Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A New Beginning

The Reason For My Doctor Visit? I didn't want to be here.... again
Last time started my telling of a doctors visit.

A little more background seems appropriate.

The major attraction of a Whole Food Plant Based Diet (WFPB) is that it  works. But equally important is that it's something I can do on my own, safely and without fearing any negative consequences.

And way better in those regards than standard medical treatment.

When I started, I didn't have medical insurance.  All doctor visits, prescriptions, procedures and advanced diagnostic procedures were, therefore, on my own dime. And the way I typically have lived, spare dimes are not to be wasted.

Would I prefer to have been able to afford more medical care? Well, yes and no.

Yes, it would have been an advantage to have better medical monitoring of my recovery. No, I didn't want or need the standard medical party line.

Now that I have medical insurance, and have found a specialist in my area of need, I'm more than glad to get things checked out. Dr. Polukoff is recommending a battery of tests, to be done in about three months, just prior to my next visit with him.

This coincides with my need and desires. I consider it a real blessing, more than chance, one of those "miracles" that sustain me, that I ran into him, found out he's a cardiologist with a great interest in nutritional therapy, and the way opened up for me to see him quickly.

His staff booked me for an "emergency" appointment, otherwise it would have been three months before I could see him. Like I told Dr. Polukoff, either he (the doctor) intervened, or He intervened.

Turns out it wasn't Dr. Polukoff. He barely remembered me at first.

The day before my appointment I started a new cardiac exercise regimen. For six years I have walked or run for about a half hour daily, somewhat slowly because the little dogs I drag behind me haven't tolerated a faster pace.

About a month ago Dog #1 - Daisy - expired. Dog #2 - Nilla - is more than happy to run faster. So I've been thinking about doing shorter-but-more-intense interval training, to do a better daily check on my cardiac capacity, verify I'm on track, do a better job of cardiac conditioning, and save some time.

Turns out with more intense exercise, I can consistently reproduce my angina. It goes away when I slow down, but it's a great reality check for me.

So I had all of two days of this new regimen under my belt when I visited Dr. Polukoff's office. I was ready for a rethinking of my strategy, input from a knowledgeable, caring professional, and basically loaded for bear to attack my less-than-stellar-but-still-amazing compliance, and adopt the best WFPB protocols I know.

And Dr. Esselstyn's more rigid prescriptions in some regards don't scare me. I know from past experience I will learn, I will adopt, I will adapt, and everything will work out. Because I will be, I am, my own best client and example.

I will do this.

Could I have done this on my own? Yes. Was it likely if I hadn't encountered Dr. Polukoff? Probably not. Why? Human nature, of which I am an avid partaker.

I could have joined Jim Fixx in competing for the "World's Greatest Losers" prize for self induced somnolence regarding taking you own health advice too seriously and resulting self induced death (now there's a great topic for a future blog post). He is, after all, current reigning champion, followed up by Euell Gibbons (OK, two topics).

I don't want to be in the running for that prize (pun intended, and my thanks to Jim for setting a high standard to learn from and not do likewise).

I seek valid outside professional opinions. I treasure them. I am an avid reader and fan of Dr. Fuhrman's medical advice forums. The cost of partaking in them with my own questions is too steep ($50+ per month). But I can relish the validity and perspective of what I read there.

And I'm not opposed to regular medical treatment and opinions. I just have to moderate them somewhat based on what I know from experience.

Doctors don't understand everything. Neither do I. Sometimes it's good to seek input, and take it serious.

I can do that.

Now that I have medical  insurance, and a legit doctor with knowledge and background I need and respect.

And I definitely don't expect the standard medical party line. He's the only intervention cardiologist in the State of Utah who understands the validity of the nutritional approach. A Google search for the term "nutritarian cardiologist" shows zero results. "Nutritional cardiologist" lists Dr. Caldwell Esseltyn first. I think I've got the right guy.

Next time: The many things I learned from the visit.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Jackpot

Yesterday I hit the jackpot. And got a needed reality check.

Dr. Polukoff

I had an appointment with a doctor, an MD and an intervention cardiologist, WHO UNDERSTANDS NUTRITION AS TRUE MEDICINE! He practices it himself, he uses it in his medical practice, he's seen some outstanding results.

And he's dealt with some patients who don't want to hear a thing about it, and suffer the natural consequence of progressive disease and even death.

Wonderful when the results happen, and very frustrating for him when some folks won't listen.

Maybe a little like I've experienced.

The point is, this a true find, a gem and another miracle in my life and story.

To explain why and how, I've got to back up a little.

At my second heart attack, there was no cath lab capability locally, so I was helicoptered to another hospital. This was at the ER doc's insistence, I didn't think it was necessary and still don't. But it happened.

When the cardiologists in Salt Lake found they couldn't do anything to help me beyond giving me drugs, I knew there was better information out there. Somewhere.

The hospital nutritionist did refer me to a book by Dr. Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic, that described his research study of nutritional intervention for very seriously ill cardiac patients. He took a small group of patients who had been diagnosed, fully treated, and basically given up on by the cardiac care doctors there. Nobody had anything to lose by trying something different - a change in eating habits - and doubtless few of his peers believed it would succeed.

But succeed it did, and how! Everyone who complied far exceeded anyone's expectations for recovery and extended life. It worked well for even the most serious cases. A few patients complied only somewhat, with less positive results.  This was a true breakthrough, a miracle that indicates what is possible, and that full compliance guarantees positive results.

Way better than any prescription, surgery, procedure, supplement or other protocol in this regard.

So did the medical community stand up and applaud, and immediately clamor for more and better research and then turn to nutrition as the best means of care, prevention and a cost effective, works-every-time solution to a major international problem?

 Certainly..... NOT.

So now to the present day implications for me and my progress, as well as for Infinity and (thank you Buzz Lightyear) Beyond. In my next post.