And we’re back…

Back at the surgeon’s!

We’re a bit more organised now and the process begins.

The nurse does an ECG. Normal. How nice!

Then it’s in to see the surgeon.

It’s very matter of fact but pleasant.

He lists off a range of items:

  • I’ll need 3 months to recover 😐
  • Very little out of pocket expense!
  • Mental health is probably the biggest issue. (Not the “cutting open” and the “fiddling around inside” part?)

And then the explanation of what needs to happen.

He’s done this so many times it’s almost boring. But it does build my confidence. Am I feeling better about this?

July 11

How are YOU feeling …

There’s another person involved in this journey… the FBH!

I have to deal with the physical, emotional and mental side but she has to deal with the emotional and mental side.

That makes it harder for her in a way. She has to stand by and watch and “make do”. She’ll need support as well and, while I’m recovering, I’m not sure I’ll be the one to supply it.

We discuss this as we head into this change in our lives and tell her how much I feel for her.

I apologise for putting her in this situation.

July 10

The waiting “game” …

Back at work waiting for the call from the Cardiologist.

I get 3 or 4 random calls between Thursday and Friday! I never get random calls!

I have to leave meetings just in case it’s … the call!

To say I was a little on edge would be putting it mildly.

Eventually the call came mid afternoon Friday.

“Yes, the recommendation is open heart surgery.”

“I have a good surgeon for you, probably the best in Perth. He does the heart transplants at Fiona Stanley Hospital!”

Me: Uh-huh

“You have an appointment with him on Monday!”

OK!

Friday, July 6

The Cardiologist (2)

We had an appointment with the Cardiologist later that day.

It’s funny how quickly things move along. I’d gone from being okay to requiring heart surgery.

The Cardiologist went over the findings and talked about stents versus open heart surgery. He didn’t need to convince me in favour of open heart surgery.

While stents have their place, surgery seems to be a more “permanent” solution and I was happy to go down that path.

He would get opinions from colleagues and then advise me of his full recommendation.

“I’ll be in touch in two days.”

July 4 (evening)

Angie-O-Gram Day (2)

*”And so here I am, waiting in the lobby, sweating bullets in this stupid old suit …” to have this angiogram done.

They wheel me in, slip the needle into my wrist to send the dye through to the heart. The specialist sees my tattoo and comments about running marathons.

“Quite a few ultra runners have heart disease issues.”

Nice start!

I’m lying on the gurney as he starts sending the dye through.

“Hmmm, we have a major, a serious and a minor blockage.” Or something to that effect.

He walks me through what he sees and, really, for the first time, I know I have some shit to deal with.

Try as I may, I can’t stop the tear running down my face.

Fuck!

July 4

*”I don’t want to be alone” – Billy Joel

Keep Going …

These were the words my GP used when we discussed my blood work the other day.

I was a little surprised. The numbers mostly went in the right direction and quite markedly so. But I was still expecting a response like: “The results are fine, nothing to worry about.” All delivered with little emotion.

But his actual comments were: “Your blood results came back excellent! Whatever you are doing, keep doing it!”

And he knows exactly what I’m doing: Low Carb/Healthy Fat.

He even wrote it on the blood work request as LCHF 6/52 – meaning 6 weeks of last 52.

On my visit last week there as a fairly strong view that my bacon, eggs and grilled tomato were flying in the face of the advice of a registered professional dietician. Which, in fact, they were.

I’ve known my GP for a while now (30 years in total though not always seeing him as my GP due to life changes and distances) and he is a great guy. We’re the same age, give or take 10-15 days. My visits are always pretty quick but we always have a bit of a chuckle and a chat.

To be fair, I did try the dieticians advice for a couple of weeks and I saw my blood glucose fasting rise marginally in the morning. Not a lot and certainly not enough to stop the regime without an alternative. But I have an alternative.

In addition, I need to manage my blood sugars and my cholesterol – even though some studies suggest that cholesterol and saturated fat are not the cause of arterial plaque but I’m not that game to lose the statins just yet.

Without further ado there are my blood results. The main thing is to look at the recent history to see the changes, not just the one off results of the 28/08/18.

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 2.27.01 pm

The main score here is the LDL. It’s below the “magical*” 2.0, which is what I have been working on for a while. So the Doc was pretty happy with that and I assume the Cardiologist will be as well. And to come down a whole point from 09/16 can’t be bad.

If my HDL had remained at 0.9 my Coronary Risk Ratio wouldn’t have been listed as H (High). So close!

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 2.32.50 pm

Blood sugars also went in the right direction. the HbA1c (NGSP) dropped 0.8 and Estimated Avg Glucose dropped 1.2 points.

Of course these reductions are a one off. I’d like to close the case right here. But I think it prudent to get a couple more checks before I go solo! For any test to be valid it needs to be repeatable.

* There is lots of research that discounts the LDL level but I’m not about to trust that yet. The same goes with saturated fat and while I am consuming a healthy fat diet, the statins will remain until I see a further dramatic drop and/or there is consensus on the point. I’ve dodged a heart attack once. I don’t plan walking into one if I can help it.

Progress Report 1

Measuring-ProgressAfter yesterday’s post on constant movement I am very conscious of what I’m doing today. I gotta practice what I preach/observe.

So this is an update on all of that less than 24 hours later.

 

 

Todays’ stats:

  • Fasting blood sugars: 6.0
  • Weight: 82.3kg (target 78kg)

The BS of 6.0 is three days in a row so a big tick for consistency but I’d really like to see some 5.x in there.

Why 6.0?

My diet yesterday was a bit higher in sugar being Father’s Day. A roast pork was good but the rolled roast turkey, while delicious, had some stuffing that may have contributed to the reading. Along with 2 glasses of red wine and one of champagne. Oh, and the amazing brownie/mousse made by my son-in-law.

I did end the night with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV). The benefits of which can be seen here by Dr Eric Berg.

Overall, the 6.0 this morning is self inflicted and easy to address.

Weight?

Pretty steady. It hovers around that figure so that is working for now, as long as I keep up this constant movement idea. Obviously I’d like to see it go down.

I do see a lot of posts ands research about addressing diabetes. One of which is losing weight. That doesn’t really apply to me (thankfully) so it’s just a lazy 4kg to lose but that last few can be hard.

Today

I’m now trying to follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG). Whereas previously I was experimenting with Low Carb.

Breakfast

  • Steel cut oats (half a cup, cooked)
  • 1/3 cup no fat milk
  • 2 scrambled eggs
  • 2 x espresso coffees with pouring cream (the cream has to go!) 😦

2 hour blood glucose reading: 8.7 – not good!

Morning Snack

  • Granny smith apple – big tick
  • Long macchiato with full cream milk – maybe not a big tick

Movement day has been 4,380 steps of which around 3,000 was walking the dog.

While I can check my blood sugars throughout the day the key factor is the morning, fasting BG level so I’ll report on that mostly.

Lunch

  • 2 tbsp of ACV
  • 400ml sparkling water
  • 1 x slices of Helga’s low carb soy and toasted sesame bread
  • 80g roast chicken, no skin
  • 4 x brussel sprouts
  • 1 cup spinach and rocket
  • 1/2 carrot, raw

The chicken was leftover from Saturday and had to be eaten. I struggled to pit the skin in the bin and not eat it. It is so delicious. Anyway, trying to follow the guidelines.

Afternoon snack

  • 30g nuts – likely walnuts

These will satiate and provide the right nutrients until dinner.

Dinner

  • 2 tbsp ACV
  • Chicken dish of some sort – haven’t decided yet.
  • Lots of vegetables