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October 2017

My Experience With Statins and High Cholesterol

This post was sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. Personal opinions and thoughts are my own.

 Long term readers of my blog will remember that my father and I were both diagnosed with diabetes when we were 42.  Shortly after his diabetes diagnosis, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  I have been lucky, because I remain heart healthy. I believe partly due to statin medications.

 I have been on various forms of statins for the past twenty years. Before being put on a statin, my cholesterol numbers were high and nothing I did, including lose weight, helped. I was very concerned since high cholesterol is linked to heart disease.

 Last year, I started having pain in my muscles and my medical team suspected it may be a side effect of my statin. Sure enough, after I stopped the statin, the pain was relieved. It eventually went away, but to my dismay, my cholesterol numbers rose again. The good news is that I am now on a different statin, at a lower dose.  The pain hasn’t come back, and my numbers are back in a healthy range. If you are struggling with side effects from taking a statin, it is important to talk to your doctor as there may be other options available to you.

 As a result of my experiences, I am proud to support a new educational campaign called Take Cholesterol to Heart to help people understand their treatment options for high cholesterol and motivate them to speak up if they are thinking about stopping their statin. Take Cholesterol to Heart provides great tools and strategies to help people “master the cholesterol conversation” with their doctor. As you may know, there are multiple statin medicines, so it’s important to talk regularly with your doctor about your treatment plan, including a statin, that is right for you.

 My experience shows that sometimes just a small change can make a difference.

 Regis Philbin, TV legend and heart disease survivor, joined Take Cholesterol to Heart to share his experience having a conversation with his doctor about high cholesterol and finding the right statin for him. Check out his story in this short video:




If you or someone you love takes a statin, please visit for a number of helpful resources, including a doctor/patient discussion guide, a quiz on statins and tips for caregivers




Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and should not be construed to constitute medical advice. My personal story and opinions are my own. I am not a medical professional and am not qualified to give medical advice. Please talk with your doctor about your individual medical situation.

 * Harris Poll conducted ACTION: The Statin Survey (Understanding Patient Adherence and Concerns with Statins, and Medication Discussions with Physicians) online on behalf of Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., within the United States from July 7- August 4, 2017, among 5,014 U.S. adults aged 45 or older, who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, and have ever used a statin to treat high cholesterol. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Erin Bittner at W2O Group, 212-301-7226. 


After effects of the trip

Needless to say, I have been exhausted.  

Last Saturday I went blind. This is the first time my dry eye affected both eyes.  Usually I put a patch on on the affected eye and get on with my life. I was literally blind. Extremely photo sensitive and my vision is still not 100% a week later, so I will be seeing the cornea specialist.

 I wanted to see a friend who is in Austin for a convention but that isn’t working out   

However, I am planning to go to a dog show in 2 weeks there  


Traveling–Two Small Problems made me return early

First, the plans worked well going and during the stay.  I had a bit too much medical stuff, but that’s okay.  Better too much than too little.

The first disaster was that Summer got bit or stung by something.  Just after we showed (and took a 4th place out of 6), we were waiting for our picture, and she started biting at something.  Then she started acting super fearful, then she started rolling in the dirt, and finally, she won’t put a paw down and was chewing on it.

Thought:  stung by a wasp, just like my mom and I in the last month.  I had no ill effects, mom has a cellulitis hole in her arm and has medication and seen a doctor.  I’m also worried about an allergic reaction.  My first thought was to get her to a vet, and carried her to the car.  I barely made it between the hills and her weight.  I also grabbed Dulce and in that time period I decided it was time to leave.  Well, I already had told the president of the board I’m on, I thought I was going home – but that thought was already in my head.  I was thinking of getting our picture with the judge and then leaving but was committed to selling concessions on Wednesday.  So instead of waiting for the judge, I headed down the mountain.  I did always have the option of going back.

Planning success – I know that the truck battery can’t handle a lot of closing and opening of the doors, so I have a Radio Shack battery that will start up my car.  It’s super cool, very small, cost about $75 and easy to use.  Got the truck started with that.

I had the nearest vet search in my browser, and had Summer where I could see her with the rear view mirror.  She chewed on the paw and that was it.  I did stop and get an inflatable collar for her.  Love those.

I get to a Motel 6, about 6 hours from Aldie, and I check in.  I start putting together my CPAP machine and the cushion is missing.  Can’t use it.  This is the first time I’ve tried to sleep without CPAP therapy in over 20 years.  Stopping and sleeping in a motel is out for the rest of the trip.

I did get some sleep, got back in the truck and drove.

Every time I got sleepy, I pulled over and napped.  I stopped frequently for dog walks.  I took good breaks for meals.  Having a sit down, someone brings me something and I think about something else break.

I got home around 2:00 am Wednesday.

Summary: I had too much of everything.  Not necessarily bad.  I can handle over a week away from home.

Check the CPAP equipment before checking into a hotel.  I could have done the nap / break / dog walk thing another day and saved the motel bill.  I would have rather than done the trip the way I wanted.

For the win:  I have an idea for an app.