A Serious Confession, The Gift of Life, and The Hottest 5K
I have a confession. What I'm about to share with you isn't something you should ever do, ever, without consulting your doctor first. About a month ago I ran out of my blood pressure medication and I never returned to the pharmacy for a refill. I didn't ask my doctor or anything, I just stopped cold. This is a very irresponsible thing to do, and even worse when you consider my older half brother died at 42 from the effects of prolonged high blood pressure. Any explanation I give will not excuse the fact that I should have consulted a doctor first before boldly declaring myself medication free. With that said, here's my explanation: I was first prescribed blood pressure medication a couple of years ago. I needed it badly, but I still wasn't consistent in taking them. Then on June 10th, 2008, with my weight in excess of 505 pounds, and my blood pressure raging out of control at 220/119---or something close to that---I can't remember---but it was really bad, the doctor brought me to tears as she described in graphic detail what my internal organs were up against with that kind of blood pressure. Fearing that an early death could come even sooner than I feared, I grabbed that prescription and drove straight to the pharmacy. I started taking a good sized dose of two commonly prescribed blood pressure medications. It sounds crazy to say that it didn't scare me enough to “get busy” right then, no...death apparently wasn't enough motivation. In looking back, I think I may have thought the blood pressure medication was buying me some time. If it brought down the stroke level BP, then I could maybe ignore my “little weight problem.” As you may already know from reading this blog, I finally did get busy on September 15th, 2008 and have never stopped in my relentless pursuit of better health and an optimal weight. But through it all my prescription remained the same strength, perhaps I don't go to the doctor enough. After losing the first 160 pounds or so, I started having frequent dizzy spells. After visiting the doctor and discovering really low blood pressure, my meds were cut in half. I kept losing weight of course, and when my bottle ran out I made the irresponsible decision to NOT get it refilled and just monitor the BP and make sure it stayed perfectly normal, luckily it has. Completely normal, in perfect range, and with a pulse normally reserved for athletes at rest. It doesn't excuse my careless action---but I am very happy about this wonderful change. My normal blood pressure and awesome pulse was once again confirmed today.
I had a broadcast from a local blood donor center from 11am to 1pm. I arrived early in hopes of being able to donate while on the air. I knew that I would have to undergo a screening process, a process that I failed horribly a couple of years ago because of my enormous weight and out of control blood pressure. Would I be allowed to donate today? I was very confident everything would be perfect, and it was. The iron level of a blood donor here must be at least 38, mine was 48---awesome. My blood pressure today was 128/82, low enough to get a “perfect” out of the person taking my vitals. And my pulse? 61. 61!!! I was surrounded by needles and blood, had a broadcast to do and everything, and still---61. I was thrilled. I passed the screening process with flying colors and within minutes I was in a recliner with a needle in my arm attached to a bag that was quickly filling with life saving whole blood. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to donate while doing the broadcast. It's easy to just show up and ask listeners to come donate blood and save lives, it's much better to say, “listen, I'll go first!”
After you donate they open up what must be the biggest stockpile of cookies and snacks I've ever laid eyes on. Out of all the choices, I zeroed in on the greatest cookie of all time, the Nutter Butter. But i wasn't going to blindly eat them, I wanted to know the calories first. I remember looking them up early along this journey, but I couldn't remember. No problem, they grabbed an unopened package and showed me the info. 130 calories for two. Uh---no thank you! They may be my favorite cookie of all time. We may have spent many a nights together with a jug of milk, but there was no way I was investing even 65 calories in one of those things. Just a horrible calorie value, that's all. I opted instead for a 110 calorie pack of pretzels and my zero calorie green tea water.
A long time listener popped in during the broadcast. This lady has been listening to my show for years. She would always come to my personal appearances during remote broadcast, but for whatever reason she stopped a couple of years ago. Maybe she got tired of me ignoring her pleas for me to lose weight. She always expressed her concern for my size and health. She would even tell me how she could hear me becoming out of breath on the air. She once brought me an empty bottle of a product that was sure would work. She told me to find it and take it. It was a brown liquid that you consumed right before bed and magically it would make you lose weight during the night without any change or effort on my part. Well, I never bought a bottle of the stuff. I guess I knew that it wasn't going to be that easy. Anyway, when she walked in today, she was amazed at the dramatic difference. She just kept going on and on about how wonderful it was and how she wished her daughter could do it too. She was curious how I've been doing this, so I briefly shared my simplistic approach, and she was very agreeable---I was doing it naturally and changing my life and habits...not just my size. She was so excited, it made me even more excited! What an awesome experience.
Tonight we made a trip to Stillwater, about 45 miles south of where we live. Courtney was wanting to buy some school clothes , so we decided to visit with mom and grandma while the kids shopped. After a brief but wonderful visit, Irene and I headed for the Boomer Lake Trail. It's a small lake really, slightly longer than a 5K all the way around with a two lane sidewalk the entire way. It wasn't going to be easy. Not because of the distance, we can handle that no problem, but because the temperatures were approaching 100. The sun was brutal out there. Twice we stopped to “play” at the drinking fountain. We took turns drinking and splashing water on each other like a couple of kids. It was refreshing on a couple of different levels. It turned out to easily be the toughest 5K power walk we've ever completed and probably the most fun.
It's really late and I'm coming to terms with the fact that I must wait to read my favorite blogs until my lunch break tomorrow. I did see Stephen's phenomenal 100 pound milestone today and although we were running late, I had to take a second and comment. Welcome to the 100 club my friend! You can find Stephen's blog if you haven't already at www.whoatemyblog.com He's on his way to one of the most dramatic transformations ever. Check out his blog---look at that smile, he's a happy man—because he knows—this is it, this is the time that it's for real. It's for keeps. And when you realize it's for keeps, it's only natural to smile. Thank you sincerely for reading. Goodnight and...