I’d like to share with you this journey and why LEOCADIA, INC is my way of raising money to help fund research and provide education regarding this very serious subject.
I always knew there was heart disease in my family history. During stressful periods my blood pressure would rise and eventually I started taking a low dose beta blocker (Atenolol) for that. I was overweight and had chronic indigestion/GERD along with chronic pain on the left side of my back by my shoulder (which I assumed was from sitting at a desk).
After I turned 53 I asked my primary care physician for a referral to see a cardiologist to determine a baseline for my heart health. After initial bloodwork, I learned my Total Cholesterol = 214 (optimal < 200), LDL = 111 (0ptimal < 100), HDL = 73 (optimal > 60), and Triglycerides = 162 (optimal < 150). The doctor suggested I lose some weight and if that didn’t work he would put me on a low dose statin and have my blood drawn again in 6 months. My blood pressure was normal, so he took me off the Atenolol and asked that I take my blood pressure daily and bring the results with me to my next appointment.
I’ve struggled with my weight for years and I heard myself say “is it okay if we skip the part about me trying to lose weight and go right to the statin?” I assured him I would still try to lose weight because I didn’t want to be overweight I just hadn’t found a way to successfully lose the weight. Six months later my weight was about the same and my cholesterol was now acceptable. My blood pressure daily log showed normal readings without medication. Life was good.
Fast forward two years and I’ve gained 15 pounds, in walks the doctor and the first thing he does is hand me a pedometer and suggests I try to walk 10,000 steps a day. He also asks if I would be open to a referral for a 6-month Cardiac Prevention Program where I would have appointments twice a month to help me with my weight loss and explains that it would involve meeting one on one with a nutritionist, exercise physiologist and a different cardiologist. Immediately I say yes.