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February 2014

M ended

Hearts “inspiring hope

of Citrus County Chapter 367 in heart disease patients and their families.”

We All Have a Story; Denis Smith’s Story By Lois Wagner


enis Smith has learned to live with heart issues for most of his life. He relates as follows:

“Growing up in Jamaica, West Indies, I was told that I had an extra heart beat which seemed harmless, nothing to worry about. Upon coming to the US in 1968, and following up with regular doctor visits, I was referred to a cardiologist and was put through all the tests which confirmed the original diagnosis of an extra beat and low heart rate, which was once described “as that of an athlete”. I have led a normal life despite this condition, while making regular visits to the doctor. Upon my retirement from the Long Island Railroad System in NY in 2003, we relocated to Citrus County and I diligently continued with local doctors who never indicated that this condition even existed until in the fall of 2012 my primary care doctor referred me to see Dr. Manyam, a cardiologist who immediately sent me to CMH to have a pacemaker inserted, because my heart rate was extremely low. Obviously the condition had progressed with very few symptoms, except excessive sweating, which I contributed to the climatic conditions here in Florida. At CMH I met Dr. Kim and Mary Lou, Dr. Manyam deto whom I am extremely grateful for their professionalism and compassion. Surgery went extremely well despite termined that the fact that I had arrived at CMH much too early for my appointment, so during the wait, my beats kept the Denis’ heart rate nurses very alert, but when I saw Dr. Kim, and he prayed with me and my wife prior to surgery, those extra beats were quieted. was too low I was introduced to Mended Heart by Mary Lou and have rarely missed the educational talks and friendly group of like-minded people. I continue to have a lifestyle, which is by no means is sedentary (although it could be revved up a bit) and I would not hesitate to recommend the Mended Heart program to anyone.

Chapter Board Members President: Millie King 637-5525 Vice President: Jackie Popomier Secretary: John Onder Treasurer : John Hoffmeister

The Rhythm Section Staff Editor: Rick Hosea Staff Writer: Lois Wagner Photographer: Bob Ellison

If you have a story or event to put in the Rhythm Section please contact Rick Hosea at (813) 892-4309 or, or Lois Wagner at jwagner117@tampa


ended Hearts is a national non profit organization formed to give heart patients, their care givers, families and friends support to help understand heart disease; causes, treatment and preventative measures. Our local chapter meets the second Friday of each month. Meetings start at 10 am and end around 12 pm. Any one interested is invited to attend our meetings. We meet in the Gulf Room of the Old Historic School House adjacent Citrus Memorial Hospital in Inverness.

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Aiming for a Healthier New Year By Lois Wagner


t the January meeting of Mended Hearts, Dr. Russell Lewandowski offered some tips for a healthy New Year. He stressed that a balance in life is necessary for good health. He first suggested considering what we put into our mouths. Dr. Lewandowski recommended avoiding salt, sugar, and flour because they “make paste” in the stomach. A lot of people have wheat allergies and other kinds of sensitivities. People take supplements and pills. Some have fillers, and some don’t dissolve well. Sometimes a more expensive supplement or pill might be better because of its contents. Juice and coffee, which is a diuretic, don’t take the place of water, which is cheaper and better for a person. “Drink 5 to 6 bottles of water a day to prevent dehydration,” Dr. Lewandowski recommended. “Without water, blood thickens and skin gets wrinkled. It becomes harder for the heart to pump blood. Always have water with you. “How much are we supposed to be eating?” he asked. “When eating out, one entre is sufficient for two people or enough to take some home.” Eating five small meals on a regular basis maintains energy and allows fat to shrink. A portion of meat is 5 or 6 ounces. “Watch fillers at restaurants,” he cautioned. Restaurants tend to use fillers: rice, potatoes, pasta, bread. When these aren’t burned up, they turn to fat. Proteins are needed for energy. “Eat your large meal at noon,” he urged, “so that you can burn it off. At night, it just sits there and turns to fat.” Salads may or may not be healthy depending upon how they are made. A serving of dressing is 1 tablespoon. How much salt and sugar are in the dressing? How healthful are the other ingredients that have been added? Although seafood is good for the diet, avoid scavengers that feed on the bottom (lobster, shrimp, catfish) because they tend to have a high level of metal. “An organic banana is creamier, has more flavor, is smoother, and stays white in the freezer,” so Dr. Lewandowski feels it’s worth the extra price. “Go fresh,” he encourages. At home, avoid prepared foods, and choose restaurants “where it doesn’t come out of a can.” “Slow down your eating and

