I went to the doctor for the first time a few years ago. He took my family history. He did some blood work. He was half kidding, but he told me with my genetics, I'm just sunk.
In a lot of ways, I think I believed him. It's not like I have the best genetics in the world. My dad has had two heart attacks and a stroke. Several members of the other side of the family have diabetes. Then, there's me. I have hemochromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes your body to absorb too much iron.
But, the doctor did give me hope. I think he was joking when he told me to beat all of this, I would have to run marathons. Little did he know that I would take him serious one day. In a way, thanks to him, I applied for the Biggest Winner.
Fastforward to last December. I called my endocrinologist's office to let him know I had lost some weight. I wanted to know if I should come in for a visit. The nurse told me I could wait until my regularly scheduled appointment in late March. I was like "You don't understand. Things have really changed for me." The nurse consulted with the doctor and he said he could see my in January.
Well, I walked into that office this morning a little nervous. I knew I had lost weight. I wasn't sure about my blood work. I had been eating healthy for two months and exercising on a regular basis. I wanted to know if what I was doing was making me healthier. I wanted to make sure that there wasn't something wrong with me that I was losing so much weight or that the weight loss was causing any medical issues.
The nurse comes in to take my blood pressure and pulse. She begins to put the information into the computer. "You've lost 40 pounds since your last visit in September," she said as she up the numbers in. She took my blood pressure. It was 112 over 72. That's not bad. Then, she went to take my pulse. It took forever. I'm not sure she believed herself. My resting heart rate was 58. A few years ago when I was sick, my heart rate never went under a 100 for months. She started looking over my blood work. I don't what she saw, but I knew it was good. She was so excited to get the doctor that she forgot to check my glucose monitor.
The doctor comes in. He starts sharing my numbers with me. I don't know quite how to convey it, but I'll try with a table to show you how much progress I've made, especially during the last couple of months.
Highest September Today
Weight 250 lbs 225 lbs 185 lbs
Triglycerides 572 300 85
Total Cholesterol 267 161 100
HDL (Good) 29 32 47
Heart Rate (Resting) 114 85 58
Hemoglobin A1C 6.7 6.7 5.6
My liver enzymes have always been high. Now, they're in the normal range. All of my blood work is in the NORMAL range. What's the reward for that? As of today, my Metformin dosage is being cut in half. My trilipix, which was at the maximum recommended dosage, isn't a part of my life anymore. I don't have to take it. I still have to take some Crestor for now. If things continue, I may be saying goodbye to all my meds by the end of May or sooner.
So, the question is always asked, "How do you do it?" One way to find out some of the things I do is to tune in to PBS on January 14th at 7:00 a.m. to see me on Fit and Fun with Missy Kane.
When you look on paper, the odds are that my health won't be the greatest. Statistically, I should probably end up with heart disease and diabetes. But, somehow, against the odds, I'm doing it. It's because of all I've learned from the Covenant Health Biggest Winner Team. You're past does not determine your future.