Health Journal 10


It seems I’ve finally shed the cold that kept me from exercising as much as I would have liked over the last couple weeks.  Let’s see if I also managed to shed the weight I feared gaining because of that down time, not to mention my folks’ visit and the associated heavy eating from this weekend:

Previous Weight: 195.9 Pounds

Current Weight: 195.8 (Looks like diet alone is enough to keep me stable, which is good, but I really need to get more workouts in.  Ah well.  Saturday will be a good day for a good hike or a run on the treadmill, get the next cycle started right.)

Current Goal: 190 Pounds

My folks also brought me a new long term health concern when they came to visit.

I’ve known for some time that the men on my father’s side of the family have problems with heart health.  My grandfather has a pacemaker (though at 93, he’s still doing pretty good for himself, and his cardiac problems developed after his sons’ did), my uncle Butch (christened Kenneth, but only known as such to his wife and his mother) had a heart attack a few years ago, several of my uncles and my father’s cousins have had lesser problems, and my father himself had his first heart attack when he was 38.

I’m 37.  This is why cardio is such a strong consideration for me.

But then, a few months ago, right after Christmas, my uncle Butch had an…incident.  He was rushed to the hospital with what turned out to be a ruptured aneurysm in his descending aorta.  If you followed that link, you’ll know that this is the sort of thing that will almost certainly kill you very quickly.  Talking to my sister, the surgeon, we learned that he had a one-in-a-million chance to even get off the operating table, and he should count himself lucky if he only lost a few toes.  Extremely lucky.  With the blood flow cut off to the lower body, he was more likely to lose feet, intestines or kidneys.  Come out of this thing with no permanent damage?  According to her, her colleagues, and the doctors who were actually treating Butch: simply does.  Not.  Happen.

And yet it did.  One of the doctors actually said that he believed it was divine intervention.  Which just tells you how much you don’t want something like this to happen to you.

And that is now a concern for me.  One of my uncles did a bit of research, and it turns out that one of their uncles – which is to say, one of my great-uncles – and several of their cousins died of this exact same thing.

All of them were twenty years older than me or more.  Still.  That’s a warning if ever there was one.  It’s going to take me a little while to get things sorted out with my insurance company – choosing my own doctor, or at least contacting the one I was given by default when I got my new plan – but when I get my first checkup, I’m going to ask for two things: an EKG, and a sonogram to check that artery.


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