Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another Step closer ....

Another Step Closer

For the past few weeks, I have wondering why I had those visions or dreams about my health. Was it because of anxiety? Was it because I was scared? I didn’t know.

After last nights dream, I know now why.

Let me describe you my dream I had:

It started out with my being awoken to my dad. Yes, he passed on in 2000, but I saw him again last night. He was in my bedroom and he tapped me on my shoulder and said “Get up son, we have to talk. There are some important things I need to say to you.” So I got up and went with him to the dining room table, where he and I sat. And we talked, or I should say, he talked and I listened.

First off he told me thanks. Thanks for showing him the right way to the light. Secondly he talked about my health. He said that he did want me to die the way he did. He said: “You will change your diet, you will change you’re your fitness level, YOU WILL CHANGE!” I asked him about my two dreams and his response was – “I Put those in your thoughts to show you that if you don’t change, this will happen.” But I said – I had 2 dreams like that, both different. Why?, I asked. “Because you did not listen the first time, I made a second one to show you what would happen if you did not believe me and change.” I promised him right and there, “I will change; I will change my diet, my fitness, my lifestyle.”

Secondly, you were wondereing why you were sent to Holly Pond. I asked Jesus to put you there. I want you there. I knew Wes before you met him. I told him, indirectly, that he will meet a person who needs guidance, spiritual guidance, and that he knew where to direct him to get this spiritual guidance.

I told my dad, when I got to know Wes for the first time, it is as if I new him already. He and I started talking and over a couple of weeks, he started talking about his great Church. He started talking about scriptures and how they reference today’s life with the past. He peeked my curiosity so much I had to go and see. I had to go and get more. My dad said – “That was me wanting you to find this great home. You will, through time, find out why you are there and what your mission is.”

“But now I have to go, my dad said. “I will be with you always, in everything you do. You are never alone, nor will you ever be alone. You have made me proud. I thank you again for showing me the way to the light. I should have reconciled earlier. Thank You, son.”

And then I was awake and new what I had to do. The dreams I had about my health – they were there for a reason. They were a warning. Shape up and change or this will happen to you.

So this morning, I got on my air rower (which I have not used in weeks). And I did my 20 minute exercise. All this week I will do 20 minutes each morning. Next week I will improve to 25 minutes and up and up over the coming weeks to a 45 minute workout. I will not waver on the diet – no junk food PERIOD. I will get my weight down. I will get my sugar in better control. I will get my cholesterol down. I will improve my fitness and health.

I also will continue to go to my new church home. I will open my mind to the Lord. I will let him take control of my life. I am asking for Spiritual Fulfillment. For Spiritual Nourishment.

I will change. I have to. There is no going back. I have seen what can happen if I waiver. I don’t want to go there and don’t intend to. Never again.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Visions or Warning?

Last night I had a dream - the dream started with me waking up in a hospital bed at UAB after open-heart surgery. I had a bunch of tubes in me and thru my mouth. I was very groggy. I remembered Jock being there, as well as my mom. I also had Dr. Varquez there. A few minutes later, my neighbor Dave Hassell walks in.

Apparently I had had a heart attack at my house in the middle of the night. I was sent to UAB for surgery.

After Dr. Varquez tells me that she opened 2 blockages and that I am better now, she also told me that I am to stay even more focused on the program.

Once I realize that I am ok, I suddenly wake up.


This was the second time I had a vision of recovering from a heart attack. The first one I had a few weeks ago, but it was different. That one happened while I took a catnap in the car. That vision showed 2 scenarios happening - (1) I cam up from my desk to the front to ask the secretary something and experience chest pains and collapse. The secretary calls 911. (2) This scenario shows me walking into the waiting room of Cullman Family Practice where I again feel chest pains and collapse.

Ever since those visions, I now have my cell phone next to my bed within 6 inch reach from me. I sleep light at night - where I can be in a deep sleep yet I can hear the birds and insects all night chirping.

Is God trying to tell me something here? Is He trying to warn me?

I don't know.

To date, I have had a lot of visions come true.

These are becoming scary.

