Saturday, June 8, 2013

weight....big obstacle...where has it gone?

A lot of you know I have been working really hard to lose weight. As a CHD survivor who has had roughly 4 open heart surgeries in my lifetime, for once in my life when I hit my 30s I began to struggle with my weight. My last OHS ( open heart surgery) in 2010 I had retained a lot of fluid. I then started the real battle with my weight.

I lived somewhat of a stressful life when I turned 29, I married my hero. Sure every woman thinks that they marry their hero and their knight and shinning armor, but no, I really had mine. He doesn't wear a cape, he wears combat boots and dog tags and our nations military uniform proudly.

Starting out as a newly wed military wife can of course no doubt be stressful. I got married in May 2009. My husband had just returned from a 6 month deployment in Afghanistan. June, july, august rolled around and in mid August I was just started to have what they would call heart failure signs.

My cardiologist knew my PVR ( right pulmonary valve ) would need to be replaced and we were trying to plan that out and schedule it. However from August on I like I mentioned was little did I know heading into heart failure.

I was getting more and more tired and short of breath. I was feeling a pressure build up around my chest like I was told. We thought that I would be able to schedule the next replacement and be able to wait for them to complete the valve placement via catheter and get approved to have it done on me instead of a full blown OHS. However, this was not the case.

January 2010 shortly after my 30th birthday, and the day of the Haiti earthquake, I woke up feeling like I couldn't breath and basically felt like my husband was standing on my chest with his entire platoon. He was in a briefing for the  earthquake as I was texting him telling him that I needed to go to the ER.

W'hen in a briefing he cannot look at his phone. Finally and luckily we lived on base at the time he rushed home and took me to the ER. We got to the other base where my cardiologist was and she had staff waiting for us. She did an ECHO and said that I had retained 750mgs of fluid in my chest and if I would have waiting any longer or another day I would have died.

I was flown to Mississippi back home to Atlanta to Emory University where my cardiologist team resides. I remember IVs with nothing but lasix trying to push the fluids off of me so I would be stable enough for them to do the surgery.

Surgery was done, I had a lot of scar tissue built up from having previous surgeries as a child and being 30 years old it was tough for my surgeon to get thru it. It took me longer to recover since I was older. It took longer for my lungs to function and make sure that the bovine valve was not going to reject.

After I was taken out of ICU and put onto the floor, My doctors told me that it was very crucial that I lose weight. Before my surgery was done, because of all the fluid i had retained, I was close to weighing 200lbs and have a 4 ft 11 frame.

I was sent home. Went to my parents house who lives in Atlanta to start recovery process. After doctors okied me to go back to Mississippi where Derek is stationed, I begin the weight loss struggle.

My husband shortly left on a 10 month deployment, the longest deployment we have ever had since we have been together. I begin trying to lose weight then. However I started battling issues with the area that the by pass machine was put in. They did not staple it shut or stitch it they just clamped it. It kept coming open, I kept making ER trips. Finally it heeled.

Ok so 15 lbs lost while the husband was gone, that was weight watchers, a lot of point counting a lot of having to remember what I had to eat to be able to track and write down. Husband comes home, I gain 15lbs back and get depressed and give up. Husband is home for a year and then left for kuwait. I said ok I am going to surprise him and lose weight this is going to be the year FAIL. Depressed frustrated again.

2013 , struggling, having depression, fighting for rights to my stepson, husband going to a new command, husband trying to advance to first class. We have been fighting . Emotionally physically just want to give up. I go home to atlanta and ask for help from my cardiologist.

Basically this visit I was told since it has been 3 years that my valve was put in, they were concerned since i seemed to have 50% pressures. I was given three choices 1. follow their diet plan or not and 2. have a heart cath done to try and stretch the valve, if not that last option would be another OHS. I said no to 3 and 2 and YES to 1.

Whats my secret to 3 pant sizes in three months??? Now I would not suggest this to all heart patients or to anyone, ask your doctor first. Since Feb. of this year I have never EVER been successful at a diet then what I have now. I was told if I followed what they tell me to do I would see inches come off like nobodies business and could save my valve.

NO BREAD NO SUGAR NO JUNK FOOD NOTHING WHITE NO POTATOES, NO SODA NOTHING FRIED. Everything was based around salads a meat and some kind of protein and 1 egg and 2 egg whites any time of the day. Breakfast i could have eggs, bacon coffee or water. Lunch some kind of meat a protein some kind of green vegetable or any kind of vegetables, and salad, Dinner would be the same as lunch. NO prepackaged foods. Also lastly WALK.

I have leslie sansone walking dvds a good CHD friend has recommended to me that are fun and I love doing I can walk 1-5 miles. I walk 3 times a week and am about to start walking everyday. Dec-Jan I was about a size 18 now I am a size 12 almost in a size 10. The diet works. However I would still consult a doctor.

I eat what i want to on friday and saturdays and on sundays I go back to what im supposed to be eating.  I have noticed a significant difference in pictures from 2010 til now. I have noticed a difference in my moods and also I am dealing less with depression and anxiety.

So this was a long post. You asked , I delivered. At 33 years old and have already experienced what most older people would have experienced if they had heart disease, I quickly learned that my life can be taken from me at any minute. I learned my heart can only take so much and that if i have to have another surgery at this point I may not survive. I did this for my heart, for me , for my family and by 2014 there will be a new me. I am glad i did this glad I started this journey, God has more in store for me then what he is letting on.

I hope this finds people encouraged. It is important for us to take care of our hearts, ourselves, and ou health. Thank you for taking the time to read my journey to what made me start the weight loss process all over again. feel free to comment and feel free to follow me!

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