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Healthy aging event teaches friends to listen to their bodies

By Jessica Rodrigo
May 15, 2014 at 12:15 a.m.

Wanda Tuttle

Think you're suffering from a heart attack?

Dr. Tywaun Tillman, a cardiologist with the Cardiovascular Associates, said most patients can save themselves from a heart attack if they follow these steps:

• Don't ignore the symptoms.

• Call 9-1-1 as soon as you can.

• Chew an aspirin to alleviate pain.

Maggie Christ and Wanda Tuttle spent Thursday morning learning new things about their health.

They were among the more than 600 guests who attended the 16th annual Healthy Aging Conference at the Victoria Community Center, said Erika Bochat, Victoria County extension family and consumer sciences agent.

Christ, 78, and Tuttle, 58, meandered through the tables layered with pamphlets and other treats while collecting information about services available in the area.

The two are repeat attendees of the event, and both said it's a good place to learn more about area services available to them and their elderly parents.

"There is always something new," said Tuttle, who lives in Goliad County.

The conference included booths from a variety of services available in the Crossroads such as Podiatry Associates of Victoria, Senior Helpers, Crossroads MRI and Twin Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Learning about heart health was important to Christ, of Goliad, because she said her family has a history of heart problems.

"I've bypassed the inheritance," she said. "I haven't had any problems yet."

The friends had their blood pressure checked at the Twin Fountains table and attended sessions together including one by cardiologist Tywaun Tillman.

"You can ignore your spouse but not your heart," said the doctor to his audience. "You don't want your heart to yell at you to hear it."

Tillman spoke about the safety of seeking attention when there are symptoms. They may not always be intense and dramatic, he said, but could be as subtle as an ache or a cold sweat.

Being proactive is important when patients know they have heart issues, he said.

"Do not wait. You will run the risk of something happening," he said to the group.

After Tillman's presentation, Christ asked about her allergy to aspirin, which is known as a blood thinner and can provide first aid during a heart attack. She learned about the generic brand of Plavix, which can be taken as an alternative.

"He's such a good speaker and does such a good job of educating the group," said Christ.

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