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Rosie O’Donnell’s Health Crusade
Blogging about Rosie O’Donnell’s quest for better health is a deviation for me because I don’t generally blog about celebrities’ eating or weight issues, her focus is not exactly my focus, and her path toward health is not one I necessarily endorse. However…
First off, Rosie is a recent transplant to Sarasota—well, she lives here part of the year— where I call home and saw her recently at our local comedy club, McCurdy’s. She was terrific, mostly making comedy out of raising her five children. What she didn’t much joke about was her near fatal heart attack in 2012 caused by an artery which was 99% blocked. Instead she got serious about women, including her former self, not taking care of their health. I must say that for a funny lady, she was deadly serious about educating women about the signs of a heart attack which are as follows:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest which lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away then comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
Second, though Rosie is now celebrating weight-loss following gastric-sleeve surgery, she is mostly about wanting to improve her health and that of others. What I respect about the way she educates is that she didn’t proselytize and she didn’t talk about losing weight as the way to get healthy. Or about surgery as being the way to go.
Instead, she gets the bigger picture. In a recent interview, Rosie O'Donnell reveals 50-pound weight loss, CNN.com, she says about neglecting her health, "I did what many women do, and I did not take care of myself.” Her comment is why I’m blogging about her—in spite of the fact that she had gastric surgery which I don’t endorse and her public celebration of weight-loss. Although there’s great value in her educating women about the warning signs of a heart attack and in being a role model for healthful eating, her basic message that women must take care of their bodies is what won me over.
As a post-script, one recent evening, Rosie and her son were dining in the next booth at a local restaurant when I was out with a friend and we couldn’t resist saying hello and telling her that we loved her show and its message. She was warm and friendly, and I hope she continues to take care of her health to keep on entertaining and educating us.