We all have a wake up call…

…it’s just that we don’t all choose to answer it.

I did, because my life and the welfare of my children depended on it.  I’m thankful that my wake-up call was so obvious.  God knew He needed to get my attention in a big way, because especially when it came to my health, I was the master of justification and excuses.  But the problems that forced me into action lie dormant in most Americans.

Believe me – unless you are among the few people who pay serious attention to what you eat, the time bomb is ticking for you, too.

I was looking forward to my summer vacation in 2009, as I’d not been able to really get away in years.  It was going to be the better part of a week in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.  I was so tired, and so ready to take some time away.  No sooner did my friend and I settle into the cabin late at night than I got a call from the emergency room back home.  My 46 year old ex-husband had suffered a serious heart attack.  He had 100% blockage in one of his arteries, and I needed to turn around and come back home.  The heart attack was nearly fatal, but a quick catheterization procedure saved his life.  It was certainly unnerving to see him come so close to death, but it wasn’t hard to explain.  The man worked long and crazy hours, and ate fast food constantly.  He was incredibly lucky to still be alive.

I sort of thought I was above all that, but when I was honest with myself, I knew I wasn’t.  I weighed 200 pounds, definitely obese for a woman with a 5’2″ frame.  I’d gone for a physical a few months earlier, and remembered that the reason I’d made the appointment in the first place was because I was experiencing disconcerting aches in my chest, in my arm, and my left jaw.  At that visit, I learned that my blood pressure was erratic and often high – as high as 190/75.  My cholesterol was 240, and I had constant, chronic, searing heartburn that required Prilosec or Nexium daily for my survival.  My doctor advised me to switch to a low carb diet, and do some walking.  Nothing radical or seemingly difficult… but it didn’t seem like it would make much of a difference, either.  I basically did nothing different, and went on with my thoughtless ways of eating whatever was convenient.

So, I would lay in bed at night and feel those pains.  A few nights, I recall just willing myself to sleep and praying that what I was feeling was nothing, that it wasn’t heart disease, that I’d wake in the morning and all would be fine.  I kept doing that even after my ex-husband’s heart attack, rationalizing it this way: the kids just almost lost their dad to a heart attack.  What are the odds that their mother is on the verge of suffering one, too?  Crazy thoughts that kept me on edge and anxious.  Ignorance wasn’t bliss.  It was the path to self-destruction.

My son had gone swimming and got an earache.  His dad brought him to the pediatrician, who was alarmed by HIS high blood pressure.  She also noticed a trace amount of blood in his urine.  Instead of investigating further, or recommending actions to take to mitigate the problem, she had only one suggestion: an expensive kidney ultrasound that my insurance wouldn’t cover.  My son was devastated by the whole idea.

That, for me, was the last straw.

I got on the internet and googled a simple phrase: “reverse high blood pressure.”  The first link that search brought up changed the course of our family’s lives, and that’s the story I’m going to tell in this blog.

I hope you find it inspirational, and more importantly, useful!

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2 Comments to “We all have a wake up call…”

  1. Hi! I was so excited to see your note in the kids’ folders today! Before children, I ate horribly. We lived off of hotdogs, freezer meals, ramen, and ice cream with an occasional salad. After we had our first son, we decided that we were not going to give our kids sugar and overly processed food and fast food (except for chick-fil-a, of course). And we stuck to it (for them, at least… i was still eating tons of sweets). years have passed, and i was fooled into thinking that just because we weren’t eating processed sugary foods that we were eating healthy. and compared to all of our friends, we really seemed to be on the right track. just recently we’ve really dove head first into the healthy eating scene, realizing all of the dangers of conventionally grown food, processed food, genetically modified food, chemical additives, and more. it’s scary what the grocery stores don’t tell you! anyway, i just wanted to say Congrats and Thank you for sharing your journey with us. i pray that we both have continued great success with our health! i can’t wait to try out one of your smoothie shops and look forward to seeing where your new found life takes you! cheers!

  2. I appreciate this intimate glimpse of your journey. It is inspiring and has the potential to change the lifestyles of many individuals. I know that I certainly have felt better since I started making more positive health choices. I am glad that I made the move towards improving my quality of life. The progress for you and your family has been amazing. I am impressed by the lowering of those numbers that prove to be detrimental when they are too high. I was there last year and all over the place with my blood pressure. I know that, even though there were hereditary issues, most of it was caused by the sudden switch I had to an unhealthy diet. It did not take long for my reality to set in. I also made the connection that some people that have a normal height/weight range still lead unhealthy lives and reap the same consequences as someone that is overweight . There is more going on than we typically know when it comes internal health. A lot of people fail to understand that. I wish you much success for this campaign for better health. I know that it will prove to be very rewarding for you. I have already shared this link with several other people. I don’t follow a green smoothie regimen but I do enjoy them and I am sure I will think of you every time I happen to drink one. Thanks for introducing it to us.

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