A Healthy Update

Literally. This is a huge update regarding health, and I am so excited to share this with you all.

Remember this? A few months ago, I told you all about what it’s like to have familial hypercholesterolemia. There have been some serious developments since then. I shared that article on Twitter and caught the attention of The FH Foundation. They immediately reached out and ever since I have been in close contact with them about being an FH Patient Advocate. It’s all been a wild and flattering snowball of events that I’ll get to in a moment.

First and absolutely foremost, shortly after posting that article I made an appointment with a lipidologist at Duke University. (Go Blue Devils!) He’s a reserved, but sweet man who sat and talked with me for two hours about FH. He answered all my questions and fully explained all the medicines he was going to start me on. It was the best I have ever felt leaving a doctor’s office.

Fast forward three months, I went for my next blood test. I kept my hopes low, knowing that these things never go the way I want. When I got the results I read them and re-read them like five times to make sure I had my results, and I was seeing the right numbers. Yep, there it was. For the first time in my life, my cholesterol was in a safe place – more than safe, in fact. You guys, I have never been able to think of myself as “healthy.” With my FH in check, I’m not scared of a heart attack anymore. I’m not freaking out over every tiny pain in either arm. I don’t have “heart attack symptoms” bookmarked in my phone anymore. I’m young AND healthy – finally.

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This healthcare journey has been covered in frustrations, tears and awful food, but I have so much to be grateful for. I am so aware of my body and the importance of being kind to it. I have sparked a conversation within my own family about being proactive in our healthcare, and now I can add “journal author” to my resume.

The FH Foundation was contacted by “Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.” This medical journal asked if there was anyone connected to the Foundation that might be able to write and submit a patient viewpoint story. Guess who they asked!! You can read my first medical journal article here:

http://circoutcomes.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/03/03/CIRCOUTCOMES.115.001695.full.pdf?ijkey=Un5VW7F56gwvKpO&keytype=ref

I don’t love having FH – no one does – but I certainly don’t despise it like I used to. Now that I know how to manage it, I can recognize the amazing things it has brought into my life. It’s created a strong bond within my family, and I have found a new community in The FH Foundation. I never thought my Twitter followers would be full of international cardiologists, but I never know what FH will bring me.

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