By bcrawfordj Latest Reply 2010-11-22 14:08:46 -0600
Started 2010-11-22 08:40:43 -0600

Hi, My name is Bill. I am male and 56 years old. I’ve had 3 heart attacks, triple bypass, a stroke and found out that I was a diabetic in Oct 2008.
When I had my first heart attack I was 35 yrs old. I was in excellent health,(145lbs) (so I thought) anyway I played on 2 softball teams, rode my bicycle on the Blue Ridge Parkway( 30-60 miles) every other weekend, played tennis with my wife, went trout fishing when I could, hiked, water skied, I was pretty active.
Then one night we played 2 softball games back to back. After the game we stopped at “The Log Cabin) to have a couple of beers, so I left to go home and I got about 4 miles from my home and all of a sudden I had this terrible pain in my chest, ( I had a full sized 1979 Bronco with a 4 speed transmission) both of my arms were hurting so bad that I couldn’t use them, luckily I was about 100ft away from a convenient store so I steered the truck with my shoulders to the store. I got into the store and told them I think I was having a heart attack, then I passed out, the next time I woke up I was in an ambulance taking me to the hospital. Since I had alcohol in my system, they couldn’t give me that clot busting drug to bust the clot, so they had to do a different protocol which took another 20 minutes, by this time it had been about 45 min from the time I stopped, which included the ambulance ride. During all of this time one third of my heart died, so I stayed in the hospital for about 5 days. After I recovered enough to go through the hospitals heart program, which was about 12 wks I went back to work for another 7 years.
I stayed on my “Heart Diet: Low fat, no added salt. Then in 1996 I had to have triple heart bypass, which I had a longer recovery time, after more exercise and more additional meds, I finally went back to work. Then in 2003 I was at my cardiologist appointment and he was checking my heart and said that he needed to do some more test(EKG) because my heart wasn’t sounding like it should. I had another EKG and the cardiologist said that I need to have a Defibrillator installed because my heart was sneaking another extra beat that couldn’t be detected with a stethoscope. A Defibrillator is a :Pacemaker,Sensor, and a Defibrillator all in one package. I had the Defib installed in 2003,but it never went off in 2 years, then I got a letter in the mail by the Manufacture of the Def and it said: Dear Mr. Crawford out of 166,000 Defibrillators 66 of them have a bad microchip in them and your Defib is the 1st one with the same Lot number. Here we go again, I went back into the hospital to have a replacement put in at Their Cost anyway I know what is feels like when it goes off, its like you are standing behind a horse which kicks you in the chest, it literally knocks the hound out of you without any warning.(This 2nd one was put in 2005)
After all of that I had my 3rd Heart Attack in Oct 2008 but I got there in time before it did any damage, and “thats” when I found out that I was Type 2 Diabetic, while I was still in the hospital they sent 2 Diabetic Doctors in to see me, they both came to the my door of my room and just stood there for about 5 minutes staring at me, and I’m thinking who are they, finally they came over to me and told me that usually they would prescribe medication to the normal patients, but in my case since I am a heart patient( I take a lot of heart and other medications) that I would have to inject myself with insulin 4 times a day. The doctors said that between the heart and other meds the Diabetic meds would have a drastic affect and it could kill me.
So I had about 2 hours to learn how to test my blood, use the meter and record my readings and about 1 hour of what diabetes does to your body. This training was right before I got discharged from the hospital.
I stuck to my “Heart Diet” but quit the sugar, I loved sweetened iced tea but I never drank any soft drinks anyway.
From that day forward I started gaining a little bit of weight, which turned out an extra 50 or so pounds. I didn’t feel very good gaining that much weight so my wife told me about the “Atkins Diet” I never really have been much on diet fads but I tried it, and it really worked on me. After the initial induction part of the 1st phase of the diet,( which took a little while of getting used to) I basically cut out the “Carbs” which means cutting out the bread and pasta and I was a big fan of. I lost about 50 lbs and still have about 20 more to lose towards my goal. One of the best things with this diet is before this diet my blood sugars were running between 150 and 230, now my blood sugars are running about an average per day 109 and my A1C is 5.4 which is really good.
With all of my health problems, heart, cholesterol, diabetes, Defib etc, I’m finally changing for the good.
Most people don’t have the same problems that I do but as far as being a Diabetic I would recommend at least laying off of the bread and pasta which has a lot of carbohydrates in them. Maybe even look at the “Atkins diet” and give it a try. The basic trick for lowering your blood sugars in my book is see how many Carbs you are eating, even if you go for a Low fat no added salt diet that the Cardiologist recommends you really need to check. I have learned that if you watch the carbs you’ll automatically lower your Cholesterol count. It works for me.
If you got bored reading this I apologize, but on the other hand if you find that you can’t do it, think about it again and give it a try. You will be amazed about the good numbers that you will end up with, and that is a good thing.

3 replies

Mrs. Alilce
Mrs. Alilce 2010-11-22 14:08:46 -0600 Report

I'm impressed with your persistence! I tend to get a little glum when I add up the counts against me. I just keep praying to be ok til June 2011. I'd like to get the youngest set up in her dorm, but if I can see her graduate I'll be very happy. What exercise do you get now?

GabbyPA 2010-11-22 10:34:15 -0600 Report

Wow, this just shows us that disease doesn't care if the body is healthy or not. It is great to hear that your lifestyle has helped you so much with the control of your diabetes. An A1c of 5.4 is great!

CaliKo 2010-11-22 10:01:32 -0600 Report

Wow, you've certainly been through a lot. I'm glad you found a meal plan that works for you, and keeps your weight and numbers in safe ranges. I don't think my low-carb diet is as low as the Atkins plan, I eat 135-150 carbs spread out evenly through-out the day, mostly whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and I'm okay for now, but if ever my numbers start climbing, I'll certainly check into it. Welcome to the DC site!

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