6.07.2012

My Mom's Birthday Present - A Healthy Heart!

On 6-6-12, my mother's 61st birthday, she spent the day in the hospital having a coronary catheterization.  My mom's father died when he was 51.  Of heart disease.  All of my mom's uncles lost their lives to some form of heart disease.  As the medical industry likes to say, "it runs in the family."

My mom started noticing symptoms lately that raised a potential red flag and insisted that her doctor run a stress test.  He was aghast to learn my mom wasn't on any medications other than Vitamin D and fish oil.  I don't know all the details of her symptoms and tests, as my mother insisted she didn't want me to see her without her Wonder Woman cape.  What I do know is that she WAS concerned after the doctor informed her that they found what could be a partial blockage on her follow-up CT scan.  Next thing I know, I'm flying to Dallas to be with her during her cardiac catheterization... and possible placement of a stent.

At 2:45 pm on Wednesday June 6, the cardiac doctor emerged from the "cath lab" with the results of Mom's catheterization.

Her heart is completely clear.
There is a small calcium deposit on the outside of the artery.
There are no blockages in the arteries which means blood flow is good.
The pressure inside her heart is good.
"Her heart is good.  She has a strong heart."
"I'd like to see her back in my office in a week or two to talk about medications..."

You could've heard a pin drop in that waiting room... up until the moment when my jaw hit the floor.  Hard.  Medications?  For what??

Whenever the nurses would ask Mom to list her medications, they each seemed dumbfounded that this 61 year old woman who could chat them under the table and make them laugh until they pee their pants... isn't consuming any type of chemical for any type of condition.

How does she do it?  In addition to a whole lot of biological factors that I don't try to understand... she eats very well.  It may not be the sole cause of her stellar (as I would call it) health, but it sure doesn't hurt!

For the past six and a half years, Mom has been consuming nothing but lean meat, vegetables, fruits, healthy oils, and very small amounts of dairy and sweeteners.  Even more recently after we shared menu notes and the potential health impact of certain foods, she has since eliminated the dairy and the sweeteners.  She'll indulge in a glorious sweet treat on rare occasion and might put some cream in her coffee every now and then.  She walks.  She exercises.  And has a new found love for coconut oil.

Take THAT "family history"...

When the doctor gave the status update, I teared up.  I almost cried.  I guess the Wonder Woman cape IS real.  And now I am more comfortable anticipating my own long healthy future, spending plenty of time with my healthy mom.

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Thanks to a beautiful friend from high school, Mom was able to gobble up some savory nutritious eats for her big birthday dinner... and I nibbled on the Baba Ganoush and Turkish Salad that my friend and her husband made from their Well Fed cookbook.  It was all so delicious and we are so grateful for her kind heart and warm generosity.


That trademark squinty smile means Mom is happy!  And so am I.  I am sharing that same "half-moon eyes" smile, as Matt likes to refer to it.  The room is full of joy and thanksgiving and we can do nothing but smile today.  Happy 61st, Mom.




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