Making lifestyle changes when you’re thrown a curve ball

I’m a little unsure where to start with this post if I’m honest.
Perhaps the beginning is best.
A few weeks back I finally got around to booking a doctor’s appointment.
I had been feeling unwell and not myself for a while, and as always I put it off due to time restrictions.  I mainly put it down to stress and feeling a little depressed.   Things haven’t been easy here with Paul loosing his job, finances are a big concern  and being self employed means I just can’t afford to be ill, now more than ever so I plod on.
Tiredness was the main issue, of course I keep antisocial hours which doesn’t help and I only work in the evenings once the kids are asleep. However this was a different type of tired.  One I’ve known well before. I was convinced I was anemic again.
At the doctors we discussed symptoms etc. And she decided it was best to run a few blood tests. Run an MOT on everything to see what was wrong.
We both fully expected it to come back and say I was anemic, I even told her jokingly on the way out to just leave my Spatone prescription in reception next week.
Fast forward a week and I’m asked to make a doctor’s appointment.  Which I did, that was last week.
I’m not anemic, although I’m really not convinced on that one, but I do have VERY high cholesterol.  
We talk through my diet and concluded that I’ve actually a good diet.  I won’t say very good as I will have a takeaway and a fry up, however once a week/fortnight.
My doctors thinks I have Familial Hypercholesterolemia which basically is an inherited condition meaning my cholesterol has been high since birth.
Obviously this isn’t great as high cholesterol means an increased risk of chronic heart conditions, and a person with HF around the age if 40 has the same heart attack rate as a 70 year old.
I’m 35 this year and that scares me so much.  I have been on a massive health kick this year and have lost 2 stone already so had already changed my diet loads.
I’ve been advised that I will need to take tablets for life to help lower it.  We discussed and I decided that I’ll take 6-8 weeks before making that decision.
I will have my bloods re tested at the end of July/early August.
In the mean time I have to try my hardest to get the levels down myself and loose more weight.
Changes I have already make are:
  • Switched to Soya milk
  • Drinking a Benecol yogurt a day
  • Switching to Benecol spread instead of butter
  • Drink 3 glasses of water upon waking up
  • Eating a good breakfast (using Soya milk)
  • Increased my fruit and veg intake
  • Eating mainly fish with either salad or veg
  • Eating Almonds and Cashew nuts for a snack
I need to find the time to actually do some exercise,  I’m struggling with that one.
I’ve not weighed myself for a few weeks  but will do this week.
If when I’m retested my levels are high still then I will have to start the tablets and keep up with the diet and lifestyle changes for life.
Now diets in the past have been a problem for me however if it means lowering a risk of heart attack and actually being around to see my children grow up then I WILL do it, I will make the healthy change for life!
I would much rather be around to see my  kids grow up then worry that by the time I’m 40/50 I’ll have chronic heart disease and a be at risk of an early heart attack.
I’m doing my best at the moment,  lets see if it’s good enough.
If you know of any tips to help me along the way please do let me know – I may need a little bit of help here!

26 thoughts on “Making lifestyle changes when you’re thrown a curve ball

  1. That must have been a shock but it sounds like you are taking all of the right steps to be as healthy as you can. It is so easy to neglect ourselves when looking after children isn't it.

  2. It sounds like you already looking positive ahead sorry i can't give you any tips at all but it sounds like you can do that just fine without taking tablets xx

  3. Hi Clare, I'm sorry to hear you have had such bad news from the doctors but it sounds like you are doing a great job tackling it and fitting back. Good luck with the next test xx

  4. Aww sweetie, so not what you want to hear at the doctors, but your reaction is really sensible. You sound like you're making positive changes and I hope that they result in good news when you go back to the docs.

  5. At least you are making changes. Look at this as a positive thing, you found out what you have and you can make changes to ensure that you are around for your family long term. Stay positive and if you need a whinge you know where to find me. I live with a condition and know how hard it can be to stay smiling

    1. Thanks Jen.
      I know it could be so much worse and others are living with much worse. Just gotta grin and bear it I guess.
      Life goes on.

      Thanks so much, your support means a lot

  6. I have been taking tablets daily since I was 18 as I have an underactive thyroid. I know it seems like a big thing but it soon becomes normal and you will get free prescriptions 😉

    If tablets will make more of a difference to saving your life you need to take them x but do the healthy living stuff too

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about the stress you've been under! My cousin has the same condition and let me tell you, she's as fit as a fiddle. I'm glad you've discovered it early and are taking steps to get it all under control because you can….and then go on to live a long and healthy life.

    Watch your fats in your diet and stick as closely to a natural way of eating because it's processing your food that adds on a lot of bad cholesterol. I wish you the very best, don't let it get you down, just tweak your lifestyle a bit, take the right meds and you won't even know it's there. I watch my cousin, now in her late 40's living a full and frankly, very exciting life 🙂 x

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