February was Heart Health Month for the VA. It is a very special topic for me personally. In March 2014, my wife talked my doctor into giving me a stress test to see if I was prone to having heart problems. I felt fine, but I agreed, and my doctor went along. A problem was discovered and I ended up having a triple bypass heart operation which saved my life. The VA is encouraging veterans, especially female vets, to work with their primary care providers to make a personal plan for heart health. If you haven’t had a primary care visit in a
year, you are encouraged to “make a date” with your doctor.

If you have questions about this, please get in contact with the CPN Healthy Heart Program. This is what they are there for. Information about the Healthy Heart Program can be found at or by calling 405-395-9303.

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, and high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or smoking can increase your risk. Ignore the myths. Here are the facts:

Heart disease affects all ages. Smoking boosts heart disease risk by 20 percent.

Even if you exercise regularly, cholesterol, poor eating habits and smoking can counteract your healthy habits. A large percentage of those who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.

Symptoms between men and women vary greatly and are often misunderstood. Heart Disease Symptoms are:

  • Tiredness. You may feel abnormally tired.
  • Feeling out of breath. Feeling abnormally winded when walking or climbing stairs.
  • Pain in chest or arms. Tightness and sharp pain, also numbness and tingling are signs of potential heart problems.
  • Prolonged coughing. This is often caused by fluid in the lungs and may get worse when lying on your back.
  • Feeling light headed. If you often feel dizzy when you stand up, don’t ignore it.
  • Swollen body parts (Edema). It can be a warning sign.
  • Vomiting or feeling nauseous for no apparent reason.
  • Heart fluttering. When it feels like your heart is skipping a beat (heart palpitation).
  • Genetic predisposition. Family history of heart disease. (This was my case.)
  • High blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. Check them regularly.

Please see to your health. We need all of our CPN veterans. Migwetch.

Remember the CPN Veterans Organization meets every month on the fourth Tuesday at 6 p.m. (or as soon as you can get there) in the North Reunion Hall on the Potawatomi Powwow Grounds. All CPN and spouse veterans and their families are welcome. A meal is provided.