Closing in on 9 months....

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Closing in on 9 months....
Sat, 11-01-2003 - 3:42pm
...since I was diagnosed with what I found out later was a near-fatal 95% blockage in a major coronary artery, and had angioplasty, while in my early 40s. (For those who weren't here when I whined about this at the time: Never smoked, wasn't overweight, exercised daily, normal blood pressure, and borderline high cholesterol but under 240, blah blah blah).

It's still hard to believe that the whole thing happened at all! The major change in my lifestyle has been diet (I was doing most of the other stuff that's supposed to help prevent heart disease already). It's been a struggle at times, but I'm surprised to discover that I'm usually OK not having the things I thought would be really tough to do without. My quality of life is just as fine without donuts in the office or beef 4 times/week, for example. I do miss whole-milk cheese (I have it some, but infrequently now).

I'm also trying to work on my stress management.

It's strange, though, I just always seem to be aware that I have heart disease. Not that I'm always walking around frightened that I have it, or resentful that I have it, it just seems to be there a lot.

I'm happy to report that I went for a stress/echo a couple of weeks ago, and everything showed OK! Big relief. Cholesterol was below 160 (I'm on meds for that now, guess I will be for life, even though I think my cholesterol would be in the normal range w/o medication with this new healthy eating. But I guess once you've been stented, that's that.)

This will be my first holiday season on a heart-healthy diet, and I know that will be a challenge. I need to keep telling myself that it's only food, it's not such a big deal, there are other things I can do in life to make me happier than stuffing my face with apple crisp....

Happy autumn everyone!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
Tue, 11-04-2003 - 9:12am

Congratulations on having such a positive and realistic attitude about your health.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Tue, 11-04-2003 - 11:21am
Thanks! There sure is a shift in the way I think about a lot of things.

For example, I don't WANT anything with trans fats anymore. I used to love things like Pop Tarts and packaged cookies, but they're definitely not worth my health.

And I'm trying to work on the stress management. Some things really aren't worth worrying about. I'm having mixed success on that, though.

I'm also trying to improve my home environment, keeping it cleaner and less cluttered. It's funny, whenever I felt myself getting sick in the past (I mean like with a cold or something), I'd have the urge to start cleaning, so that when I'd need to rest in bed more, I'd have a more pleasant environment instead of a big mess. I guess this is taking it more to the extreme -- I just want all the excess junk and piles of stuff out of my house, I want a simpler, more relaxing environment.

My cardiologist said I don't need to go back until next spring. I've obviously been going more often since they found the blockage, but he seems to think that things are going to be fine now that the problem's been found and fixed. I sure hope so!