Clean Eating,  Healthy Living

My Husband’s Cholesterol Ruined Our Vacation

My Husband’s Cholesterol Ruined Our VacationHow My Husband’s Cholesterol Ruined Our Vacation

How would you feel if you flew 3000 miles for vacation and spent it watching your husband sleep off the side effects of a prescription cholesterol medication? It was 2012, and we had come out to California for my niece’s wedding. After the event, we headed down to San Diego to enjoy a few days of vacation before heading back home to New England, but my husband’s cholesterol ruined our vacation.

This one particular day, we had decided to walk around San Diego. It was hot and gorgeous, with that California sun beating straight down much as we remembered it did in Italy. No long shadows cast here.

We spent time at a cove watching the seals and loving the warm weather. After a time, we got hungry and decided to reward ourselves with a pizza and beer, so we headed back to a pizza place we had spotted in our earlier walking.

Settling in, we ordered a pizza and some delicious beer. I took one sip of the beer, and my husband Rob said, “We have to leave. I don’t feel well.” Knowing he wouldn’t do this unless something pretty dire were going on, I agree. We paid for and abandoned our meal, found the car and headed back to our hotel.

I drove, and he reclined the passenger seat and fell into a deep sleep. When we got back to the hotel, we got him into bed and he slept for hours and hours. In fact, he slept for the better part of two days before he started to come out of it and began to feel like himself again. By that time, we had to head for the airport and get on a plane to come home.

It wasn’t the first time this had happened, but it was the first time it happened when we had been away from home. Rob had been experiencing weird and troubling symptoms from what we didn’t know, but he was now border line with Type 2 Diabetes, suffered from muscle weakness, nerve pain, brain fog, an inability to assimilate information, memory loss, was getting cataracts and more.

He had been generally healthy, but had a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes. We were afraid to take him to the doctor with his most recent event in California as our experience had been they would try to put him on some sort of drug to get rid of the symptoms rather than trying to find out the cause of the symptoms.

He was put on a mega dose of a cholesterol medication about seven years earlier because of his family history of heart disease. He had been taking 80 mg/day of it for seven years. On TV, we had seen ads for class action lawsuits for women who had been pushed to T2 Diabetes by taking this statin, so we decided to check out possible side effects of this drug.

We were lucky and we weren’t. Lucky to find out Rob was the poster child for side effects (we could attribute everything he was experiencing to the drug), but unlucky in that it was ruining his health. We had to figure out a way to get his cholesterol levels into some sort of normal range and back him off the pre-diabetes diagnosis. By the way, a diagnosis of pre-diabetes is no more benign than being told “you have diabetes”; they are really the same thing.

My husband's cholesterol ruined our vacationWe decided to radically change our diet, and we purged our pantry, fridge and freezer. We dumped processed food, anything with sugar (of any kind! There are 60+ different names for it), gluten, dairy, anything in a box or bag was gone. “Convenience foods” were gone. We began eating lots of salads, vegetables and simple whole food.

By doing this quickly and efficiently, we were able to back him off the T2 Diabetes diagnosis, got his cholesterol into the normal range and his symptoms began to abate. By the way, we each lost twenty pounds without dieting.

Along with the recovery from his symptoms and side effects, we realized in a few months the chronic depression that had been my constant companion since I was twelve years old was gone. I chronicled my recovery in my book, “Eat Your Blues Away”.

The lesson we learned was to turn to food as our medicine first and foremost. Traditional medicine certainly has its place and its benefit, but not as a fix for what you put on your fork.

It’s important to acknowledge our current “health care” system is really a sickness care system. When you eat whatever you want until you develop symptoms or a full-blown illness and then are prescribed a drug to control or eliminate the symptoms, I question the sense that makes.

We’ve been back to California for another vacation since then, but we didn’t have to deal with the side effects of statins. This time I didn’t have to say that my husband’s cholesterol ruined our vacation!

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!           

Cheryl A Major, CNWC

Cheryl A Major, CNWC

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I don’t just teach this; I live it!



  • Carol Bremner

    Hi Cheryl,
    as someone who has been diabetic for many years and tries to turn a deaf ear when my doctor recommends stronger medication instead of the mild pill dose I’m on, I appreciate hearing what your husband experienced. The hardest thing for me is finding other things to eat, especially since I’m not fond of vegetables.

  • Paul Taubman

    I love the way you share your stories. You have a great gift for storytelling, even though it was not the best type of story to tell. I think it’s impotrant to be careful about what we eat and how it affects our bodies, though. We need to be sure that we’re getting the nutrients we need and not consuming too much junk (i.e., sugar, regardless of which name is used).

    Knock on wood, I am not on any prescription drugs for cholesterol, blood pressure, or anything like that.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Cheryl Major

      Hi Paul! Very happy to hear you’re avoiding the meds for the typical stuff and are careful about what you eat. Thank you for your compliment; it means a great deal coming from you. I love to write!

  • Rebecca

    Great article!

    I am open to “all the things” when it comes to my health. I take a lot of supplements, I follow a particular way of eating, and if it seems necessary, I’ll consider medication. So many people have these weird judgements about supplementation and dietary choices. Like it’s all hocus pocus, but whatever the doctor perscribes now that’s the stuff we can trust!

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been lectured by someone on the “dangers” of supplements, without having any knowledge of whatever it is I take, but who probably wouldn’t blink about a perscription I was taking. I’m not against any of it, but I also don’t blindly trust any of it either (supplements OR perscriptions). Good for you for taking a hard look at your husband’s medicine and finding an alternative,

    This was a great article. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Cheryl Major

      Thanks for your comment Rebecca. I am mistrustful of traditional allopathic medicine. My sister died needlessly at 37 because of a careless screw up at a hospital. Nothing like losing someone you love so much to change your thinking and your trust.

  • Melissa Brown

    Wow, Cheryl!

    That’s great that you were able to connect the dots with the symptoms your husband was having. It’s a testament to both of you that you were able to go cold turkey with revamping your diet and lifestyle and it shows what is possible for one’s health and well-being.

    That title for this article is such a scroll-stopper. Love it!

    • Cheryl Major

      Hi Amanda. I guess I would question what else you are eating. It sounds as though your inflammation levels may be something to focus on. Maybe ask your PCP to run a CRP (C-reactive protein) test when you have your next yearly blood work done. That will give you an idea of the level of inflammation in your body. Thanks for your comment, and a question for you… is it all vegetables or only certain ones?

  • Cynthia Alexander

    I did not know that it was a ruined vacation that started you and your husband on the path to health. Very interesting journey. You have done. I agree with your opinion that pills get prescribed before any question is raised about what is being consumed labeled as food and nutrition. You are a light in a dark cloud of meds.
    Good Info put to good use.

  • Donna Loeffler

    This post really hit home with me. I also have high cholesterol, and my blood sugar is creeping up. What we eat is SO important! I’m also a breast cancer survivor, so I’m especially interested in staying healthy (8 years out with no sign of cancer!) I’m on a quest to lose 30 pounds; I’m at 25, so 5 more to go. Thanks for the inspiration! What do you think of intermittent fasting? I’ve been doing that for about a year, and I think that’s how I was able to cut back on portions and eat less.

    • Cheryl Major

      I love intermittent fasting and have a friend who has lost more than 100 pounds because of it. Even if you’re losing weight with IF, it’s critical to make healthy whole food choices to reduce the inflammation in your body. Thanks for your comment Donna!

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