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 my medication, 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 journey 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?”
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.