Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Heart Disease: Important Facts, Inspiring Stories [NOOK Book]


Endorsed and supported by the Hope Heart Institute!
This new series from Chicken Soup for the Soul?inspirational stories followed by positive, practical medical advice for caregivers and patients?is the perfect blend of emotional support and vital information about heart disease, including:
?   understanding your diagnosis?   working with your doctor?   blood pressure and cholesterol?   the DASH ...
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Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Heart Disease: Important Facts, Inspiring Stories

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Endorsed and supported by the Hope Heart Institute!
This new series from Chicken Soup for the Soul—inspirational stories followed by positive, practical medical advice for caregivers and patients—is the perfect blend of emotional support and vital information about heart disease, including:
•   understanding your diagnosis•   working with your doctor•   blood pressure and cholesterol•   the DASH diet•   smart exercise•   alternative treatments•   surgery and other options•   attitude and health•   cardiac rehab•   living better with heart disease than you ever have before
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781453280201
  • Publisher: Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 132
  • File size: 718 KB

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. They are professional speakers who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others. Vicki Rackner, MD, a surgeon and clinical faculty member at the University of Washington School of Medicine, is a full-time patient advocate who helps employees and their families navigate the Health Care Consumer (HMO) environment. 
Jack Canfield is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a professional speaker who has dedicated his life to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.
Mark Victor Hansen is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a professional speaker who has dedicated his life to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.


While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Nobody has ever measured,
even poets, how much the heart can hold.

—Zelda Fitzgerald

I 've had my share of passionate stage kisses. As an actress, I've lip-locked with fellow thespians who have turned my knees to jelly and others who, frankly, could have used an extra strong Altoids ® . Regardless of dreamy or seamy, I always knew my stage kisses were professional, not personal.

Until January 21, 1995. That night, it got deeply personal.

It wasn't a particularly romantic scene. We were at the close of a typical show. Our half-hour sketch comedy television series, Almost Live! had been on the air since 1984, and I was in my fifth year as a full-time writer-performer. Our national run on cable channel Comedy Central had vaulted us to new heights of popularity in our hometown of Seattle, and our audience that night was standing room only.

With the cast clustered tightly around our host, we waved good night Saturday Night Live! -style, and with applause ringing in our ears, the live ­taping ended. Waiting for an 'all's clear' signal from our technical check, we took a couple of questions from the crowd.

Or at least that's what my colleagues told me we did. I have no memories of that show whatsoever. I do not recall anything that took place that day or for the several days that followed. Because that night, a minute or so after 10 p.m. , I died.

Though I've written comedy for years, this is no joke. I have proof: the answer to Question 24 on my Seattle Fire Department Medical Incident Report, which asks 'Patient Condition on Arrival.' Two response options are provided: (1) Alive or (2) Dead. My report has a big circle around number two. I was dead. So it's official.

Witnesses say I stood onstage among my fellow actors, began to sway in a woozy-boozy fashion, murmured 'I don't feel too . . .' then collapsed. The audience cracked up! Why wouldn't they? We had just performed a sketch spoofing the TV medical drama ER ! They made the logical assumption it was simply an actor's pratfall, and a very skillful one, too. How could they know I was a victim of sudden cardiac arrest, resulting from a dangerously fast heart arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation? No one dreamed a vibrant and healthy woman in her thirties would literally drop dead in front of them. But I did.

Fellow cast members knew my swoon wasn't part of the script. Rapidly it became clear this was not a simple faint. Our host, John, seeing my eyes roll up in my head, my ashen color and hearing the strangulated rasp known as agonal respiration (translation: dying breaths) escape my throat, turned to the crowd and shouted, 'Does anyone have medical training?'

Amazingly, there were no health-care professionals in the audience. But far in the back, a young man built like a fireplug with close-cropped blond hair stood up and called out, 'She looks like she might be having heart problems.'

John beckoned to him, 'Can you help her?' Without hesitation this young guy bounded down the aisle steps onto the set, knelt next to me, and thrust his index and middle fingers onto the side of my throat. Everyone froze in silence for several seconds.

