Women are a unique breed. This is especially true of women with heart disease. Why do I say that? For all of the empathy and care we shower on our loved ones, we constantly neglect ourselves.
Once diagnosed with heart disease, we attempt to live life as usual. We continue to work, clean the house, shuttle the kids around, make dinner, etc. All the while suffering in silence. Is this because women are somehow able to rise above the pain and ‘push through it’? Not in my case. Truth be told, I’m the biggest wimp around.
Perhaps the reason lies in our motivation.
Ask any women if she believes that her family should come first and the answer would be yes. That’s just how we are hard-wired. To be sure, it should be that way. We pride ourselves on our ability to care for our family’s needs. We relish the successes our family experiences and may even pat ourselves on the back now and again. All fine and good…to a point.
Here’s the question: At what point do you quit pushing yourself passed your set limits to help others? Do you really think that, by doing so, you are helping your family?
A Prideful Heart
Perhaps it can best be explained by way of example. Last week my family and I went to Disneyland. As usual, my husband asks me if I think I’ll need a wheelchair. It’s 8:00AM; I feel good so I tell him that I won’t need a wheelchair. The look in his eyes was one of disbelief/confusion/annoyance. He says, “We both know you won’t be able to make it down Main Street let along walk all day long!” So why did he ask the question? He did so to help me realize that my decisions regarding my health directly affect him. Poor guy, had I insisted to skip the wheelchair, he would have had to walk clear to the other side of the park! I wasn’t about to do that to him again.
The bottom line is my pride got in the way. I know my limits. I’ve had this silly disease long enough to know what I can and cannot do. Still, I experience what I call ‘selective memory’ on occasion. I’ll have a good day, maybe even two. All of a sudden I think I’m back to my old self. That is until I insist upon pushing myself ‘for the greater good’.
Do yourself and your family a favor; let go of the pride. Admit you need help. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to ask for it.
Heart disease may not show on your face, but pride can be seen a mile away.