Any input would help.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Costs for the 2 day hospital stay in June 2008

For those of you wondering how much this 2-day stay costs in a local hospital for a person without insurance, here is the summary. I got lucky, though, in that (1) I did not have major surgery done and (2) I was able to apply for financial assistance. This financial assistance helped me with my bill. For thos going to the hospital, and do not have health insurance, I urge you to apply for financial assistance at the hospital. You never know what you may get.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Books I have been reading

Here is a listing of books I have read lately. I am including the Title, Author, Publisher, ISBN and a brief description of the book’s contents. As I read more books, this list will grow, no doubt.

Have any books you recommend? Let me know and I will look at them too.

Title: The First Year: Heart Disease – An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed
Author: Lawrence D. Chilnick
Publisher: Lifelong Books
ISBN: 978-1-60094-029-3


“A diagnosis of heart disease can be a blessing in disguise. It can provide the impetus for a healthier you. It’s all about implementing a disciplined and sustainable heart-healthy game plan. You, too, can achieve this.”
--- From the forward by Curtis M. Rimmerman, MD

A longtime health writer and editor, Lawrence Chilnick was stunned and terrified when he suffered a heart attack at age 48 – but assumed his medications would take care of the condition. They didn’t. Soon, Chilnick needed a quadruple bypass. At that point, he set out to turn his health around by educating himself on all aspects of this life-threatening disease. Now as a patient – expert, Chilnick shares his story and the latest medical, dietary and lifestyle advice for stabilizing and reversing a heart condition. In clear and accessible language, The First Year: Heart Disease shows you how to take an active role in your treatment to manage coronary and cardiovascular disease. This unique guide prioritizes the information for you, walking you through everything you need to learn and do day-to-day, week-by-week, and month-by-month in the crucial first year after diagnosis.

Title: Take a Load off Your Heart
Author: Joseph C. Piscatella and Barry A Franklin, Ph. D.
Publisher: Workman Publishing
ISBN: 0-7611-2676-7

Summary -
Increase the odds of living longer with this bold, broad approach to cardiac health. A medically up-to-the-minute and easy-to implement program, Take a Load off Your Heart sets out four key steps to cardiovascular fitness, from assessing risk to managing stress, from improving diet to making habit of exercise. It demystifies predictive markers such as triglycerides and Syndrome X, and offers 109 simple, practicle lifestyle tips - #22 Breathe deeply, #97 Drink black tea, #3 Increase your HDL Level, #54 walk briskly, #75 Give up dieting - for preventing, stabalizing, and, yes, reversing heart disease.

Title: Heart Attack - A Cleveland Clinic Guide
Author: Curtis Mark Rimmerman, M.D.
Publisher: Cleveland Clinc Press
ISBN: 1-59624-031-8

Summary -
There is no other medical center more qualified to write a book on this subject. The Cleveland Clinic Heart Center has been selected as the best Heart Center in America, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual survey for the past 11 years. Our doctors are leaders in cardiology, cardia surgery, cardiothoracic anethesia, and research into the heart and its diseases. No heart program has more experience, more knowledge, or better access to technology. Cardia angiography and the coronary artery bypass were developed at the Cleveland Clinic.
Heart disease is a tremendously frustrating condition. It progresses silently and makes its presence known - if at all - only well after it is established in the heart's arteries. When there are symptoms (significant chest pain, for instance, or sensations of indigestion), they aren't always recognized or acknowledged as being associated with heart disease or heart problems. Worse, sometimes the first sign of a heart disease is a heart attack, and a lethal one.
Told through case histories, this Cleveland Clinic Guide provides what anyone at risk of a heart attack needs most: real, substantive information from a source that is trusted by people all over the world. The author understands what patients are going through and knows that with more information - like this Cleveland Clinic Guide - they will understand they are not alone and that they can have hope.

