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Saturday, October 19, 2013

First Year Anniversary After Stent Placement

Yesterday DH celebrated his first year anniversary of the placement of his first stent.  Looking back, we would say the procedure was a success.  He is a totally different man today than he was a year ago.  Fifty-five pounds lighter, and energetic.  Last week he installed a 700 foot gravel road leading to our property, and today he is building garden boxes for a terrace hillside vegetable garden.

He continues to amaze his healthcare providers with excellent numbers, has been taken off of his blood pressure medications, and hopes to be taken off of his statins next week.  With a total cholesterol of 105, the pharmacist encourages the discussion with the doctor to take him off.

A year later, and looking back, I would have to say to those people who advocate stent placement, and medical treatment with heart medications, there's more.  Medical treatment is not the only treatment out there.  Look into following a low fat, whole foods, plant based diet, such as the one advocated by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., and Dr. John McDougall.

To my religiously zealous low-fat plant based diet friends who have been shredding former U.S. President George W. Bush for deciding to go ahead with a stent placement for his heart blockage found in a routine exam, which we now know was a 95% blockage, do not criticize a heart patient for submitting to stent placement.  You do not know the pain and disability they experience when an artery has that much blockage.  Until you have experienced it yourself, you have no right to judge.

From my experience, the marriage between the two routes is highly successful, and responsible care providers and nutritional counselors help their clients and patients best when they really care enough more about listening and caring for their patients, than trying to move their cause ahead.

I have to give huge kudos to our cardiologist.  He understands the importance of that marriage of complimentary treatments and thank you to him for providing us with a swift and accurate diagnosis, and speedy help for relief by arranging treatment through Dr. Mark Tannenbaum, our interventionalist.  And thank you to him and Rachel Unruh, who has followed him this past year for listening carefully to our wishes for DH to follow a low-fat plant based diet for part of his treatment, and for adjusting the medications as his numbers have shown improvement.

We feel blessed to have the best support team that one can have.  We hope others will read our posts, and with humility consider the improvements they can make to support heart patients through caring and good listening as they develop alternative health practices, nutritional counseling, and medical treatments to support a successful outcome for all heart patients. 

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