Steve’s Health Update

Steve and Teri Maxwell

Thank you so much for your prayers and kind cards. We thought this would be a good time for an update. I’m feeling totally back to normal.

In general, there isn’t much of a recovery from an angiogram and stent. I wasn’t to lift more than ten pounds for four days, and that was it except for no dental procedures or MRIs for three months.

However, following the angiogram, two stents, and eight hours in bed, when I got up, I had an unexplained but very significant weakness in my legs. I felt as if my legs had aged 20 years. The doctor said the procedure could not have caused it. Gratefully, within a week, that was totally resolved on its own.

Stents do not fix heart disease, they are only stop-gap solutions and do not extend life expectancy. If lifestyle changes aren’t made, you become a “stent frequent flyer” or crash. Even though the American Heart Association would have approved of my previous diet, clearly it needs improvement. (I can’t even remember the last time I had a Big Mac or similar.)

We have been praying and doing research, and we have a diet plan. We have begun making radical changes and will refine it over time. (We will share what we settled on later.)

Also, my weight had crept up over the winter to 188, currently 184, and with God’s grace, I’m targeting less than 165.

Since I originally mentioned this, it has been amazing how many stories I have heard/read of heart attacks and strokes about people who were much younger than I am and had no clue they were at risk. One thing I have heard several times is that the first symptom for 50% of those with coronary artery disease is a heart attack, and 50% of those don’t make it to the hospital alive, although better sources say Angina is usually the first symptom. (That is what I had.) We have also read that the United States has 50% of the world’s heart disease (courtesy of the Standard American Diet (SAD)) and only 5% of the population.

Finally, Teri and I are delighted to have fully resumed our daily exercise. 

In Christ Jesus,
Steve

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and
that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

52 thoughts on “Steve’s Health Update”

  1. Steve, we are so glad you are doing good!

    We just learned a lot about fermented (really “living”) drinks, like kombucha and kefir, and foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi…
    They are so incredibly healthy (also concerning cholesterol) and help your intestinal flora which has a big impact on your health.
    Anyway, thinking about one’s eating habits surely is a very good thing when it comes to health issues (rather than just taking pills…).
    God bless you!

  2. So Very Thankful that you are feeling so much better. The Lord is good. Praying that you will be able to make the changes to your diet and lifestyle that will be beneficial for you. Thank you for sharing this experience so that others will be encouraged to change the way they eat and live. You and your family are surrounded by our prayers from all around the world.
    Clara

    1. Thank you Clara. Thank you for your prayers. Researching and praying through the food options is formidable. Teri is doing such a fantastic job of it. What a jewel she is.

      Blessings,
      Steve

  3. We are so very glad to hear you are doing better.
    Thank you for the update.

    Please do share your diet changes. Diet is so very important to our future health!! Exercise as well!

    Our family is working to make the changes necessary for continued growth and health for everyone ages 7-51.

    Thank you, Lord Jesus, for watching over our brother and allowing him to remain with his family for a while longer. Help them to learn and gain wisdom for it to be a long while. Amen.

  4. Our family is delighted to hear this news! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! God is so wonderfully Sovereign over our bodies and so gracious to give us the resources to grow and learn from. You all are a gracious gift to so many!! Thank you for pouring your lives out for the Lord Jesus Christ! Love from VA! Philippians 1:3-4

  5. So pleased to hear that you faired well and are acting on “an awakening” and thank you for sharing your unfolding experience and wisdom gained. In February my almost 92 year old father had a heart attack and stent procedure so this all hits close to home. Through my own research and desire to get “on track” with improved lifestyle habits I realize that whole milk yogurt and certain fats are good, within reason of course, and help curtail a craving for sugars and carbohydrates which contribute to heart risk. So eager to hear the next installation with health and habit suggestions and thank you so much for your outreach to impact others’ lives. God bless you.

