Heart Healthy Month Celebration- Patient Testimonials
On Tuesday, February 11, 2014, is holding a Heart Healthy Month Celebration along with the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation in honor of February being American Heart Month. The event will focus on our community’s journey toward heart health. The celebration will feature a cooking demonstration, Meet-and-Greet sessions with health care providers, remarks from cardiovascular program participants, light refreshments and other heart-centered activities!
Please view testimonials below from a couple of Whittier’s patients who participated in AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s program Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM.
I have lived in Jamaica Plain, MA for the last 23 years. I am a mother of two and grandmother of three. I last worked as a store manager for nine years.
What brought me here was my blood pressure. By checking them each day myself, making a list of the good and bad, and then letting my doctor know, I got a better understanding of what my numbers meant.
To get healthy, I had to start thinking better and smarter. I started cooking more at home as opposed to eating out, eating more fresh fruits and veggies, and drinking low fat milk instead of whole milk. I had to adjust my taste buds to not using salt or very little amounts of it, and also reading nutrition fact labels because they can help me watch out for all of the above. And the times I do go out to eat, I always ask them to please prepare a low sodium meal for me.
I also learned that choosing foods that have potassium can also help to lower/maintain my blood pressure. All in all, I learned that I have to make small changes that I can stick with for the rest of my life to change the overall quality of my life. It works! – Ms. E.B (Program Participant since 2012)
I am originally from the island of Puerto Rico. I came to the United States approximately 30 years ago, looking for better opportunities for my life. I went to Roxbury Community College to study English as a second language, and then received a certificate for Office Technology and Word Processing. I later moved from Boston to Foxboro town, where I lived for 13 years. I started working at Helping Hands of America, an association where people donate cars, boats, etc. in order to get reimbursements on their taxes at the end of the year. It was a good job and I had good pay, but all of a sudden the company experienced a downturn and they had to lay me off.
After this I moved back to Boston—Dorchester, to be exact—where I found myself a bit lost. Coming from a quiet place like Foxboro, I wasn’t used to the hustle and bustle of the city, the environment, and the vandalism. I acquired another job at the John Hancock as a Claims Analyst for Investors. That was my first time feeling out of my norm. I started feeling dizziness, palpitations, and didn’t feel like myself overall. I went to get checked out by my doctor and my blood pressure was borderline, but my doctor said we would monitor it to see if the issue persisted daily. If so, I would need to go on medication.
Since then I have been on medication, but also developed many other health issues related to my high blood pressure. Arteriosclerosis (blockage in the arteries) is one of them. I started attending the groups recently, and my first time was great. I learned a lot about nutrition fact labels and important lifestyle changes. So, the groups are very helpful for me in learning how to live and maintain a healthy life. I hope they continue for a long time. I look forward to learning so much more. – Ms. L.C