Coronary Bypass Surgery

From MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.  They say “Last year alone, our doctors performed more than 880 open-heart surgeries and 6,100 catheter-based procedures, including nearly 2,000 angioplasties. No hospital in Maryland or nationally performs a higher percentage (94 percent) of beating-heart bypass surgeries.”

Warning – graphic video!

Silent Heart Attacks: Symptoms You Might Not Recognize

Studies indicate around one out of every two women who suffer a heart attack feel no chest pain. They’re known as silent heart attacks. They’re often misdiagnosed or go untreated making them twice as deadly. Learn more in this video.

Low Sodium Crockpot Vegetable Broth

a slow cooker Oval Crock Pot

An Oval Crock Pot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been making this for years, even before the heart attack, mostly because I’m too cheap to buy pre-made vegetable broth.  I also do something similar with chicken.

I save all my vegetable scraps such as carrot peelings, celery ends, onion skins, garlic skins and ends, bell pepper scraps, ends from trimming cabbage, trimmings from tomatoes, broccoli stalks.

Belonging to a CSA farm, we get lots of veggies during the summer.

I put all the peelings in a Ziplock Freezer 1 gallon bag and save them in the freezer, and keep adding to the big bag until it’s full.

When I’ve gathered a  couple of full bags, I take them out and dump them in the crock pot and fill with water (about 6 quarts), cover and set on LOW for overnight.

Allow to cool completely and ladle into a colander in it with a big bowl under it.   Discard all the scraps in the colander.

Package up the broth into quart-sized Ziplock freezer bags, 2 cups per bag, canning jars or other freezable containers.

You can also freeze some of the broth in an ice cube tray. Pop out the cubes and put in a freezer bag, labeled and dated. Use these when a recipe calls for 1 to 2 Tbsp. of stock or broth.

To use this with chicken – I do all of the above and save chicken bones and parts in a separate freezer bag,  When it’s time for the crockpot, I add the chicken to the veggies and cook overnight.  Strain well!

Reduced-sodium Tomato Soup

The original recipe:

Ingredients for heart healthy homemade tomato soup:

  • 1 can (15-ounces) reduced-sodium tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup sodium-free or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Smart Balance or Olivio Light buttery spread or similar heart healthy buttery spread
  • ½ to 1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • You can also add rice

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the Smart Balance or Olivio Light

  • Add vegetable broth, canned reduced-sodium tomatoes, salt, sugar and pepper to the saucepan. Stir to incorporate. Over medium-low to medium heat, bring mixture to a slow bubble, but do not allow mixture to reach a boil.
  • Add the fat-free milk to the tomato mixture in the saucepan. Over medium-low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, bring to a slow bubble for approximately 5 minutes. Do not allow soup to reach a boil.
  • Remove from heat and cover the saucepan; allow soup to sit for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.
  • One cup equals one serving; recipe yields approximately six servings

Adapted from The Examiner


My version:

Ingredients for heart healthy homemade tomato soup:

  • 1 can (15-ounces) reduced-sodium stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup sodium-free vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Chunks of red and green pepper
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Olivio Light buttery spread
  • ½ to 1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Mrs. Dash
  • Leftover rice

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the  Olivio Light

  • Add vegetable broth, canned reduced-sodium tomatoes, onion, peppers, sugar and Mrs. Dash to the saucepan. Stir to incorporate. Over medium-low to medium heat, bring mixture to a slow bubble, but do not allow mixture to reach a boil.
  • Add the fat-free milk to the tomato mixture in the saucepan. Over medium-low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, bring to a slow bubble for approximately 5 minutes. Do not allow soup to reach a boil.
  • Remove from heat and cover the saucepan; allow soup to sit for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.
  • One cup equals one serving; recipe yields approximately six servings

Tips For Visitors

Hospital

 

These are based on our personal experiences and may not apply to every situation.  If you have other tips, please add them to the comments section and I’ll edit this post.

Call before dropping by. The patient (or caretaker) may be napping and not up to entertaining visitors

Send an email before calling. The sound of the phone ringing can be disruptive.  I turned off all the ringers but one  in our house and that one is very low.

Leave a voicemail.  Then we can get back to you when it’s more convenient.

Don’t be general with things such as “call me if you need anything”. People like me will never call – unless that’s what you’re really hoping for.  Instead say something like “I’m bringing you dinner tomorrow night.  What are your dietary restrictions?”  Or “I will sit with the patient on Saturday for 10-2 so you can get out of the house for a while”.

Limit your visit to 20 minutes or so. Twenty minutes may not seem very long, but plan for your visit to end promptly at the twenty minute mark unless the patient invites you to stay longer. Being hospitalized is exhausting and staying awake to entertain visitors can be draining.

Do not tell the patient about other friends or relatives who had the same surgery/disease but didn’t survive.

When talking with the patient, don’t expect him or her to solve YOUR problems. Leave those outside and focus on the patient.

Be SURE the patient isn’t allergic to flowers before sending them.  By the same token, don’t wear perfume, cologne or shaving lotion.  The patient may be allergic to those scents.

Don’t wake up a sleeping patient.

If a nurse or doctor wishes to speak with the patient, leave the room to give them privacy.

Do not use this time to text or make phone calls.  Pay attention to the patient.

Heart Attack Warning Symptoms

Heart Attack Warning Symptoms speaks to the 7 main symptoms of a heart attack. It uses real women’s stories to personalize the heart attack experience, and encourages women who experience these symptoms to get checked out.

This video is presented by the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Salt and Battery

Sorry for the pun-ny title again!  Like our new diet, this post is really low/no salt.  It’s just a followup on our Monday car adventures and has nothing to do with heart stuff so feel free to stop here.


My plan had been to get contact AAA on Tuesday for either a jumpstart or tow but it was one of those icy/cold/freezing rain days so I put it off until Wednesday.  I didn’t really have anywhere to go, anyway.

Wednesday morning, I tried my car again, just in case.  Nothing.  I tried DH’s car, too.  If his worked, I might follow the tow truck and use that.  Nothing for his, either.  It hadn’t been driven since it came home from the ER.  <sigh>

I used my AAA app to contact them and sat in the car to wait.  I didn’t want to rile Mimi up any more than necessary. Joe, the Advanced Automotive driver dispatched by AAA called DH about 15 minutes later to say that he was about 2 minutes away.  I’m not sure why he didn’t call me, though.

He took a look under the hood and asked me the usual questions if I’d left the lights on (DUH), had been listening to the car radio while waiting, etc.  I have way too much experience from living in Milwaukee to run down a battery like that.

He gave it a short boost and the car started.  Hooray!  He asked me to turn it off and start it again.  Nothing.  Another jump and another start.  He checked the alternator.  That was fine.

He had three options: tow the car to a mechanic, get a jump start and drive to a mechanic or he could replace the battery for $125.  A no-brainer, I chose replace the battery.  He said it would be about 30 minutes, so I went back inside.

After about 10 minutes, he knocked on the door – and riled up the dog, just what I was trying to avoid – and said he’d never replaced the battery on a Cruiser.  To do so, he’d have to remove the air filter and several hoses.

I went out and took a look.  The hoses looked fairly important so I told him I’d go with the second option – jumpstart and drive to the mechanic. I was very impressed with his honesty.

I finally got to Fair Oaks Chantilly Chrysler without incident, checked in and hunkered down with my iPad and coffee.  90 minutes later, they told me everything had checked out and they had a new battery.  Their’s was only $120 – unfortunately, all the other electrical checking was another $175 😦  Still worth it to have a car that starts.

A quick stop at Walmart for essential dog food and home to find DH napping.  Time for a nap myself!