  6. Praise God! I would love to hear how you plan to change your diet when you are ready to share. There is so much conflicting information out there. Praying for your family!
    Blessings,
    Kelly

  7. Thankful to the Lord for your health and recovery. I have been doing a lot of research on heart disease and have come across some very helpful research by Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Caldwell, and Dr. Greger. Basically it is a plant-based diet, not to be mistaken for a vegan diet. You do limit ALL meat, dairy and oil. You might want to take a look at it, as the research is thorough and well tested over many years. Praying for you and your family.
    Kris

  8. Praise be the Lord for your recovery and finding ways to move forward living with the disease. My husband’s father died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 39, leaving behind 4 young children and one on the way. He was a slim and active man, but had no idea he had a strong predisposition to heart disease. The consequences of his tragic death are far-reaching and impactful to this day. My husband and his siblings grew up without the special guidance and love that only a father can provide. By God’s grace and their mother’s sacrificial love, they all became upstanding adults, but nothing can replace a father. Like you, I urge all men to check into their family history and prevent heart disease before it’s too late!

    1. Lara,
      Very sad. He had no warning. I have. I told my family, I don’t want them to every say, “Dad loved the type of food he ate, more than us.”
      Thank you for sharing.
      Blessings,
      Steve

  9. My brother-in-law works on a cardiac floor at a major hospital, and sees a lot of heart issues. He has done lots of research, as Terri is doing, and then passed that along to us. Our family has tried to find a good balance of eating heart healthy while also being realistic about eating out, other’s homes, holidays, etc. We attempt to eat plant-based at home (meaning no animal products, little oil), knowing that we will most likely consume them during the times mentioned above. We are grateful that we live in an age where we have so much knowledge about food/our bodies, etc.

    We are very happy to hear that Steve is on the road to better health, which is a blessing from the Lord.

    1. Victoria,
      Thank you. With so much conflicting info, it takes effort to carefully evaluate what is being read. Achieving balance for normal life is not easy.
      Blessings,
      Steve

  10. Thank you so much for the update! We are very grateful to the Lord that He alerted you to these issues and that your surgery was successful.

    My husband also has heart health issues and we monitor him very closely. He is very careful with his diet and exercises faithfully. Seeing as your health and his are similar, I will be very interested in what Teri plans for your diet from here on out. She is so good at that kind of thing…I’m sure she will take great care of you! I know she is a blessing to you (she sure is to all of us!!).

    I have followed your blog since the very beginning and have grown and been challenged in my faith as I’ve watched your family walk through the many stages of life. We are just a tad bit behind you in age, but here we are…walking through the ‘afternoon of life’, still gleaning from your wisdom and faithfulness to the Lord.

    Thank you Steve and thank you Maxwell family.

    1. Trish,
      Thank you. It thrills our hearts that others are blessed and challenged by what God does in our lives. We will be sharing as we navigate the waters ahead. Teri is my delight and has spent much time researching what I haven’t had time to do. We can listen to some books together as we exercise which helps keep us on the same page.
      Blessings,
      Steve

      1. As a comment to your comment of listening to books together, I am always sad that my husband and I don’t have more time to read books together. Well, I remember a while back, you mentioned that you and Terri walk and listen to books together with cordless earphones, such as Airpods. I thought that was such a great idea! I saved my money, and recently bought them for my husband for his “milestone” birthday! Now that the weather is warmer here in NY, our plan is to have a regular walking/listening time together! Thank you for the inspiration. I am always challenged by the ways your family chooses to spend quality time together.

        1. Victoria,
          Amen!! Christian Audio is a source but we find the app struggles some. We also use Hoopla through the library for free “listens.”
          Blessings,
          Steve

  11. So happy to hear you are doing well! My dad had a heart attack a couple of years ago. Like Terri, my mom researched and after many diet trials, found a way to eat that’s healthy and works for my dad. They eat mostly a plant based diet, with small amounts of animal protein. I get so confused; there’s low carb, paleo, ketogenic, vegan and vegetarian diets, that all claim healing benefits. I think its so important to pray and find what works for your body, because everyone is different, and what works for someone else may not work for you. I mistrust the vegan community because it seems to be a religion for many of them, worshiping the earth and animals, but yet some people seem to thrive on a diet without meat. It will be interesting to hear what you are doing!

