My dad went in for a cardio-aversion procedure today. I went in with him, my mom, and my sister. My dad has had heart problems pretty much as far back as I can remember. He's somewhat active and quite athletic when he wants to be but does not choose his food very carefully. Unfortunately this has manifested in his body as heart issues. He had a heart attack about 8 years ago.
This was a huge wake up call for him and I've never seen him more motivated to eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. He was also involved in a cardio rehab group. He was exercising like crazy and eating well and lost a lot of weight...and he's not heavy to begin with. He did so well for about two years, and then slowly the eating habits began to slip, and fried, fatty foods were again entering the system. He also loves his wine and beer, and sweet treats. You can encourage someone to eat a healthy diet, with many fruits and vegetables but you will have a hard time changing the wiring unless the owner of the house wants new circuits.
He has had tachycardia for many years as well, but it seemed to be in the background. He did join bootcamp with me in July of 2005. I needed to lose excess baby weight and he needed to get active. He loved it and was motivated and went about three times a week and beat me at every run we did together in those first two years. Since going raw, I beat him every time...60 pounds lighter and feeling full of energy, my athleticism is better now than when I was in high school!
Still, the eating habits have not been great for him. He's seen my dramatic changes but still not interested, even when I make him a green smoothie, he is polite and drinks some but it's not his thing.
He started getting tachy's every time we did bootcamp. We signed up for the Vancouver Sun Run and again, he'd get these tachy's each time we ran. It didn't seem normal but the doctors didn't seem alarmed...that was until my dad thought he was having a heart attack on Jan.28th of this year. He went to the hospital and they ran tests but found nothing abnormal. The did however refer him to a heart specialist.
There he was diagnosed with an "arrhythmia" where he was told that they would not even administer a stress test as that could cause my dad to go into cardiac arrest...and the night before and many nights before that we had been out running for an hour?!! Arrhythmia is what Victoria Boutenko (http://www.rawfamily.com/) was diagnosed with at age 38 and told that there was nothing else she could do for her health but pray! Her whole family went raw shortly thereafter due to a type one diabetes diagnosis for her son and they all benefited from it! Her arrhythmia is a thing of the past, naturally.
My dad was told that he had to have the cardio-aversion procedure done to help his arrhythmia. He was put on even more meds than he's already on and then told he had to wait a while to thin his blood enough so that he wouldn't stroke out when the procedure was done. WHAT?! I'd be feeling aversion to having this procedure too, no wonder it got it's name! So, it's now May 27th...exactly 4 months almost to the day that he got the procedure done. They put him out and basically reset his heart rhythm with an electric jolt. Not quite like you see in the movies with the paddles, but you get an idea anyhow.
I am actually reading Victoria Boutenko's 12 Steps to Raw food as it was re-released with a lot of new information. I am enjoying it this time round...and really relate to much of what she's saying. It's extremely informative and she's done a lot of research to back up her thinking. I was reading this in the hospital waiting room but couldn't really concentrate. Instead my sister, mom and I reminisced about all our past operations and our feelings around them and why they happened, and how things have changed so much in our thinking. For example...my dad had his tonsils out along with two of his brothers because they were a nuisance. My mom, sister and I all have had ours removed. How would our bodies be different if we still had them I wonder. I didn't have huge issues with them but when I was six they flared up a little and it was like they were waiting for that to happen and they got me in and out they came, along with the adenoids.
These days it seems like ear infections are far more common than tonsils and that tubes in the ears is the "operation of the day". I only hope that it was in part due to my constant nursing that helped my kids steer clear of any ear infections. It is extremely common today however for kids to have this procedure.
So us three girls just talked and reminisced about operations, family, life, death and the circle of life for the three hours we were in the hospital. It was great bonding time as I know we were all nervous in some way about what dad was going through.
As my dad was being discharged, the nurse told him not to exert himself for 24 hours (no problem there if there's hockey or golf on t.v.!) and to stay away from alcohol for 24 hours (how about for a lifetime!?) and to resume his usual diet when he felt like eating again (I says pardon?!?! No telling him to keep away from fats, and sweets and processed goods and to focus on a more vegetarian diet...I questioned this and the response was that diet had nothing to do with it). I beg to differ. Food matters. More than we'd like to admit. So I'll continue to make him raw desserts, dishes, salads, smoothies, and hope that he'll eventually gain a liking for all things raw. I can encourage, but I cannot force.
Arrhythmia is supposedly genetic...all the more reason for me to continue eating a high raw diet!! I do not want to put my family through what we went through today with my dad.
Sleep's important too, so I'm off to bed.
In green goodness.
Eat Raw, Live Well.