Monday is the first day of February, and since I have gotten this blog fairly well established I am going to take a big step here and let you in on something. When I read Christina Lee’s post today, it was screaming at me to get my butt in gear as well, especially since I am supposed to living healthy by doctor’s orders anyway! Since I am starting in February, maybe I will have a higher success rate. I have never succeeded at a diet plan except for the week that I was on Nutrisystem a couple of summers ago. Notice that I said “week,” but I did lose 7 lbs. I only have about 25 lbs. to lose to be completely happy, but I really want to get toned this time, too.
Several people have asked me why I would still have to follow a heart-healthy diet, since I have a new heart. Well, I am sure that you have heard of coronary artery disease (CAD) via commercials for heart medicine, if not somewhere else; it is the leading cause of death worldwide! CAD is what causes heart attacks. Transplant patients are at risk for coronary artery vasculopathy (CAV). Which is the same as CAD, but due to the denervation of the heart during transplant her or she cannot feel the warning signs of CAV until it is too late: chest pains, shortness of breath, etc. During transplant, all of your nerves are not reconnected, only major arteries. Next to malignancy, this is the leading cause of death in transplant patients because since you cannot feel anything going on it leads to sudden death and progressive heart failure. The chance of this happening during the first year after transplant is around 15% - 20%, and 50% - 60% five years out.
CAV is the reason I have to keep up a heart-healthy diet with a new heart; it’s a precaution since I won’t know if anything is going wrong in there. Also, in addition to CAV, because of the immunosuppressants (anti-rejection drugs) I have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Also, the prednisone (a steroid) causes major sweet cravings that can of course lead to diabetes.
So...on Monday I will be getting back on as strict of a diet as I was on in the weeks following transplant in addition to beginning cardiac rehab and some pilates. In cardiac rehab, I will simply be walking on a treadmill while being closely monitored. I took a pilates class my last in college for a P.E. credit. I really liked it and what it did for my body. Plus, it’s not too strenuous on my sternum.
I am going to start keeping a blog of my activities, weight loss, etc. Although I will probably post it on a new separate blog. We’ll see how the weekend goes, and I will post the link if and when I do. I know all of you are probably not that interested, but those of you that are we can keep up with each other and our progress that way.
Ok...let's do this thing!