    1. Kristy,
      You sized up what we have found as well. The bias of many does make you wonder how much it skews what they recommend. It’s been a good research project and Teri is doing wonderfully with it.
      Blessings,
      Steve

  12. Thanks so much for sharing! You’ve been such an inspiration to us and many others, and I praise God for giving you this opportunity to make lifestyle changes for improved heart health! May He grant you many more years to serve Him. I’ll look forward to hearing about your dietary changes. I know we need to make improvements here too, and your story is a good reminder to act on what we know we should do. Blessings!

    1. Gwenyth,
      Actually, that is exactly why we share our lives, if in some way it may help others. Even though we thought our diet was healthy, we have been learning a lot.
      Blessings,
      Steve

  13. So glad to hear that you are doing well and I am thankful for this reminder. At only 39 years old, my husband learned that he had very high cholesterol and the cardiologist gave him 6 months to get it down on his own or he would put him on statins. The doctor was almost positive that his body was fabricating too much cholesterol and there was no way he could get it down on his own. My husband stopped drinking milk, limited cheese to once a week (we live in France, lol), got off sugar completely, started eating fish twice a week, oatmeal for breakfast, and red meat only once a month. His cholesterol came down on its own, praise the Lord! I am thankful for this reminder though as we have slowly crept back in to eating normally and I’m guessing his cholesterol is back up. I wanted to share that because the literature is so confusing, but those things completely worked and he still consumed some butter (with cooking) and olive oil.

  14. I (and several family members) have had great success with cutting out all sugar (including honey, maple, and any artificial sweeteners) and all grains, many oils, potatoes, most carb-heavy fruit and legumes. We do not follow the Keto diet (which allows for artificial sweeteners and forces one to meticulously count carbs). Basically, we eat lots of veggies, fermented foods, meat that isn’t heavily processed, eggs, some dairy, healthy fats like olive oil and butter, as well as some high-fat nuts. (As a side note, we also avoid pork and shellfish, but that is for Biblical reasons; most who eat this way continue to consume those things) I have lost (and maintained for over a year) 40 pounds, my skin is better, as is my digestion. I greatly enjoy this way of eating because I am no longer addicted to carbs and I am no longer hungry or obsess over food. So many different ways to choose from! I hope you find what works best for you!

  15. I just wanted to send a shout out to Dr. Jason Fung in case you haven’t come across him in your research. His work is dealing with diabetes, but he has written a few books you may find helpful, which were life changing for me. Back in June I was diagnosed pre-diabetic with an A1C1 of 6.4. A diabetes diagnosis is 6.5. My dr told me to lose weight as he had seen my blood sugar level creep up with my weight over the past couple of years. I’m 5’1 and in June was at 160, with high blood pressure to boot. I Have ALS (atypical dxd in 2001) and certainly didn’t need diabetes along with it, so when I got home from my dr’s appt that day in June I got on google. The Lord let me almost immediately to Dr. Fung’s website and I read some of his blog and immediately got his books and spent the next 2 days reading them. The books are the Diabetes Code, the Obesity Code, and the Complete Guide to Fasting. I actually read a summary of the obesity an diabetes code books and I read the full version of the fasting book. I was blown away by what I read and immediately began doing a fasting routing with some intermittent and extended fastings. 3 months later, my a1c1 was 5.7 – high end normal and I had lost 20 lbs and 7 inches off my waist. I didn’t fast as much during the holidays, but for the first time I can remember, I ate all the goodies, but didn’t gain any weight. As of today, I have lost 36 lbs and now weigh 124 which I have not seen since 1992, and it was basically effortless. My blood pressure is completely normal, near perfect, and my cholesterol wasn’t considered high, but it went down as well. I mixed the fasting with low carb/high fat, but not really keto. Oh, all of this is without any exercising except walking about 1/2 to a mile a day. Because I have ALS and weak muscles, walking is all I can do, and honestly i wasn’t too consistent with it in the winter, like almost never. Now it is warmer, and I’m back at it. Anyway, I’ve rambled, but I wanted to just throw out Dr. Fung’s name if you’ve not come across it. His books, especially the obesity code, is worth the read no matter which plan you take up.