Then he barked out, 'Call 911!' and positioned my head, pinched my nose and sealed my parted lips with his mouth. Thus began our intense 'make-out session,' more commonly known as CPR.

My youthful leading man, Glen MacLellan, was a truck driver by day and a volunteer firefighter. He had never used his emergency CPR training until that night. Over and over he alternated between the 'kiss' that sent oxygen-rich breath into my lungs and the rapid chest compressions that kept the blood moving and carried oxygen to my brain.

Following the initial flurry of fear and confusion, my colleagues and the audience propelled into action the Chain of Survival: The first question from the 911 dispatcher was, 'Is someone administering CPR?'


'Good—don't stop. We're sending a firefighter unit to you right away. Don't stop the CPR.'

Though it seemed much longer to my friends, a fire truck was there in less than four minutes, followed by a paramedic EMS unit. They took over the CPR from Glen, intubated me to maximize respiratory efforts and prepped my chest for defibrillation. In layman's terms, they cut the clothes off my upper body, stuck a tube down my throat and applied paddles to the bare skin.

In the movies, the process of shocking a patient back to life is accomplished in about thirty seconds. In real life, it's a bit longer. I lay on the studio floor, clinically dead, for at least fifteen minutes. At 10:19 p.m. , after more CPR, intravenous cardiac drugs and six— count 'em, six!—jolting shocks of increasing voltage from an automated external defibrillator (AED), paramedics restored a fragile, but viable heartbeat.

I joined the elite club of those who 'come back.' For an actress, it was the best 'comeback' of my career. I am among the less than 5 percent of ­people worldwide who currently survive sudden cardiac arrest.

With the love and support of my family, friends and health-care professionals, I was released from the hospital eight days later, equipped with my own lifesaving equipment: an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) embedded firmly in my chest, monitoring every beat of my heart.

Now, about that 'kiss.' It was the most important in my life, onstage or off. And though Glen MacLellan was a complete stranger, and a young married father at that, I will never forget it or forget him. Even though I can't remember it at all.

Blanche DuBois's famous line that closes Tennessee Williams's poignant play A Streetcar Named Desire is 'I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.' Thanks to the kindness and bravery of a total stranger, I got a second chance at life.

When Glen and I met for the second time, it was once again on the set of Almost Live! , exactly two weeks after my sudden cardiac arrest. This time, it was me giving him a heartfelt hug and a tearful kiss. And there was no acting involved.

Tracey Conway

©2005. Tracey Conway. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series : Heart Disease by Jack Canfield , Mark Victor Hansen , Vicki Rackner, M.D. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: From the Heart ix
Drop-Dead Gorgeous 1
With Every Beat of Your Heart
Think about ... am I at risk for heart disease?
The Angina Monologues 10
Blood Pressure: Silent but Dangerous
Think about ... questions to ask my doctor
Life in the Fast-Food Lane 17
Cholesterol: It's All in the Numbers
Think about ... my cholesterol
Ticked Off 25
The Diabetes Connection
The Appointment 32
Two Opinions Can Be Better Than One
Think about ... questions to ask about my diagnosis
Kicked Off the Merry-Go-Round 40
Lessen the Stress
Think about ... how well I deal with stress
Singing His Heart Out 48
Get Off on the Right Foot ... and Then the Left
Think about ... which exercise is right for me?
Serious as a Heart Attack 57
DASH-Your Heart-Healthy Eating Plan
Tips on How to Make Heart-Healthier Meals
Mission Possible: Healing One Heart from Baghdad 69
What's My Alternative?
Think about ... my complementary practices
In a Heartbeat 78
Classic Signs of Heart Attack
Classic Signs of Stroke
Take One Minute, Ask Three Simple Questions
A Shocking Start 84
Six Minutes to Save a Life
Think about ... my emergency plan
Thanks for the Miracle, Sis 91
Think about ... living day to day
Cradled in God's Hands 98
Cardiac Rehab: One Way to Save Your Life
Think about ... ways to prevent (another) heart attack
A Damaged Heart Finds Love 108
Planning for Major Health Events
Dying Was Never an Option 114
Resources 119
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