "if I was okay."
the lankiest one, voice on the verge of collecting crushes, is making himself up as he goes, a danger my dad’s admonitions cannot prepare him for; will justify the conflation of boy to body. Real Enough is real enough.
there are ways of being alive that look nothing like the somatic supposition opposite death. To be dead is something else altogether.