Saturday, September 13, 2014

Heart Disease - A Status Report

So this is a personal post about the status of my heart disease.

It's worth doing because it's a summary of major progress and a work in progress. It took me 2 1/2 years to get to my "ideal" weight, from  210 pounds to just over 160 at a height of 5'11" (I used to be 6'1", but aging and a collapsed vertebra will do that).

I've had two heart attacks, the first in May of 2005 of which could have easily killed me, with two 99% blockages in the LAD artery, and two other blockages in two other arteries, at 99% and 80%.

The second at the end of October 2010 involved a new 80% blockage in the same LAD artery.

The best doctors available said my condition was inoperable.

My friend's referral to Eat To Live is responsible for my ongoing survival and healing.

I've seen my doctor twice in the last two years, but I'm not encouraged when I do. He says recovery is impossible. I'm still looking for a personal doctor who is fully informed and buys in to what I'm doing.

But I do love reading of Dr. Fuhrman's materials, both books and website. He says every heart disease patient he treats gets better. I want that, and I believe it's happening with me.

Most important in my recovery is the status check I do six days a week. At first after my 2nd heart attack I walked for a half hour daily. Gradually I've sped up, and now I jog for half an hour every day. I let angina be my guide, and I exercise as hard as I can - without pain - and the occasional push to test my limits.

Now maybe that doesn't sound impressive to you. But for years I tried to lose weight, and never even approached what I've now achieved:
  • Proved it's possible to overcome a strong genetic predisposition to coronary artery disease. 
  • Eliminated 95% of the animal products, refined sugars and extra fats and oils from my diet.
  • Never gone hungry, counted a single calorie or felt deprived.
  • Learned to buy foods, make cost effective substitutions to recipes and grow an appropriate garden, so I spend no more than I did before (and the before was still very cheap!)
  • Changed my taste preferences so I no longer miss the bad things I used to eat.
  • Developed my own recipes and eating patterns so the variety and taste is completely wonderfully satisfying to me.
  • Caught a vision of what this can mean for healing my family, community and world from the unnecessary expense, wasted resources and personal health tragedies that our current health, medical treatment and food culture assumes are normal and unresolvable.
  • The weight loss and health this involves is a big part of my wife's total vocational recovery from a paralyzing back injury (and from diabetes, definitely related to her loss of muscle function). She wasn't expected to walk at first. Then they said she'd never stop being diabetic. But she is now fully functional, in a way her rehab doctor has never seen. That her diabetes is gone the doctor and diabetes educators said was just plain impossible. 
I now have real, immediate and justified hope in areas where I saw no current solutions before. That's really the main miracle here.

But then, I've always had hope. I always knew there'd be answers somewhere in the distant future. I just never thought I'd see 'em.

An if I can see these, maybe you can too.

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