Heart disease myths addressed:
* If I have symptoms, I'm not at risk
* If my parents had heart disease, I'm doomed to get it also
* Heart disease begins in adulthood
* Only those who are overweight or obese are at risk
* Normal cholesterol levels = no risk for heart attack
* Women don't have heart disease or heart attacks
* Smoking only hurts the lungs (and cigars are "safe")
* If you're taking cholesterol-lowering agents (statins), you can eat anything you want

Other topics:
* Heart anatomy (cardiac plumbing "101")
* What can go wrong (anatomy of a heart attack)
* Telltale signs / warnings
* Risk factors
* Women and heart disease
* Patient's role in managing heart disease
* Life after MI / cardiac rehab
* Medical and interventional therapy
* Choosing a heart doctor

Title: You and Your Cardiologist
Author: Curtis Mark Rimmerma, MD
Publisher: Cleveland Clinic Press
ISBN: 1-59624-081-0

Summary -
Your visit to a heart doctor will be less stressful once you read You and Your Cardiologist: A Cleveland Clinic Guide, by Curtis Mark Rimmerman, M.D. This book will teach you how to work closely with your cardiologist, whose goals are to treat heart disease and help maintain a healthy lifestyle.
"Heart disease is one of those conditions that stimulate great fear and anxiety in patients and families. The antidote to fear is knowledge," writes Dr. Steven Nissen in the forward to You and Your Cardiologist. "This book is essential reading."
Using simple language and real-life examples, this comprehensive guide helps you prepare for your heart exam, walks you through the actual office visit, and shows how doctors proceed from intake to diagnosis to treatment. Its descriptions of heart disorders are clear and easy to follow. In addition, You and Your Cardiologist answers questions often asked by heart patients, including:
* Why do I need a cardiologist?
* Which important details does my cardiologist need to know about me?
* Are all these heart tests really necessary?
* What are my medications for, and how to they work?
* What if I need surgery?
* Aftere my heart attack, will my life ever go back to normal?

As Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic Family Health Centers in Westlake, Lakewood, and Avon, Ohio, Dr. Rimmerman sees both sides of the doctor-patient relationship. In this book, his observations to underscore the importance of strong partnerships: Improved communication saves lives.


Dr. Curtis Makr Rimmerman is a cardiologist with more than 14 years' experience in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. Board-certified in internal medicing, cardiology, and echocardiography, he holds Cleveland Clinic's Gus P. Karos chair in Clinical Cardiology, serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Clevelenad Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, and is the author of Heart Attack: A Cleveland Clinic Guide (Cleveland Clinic Press, 2006). Owing to the work of Dr. Rimmerman and his colleagues, Cleveland Clinic cardiac care consistently ranks No. 1 in the United States, as reported in "America's Best Hospitals," the annual survey made by U.S. News & World Report.

The 2 4 1 Proposition

According to the American Heart Association:

Did you know that you will gain 2 hours of life expectancy for every one hour of regular exercise that you do? According to a Harvard Study, by exercising regularly you will live longer. Start! today.

Diary Entry for 8-6-08

Weight this morning = 299.6! Next goal: 280

Slept good after last night's walk. Made breakfast and lunch and took clothes with me to change to go walking in at end of day.

BG before breakfast = 116
BG at bedtime =

Menu Planned:

Breakfast = 2 sandwiches each of:
2 slices 40-calorie bread
1 tsp promise spread on each slice
1.5 slices tomato
2 thin slices cheese
decaf coffee w/ skim milk

Lunch =
bowl of soup from either Sweet Peppers Deli or Rumor's Deli

Dinner =
3 cups spring mix salad greens
1/2 tomato, sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/4 white vidalia onion, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, large dice
1/4 homemade vinaigrette

Planned exercise:
(4) 1.5 mile loops at Heritage Park

Diary Entry for 8-5-08

Had a good long day today. Worked from 7 am to 6 pm, then went walking in Heritage Park. Had a good walk. Went home and went to bed at 9 pm.

2 slices 40-calorie bread w/ 1 tsp promise spread on each slice, 1 slice tomato, 2 slices cheese.

1 bowl of spicy chicken baha soup from Sweet Peppers Deli
2 cups tortilla chips w/ spicy cheese dip

3 cups spring mix salad mix
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 tomato, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup homemade vinaigrette

before breakfast = 135
at bedtime = 106

Walking was good - I went for (3) 1.5 mile loops in 60 minutes. Got my heart rate up to 132 beats per minute max. I have to have my heartrate between 117 and 153 for it to be efficient. The walk has to be a minimum of 40 minutes at this rate for the walk to be benificial.

