GREY’S ANATOMY: Why Didn’t You Go Red?!

GREY’S ANATOMY: Why Didn’t You Go Red?!

What a missed opportunity! I just finished last night’s GREY’S ANATOMY focused on a lead female character’s heart scare, and after a very meaningful episode “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” that reinforced the importance (maybe even LIFE-SAVING relevance) of paying attention to body signals, being your own greatest health advocate, and getting a second opinion when you know your body is telling you it’s more than the doctors seem to think… no mention of the next day  – Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 – being Go Red for Women Day or the startling stats on heart disease for women.
Boo-hiss, Shonda Rimes and crew for not taking advantage of a still loyal audience on Thursday nights and the perfect opportunity (and appropriate timing). In the past, the show has articulated with compassion and education about a variety of critical healthcare and social issues usually voiced by one of the lead actors sharing some cold, hard truth and suggested web links. But not this time. I was really surprised and disappointed in the show not reiterating these very valuable lessons.Here are just a few facts that they could have shared, and you can find these and other valuable nuggets of knowledge on the American Heart Association’s Go Red site:
  • Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year or viewed another way – one woman’s death PER MINUTE!
  • On average, Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than non-Hispanics.
  • Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 50,000 African-American women annually, and for the 20 and older demographic, 49 percent of African-American women have heart diseases.



I’ve written before about how being too polite can be a detriment to our own lives, worrying about what inconvenience we might cause to others if we checked ourselves into the ER, for example, and whoops. It turned out to be only indigestion. I really do believe that many of us, women especially, are taught not to raise a fuss and forge through any discomfort without complaint and it can backfire when we don’t listen to our bodies because we’re too worried about ‘making a big deal out of nothing.’



But what if isn’t ‘nothing?’



I am as guilty of it as anyone, not taking an action that I know is best for me or my health because it may put someone else in a bad position having to change plans or spend money that isn’t there or worry for no reason. But what the show did remind us last night is that we have exactly one life. (Well, that can be debated among some readers, I know, but let’s assume for now that life as we know it is just this one go-round…) It would be a real shame to let worry about inconveniencing someone or worrying someone unnecessarily got in the way of protecting ourselves or taking necessary medical action that could thwart the problem.



Wear your red today, folks. Support the American Heart Association’s mission to educate everyone by donating, if you can. And get the facts about heart disease and what to expect in the event of a heart attack, even those hard-to-recognize symptoms – especially if you’re a woman. It is not the Fred Sanford clutching-your-chest attack we’ve all been programmed to watch for so learn more now.

And take care of yourself. You are the best guardian of your own well-being. Thanks for reading. ~ Chris K. xo

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