SEARCH RESULTS

161 results found for ""

    Blog Posts (11)
    • Jason's Journey

      How Can We Support Loved Ones Going Through Open-Heart Surgery? By Kirsten Garvin - Team Member and Staff Writer for The Cardiac Bear In late 2019, 27-year-old Jason and his wife Emalee faced an impending medical crisis; Jason was going to need open heart surgery at Ohio State University's Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital. It was an intimidating journey, and they agreed to an interview to share thoughts on what that the process was like, how they supported each other, and how loved ones were able to support them. Jason, can you express what it was like and how it felt being told that you were going to need open heart surgery? Jason: "When the doctor that would be performing the surgery first came in and said I'd be needing open heart surgery my first thought was 'No...no, there is a way around it, I'm 27, something can be done..' I didn't say anything. I couldn't. I felt frozen in time. The doctor walked out. I started to cry. I didn't make noise. I didn't do anything. The tears just came rolling silently. "The nurse asked if we had any questions or concerns about the procedure. I really wanted to personally know if there was a chance of waking up [during the surgery]? Is there a chance I'll be put under and be able to feel it all but not communicate that to the team? What is the survival and success rate of this particular surgery? She answered all the questions as the doctor walked back in to schedule it. "Meanwhile, I'm still sitting there thinking about any way out of the surgery I could possibly find that would keep me alive and avoid the possibility of death from such an intense surgery. I told the doctor I'd like to wait until the new year so I could enjoy the holidays with family and friends (plus it was our first holidays as newlyweds) before having such a risky surgery. "I'm paraphrasing, but the doctor pretty much said, 'Do you think that giving yourself the extra few months to get up the courage to have the surgery is really going to help? I've seen this before with many patients, but you wanna know the truth? You'll be just as terrified of the surgery as you are right now, in fact you might be more afraid because you gave yourself so much time and then you might not even want to do it. I don't think you realize just how serious this is...' He was 100% right, I could feel it. That moment right there is where it hit me like a ton of bricks...I'M REALLY HAVING OPEN HEART SURGERY." What sorts of things did people in your circle do or say that were comforting or helpful to you, Jason? Jason: "Honestly, I have a strong faith in God. My circle of friends are all Christians. One moment that sticks out to me the most is the morning of the surgery walking toward the door--and all along our hallway my wife had taped up papers on the wall. Each one with a different Bible verse--about about strength, courage, trusting in God, faith, etc. As I walked that long narrow hallway and read all those verses, I knew in my heart I was coming out of surgery here or in heaven, and either way my wife and God would be there every single step of the way. The morning of surgery I felt a peacefulness that I've felt before. Without my wife, my circle of friends, or God all by my side and at the hospital that morning, I don't know how I would have gotten through it. But it all started with my wife's Bible verses taped to the wall." Emalee--how did you feel when you found out your husband was going to be needing open heart surgery? Emalee: "My first feelings were to comfort Jason despite my heart and mind filling with fear and anxiousness. I knew that I had to do my best to stay strong and be the encourager. "The toughest part was trying to encourage him when all I wanted to do was cry. There were nights leading up that we both would just lose it and that was all we could do. That was our cry to God to give us the strength and peace that surpasses all understanding. "There were moments I felt that strength and peace and moments I felt that it was nowhere to be found. There were many times I felt that it was all a dream and none of it was real--but we pressed on." Is there anything you two would suggest people NOT do or say to someone who’s going through a medical crisis? Emalee: "Everyone is going to feel a little different or think a little different due to their past experiences. Jason had a lot of negative medical experiences growing up. He had huge fears about doctors and hospitals and that he had to try to face quickly. "Since everyone's different the main things I would say are NEVER okay to say are… 'God's got a plan.' 'Everything is going to be fine.' 'Don't stress, the doctors and surgeons have done this before, it is what they get paid to do.' "It was too hard to think of needs when we felt so much fear and uncertainty. During that time before surgery if someone were to just ask what we needed, I would just say that I wasn't sure. It is probably helpful for those around the family to simply do what they think the family might need." Jason: "When you get that sick, you almost expect to hear everything imaginable, but I was lucky enough to have people in my life that just always knew what to say and when to say it.. It comes back to the people you have on your team. Just realize and know that no matter what anyone says, THEY MEAN WELL! "Also..It's unfair to hold false hope! That's the one thing I'd never say--that 'No matter what you will come out alive.' Prepare yourself for all endings." What are the best ways for family or loved ones to support someone who’s recovering from open heart surgery? Jason: "1) The biggest thing (other than my wife helping me day and night) that really got us through it all, is that we both have bosses that were very understanding and very flexible with us. 2) A special friend of ours set up a Meal Train on Facebook. Those meals were one less thing we had to worry about. We have friends that go above and beyond. 3) Our friend came to sit with me during the recovery while my wife was at work. She understood I'd be out like a light the whole time, she just came to offer comfort. I would wake up every once in a while and she'd be sitting there doing whatever she brought; coloring, work, etc. And just knowing she was there (however boring it might have been for her) made me feel important. Made me realize I had a true friend. That's something special that people underestimate. We all need people like that during a difficult time, especially in a hospital laying in a bed!" Emalee: "1) Prayer. It may not seem like much and it may not be felt but that can change a lot. 2) Just talking about other things. Not always mentioning the surgery can be helpful, talking about other life things to keep the family grounded helps. 3) The meal train was super helpful. Most people gave us gift cards and that was also a huge benefit because we were able to use that when we really needed it. We saved a lot of that for when I went back to work so that I could care for him instead of focusing on the kitchen." We're so thankful for Jason and Emalee sharing their story with us, and so happy that Jason's recovery has gone so well this last year. We wish them the very best of health and happiness! If you have a journey you'd like to share, we'd love to hear it!

