Of Life and Death Importance. Literally.

Sit back, grab some coffee, and enjoy this little story. To set a little background for this journey, five years ago I was diagnosed with extremely high blood pressure. When I say high blood pressure, I mean, I should be dead. The last time I was not on medication for it, my blood pressure was 236/124. Like I said, I should be dead. So five years ago, I started the journey to figuring out how to control this, medically. After two years of struggling with different medication combinations, my doctor and I settled on a combination of drugs that kept things at a much safer level. Three different meds, two of them taken in the morning and the third med taken three times a day, brought my blood pressure down to something more in the 150s/90s range. Still not wonderful, but much better. Once we found that cocktail, I started seeing my doctor on a regular 3 month basis to keep tabs on everything.

So…this story actually begins about 6 months ago. My doctor, realizing that it had been a few years since I had any blood work done, sent me home with paperwork to get labs run on my blood before I came in the next time. I didn’t go. I found all sorts of excuses on why, but basically, I just didn’t go. So three months ago, I went back in and he was really bothered by the fact that I didn’t get my blood work done. I remember his exact words, “Do you not care what’s going on with your body?” He asked if I had eaten anything that morning yet, or had anything other than water…serendipitously enough, I hadn’t. So he demanded I immediately go and have my blood work done that morning. I had no excuses, so I went.

A few days later, he called me, worried and asked me to drop whatever I was doing and come see him immediately. He didn’t want to delay starting treatment based on the results of my blood work. “Treatment?” I thought. I began to share his concern, so I dropped what I was doing and went in.

I’ll never forget these words. He said, “Well, we know you’re overweight (ouch) and have struggled with high blood pressure…but now your cholesterol is through the roof and you’re apparently diabetic. Who knows how long you’ve been an untreated diabetic, since you haven’t had blood work in a very long time…but congratulations…with the combination of these four conditions, you’ve just graduated into a special group of people who could have a massive heart attack at any given moment 24 hours a day. So, are you ready to change your life?”

Holy moly. I was absolutely beside myself. I had no idea, obviously. I think for the first time in a life time of trying different things to change my health, I was finally ready.

(to be continued)


Morning Moments

IMG_5781Mornings have always been important times for me. A time to collect my thoughts, celebrate accomplishments from the day before, organize my lists of things to be done today. For the last few months, however, mornings have taken on a new importance. Ever since the 2016 Health Crisis®, my mornings have also been about constant health monitoring. Every morning, before coffee, before breakfast, before I do anything else, I weigh in on a digital scale, I check my blood pressure, and I check my blood sugar. I also evaluate my heart rate data from the day before and I plan my meals out for the day.

At 43, I’m not getting any younger, but my entire goal is to be on this planet as long as possible and to do everything in my power to live the best life I can. Years ago, my doctor told me, “You think you’re invincible, and you are – but your container is not.” So, I’m trying to treat my container with as much kindness as possible. And why not? I like this place. I love my life. So why not take steps to extend?

When I have more time, I’ll get into the 2016 Health Crisis®, which wasn’t so much a health crisis as it was a moment of reality and the need for change. There’s so much to say on this topic…and so many other topics. However, one day at a time…one thought at a time.

I just got to a place where I realized that if I say my life is valuable, then I owe it to myself to examine how much value I truly place on it – and to determine if my actions are lining up with my words.

Just a thought. By the way, today’s thought is brought to you by the letter Coffee.