Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Its been over 20 years that I've been diagnosed with Familial hypercholesterolemia. I got this wonderful disease from my mothers side of the family. One uncle died at 39, one at 49 and mom has had 2 heart attacks and an angioplasty before the age of 55. The highest my cholesterol has gone has been 256. What's also wonderful about my family history is that we have elevated levels of lipoprotein A which increases our risk for plaque build up in our vessels as well as blood clots. Unfortunately, their is no treatment for elevated lipoprotein A levels so you are either put on strict dietary control with exercise or put on medication.
Over the past 5 years I have done everything in my power to not be put on medication. The Statin medication for high cholesterol can cause severe muscle pain especially in endurance athletes and unless my cardiologist tells me I have no other choice I will do my best to not go on the pills.
3 yrs ago I underwent a stress test to see whether or not I was in immediate danger or heart issues. i also underwent a calcium ion CT scan to check for plaque build up in my vessels. Both tests came back great and along with my blood work my cardiologist gave me a 3 year bye on pills.
Last week I went to see my Cardiologist, Dr. Sydney Alexander at the Lahey in Burlington, he again told me that he expected to put me on pills by the end of my visit. My blood work showed:
All other blood work including CBC and electrolytes, thyroid, etc.. were within normal limits.
My examination was normal, my weight was lower this visit than last and my body fat percentage dropped to 14.3%. Again, Dr. Alexander told me that since I am an endurance athlete and the risks associated with taking the Statins outweighed the literature to support me going on it right now isn't good, I got yet another bye for 3 years. He even told me that there was no literature to support me taking a baby aspirin a day. Good for me.
However, even with this good news with my family history and my still borderline blood results I get a bit nervous that I may still be building plaque and could have an early heart attack based on my family history.
Whats even more sad is that all 4 children of mine carry an elevated lipoprotein A level as well as being diagnosed with high cholesterol at the age of 3. They are also followed by a cardiologist in Boston who has been monitoring them since that age and with dietary changes ( except for one child) they are doing great and only need to be seen every 3-5 years.
Its so hard to know that as a parent I passed on this potential deadly disease that if you don't watch what you eat, if you don't exerise and even if you do all the right things in life, you may still be subjected to having a heart attack. Its very scary. That being said, I don't live by this disease and I do everything in my power to fight it everyday and to educate my kids, family and friends. Life is too short to not do something that you may have control over. I want to be around for many years and I want my kids to be around much longer than myself.
To my friends and family, do what you can to be healthy, enjoy your treats but get good exercise, eat well, get your yearly physicals and blood work so you know both your inner body and outer body are doing well and most importantly educate your children about health. We all want to live a long time.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
It was soooooo much fun to be on the sidelines this past weekend watching my dear friends race, I also loved being able to give pointers, help change flats, blow up tires that were low, etc... I get so excited watching that it always reminds me why I love this sport and the people in it. I want to congratulate Kevin Reen, the 1st male overall, Vinny and Marty Misrendino, 2nd and 3rd overall and my good friend Marnie who got 2nd overall female, just a tremendous effort out there by these amazing athletes.
I also want to congratulate my friends, Erica, Jason, Nicole, Keri, Jill, Christine, Dean, Josh, Stacey and many more I'm sure I'm forgetting for putting in major efforts, some PRs and just showing me again why I love this sport and that each and every one of them showed the true spirit of competition and good sportsmanship and even with the terrible elements that were handed to them on Sunday they raced their hearts out.
Thanks guys for continuing to inspire me and making me want to be a better athlete and person. Here are just a few pics.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
I love to make my kids birthday cakes, it is so much fun and I get great joy out of my kids smiling and feeling like mom is the "queen". Alex wanted me to make him Hogwarts Castle from Harry Potter, it was a daunting task but fun. Here are a few pictures of some of the cakes I've made for my boys.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
As you guys know, life has been crazy for me lately, training has been ok but certainly not where I would like it to be. I need to prioritize other things in my life right now (kids, hubby, TriROK, house) and if workouts get in they get in. That being said, there are some things that I can do to try to make the training that I do easier and that is, yet again, BIG SURPRISE, looking at my diet.
I recently had my body fat tested, 14.3%, weight 144lbs. Based on these numbers I am a bit too muscular and need to lean out a bit. I've known this for awhile but have chosen not too really make substantial efforts in controlling things that go into my mouth. Now, I eat very healthy but I do like a few glasses of wine, some cheese and crackers here and there, you get my drift. Well, if I am going to maximize my training I really need to focus here, the time I get in to train can be better if I'm lighter and leaner.
So, this is day #2 of really watching what i'm eating, drinking plenty of water, no caffeinated beverages ( no coffee or diet coke) and making sure I'm getting in all of my fruits and vegetables. It's a lot of work to make sure to eat many times a day and carrying a cooler around of food isn't the coolest thing but at least when I got hungry I wasn't trying to snack on the closet thing, i had my healthy options.
So, in 5 weeks I will get my body fat retested and go from there. The least I can do is make any training that I get in more efficient by getting my body as lean and strong as possible. I'll keep you posted.