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Somehow writing down problems puts them in perspective...

Published by JenniferM55 in the blog JenniferM55's blog. Views: 742

I'm in a difficult situation at the moment... I'll try and keep it brief!

Hubby and I are both trying to cut out carbs, while my carb intake is around 15g (I've recently tripped into the world of 'diabetic-ism') my hubby's isn't. I obviously don't eat fruit but he does, whole lorryloads of it if it's available, therefore his carbs intake are much higher. We both weigh about the same despite him being 6ft 2, and me being 5ft 3! (Like me, he could do with losing weight as the weight he's carrying is definitely around his middle). So far on our new way of eating, we've both lost around 6kg. Have to say he's fully on board with obliterating other starches/sugars out of his life!

Presently my husband is on a priority list for an MRI scan, following soon after with being fitted with a pacemaker and defibrillator attached. We've been told both could happen around the end of August, early September. His heart problem is more about 'electrics' than plumbing (it's easier for us to understand using this language). Once his heart rhythm is under the control of the pacemaker, his consultant says he'll look into the best action for the 'plumbing' problem after the pacemaker has 'bedded in'.

His problem first started last October, we thought he'd picked up a virus of some sort as he started getting breathless while walking our dog. He should have had an MRI last March, but that was cancelled due to Covid19. So we're now pretty positive things are now swinging into action.

At the moment he takes Entresto, with a specialist Entresto nurse phoning him every fortnight. They're keeping a close eye on blood test results. At one point a few months ago (before I was diagnosed diabetic and before we were on our low-carb/keto diets) his potassium was high and he was told to stop eating bananas until the potassium dropped. Presently the nurse is on alert re a possible problem with kidney function.

We did tell the nurse we were going on a low carb diet because of my diagnosis, and the first thing she said was not to go too low on the carbs as we need them! My husband had a conversation with his cardiologist last Thursday, mentioning he'd lost around a stone, the consultant just said 'excellent, that's a good way forward' – no mention about carbs, and we didn't offer to enlighten him.

We were on a keto diet for a good 6 months in 2010, though at that time he didn't eat any fruits. It was only after my hubby started losing a huge amount of weight while I was stalling, then he started to feel unwell with heavy night sweats we realised something was wrong – long story short after a 9 month battle for a diagnosis, he was diagnosed as having Non-Hogkin Lymphoma! Nothing to do with keto, but it did cause a furore with my sister-in-law who went around her friends, gathering all the nutrition books she could find and passing them on to me to read – most of them were from the 1970s! Happy to say she's now seen the light about saturated fats and carbs. At that time his consultant who did a brilliant job of curing my husband of the lymphoma gave him a good telling off about 'cranky' diets!

Up until a few weeks ago my husband was on a statin. Gradually his mind became very foggy with practically zero concentration, and I found he couldn't plan anything, nor could he work out patterns such as templates for DIY jobs. He's always had a bad memory, but at this time his memory became atrocious. He ached everywhere... the aching even woke him in the middle of the night. We thought his condition was getting worse fast. Then I read somewhere that statins could cause his problems. He was concerned enough to stop taking them. It was miraculous really how quickly his recovered, he was his old self again. He mentioned to his cardiologist last Thursday that he'd stopped taking the statins, and asked why he was prescribed in the first place as he had been told by another cardiologist that his cholesterol was fine. The consultant looked up previous results from March and said his cholesterol was perfect, and he agreed that he should stop taking them. Taking them caused several weeks of unnecessary worry.

It's a high possibility that the chemo my husband received to cure his lymphoma caused his heart problem (we were told at the time this was a possibility), or it could be the high iron load that's in his blood caused toxicity in his heart – normally for a man the markers about 250, hubby's highest count was 1400+! Since being diagnosed several months ago with (haemochromatosis) he's just had his 10th consecutive week of having around 500ml of blood taken to remove blood iron levels. Thankfully, his iron levels are now finally showing signs of dropping.

It's not that I don't trust doctors I do... just that I'm wary from experiences we've had. As a 20+ year breast cancer survivor, we've both got an awful lot of respect and immense gratitude towards our NHS and it's staff.

So regarding our diets (obviously I'm not asking for medical advice – just opinions), I can't see the harm in us continuing our diet, via a late breakfast and an early dinner, with my husband continuing to eat his fruit, and having a supper of something like 2 Ryvitas with cream cheese or something – keeping his carbs low but not aiming to be in true keto, for the purpose of losing weight to help his heart cope.

Presently his blood pressure can drop quickly, causing him to feel dizzy, confused and faint. He fell over last week after picking up after our dog, I think he might had a bit of a faint. So our stress levels are presently sky high.

I know that fructose is the 'worse' kind of carb. But at the moment, I don't think it wise for him to be making the transition into keto with the ups/downs of potassium and magnesium. I read somewhere that low potassium can cause heart rhythm problems, just what we don't need. Those on keto will know that potassium and magnesium can run short on keto, and supplements are advised.

We should be able to ask questions about our diet with our health care providers, but... well most of you I'm sure can understand. Having found a way of eating that suits us, it'll be difficult if we're pressured to give it up.

Gosh, since writing this down, even I can see some sort of sense in our lives.

NB received a date for the MRI this morning, he's got an appointment in 12 days time!
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