There I was sitting in my paper gown - that was a wee bit too small - waiting for my cardiologist to come in. I was running through any questions I wanted to ask while thinking about all of my to do list items for the day. It was a a routine cardiologist appointment that I have been doing since I was 13 when I was diagnosed with a genetic heart disease. That disease has shaped my life. Removing me from gym class, field days, cardio exercise, making daily medicines as part of my routine and countless heart surgeries.
When the doctor walked in that day, he said the words “You are in heart failure and you will need a heart transplant.” The world stopped for me. I am not even sure if I exhaled the breath I was holding. “But” he said, “if you don’t get this weight off you won’t be eligible for a transplant when you need it.”
And there it was. A statement that didn’t feel like a choice. I knew I had to get weight loss surgery. With everything with my heart over the decades and a pesky brain tumor that destroyed my pituitary gland - I knew I couldn’t lose the weight and keep it off without help. I had been on keto a for over a year at the time of the cardiologist visit and lost 50 lbs. but had stopped losing. Over the years I had lost about 80 lbs. 3 or 4 times in my life but it always crept its way back.
“if you don’t get this weight off you won’t be eligible for a transplant when you need it.”
I drove home from that visit in shock. Anger. Sadness. Denial. All of that. I told very few people. I called my husband Jeff and texted Cortni. When the text bubbles turned into “Ill get the surgery with you” I wasn’t sure if she was serious but I smiled.
Up until this point all of my health crisis’s have been walked alone. I can’t properly put into words what it is like to have Cortni along side of me for this. Health in all aspects can be such a lonely road but being able to share the triumphs and the tears with someone who understands is a gift. That feeling of gratefulness lead us to start No Guts No Glory. A place where Cortni, myself and our amazing husbands could share our fears, frustrations and successes and hopefully make anyone reading or listening less alone.