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How I Outlived My Husband and Keep My Heart Healthy at an Old Age

I’ve always believed that the heart is the most important part of the body.

Sure, I’ve always been a romantic and believed that love will get us through, but I was a realist as well.

The heart pumps blood. It makes sure that every part of your body has enough oxygen and energy to work.

So I’ve always taken care of my heart and hoped that it would, in turn, make everything work fine for as long as possible.

Older woman in shades

On the other hand…

When my late husband, Joseph, started having high blood pressure back in the 90s, I knew it was the consequences of his own actions

We lived a busy life, but we were doing well.

I was a secretary, and he was an executive at a large company where he got to travel a lot.

We’d bought a big house in anticipation of our first child – very late in life compared to our peers, but we were excited to welcome our daughter into our lives.

As my pregnancy went on, I was getting used to the idea that I would leave my job and take on the role of a homemaker.

I’d never been the housewife type, but I didn’t mind a change of pace. I was actually looking forward to having some more time for myself, taking care of our beautiful house and garden, and exploring the joys of motherhood.

I’d always been a health nut – I loved moving a lot, spending time in nature, and growing my own vegetables and fruit to make exciting recipes.

In my heart, I was a bit of a hippy. And I was ready to pass that on to our growing family.

At the same time, Joseph was enjoying life the way he knew best

He loved the power he had in the company, and he found pleasure in being in charge, so he spent all his time living and breathing work.

That meant that while he felt fulfilled by his work and passionate about what he was doing, he was under a lot of stress all the time. Always busy, always scribbling things in his notebook, going through documents, and having work calls in the evenings and on weekends. 

Even on holidays, the wait staff at hotels would come up several times a day to tell him there was someone waiting for him on the line.

He would always take the car – even if he only needed to go a couple of houses up the street to see a neighbor. He always said walking was a waste of time.

Joseph loved steak dinners. Actually, sometimes I wouldn’t see him touch a vegetable that wasn’t a potato for months at a time.

I would barely see him without a cigarette in hand. The first thing he did when we moved in was place an ashtray in every room of the house.

And, of course, he would drink. Luckily, he was a happy drunk, but he would always find a cause for celebration – and to open another bottle of expensive whiskey he would get as a gift on his business trips.

The odd time I’d have him around for long enough to have a conversation, we would joke that no one could tell which one of us was having the baby.

I started seeing my husband’s declining health right after I had the baby

I had a difficult birth, which left me bedridden for a month.

Joseph was kind enough to take time off work – to the best of his ability – to take care of me and our newborn while I recovered.

That’s when I started realizing something was off.

I would hear how short of breath he was when he’d walk up the stairs.

I’d watch as a frown would twist his face for a moment like he was in pain, but he’d never tell me anything was wrong even when I’d ask him.

I would see Joseph massaging his fingers and toes as if they were cold, even though we always kept the house warm for the baby.

He didn’t like me asking whether he was okay because he was the one who was supposed to take care of me. He shut down all my concerns until I stopped asking questions.

So we left his health issues under a blanket of uncomfortable silence

I recovered, and he went back to business as usual.

I spent most of my time raising our daughter, but my attention was fixed on him and his symptoms.

He would come back from work and his business trips, and I would listen carefully to the way his breaths would go from deep to barely gasping for air.

Every once in a while, I would find him sitting on our bed, just squeezing his fingers with his other hand.

He still insisted everything was okay.

Until one day, I got a call from the hospital, telling me he’d been admitted for a stroke

When he finally woke up, after hours of me sitting in a chair beside him cradling our child, he told me one thing. In the weakest little voice, he told me he was fine.

I was furious.

Even faced with the fragility of his health, he still insisted that he was alright.

He was on a plane for his next business trip just 4 days later.

This continued like this for another 8 years

Against doctors’ warnings and my concerns, he changed absolutely nothing.

He was working, drinking, and eating the same way as before this all began.

He’d run himself down and end up in hospital every half a year, but it didn’t seem to phase him.

He chose to be a stoic, overworking, never-stopping maniac until the very end.

If only we’d had the technology we do now, Joseph might have been able to turn his life around.

But that wasn’t the case.

And one day, he was gone

I was left alone with a daughter, a single mother in her late forties.

Saying it was hard was an understatement. 

Even with the help of extended family and dozens of friends we’d made over the years, I now had to get back into work.

I knew our combined savings wouldn’t be enough to raise my daughter, so I ended up selling the dream house, and, with the help of a friend, I got a new secretary job.

At that point, I swore that if my husband hadn’t been interested enough in seeing our daughter grow up to take care of his health, I would do everything in my power to live forever

Since then, I’ve spent hundreds of hours in the library, reading up on everything I could find about living a long healthy life.

I’ve reached out to doctors far and wide and have continued to have my health monitored regularly and meticulously.

It’s been nearly 20 years since Joseph passed.

Throughout that time, I saw my daughter finish high school, college, get married, and have children of her own.

Something my husband will never experience.

I’m nearing my 70th birthday now

And while I have a lot of good decisions to thank for most of my good health, my doctor is still warning me about some signs of heart disease.

Gladly, my daughter introduced me to a piece of technology that helps me continue doing everything I’m used to while keeping track of my health.

Mother and daughter having a walk

I still go on walks. I do my own shopping.

Heck, I even use the internet!

And now, I have a piece of kit that keeps me up to date with how well my heart is functioning, as well as allowing me to have an elaborate health history I can share with my doctor.

And that one thing is a care kit from Cardi.Health

Cardi.Health is an app I have on my phone that helps me maintain the healthy lifestyle I’ve always wanted to live. And I also have their Blood Pressure Monitor that automatically syncs with the app!

Before it started recommending anything, it got to know me really well through a short but elaborate quiz.

Now, even when I get tired or when I start forgetting things, it’s there for me to help me.

It helps me remember to take measurements of the thing I’m most concerned about – my blood pressure. Luckily, the device is linked to the app, so I never have to worry about writing down my measurements and losing them ever again.

It reminds me to take my medicine.

It helps me stay very aware of how my body’s holding up – tracking my blood pressure, heart rate, and weight.

Cardi.Health helps me keep making good food choices and makes it as efficient as possible – always offering recipes for meals I love, and a shopping list to go with them.

It keeps me active too. I might not be strong enough anymore to lift heavy weights or go on long runs, so it offers me ways to work out that are achievable for me.

Older woman posing with dog

Best of all, every time I go visit a doctor, we know exactly what to talk about from the get-go, because I have all my health metrics and a rundown of my lifestyle in a convenient report.

And my daughter gets to be part of it as well – the Cardi.Health app always informed her about what’s going on with my health, even when life gets in the way.

If only my husband had the Cardi.Health care kit back in the day, maybe he’d still be around now

But looking back won’t bring him back.

So as I’m enjoying a life full of smiles and stories from my daughter and her family, I’d like to urge you to start taking care of your heart too.

Maybe taking care of your heart will help you reach those important milestones the same way it did for me.

Take this 3-minute quiz. Get a personalized Cardi.Health care kit

DISCLAIMER: If you have problems with high blood pressure or high levels of cholesterol, you MUST consult with your doctor before starting a new diet or a workout plan. Make sure it’s safe before doing so.

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3 Comments

  1. The amount of times I’ve lost my blood pressure measurements because I wrote them down on paper is ridiculous. This would save me so much time, and would be so convenient

  2. This would suit me and my mom so well. I’m worried about her health, it’s lovely that this app gives updates to loved ones

  3. I’ve been meaning to get a new blood pressure machine for ages, don’t even know if mine’s accurate anymore! Definitely looking into this

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