    • How Much Water Do I REALLY Need?

      By Kirsten Garvin - Team Member and Staff Writer for The Cardiac Bear Most of us have heard the “Drink at least eight glasses of water a day!” adage from commercials, health and beauty bloggers, and friends. The anecdotal claims of benefits can range from skin and hair improvement to better toxin release. But how much of the “eight glasses of water a day” adage is actually based on fact, and how much is just fiction? History of the Phrase The University of Michigan Health explains that the history of the “Eight glasses of water” adage began In 1945 by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board; they recommended that people drink about 84.5 ounces a day. A little-realized continuation of their recommendation is the acknowledgement that MANY foods (both prepared and fresh) already contain a lot of water in them. In fact, for those who have pretty well-rounded dietary habits, a considerable amount of their water intake is already being consumed through food intake. The Mayo Clinic stresses that no single formula fits everyone. But knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day. The Importance of Water The Heart Foundation and the Mayo Clinic explain the vitally important role that water plays in basic bodily functions. “Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. Water gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements, water keeps your temperature normal, and water lubricates and cushions your joints. Water is also critical for your heart health. Your heart is constantly working, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood a day. By staying hydrated – that is, by drinking more water than you are losing – you are helping your heart do its job.” (Source here and here.) Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently. (Source) Risk Factors of Dehydration Mild-to-moderate organ system impacts. Dry mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and mouth; irritability and general feelings of malaise; digestive system discomfort; dizziness; and nausea. Serious risks. Dehydration causes excess strain on organs; the blood becomes thicker from retaining onto more sodium and makes it harder for blood to circulate efficiently. The heart and blood vessels negatively react under strain and can cause headaches, racing heartbeats or heart palpitations, and blood pressure impact. How Much is Enough? Tune-in to your body. Becoming more aware of bodily cues can be helpful in realizing when you’re thirsty. Recognizing which bodily cues are hunger cues and which are thirst cues can be helpful in being tuned in to what our bodies are needing. Look for the signs. An easily gauged sign of hydration is urine color. Pale yellow urine indicates being well hydrated, and concentrated dark yellow or orange urine indicates that dehydration is present. Megan Schimpf, M.D reassures that urine does not have to be clear or very pale; light yellow post-it note colored is normal and fine. Taking into account your lifestyle. Athletes, hot climate environments, certain medical conditions, or strenuous activity may mean that there’s a higher need for additional water intake throughout the day. More isn't necessarily better. Be wary of beauty bloggers boasting excessive amounts of water as the secret to perfect skin. The University of Michigan Health System points out that "There is no scientific proof that, for healthy people, drinking extra water has any health benefits. Scientific research has shown that drinking large amounts of water does notmake skin look healthier or wrinkle free, benefit kidney function, clean out toxins, or make you feel more energetic." Don’t put a huge amount of pressure on yourself. For those who are used to frequently being mildly dehydrated it can take some time to get used to intentionally incorporating some more water into the daily routine. Making small changes to become more intentional can make a big difference in the ability to keep making lasting changes. Keeping a water bottle on hand can be an easy and convenient way to get used to drinking water a little bit more often. Being patient with yourself and remembering that it takes time to get into healthier habits is key!

    • How Much Water Do I REALLY Need?