enjoy your food. The stomach takes time to register.” Next, Dr. Lewandowski addressed stress, “the thing that kills us.” The chemical stress comes from the air we breathe and the food we eat. Emotional stress is relieved by having hobbies: “anything that takes your mind off problems - whatever makes you happy - even if it means throwing acorns at squirrels.” Physical stress comes from how we abuse our bodies. “Where are we putting weight?” he inquired. “Bent over a cell phone? Watch posture! Stand straight.” The answer to relieving stress is exercise. The best exercise is swimming. “The best technique is treading water because everything gets worked. If you say. ‘Oh, I walk the dog,’ how fast are you really walking? Train your dog to walk, not sniff. Runners end up with bad knees and ankles. Utilize the Citrus County 46 mile bicycle trail.” The doctor recommends exercising outdoors when possible. Bacteria proliferate in warm environments so there is more illness when people remain inside in winter. Sleep is necessary for the body to rejuvenate. People who have problems with snoring, bladder urgency, etc., need to address these issues. Not enough sleep can lead to weight gain; too much sleep, to depression. “The body has to communicate with itself. Everybody should have a stethoscope so that they can hear what their hearts sound like. The brain controls everything - all 3 of our nervous systems. Nerves are electrical in nature. When we take medicine to replace the function of an organ, the organ stops functioning. “Good circulation is important, so work on it. Arteries cause the heart attacks, not the cholesterol,” Dr Lewandowski stressed. How do people react to health problems? Do nothing and hope the problem goes away. Try over the counter medications, which don’t address the causes and indicate what to change. Explore a conservative route, such as, chiropractic. The last resort is surgery. Dr. Lewandowski’s practice is located at 3348 E Gulf To Lake Hwy Inverness. Here he specializes in natural healing, nonsurgical spinal decompression, “Triton” (computerized spinal traction for neck and back pain), sciatica, herniated or bulging discs, and pre-/post surgery. Dr. Lewandowski has the latest in computerized equipment to check every vertebra separately. If you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Lewandowski please call (352) 726-


Mended Hearts meets monthly on the second Friday in each month. Meetings start at 10:00 am. Everyone is invited. Meetings are held in the Gulf room located on the 1st floor of the old school house adjacent the hospital.

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February 7th National Wear Red Day


sk any stylist, job coach or dating expert and they’ll tell you that red stands out. Eyes are immediately drawn to it. Some even say that the color red is a confidence booster and makes you feel powerful. Maybe that’s why we chose the color red to signify our fight against the No. 1 killer in women. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that it’s also the color of our hearts. In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying attention to. A disease they truly believed and many still believe to

this day, affects more men than women. Stemming from that action, National Wear Red Day was born. It’s held on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women. This coming National Wear Red Day, Feb. 7, 2014, marks our 11-year anniversary. And looking back on all we’ve accomplished, we’ve really made tremendous strides. They include:

  

21 percent fewer women dying from heart disease 23 percent more women aware that it’s their No. 1 health threat

Publishing of gender-specific results, established differences in symptoms and responses to medications, and women-specific guidelines for prevention and treatment Legislation to help end gender disparities But despite our progress, women are still dying. They’re still unaware of their risks and the facts. And now’s not the time for complacency. It’s time to stand stronger, speak louder and join us in the fight this National Wear Red Day.


his year is the 50th anniversary of when Lyndon Baines Johnson, a heart attack survivor himself, declared Proclamation 3566, the document that declared February as “American Heart Month.” Thus began an era of fundraising, awareness and education As we begin the 50th anniversary of American Heart Month, and President Obama continues the tradition of an annual proclamation, remember these words from the original proclamation that LBJ signed in December 1963….. “It is essential to the health and well being of our nation that our citizens be made aware of the medical, social and economic aspects of the problem of cardiovascular diseases, and the measures being taken to combat them…. I urge the people of the United States to give heed to the nationwide problem of the heart and blood vessel diseases, and to support the programs required to bring about its solution.” In addition, 2014 is the 10th Anniversary of the Heart Center at Citrus Memorial Health Systems. Please join the Cardiovascular Services Department (Catheterization Lab, CVOR, CVRR & CVPCU) as we celebrate throughout American Heart Month.

Mended Hearts

Page 4 of Citrus



In February Monthly Mended Hearts meeting 10 am in the Gulf room at the Old Historic School House located adjacent Citrus Memorial Hospital. Those attending the CPR training will meet at Nature Coast EMS; 3876 W. County Hill Drive, Lecanto .

May 17, 2014 Regional Connection Meeting

National Wear Red Day

More information coming soon


CMH Hearth Fair 10:00 am until 2:00 pm at the CMH campus and historic school house.


Mended Hearts meets monthly on the second Friday in each month. Meetings start at 10:00 am. Everyone is invited. Meetings are held in the Gulf room located on the 1st floor of the old school house adjacent the hospital.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries


eed a sweet end to the holiday meal? Instead of reaching for a piece of fudge that's high in sugar, opt for a chocolate-dipped strawberry (preferably dark chocolate to get heart-healthy flavonoids). Strawberries are one of the best sources of disease-fighting antioxidants.



6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped  3 ounces white chocolate, chopped

Put the semisweet and white chocolates into 2 separate heatproof medium bowls. Fill 2 medium saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolates in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.) Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Dip a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries.

 1 pound strawberries with stems (about 20), washed and dried very well

Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

the Rhythm Section  

Feb. Mended Hearts Newsletter chapter 367

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