Kenny Sexton , volunteer caregiver neighbor, was interviewed HERE last week. The reason Kenny lived in a nursing home and studied Alzheimer's patients first hand, was that Kenny was very overweight. When I showed him the above graphic, he said he experienced many of the above conditions. Again we are sitting at the dining room table in our family room with hubby watching TV nearby. Kenny and I prayed about this interview.
Carol: I am thrilled that you are so willing to be candid in this interview, Kenny. Why are you willing to talk about your 350 pound weight loss and all the health concerns?
Kenny: I do not want others to go through what I have gone through and I am happy to share what I have learned. I take 17 medicines and will continue to have medical problems, even though I lost all that weight. I also had to learn to deal with emotional eating and with gluttony as a sin. I had to learn that food is not me and that God can help me overcome. Most sin gives us attention or something we need. I needed to practice getting my needs met through my faith.
Carol: Did anyone ever try to talk you into bypass or lapband surgery?
Kenny: Yes at the nursing home, but they told me I had to lose weight before that surgery, and as I lost it I thought I could just continue and not need that surgery.
Carol: What have been the subsequent health issues above that you are dealing with? Let's take them one at a time.
Kenny: Migraines was not the big thing for me, but depression was. Depression was a precurser to over eating, and then the more I ate the more depressed I became.
Carol: Can you identify triggers to depression?
Kenny: I felt worthless and others made me feel worthless. With Christ I have realized that my worth is in Him and God has given me strength to forgive and to overcome the depression. Then I was able to get the help I needed by living in a nursing home and being in a program for two years.
Carol: You told me that some of the conditions above you do not have (migraines, Dyslipemia Hypercholesterolemia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, GERD, and Gout and of course Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). But all the others you have and we don't know about mortality on the chart above, as if any of us know when we will enter our restored bodies and be with the LORD. Obviously your quality of life has vastly improved.
Kenny: Oh yes. Seven years ago I couldn't even walk to my mail box and I was afraid I was going to die. I needed help and the nursing home and Concord Care near Youngstown, Ohio helped me gain my life back. I have kept weight off for five years now.
Carol: Which of all the conditions above are causing the most difficulty?
Kenny: Definitely Type II Diabetes. No one in my family has had it and it is weight induced.
Kenny's Leg Cellulites
Kenny: Diabetics take a long time to heal when they have a sore. I have cellulites, an infection of the skin. I go to have my bandages changed by a nurse at least five days (at one point seven days). Twice a month I see a foot doctor. I may loose a toe due to infections. My Venous Stasis Disease is not resolved yet unlike the above graphic. I have my diabetes under control with shots twice a day and pills twice a day, but this will continue as long as I live. I have learned that I can have sweets, but in a moderate lifestyle. I have learned to not do without certain food, but to plan wisely what I eat.
Carol: What about liver disease?
Kenny: When I first found I had Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, I was in stage four. Before I had too much amonia in my blood, I would fall asleep and forget things.With medication my liver functioning has gone down to stage one. At this point I do not believe I need a liver replacement, but will continue to have to take medicine for my liver. A lot of this change is that I watch what I eat and have never had a problem with alcohol even though I have this liver disease.
Kenny: I do have COPD (Chronic Pulmonary Disease) and Asthma and yet I have never been a smoker. They say this is from second-hand smoke from my father and four grandparents. Asthma comes along with the COPD. I didn't not have problem with Asthma until I was so heavy. The COPD was diagnosed later.
Carol: What conditions have improved since the weight loss?
Kenny: Cardiovascular and hypertension, urinary incontinence. Degenerative joint disease I still have, but not as bad because I have less weight. My joints hurt from it, and I hope to lose between 75 and 100 pounds to help with this. The more weight I lose, the less disability I will have.
Carol: Again, Kenny, I am so grateful that our LORD is now using you with several Alzheimer's patients including my husband. Do you think when you legs clear up you may be able to get off on disability and work in this field.
Kenny: That is my goal. I would like very much to go back to work.