Sunday, February 20, 2011
On Valentine's Day '11, I accompanied my husband to the doctor for follow-up on blood work he had done. The news was grim. So much so at one point I left the room crying. My 48 year old husband is hypertensive, cholesterol is over 350, triglycerides are over 400, liver enzymes are elevated, sleep apnea (sleep study conducted in conjunction with blood work) and he is diabetic. We knew about the hypertension. He's been on medication for several years, but all the other results are new to us. My husband is over weight. He's gained almost 100 lbs in the 24 years we've been together. He is a drinker and has been all his adult life. He travels for his job which has altered his eating habits tremendously. He loves eating out...rich, fatty restaurant food. Because hubby's weight gain was gradual, I think he ignored some of the signs and symptoms indicating a decline in his health and of course, if I brought it up he would just tune me out. After all, I am the one who gained 180 lbs after we got married. I am the one who started having health problems sooner as a result of the weight gain. I am the one who had weight loss surgery in an attempt to avoid more serious health issues and I am the one who still hasn't lost all the excess weight despite having had Lap-Band surgery...so what could I possibly know about weight gain and obesity related issues?! Ironically, the doctor started laying it out for us one by one:
1) Hypertension: A new medication added to the two he already takes! Reduce sodium intake! Start exercising! Lose weight!
2) Cholesterol/Triglycerides: A new medication! A low-fat, low cholesterol dietary change! Start exercising! Lose weight!
3) Elevated Liver Enzymes: Low fat, low cholesterol diet! Quit drinking! Lose weight!
4) Sleep Apnea: Ordered C-Pap machine! Start exercising! Diet! Lose weight!
5) Diabetes: Low fat, low sugar, low calorie dietary changes with a dramatic increase in veggies, certain fruits, lean proteins and whole grains! Quit drinking! Start exercising! Lose weight!
The doctor broke it down even further by having hubby set a couple of short term goals as he, (the doc), is well aware all of this is very overwhelming and a complete 360 from what hubby is doing currently!
These are all things (short of the prescriptions and c-pap) that I have tried to get my husband to do with me since 2007 (the year I got serious about my own health). It's been very difficult for me to stay on track while living with someone whose lifestyle is the polar opposite of what I need. My hope is that having a doctor tell him he needs to make these changes will be enough to spark him in to embarking on this healthy journey with me so we both can get healthy and reach our goals. My fear is that his addiction and bad habits are so embedded in to who he is and what he thinks he wants that he won't be Scared Thin!