      By Kirsten Garvin - Team Member and Staff Writer for The Cardiac Bear Most of us have heard the “Drink at least eight glasses of water a day!” adage from commercials, health and beauty bloggers, and friends. The anecdotal claims of benefits can range from skin and hair improvement to better toxin release. But how much of the “eight glasses of water a day” adage is actually based on fact, and how much is just fiction? History of the Phrase The University of Michigan Health explains that the history of the “Eight glasses of water” adage began In 1945 by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board; they recommended that people drink about 84.5 ounces a day. A little-realized continuation of their recommendation is the acknowledgement that MANY foods (both prepared and fresh) already contain a lot of water in them. In fact, for those who have pretty well-rounded dietary habits, a considerable amount of their water intake is already being consumed through food intake. The Mayo Clinic stresses that no single formula fits everyone. But knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day. The Importance of Water The Heart Foundation and the Mayo Clinic explain the vitally important role that water plays in basic bodily functions. “Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. Water gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements, water keeps your temperature normal, and water lubricates and cushions your joints. Water is also critical for your heart health. Your heart is constantly working, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood a day. By staying hydrated – that is, by drinking more water than you are losing – you are helping your heart do its job.” (Source here and here.) Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently. (Source) Risk Factors of Dehydration Mild-to-moderate organ system impacts. Dry mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and mouth; irritability and general feelings of malaise; digestive system discomfort; dizziness; and nausea. Serious risks. Dehydration causes excess strain on organs; the blood becomes thicker from retaining onto more sodium and makes it harder for blood to circulate efficiently. The heart and blood vessels negatively react under strain and can cause headaches, racing heartbeats or heart palpitations, and blood pressure impact. How Much is Enough? Tune-in to your body. Becoming more aware of bodily cues can be helpful in realizing when you’re thirsty. Recognizing which bodily cues are hunger cues and which are thirst cues can be helpful in being tuned in to what our bodies are needing. Look for the signs. An easily gauged sign of hydration is urine color. Pale yellow urine indicates being well hydrated, and concentrated dark yellow or orange urine indicates that dehydration is present. Megan Schimpf, M.D reassures that urine does not have to be clear or very pale; light yellow post-it note colored is normal and fine. Taking into account your lifestyle. Athletes, hot climate environments, certain medical conditions, or strenuous activity may mean that there’s a higher need for additional water intake throughout the day. More isn't necessarily better. Be wary of beauty bloggers boasting excessive amounts of water as the secret to perfect skin. The University of Michigan Health System points out that "There is no scientific proof that, for healthy people, drinking extra water has any health benefits. Scientific research has shown that drinking large amounts of water does notmake skin look healthier or wrinkle free, benefit kidney function, clean out toxins, or make you feel more energetic." Don’t put a huge amount of pressure on yourself. For those who are used to frequently being mildly dehydrated it can take some time to get used to intentionally incorporating some more water into the daily routine. Making small changes to become more intentional can make a big difference in the ability to keep making lasting changes. Keeping a water bottle on hand can be an easy and convenient way to get used to drinking water a little bit more often. Being patient with yourself and remembering that it takes time to improve health & wellness habits is key!

    View All
    Pages (9)
    • HOME | The Cardiac Bear

      Are you looking for the perfect gift for your loved one facing open-heart surgery? You've come to the right place. No matter what, we CANNOT run out of those bears! - R. Olson, Ohio Health Contracting Administrator Healing Hearts Mini Introducing the latest hospital-requested addition to the Cardiac Bear! ​ Made with easy-to-clean waterproof vinyl that can be sanitized over and over. The Cardiac Bear Each Cardiac Bear is firmly stuffed to be a thereputic pillow as it holds sternal wires and stitches in place while a patient is recovering. Healing Hearts Pillow Sturdy luxury vinyl is waterproof and easily disinfected with a sanitizing wipe. See how to use the Healing Heart Pillow after surgery:

    • Contact Us | About Us | The Cardiac Bear

      CONTACT US Give The Cardiac Bear a call or send us a message! Phone number: 937. 206. 6689 Name Phone Email Want to receive emailed discounts and health tips? Y/N: Subject Message Your details were sent successfully! Send

    • Our Story | About Us | The Cardiac Bear

      LYNETTE EVANS MEET THE TEAM KIRSTEN GARVIN ABOUT US Lynette Evans has a longstanding reputation in her hometown of Springfield, Ohio as a business owner who prioritizes customer service. In 1996, Lynette created the Gourmet Gift Baskets company and served the community for eighteen years with her creative and thoughtful gifts. In ___ she founded Xpand Your Brand to help companies across the state further their businesses through meaningful marketing and promotional materials. ​ Throughout the years Lynette's passion for financial management and compassion for others has been expressed through teaching Financial Peace University classes aimed at helping individuals and families get out of debt. ​ She lives happily with her husband Bill and rescued cat Oscar in Springfield, Ohio. ​ Kirsten Garvin joined The Cardiac Bear team in August 2019 as Lynette's assistant. Using her educational background in Social Work and previous experience as an administrative assistant, she enjoys being a staff writer for The Cardiac Bear blog and helping Lynette on company projects and social media. ​ In her free time, Kirsten enjoys volunteering at her church's youth group and creative pursuits in textile arts. ABOUT THE CARDIAC BEAR Since 1996 Lynette Evans and her company Xpand Your Brand has been serving customers locally, nationally, and internationally. The Cardiac Bear, a subsidiary of Xpand Your Brand, was developed after an Ohio hospital needed an open-heart surgery recovery pillow for their patients. Months of searching proved that there was not yet a teddy bear that could meet and surpass the high standards required for therapeutic use in a hospital. Lynette designed The Original Cardiac Bear with the help of cardiologists, critical care nurse managers, and infection control staff. The Anti-Microbial Cardiac Bear, vinyl Healing Hearts Pillow, and vinyl Healing Hearts Mini soon joined the lineup of hospital-requested heart surgery recovery pillows! ​ Individuals and families around the globe have ordered bears and hearts for loved ones, and hospitals across the United States have been eligible for logo imprinting and bulk pricing discounts. ​ Xpand Your Brand offers free expert consultation, has access to tens of thousands of custom gifts, gift baskets, corporate gifts, promotional marketing materials, and more! ​ READ REVIEWS Back to Top

    View All

NEED HELP?

Springfield, OH USA       937. 206. 6689

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube