Thursday, February 10, 2011

Health, Pt. 2

Over 3 months ago, I wrote the post "Health" about my travails with coronary arterial disease. My wife's been giving me hell about not writing a follow-up post...so here it is.

In early November, I had angioplasty - a procedure where they insert a catheter into the femoral artery and open up a clogged artery and place a metal stent to keep it open. It was difficult and scary, but it saved my life.

Since then, I've completely changed my life. I've cut out chocolate, ice cream, and other sweets. I eat yogurt and granola for lunch. I only snack once or twice a day (about a quarter of how often I did before). We eat a healthier dinner, lower in fat and cholesterol - more fish, chicken, and turkey; less beef and pork.

I've been doing a "cardiac rehab" program at Valley Medical Center. Basically, three times a week I go exercise for an hour while they have me hooked up to a portable EKG to watch how my heart is doing. They keep upping my routine to make me progress, and there's nutrition education and such. It's really designed for people who've had heart attacks, which I didn't, but it's been very helpful to me. I'm about halfway through the 12 week program, after which I will just have to make exercise part of my routine habit. I'm working on incorporating exercise into all my other days too, because I really have to.

Since the surgery, I have lost 21 pounds. The first 12 pounds I lost in the first 12 days after the surgery, strictly by changing my diet. That means that before the surgery, I was eating 3500 calories a day too much - enough for two other people. Every day.  After the 12 pounds, I stayed steady for a bit until I started exercising, then it's been a steady pound a week loss - sometimes a little more, but so far no less.

My blood pressure is down to normal, and my cholesterol is down to where my doctor wants it. Overall, I've made a lot of progress and am actually doing very well. I just have to keep it up now.

5 comments:

Evan Draeger Photography said...

Matt all kidding aside, I am very proud of you. Next time we see each other I need to pick your brain about snacks and stuff since that is my biggest weakness. I type this as I am CRAVING red vines but will resist the temptation to go get some.

Keep up the good work my friend!

Memophage said...

Keep it up man! I need someone to ride a Harley cross-country with as soon as the kids are out of the house. :)

princessj65 said...

Matty, I had no idea...I guess cuz I wasn't on FB for a while after my surgery but for the love of everything holy.. pick up a phone! I'm so glad ur doing ok! I don't wanna lose my fav brother! Keep with ur exercise, it really does make all the difference

Wiwille said...

21 lbs? That's great. Keep it up. You'll feel so much better and we won't have to worry.

Mattbear said...

Thanks all.
I couldn't have come this far without the support of my friends and family, and I appreciate it.