Long Live Healthy with Member Stories

Jun 21, 2012

Member: Angela

Doctor Rating: 5

My physician is a part of my life for many reasons.

My physician is a part of my life for many reasons. I have been a patient of his for the past 18 years, and as of 10 years ago, my husband also became his patient. Our physician is genuine, trustworthy, sincere, caring, and calm. At my most recent annual physical, my cholesterol numbers became a cause for concern. Sure, I realize that although I am conscientious about my diet, I function best on protein. My preference unfortunately, is red meat. A lot of red meat - meaning two or three times a day! Perhaps this is a contributing factor to my elevated cholesterol levels? My physician tells me that these are numbers to keep an eye on and that I will now need to come quarterly for blood work. He did not give me a lecture, look down on me, or make sarcastic remarks about my dietary intake. Perhaps it is because we have known each other for so long, I know without him having to tell me, that I am responsible for what I choose to do in my life and only I am the person that can control my health. Leaving the office that day, I headed straight to my favorite fast food drive-thru that I always go to after doctor's appointments and ordered my large diet coke and Angus beef burger, extra lettuce, no mayo. For the next couple of months, I did not make any concerted efforts to extremely alter my diet. However, I noticed that I was beginning to explore other protein options, such as salmon, white fish, egg whites, and chicken. Also, I had begun to switch my 12 pack of diet coke each day, for water when it was hot outside, and chicken broth when it was cold. I unknowingly found that these alternative drink options satiated my hunger for red meat, and satisfied me throughout the day. Plus, I was saving money by not going out as often, and saving time by not having to prepare such extensive meals and snacks! At my three month follow-up bloodwork, my physician's lovely assistant, called me to give me the new cholesterol numbers. They had decreased significantly! My first reaction was of query - wondering how did that happen? I hadn't made any conscious efforts to eat less red meat. But thinking of my days over the course of the past three months, I realized that I had made changes to my diet. And not only that, but these other protein options had become a part of my husband's diet as well - subsequently lowering his overall cholesterol numbers also! The point of this story is to refer to my doctor and his communication style with me. I respond much better when I feel as though I am working on a team with someone, rather than being criticized or lectured for bad habits that I knowingly have. I truly feel that it is because of his trust and hopes in me to make healthy decisions rather than bad ones, that I am successfully lowering my cholesterol. His patience with me makes me feel accountable to him to not let him down when he knows I can do better. For that, I become motivated, and am grateful to have him as my physician.

Photo: Angela

Photo: Angela