Live Healthy Texas Success Stories

Diagnosed with the early stages of Barrett’s Esophagus

I am a 52-year old grandfather of three beautiful grandchildren who live in Seattle and Chicago. In 1996, just after my 40th birthday, I underwent a total knee replacement surgery to replace a damaged knee from an automobile accident from my youth. Because I had been prescribed with so many high-potency anti-inflammitories for so many years to help with knee pain, I now also suffer from severe gastric reflux and have been diagnosed with the early stages of Barrett’s Esophagus, a deterioration of the walls of my esophagus brought about by the loss of tissue from the anti-inflammitories. So let’s just say my health could be better. With my prosthetic knee limiting my participation in sports and removing certain types of exercise from my choices, my weight has steadily gone up a few pounds every year since 1996. When the program started, I was 234 pounds; I am just about 6 foot, 1 inches tall.

 The A & E Department in Harris County is not known for its participation in programs like this, but when the notice went out, I replied to Angie Ross that if somehow we put a team together, that I would join. Three others said they would go in, including Angie, so I made us a team of four. We started with walking from the ground floor of the Admin Building to our seventh floor offices, panting heavily the first few days. Then we upped it to twice a day; then we went up to the ninth floor from the ground. Finally, we went from the basement level up to the ninth floor (ten flights) twice a day.  My knee was getting stronger each week and all of us saw an improvement in stamina. But best of all, I was also walking the 3-mile loop at Memorial Park a couple of times a week and I was seeing my weight drop about two-pounds a week! My knee was holding up and my waist was slimming down. Because my gastro-internist has given me a list of things to avoid for my reflux control, I also have maintained better discipline over my eating habits by taking acidic and heavy foods out of my diet. To my own surprise, I even invested in one of those Wii game systems and bought the Wii Fit exercise board and program. My wife and I now do the yoga exercises, which I never thought I would enjoy, and the aerobic exercises, too.

So now as the 100-Day Challenge closes, I am proud to write that I have met and exceeded my goal to lose 10% of the body weight. My goal was to lose 24 pounds and get down to 210 pounds. I now weigh 205 pounds, which was my weight in 1996 before my knee replacement surgery. I have set a new goal to get my weight below 200 pounds before my son’s wedding on August 15. I would like to get to 194, so I can say that I have lost a nice, even 40 pounds. Then I will set a new goal and try for more! I am continuing to walk the Memorial Park loop, but I now go twice around for a 6-mile circuit three or four times a week. And next Friday, July 17, I intend to register to walk the Chevron Half-Marathon here in Houston next January; my knee surgeon may not like it, but I’m going to try.

My success story is that the 100-Day Challenge helped inspire me to get serious about my health. I will continue to prove that I can and will exercise and keep my body healthy so I can play with, spoil and watch my grandchildren grow up. My knee surgeon told me 13 years ago that a prosthesis like mine should last about ten-years; my goal is to keep my body strong and fit and avoid any additional surgery for as long as I can. Keeping my weight under control is the first goal in keeping my whole body healthy. Plus, as I noted on my “Y” sheet, I want to live to 100 and play with my grandchildren.    


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