Barry Manilow Battling Heart Disease - Comments and Message Board

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HelenHoldun's picture

HelenHoldun

For everything Barry Manilow has generously and tirelessly given; his talents, time, financial contributions; I am most proud of him for what he’s given now, from the heart, about the heart. Because he very well may be the catalyst in saving the lives of many!Each time I see a Barry Manilow show, listen to an album, watch an interview , or hear of something he’s done to assist a group or organization, like donating instruments to countless students, I always think he can’t possibly top himself. He can’t get any better than his latest achievement. But I’ve learned in just a few years how wrong that thought is. Because he consistently, without fail, raises his own bar of excellence, hits the mark, placing it higher again.Most people know Barry is a private man. In the many years he’s been in the public eye, he’s always kept his professional and personal life separate. I have undying respect for him in doing so, and wish more public figures would follow the same code of integrity and self respect.However, on behalf of the greater good, to raise awareness of the serious heart disease; Atrial fibrillation (AFib), Barry has stepped forward; sharing something about himself that he’s kept private for years,For fifteen years in fact, he has personally suffered from this often disturbing and frightening condition. Enduring bouts without his audience or the public ever being aware. Quietly undergoing numerous treatments and interventions to keep the condition under control.“Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a serious heart disease in which the upper chambers of the heart beat out of rhythm with the lower chambers of the heart. This causes the heart to race and beat out of rhythm”. Left untreated, AFib can lead to, permanent heart damage, heart attack, heart failure, stroke and death.Today the “Get Back In Rhythm” site was launched as a national atrial fibrillation education campaign sponsored by Sanofi US LLC. Barry Manilow is the spokesperson!He’s doing this to raise public awareness about the disease; the dangers, risks and treatments, not cause people to worry about him. To that end, today, in a message from Barry on Faceback, he eased concern that might be raised by stating: "I wanted you all to know that I am in great shape and for all of you not to worry about me. I work with my doctor to take care of my AFib and I lead an active life”.I applaud his sensitivity in taking the time to care about the reaction from all of us who care about him.As I said at the start, I’m extremely proud of Barry for getting involved and allowing his story to serve as living proof, you can lead a normal, healthy and very active live if the disease is properly diagnosed and monitored. As with anything, it’s fear of the what “if’s” that does the most damage.When people in the public eye step forward with their own story about an issue, it not only educates but encourages all of us to seek treatment and spread the word about health issues that often go ignored or perhaps we feel uncomfortable talking about. If a neighbor tells us, it might fall on deaf ears, but we pay attention to a celebrity because somehow it offers more hope.On a personal note, I’m grateful to Barry for raising public awareness to something that not only creates physical issues, but emotional ones as well. I don’t have AFib, but having a mitrol valve prolapse and Graves Disease, I know the terror of an irregular heartbeat. When my oldest son was six months old, I started having panic attacks due to my heart taking flights of craziness. It’s difficult to explain what can’t be seen. When you appear perfectly healthy, which for all practical purposes you are, and then suddenly bolt from a store or restarurant in fight or flight mode, because your heart’s going out of control, and you can’t explain because you’re terrified, people assume your loopy or they tell you, “oh don’t over react, I get palpitations once in awhile too”.Four years ago, I learned to control the panic, thanks to the music of Manilow - a long story, for a different day - and now live without the medication, what I jokingly referred to as “happy pills”, which was often worse than the ailment.However, my heart still goes wild sometimes; even a small amount of alcohol, too much caffeine, stress or getting over tired will set it off; creating anxiety. I was told by a doctor to cough violently when it happens, which gets your heart back to a normal beat. I’m always grateful when it works. Naturally people around me have no idea what I’m doing and give a look that says, oh Lord what germs did she just share. But I’ve learned to ignore them… most of the time! One fear I can’t shake is ever needing an invasive emergency procedure without a strong dose of antibiotics to prevent bacterial endocarditis. But if that’s the worst thing I have to worry about, I’m a very lucky lady!Please visit the Get Back In Rhythm website, read Barry’s personal story and take the quiz to see if you might be at risk for AFib.If you have symptoms see a doctor, don’t wait. In fact, even though I’m terrified of Doctors, Barry has once again been an inspiration to me. It’s time to get that check-up I’ve been putting off for a very long time!To Barry, once again and as always, thank you for all you do. God bless, take care of yourself and please stay well. We need the joy you bring that keeps our hearts happy and healthy!
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OneButterflyHeart's picture

OneButterflyHeart

Barry I'm so glad that you have become the spokesperson for AFIB. I lost my husband to this.He was my best friend,I miss him everyday he was 49 and has been gone for 9 years, I was a widow at 43. Please everyone get a checkup every year or more. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, please take care. Also I love you new cd every song on it.Your fan Always
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