Walking Log for July 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Diabetes Treatment & Insurance

Millions With Chronic Disease Get Little to No Treatment

“Study: Sugary Fruit Drinks and Diabetes

An Article in a recent USA Today Newspaper:

“Study: Sugary Fruit Drinks and Diabetes

A common belief is that consuming too much sugar gives you diabetes, when actually not much is known about how specific nutrients affect people’s risk of the disease. But a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine adds to the evidence that sugar-sweetened fruit drinks might be as much to blame for higher type 2 diabetes rates as sugary soft drinks. And while sugary soft drinks appeared to raise the risk of type 2 diabetes by helping to pack on the pounds, the fruit drinks seemed to raise diabetes risk independent of weight gain.
Harvard and Boston University researchers followed 44,000 African-American women from 1995 through 2005. In 1995, the women were ages 21 to 69 and did not have diabetes. They completed questionnaires about what they ate and drank in 1995 to 2001. In addition, they provided updated information every other year about lifestyle factors such as smoking status and new diagnoses of serious illnesses.
Compared with women who drank less than one a month, the women who reported drinking two or more sugar-sweetened soft drinks a day had a 24% higher risk of diabetes, while those who drank two or more sugar-sweetened fruit drinks had a 31% high risk of diabetes.”

Thin Mint Blizzard’s far from thin

An Article in the USA Today Newspaper recently:

“Thin Mint Blizzard’s far from thin”

“According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a large Thin Mint Cookie Blizzard contains more than 1,000 calories, a day’s worth of saturated fat and 31 teaspoons of sugar. CSPI says its like drinking two Big Mac’s.
Based on a calculation of a whole box of the mint cookies that the Girl Scouts sells: Eating an entire large thin mint cookie blizzard nearly equals eating a whole box of thin mints, which tops out at about 1,350 calories and two days’ worth of saturated fat”

Getting Blood Drawn - Relax your hand

From a recent newspaper article in the USA Today:

“If you’ve ever had blood drawn from your arm, you know the drill: Tourniquet in place around your upper arm, you clench your fist a few times to get the blood flow going.
That might not be such a good idea, says a new study in the Annals of Clinical Biochemistry, Fist clenching seems to be one of the main reasons for falsely high potassium levels, a situation called pseudohypercalemia.
Fist clenching does improve blood flow and make veins stick out, lead author Vanessa Thurlow told the BBC. But a lot of good that does if it results in a high potassium level that really isn’t, because that finding could mistakenly lead to further tests or treatment for impaired kidney function.
A phlebotomist, someone who draws blood, told the BBC that a better technique is to ask patients to gently close their hand when the needle is being inserted and then open it. Oh, and tourniquet should be loosened once the blood starts flowing.”

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Menu based on the "TLC Diet"

Since my meeting with the Cardiologist, I have been using the "Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) Diet. This literally means -

Eat lots of fruits and vegetabls and fish
Limit chicken to 3 servings per month
Limit pork to 2 servings per month
Limit beef to (1) 4-oz serving per month

In addition, I have been getting daily exercise for at least 60 minutes each day since that meeting.

I have noticed =
* increased energy
* hungery not all day
* loss of weight

I also have to continue limiting myself to 200 mg of diatery intake of cholesterol each day, in order to reduce my cholesterol levels. this means that if I want an egg, it will have to be either the egg whites only or an egg substitute, since the yolk of one egg contains 249 mg of dietary cholesterol by itself.

Benign Essential Tremor and Blood Sugar

Ever since Junior year in High School, 1986, I have been dealing with a symptom called "Benign Essential Tremor". This condition hinders me to only being able to write my name in script. Everything else I have to print. It gets worse if I am under stress. Caffiene does not affect the syndrome.

Oddly enough, I have noticed that since I am lowering my blood sugar and also my weight, my nervousness tended to get worse. I find that strange.

Anyone else have this happen to them?

Blood Glucose Log for July 2008

This is the log of my blood glucose readings I took for July 2008.