I was sharing the news I learned on January 12, I have Atrial Fibrillation, or AFib, and high blood pressure.
Of course there was blood work. My grandmother had a pin cushion, a little red puffy pillow she stabbed about 50 pins and sewing needles into as a safe place to put them in her sewing basket. That had nothing on me. First they wanted base line readings from blood work, then the next week more blood to measure the baseline against. Then more blood just for this test, and another poke to check that level. It got so I was on a first name basis with the blood lady. By the time I was done we were practically sharing family photos, birthdays and anniversary dates with each other.
With my cholesterol low, right where it was in 1989 and 1990 when I’d donated blood and they checked cholesterol levels, blood sugar good, testosterone good, liver good, kidney good, and every other chemical and system in normal range - and no lack of energy, the cardiologist felt pretty good about the condition, but noted he would like my blood pressure lower and that losing at least 20 pounds would help. He set up a heart echo, which is an ultrasound, of my heart to look inside.
All this is taking place
In quick order week after week, sometimes 2 visits a week to check this system and that in my body. I’m just giving you the fun parts of the last 2 months. Far be it from the System to put all doctors under one roof, which are all about a 2 hour drive from home, so a couple of times I was like a mouse scurrying hurriedly from one appointment to the next trying not to be seen, dodging traffic to get there in time, hoping to just slip in and out, and please can we be done yet?
On the way down to one of the appointments my sister called and proceeded to inform me our grandmother on dad’s side, Grandma Jo, had AFib all her life…I was shocked at this news. Now I was dealing with a generational ‘curse’, wasn’t I? Or was it just the way life is in a fallen world?
I get my height from my grandfather on dad’s side, and I knew I got my white (gray, maybe?) hair from grandma Jo who was white haired by age 40, but thanks grandma for that AFib – I really needed that!
I realized when the Father chose to inform me I’d have health issues to deal with rather than heal me, He expected me to deal with them – otherwise He would have healed me outright. These seemed to be AFib and blood pressure. Though I laid hands on myself and commanded in Jesus’ name my AFib to be healed and my blood pressure to lower – nothing happened – the Spirit wasn’t part of my use of the name, because the Father had chosen to tell me rather than heal me – so deal with it John, was the course charted.
I focused on the fact He was walking with me, and in me, as I went through the various disciplines that were poking, prodding, measuring and generally making me feel like a lab rat. I would sit there and think, “You know, you could just zap me and I’d be all better – and you know my cholesterol is good. So why make me go through the process?”
The trouble is, having discovered I was fat, it was no big revelation except that clearly the Father was getting my attention to deal with it as my blood pressure is related to my weight. And with the discovery of the AFib, it meant some serious discipline. Evidently He had planned through March for me to lose the weight and have all other systems checked out, so I set myself to endure the discipline.
The heart echo was fascinating. The technician pressed a small wand against my chest in various places around my heart, and suddenly my heart was on TV – looking at the inside of my heart, and with full color watching blood coming and going, valves flapping…and I came away amazed. During the consultation the cardiologist said my heart was ‘in great shape’, nothing layered on the walls, nothing on any artery (she also echoed my carotid and aorta arteries) – clean as a whistle, exercise all you want.
Clearly genetic, I gladly accepted the genetics of my height and white hair without thinking them a curse of the generations, but now the AFib gave me second thoughts about selectively choosing to call one thing a blessing and another a curse handed down the family line. I was examining myself for selective theology.
Question: So if I inherited AFib from grandma Jo, is there no cure? Is that one reason the Father told me I’d have health issues to deal with – that He wasn’t going to heal it no matter what I did to receive healing because it was in my DNA? The Father has been silent thus far.
Both my Primary Care Physician (PCP) and the cardiologist said AFib can’t be cured on its own – but the cardiologist offered to ‘reset’ my heart – a nice way of saying “We’re going to knock you out, electrocute you to quiet those electrical kindergartners running around in that top left quadrant, and hope that fixes it and then wake you up again. You won’t remember a thing. It may work, it may not.”
So in late January I started to lose weight as that part is in my control - I had stopped my daily 2.1 mile (3.5k) walk - until my heart echo because both doctors said until then they wouldn’t know if I had blood clots, or pooling of blood around the heart, or clogged arteries, or if the valves were working correctly. I knew I needed to lose weight and that was something the Father wasn’t going to do for me, it is my job.
So now I’m hit with not only being called obese by my PCP - I could have taken ‘fat’ as I would admit to that – but I was being told to get down close to my college weight. I told him “That’s not going to happen. But I will get down to where I was at age 35, which is about 235.” (107k)
I am SO glad the Father let me know ahead of time, and that He gave Lou that word to assure me however scary it seemed. Realize that my eyes are 20/20 or better, I’ve never had a cavity, and I’ve lived my life since I was a teen commanding my body to obey me and the Word and it has done it. This is new territory for me.
How I’ve lost 20 pounds, 20 to go
The one area I let my body have its way, admittedly, is food. We eat well, and good food not boxed, organic and such, but portion control is always the issue with me – So what if that cow was grass fed only – Why eat 1 hamburger when 2 would taste so much better? It made me feel better about eating more of that healthy critter! But being 6’6″ tall (1.98m) I can carry a lot of weight and not look TOOOO fat…at least I’d like to tell myself that. The mirror has another opinion, but had chosen to ignore it.
So in the morning I drink some sort of juice and if I’m really hungry for something solid, lol, I put 2 bananas in a large plastic cup, add a spoon full of almond butter and the same of peanut butter, 8 ounces of milk (236 ml), and smoothie it to a liquid the consistency of paint. Lunch or by 2pm (14.00) is my big meal, and calling it big is generous. I eat what I want, just less. In the evening I may have some nuts, tea, or nothing…or a few bites of something. I’ve lost 20 pounds (9k) and by the end of March I hope to have lost another 15-20, as I’ll have restarted my walking, and being spring, plenty of exercise in the yard.
Barb was amazed my heart echo showed the clear arteries of a 17 year old, as I am a carnivore. God put canine teeth in my mouth and I use them as intended. Protein and dark veggies is what I like, and my favorite dark veggie is dark chocolate of at least 72%. Carbohydrates rarely interest me.
AND THEN, as if things couldn’t get any worse
…my doctor about fell off his chair when I answer his question, “No, I’ve never had a colonoscopy.” “What?!? You’re almost 58 years old and you’ve never had one? We recommend having a colonoscopy every 5 years starting at age 50. I want you to see Dr. ____ next week to schedule that.”
Clean as a whistle is a good thing to hear from your heart doctor after that heart echo. To get the next ‘clean as a whistle’ statement was more involved. I’m out of room for today – next week I’ll conclude with where I stand now, more questions and observations, and some lessons learned.
Until then, blessings,