knitnana: Happy Valentines Day!
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

I know it's all about hearts and flowers and candy and romance! I do...And I love the Ravelry vintage ecards. I got my share of lovely Valentines there, and from family and friends in my inbox and mailbox...they're all really appreciated, especially when this Knitnana is not participating this year in the romance category...(and isn't feeling sorry for herself, so don't go there, okay?)

I'm as sappy as the next gal. Roses are perfect, tho' I really prefer them in white or pink, not the traditional lover's red...If there's dark chocolate to be had, I'll partake. Lace and merlot, a lovely dinner out? Yes. Thank you.

But every year on this day, I take a bit of time to reflect about hearts...You know it's a subject near and dear to Knitnana. February is heart month, I always honor National Wear Red Day (tho' not in a dress! I'm really a jeans gal all the way), and I try hard to get all my female readers (the guys, too - hey, this isn't a sexist issue or blog) to take a few minutes to jog their memories of the symptoms of women's (and men's) heart disease. One of my very favorite sites in the world is WomenHeart because of the amazing work they do to advocate and educate around this issue. Let's face it, women are usually under-diagnosed.

So what's the big deal this year?

Well, Knitty published a pattern that quite simply took my breath away. The Knitty Heart. I told you about it the minute I saw it, and some suggested that something so anatomically correct wouldn't be a heart they'd knit.

Okay. Fair enough. We all have different tastes, and I appreciate that completely!

But I knew I had to make it. A gift to myself. A Valentine for my own heart. A reminder that just 3 months (minus 2 days) after Valentine's Day in the year 2000, my own heart almost blew apart. Thanks to a wonderful doctor, (and a team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons) I was properly diagnosed the first time (not the norm, especially for a woman aged 43!) and got the treatment I needed.

I am inordinately grateful to them, and to my family and friends who held me together while the medical establishment pieced me back together, first with a stent, and then with a bypass surgery when the stent gave up the ghost, two months later. To this day, a chest x-ray reveals the wire mesh tube inside the clogged artery, and the wire circles that held my breastbone together while it "knitted" back solid after my chest was cracked open...I have a white scar bi-secting my chest (I told the surgeon I could have taught him a thing or two about sewing a straight seam! *wink*) and a bit of numbness in the muscle tissue just above my heart, where the mammary artery was removed to bypass the stent.

So when I saw the Knitty anatomically correct heart, my brain danced! My mended heart danced! I knew I'd knit her...but that my Knitty Heart would get a bit of an "adjustment" to the pattern...
What do you think?

I'll post details of the knit on my Ravelry page. Here? I think I'll end with this bit of Valentine's advice:

1. Remember that heart disease is the Number 1 killer of women - still. It kills more women than cancer (Cancer of all types is the Number 2 killer of women).

2. Know the warning signs, know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels), talk to your doctor about your risks. If you smoke - stop.

3. Love every moment. With all of your heart. Say everything you have to say...and if you get a warning sign for a heart attack? Whatever you do...

DON'T say "I don't have time for a heart attack!"

Dial 9-1-1
And love your heart with ALL of your heart!


Blogger ericah64 said...


4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it! My school does a jeans day for Am. Heart. So this year I knit a scarf (actually they could have their choice of 3 different ones) to raffle off. My cheapskate coworkers actually gave up over $158 to this the jeans money should be a tidy sum for this wonderful organization. I appreciate you writing about it on your blog and your heart is totally more ways than one!

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean about scars. I told my surgeon she was one of the few I'd allow to quilt with me! (you should see her needlepoint Christmas ornaments!)

Great post - thanks!

8:02 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Thanks so much for this post (made me all teary-eyed). I love your heart! (Both of them, actually ;) ) And I, too, know what you mean about scars. When I came home from back surgery with a huge, swollen, stapled scar low on my back, both of my daughters insisted I'd been given a second butt -- gotta love those kids :)

10:09 PM  
Blogger sandra said...

The heart is stunning!

10:15 PM  
Blogger Plain Jane said...

{{{HUGS}}} for both your knit heart & the wonderful one inside you!!

9:31 AM  
Blogger Ruinwen said...

Great post! Love both your hearts...the knit one is amazing and the one they knit back together is precious beyond measure. Happy Valentine's Day! *hugs* :)

12:25 PM  
Blogger La Cabeza Grande said...

Well, bless your mended heart, Sallee!

6:27 AM  

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