Last year something horrible happened. I received a call December 5th shortly after 10 am from one of my dearest girlfriends. I missed the call at first and received a text shortly after that to call back ASAP. I made the call to hear three scary words.
My friend passed away suddenly overnight and his wife was calling to tell me the news and ask that I call everyone from our group of friends. It was a hysterical conversation on both sides, as you can imagine, which proceeded with some of the worst calls I’ve had to make in my life thus far.
When I think of my friend who passed the first things that come to my mind is laughter, heavy metal music, drums, hockey, the NY Yankees, and the Minnesota Vikings. My friend was one of the most honest people you’ll ever meet, a bit sarcastic, and very funny. He understood me, like only my true friends do, appreciating my quick wit, sarcasm, and big, passionate voice.
As his wife and some of us close friends and family awaited the biopsy results, we all speculated about the cause of death. Suspicions were undiagnosed sleep apnea, with complications of high blood pressure and obesity leading to a cardiac event. For the most part, our suspicions were correct but I have to say this has not provided any sense of closure on my end.
I am a registered dietitian for God sakes. Could I have helped? Would he have wanted my help? We had one conversation about his desire to lose weight in ten years; just one. I never saw his weight as something that defined him, but I did worry about the complications.
For some time after that one conversation I became quiet about nutrition and health. I was so frustrated with all of the misinformation and the lack of collaborative efforts from the medical field; I couldn’t hold one more conversation with friends, family, or acquaintances concerning nutrition. It was just so tiring to push forward and advocate for nutrition when everyone else, most who weren’t necessarily the appropriate role model, had all the answers.
I started this blog shortly after my friend’s death because I didn’t want to stay quiet anymore. Nutrition plays a role in blood pressure, cholesterol, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Gall Bladder and Liver health, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Reproduction, Food Allergies, and so much more and a registered dietitian is one of the most informative people out there when it comes to tying in nutrition with disease prevention and management.
So here it goes folks.
If you know someone who needs to get healthier, say it.
If you have a family member or friend that needs support, give it.
I know if my friend had a choice about the outcome, he would not have chosen the end result at 39. He’d want to be here with his wife and his almost two year old daughter and he’d want to see if the Minnesota Vikings will ever make it to the Super Bowl.
Research proves that just a 10% weight loss can assist with relief of many disease symptoms. If your doctor isn’t talking about it, then be your own advocate. If you would like to seek help, reach out to me and I’ll help you get the support you need. Here’s hoping you will. Good luck and be well.