Damon's Blog

Health Update (November 2017)

Thursday, November 09, 2017 • Damon Stuart
Hello Friends,
A few weeks ago I did a Facebook live video giving a brief update as to what was going on with me and all of the walking posts this past year. I thought I would share more details here as to help inform and encourage others who may be going through something similar.
Over a year ago I had reluctantly gone to see my doctor and the initial exam results revealed that I had very high blood pressure, which was a shock to me. I was put on blood pressure medicine and told to monitor sodium intake and start exercising. My vitamin D levels were severely low as well. The range for vitamin D is supposed to be around 30-32 and I was a 12. And to top it off, I was also 25 pounds overweight which was not good.
I was told to come back in spring (May 2017) to see where everything was at. Because I had started a walking regiment and watched my sodium intake my blood pressure was staying around the normal ranges. My vitamin D level had come up and I had lost 5 pounds. Not great but the doctor was pleased I was trying. So he ordered more tests and a full physical and he told me to come back at the end of summer for a follow up. He said they would call me with the tests results while I was traveling.
Since my summer was very busy ministry wise and I was traveling until the end of July I forgot about the tests. The lab also made a mistake I would find out later and they never called me with the results either. When I went in for the follow up I was expecting great news because I had been walking almost every day around 5 – 5.5 miles and trying to eat better than before. When the doctor walked in he had a strange look on his face and it wasn't a good look.
He apologized on behalf of the lab for not calling me as they should have and began to tell me how bad my results were from back in late May. He said that my blood pressure was looking okay and that my vitamin D level was still low but the major concern was that my A1CS test came back a 10.2 – which meant I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Normal range should be in the 5's and I was now at a 10! My cholesterol was bad and the triglycerides were extremely high.
It was like the air was sucked out of the room. I'm in my late 40's and now I'm going from high blood pressure to diabetes? The doctor went on to explain that I would be taking 4 medications now with one of them being twice a day etc.My head was spinning and I was thinking there's no way I'm taking all of these drugs.
Then I told the doctor that all summer I had been walking even more, watching my diet better than before and that new tests should be taken. He agreed and said that this time he would call me personally to let me know the results in a couple of days. I told him that I would wait until then before taking any medications.
A couple of days later he called to tell me that he was very encouraged by the new results. My A1CS test now came back at a 7 which meant that I had been doing the right thing during the summer months. My blood pressure test came back normal. My vitamin D level was now near the 20 mark and my pancreas, liver and kidneys all looked normal and healthy.
He still wanted to me start all of these medications so I compromised and decided to just take the one for blood pressure and one for my cholesterol/triglycerides.
I do check my blood sugar levels each day since I'm not taking the medication for diabetes. Since starting this process in early September, I have only had 3 times that my sugar levels have gone above normal. I'm still exercising almost every day and I have found a great app and joint website (MyNetDiary Pro) that I use which helps me eat healthy. I'm able to watch the calories but it also helps me monitor carbs, sugars, sodium, fats etc...
It's also taught me how to eat the right food combinations which has been educational. People ask me if I'm giving up the good foods I used to eat and the answer is no. Most foods I did eat prior to this, I can still eat but at the right size portions and by making smart changes or alterations in preparation. I also cut out 95% of sweets and stopped drinking my favorite drink which was sweet tea.
Since then I've actually started losing the weight, feeling better and my daily sugar level tests are in the normal ranges. I have until January until I go back for another follow up but my goal is to get to my target weight by eating right, exercising and trusting God to heal me completely. I refuse to be a prisoner of sickness if I have a choice in changing it myself. Food is supposed to be our friend, not our enemy, but we can easily lapse in judgment, laziness and convenience and I have been guilty of all of it.
If you struggle with this then it's time to get up, start walking, stop eating the fast food, cookies and Little Debbie cakes and begin changing your mindset about food. You can start slowly but just start. You can eat healthy without spending a lot more money if you do your homework like I did. If I can do it, you can too. This is not a temporary goal – this is a lifetime change to stay off of medications and out of the hospital. You only have one life to live so let's plan on living it full without physical problems and limitations.
I will update you in January when I go back to the doctor for the next round of tests again!
Damon Stuart

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