    1. Thank you Rhonda. We hadn’t heard of him. Bless you, you have quite a rough road to travel. Diabetes and ALS. You have done so well and have some great results to prove for it.
      Blessings,
      Steve

  16. Check out Doctor Eric Berg videos on you tube. Lot of great information on keto diet. He is not afraid to go against the world on nutrition…also Doctor Perlmutter, a doctor in Florida. Praying for wisdom from God for you and your family.

    Sonja in Florida

    1. Hi Sonja,
      Thank you for sharing and praying. So much to read and checkout. Hoopla (from our library) has been great for free audio books.
      Blessings,
      Steve

  17. We are grateful to hear you are doing well. Our family has been praying for you, brother.

  18. So glad to hear you are feeling well. Thank you for showing humility in sharing with others in hopes of helping folks be proactive!
    I see you are being bombarded with advice, but just wanted to add my two cents for a plant based diet. After all, it was God’s original plan for man. The documentary Forks over Knives gives a good explanation of how it can radically improve health.
    I have been blessed by your blog over the years. We are expecting our seventh child, and in a world that doesn’t always see that as something to rejoice over, your love and celebration of life is refreshing.
    Thank you.
    Prayers for God’s leading in the plan that is best for you!

    1. Thank you Jessica. Our desire is to encourage families first and foremost in the Lord Jesus and lives that please Him. Part of that is sharing our good and bad experience/choices. Yay on the seventh child. We would love a family photo emailed. We hadn’t seen the documentary. It is difficult to find resources that are unbiased, especially that don’t have a political/environmental agenda. Will take a look. The research has been excellent so far.
      BLessings in the most precious Lord Jesus,
      Steve

  19. Just thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned from friends recently that might be helpful. Foods that are high in polyphenols are very good at clearing out arteries or taking a supplement with polyphenols is good. And EDTA is also an excellent way to clear out clogged arteries. Some people go to a clinic to do EDTA through intravenous.

  20. I’m glad Steve is doing better. When my grandmother had her heart attack many years ago, her cardiologist had her go to a nutritionist to help learn how to eat healthier. She, too, had thought her diet good, but the nutritionist pointed out some problem areas. The big one was her salt intake. My grandmother just ate way too much salt, because she relied on a lot of prepackaged ingredients. She changed her diet to include more fresh vegetables, which she either grilled or roast, without a lot of seasoning, more lean meats, like fish and chicken, and vegetarian staples, like lentils, which are good for the heart. She had her heart attack when she was 65, and she will turn 88 next month.

  21. Aloha! Intermittent fasting has proven to be so helpful to my husband and I in so many ways (reduced cholesterol, blood pressure, insulin levels and weight loss). Dr. Jason Fung on YouTube is very helpful to learn some basics and also the book Delay Don’t Deny. Both can be found on amazon. Blessings for good health.??

  22. Thank you for the update, so thankful that you are doing better. God is good! I will be very interested to read the upcoming post on the diet changes, and whether the entire family will eat that way as well. As noted, there so very many different diets and all claim to be the best. We eat mostly a low glycemic, mostly gluten free (some of us have sensitivities) with lots of veggies but we do eat meat. And we do have treats on occasion, mostly at holidays. Best wishes for continued health!

    1. Roseanna,
      God is always good always! Likely the entire family won’t be following all Teri and I are doing. There are certainly as many opinions as there are diets/options. We are looking to clinical evidence as persuasion.
      Blessings,
      Steve

  23. Watch or read the book Plant Pure Nation. Maybe you’ll find something in it that will be useful for you. I’m happy to hear that you are feeling better!

Comments are closed.