Friday, September 18, 2009

Pre-recovering from my First Heart Attack

I have quite the family history for heart disease.

My mother died of a heart attack a year and half ago. My father has had a quintiple bypass. All of my paternal uncles have had bypasses or heart attacks. My paternal grandfather had angina. My maternal grandfather died of congestive ehart failure. My maternal grandmother had two strokes and spent the last 8 years of her life in a nursing home. This summer I visited my only maternal uncle in a nursing home. He had a stroke about a year ago.

A few years back, I figured that rather than change my habits after I my first heart attack I'd just change them now. Losing the weight was good step, particularly since it went hand in hand with a change in diet. Quitting drinking was even better. Since I have stopped even the occassional beer, my blood pressure has fallen below 120/80. It was climbing up to 135/85ville a few years back.

Last week I went to the doctor to have a cholesterol test. My numbers are OK (LDL 128, HDL 38), but it's time to do something about them. In a few years, the low HDL number will start to catch up with me. The simplest change I can make is to get a little religion about exercise. I'm not a total slob. I usually make it out the door once/week to run for 2-3 miles. According the Doc, if I can make it out 3times/week, that will be a big improvement.

So there you have it.

A new resolution.


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