Living and Thriving with PWS


When it comes to living with PWS, there are many health concerns (associated with PWS).  One of the most common is obesity that leads to the individual becoming diabetic.  There are also dental problems and poor/limited eyesight.  Among these concerns is how they can be controlled so that you may be healthy and happy.  Before my introduction into Latham Centers Inc., my health wasn’t great and my organ functions were deteriorating. 
My weight was highest at 285lb and I was beginning to be a borderline pre-diabetic.  I had a high cholesterol level and the start of a fatty liver.  I ended up being in the hospital for about 2 weeks due to a bad stomach infection from one of my food binges.  It was at that point that I started to realize how unhealthy I was.  I wanted to change but [was] clueless as to how it could be done.
Upon moving to Latham my calorie intake was adjusted to accommodate my need to lose weight.  I was on a 1400 calorie diet and was encouraged to exercise as much as I could.  As I started to exercise more and eat less I began to feel better and notice that little changes can make a big difference.  I rapidly started to lose weight and was increasing my calories by 200 calories a piece on a two week basis.  After about 6th months of my lifestyle changes I was sitting high at 2000 calories a day and weighing in at 165lb.
One of the doctor appointments I’ve always dreaded is my yearly physical.  Being a young adult [with PWS] I am always required to get blood work done.  As I mentioned before my levels always came back not where they should be.  Because of my substantial amount of weight loss I had improved my body in several key areas.   My cholesterol went down and my sugar and A1C levels were returning to normal.
From that point on I’ve made it a priority to sustain my weight and make sure to keep my levels where they are.  I’m no longer afraid of going to the doctors. It makes me feel good when I get the praise from my doctors and nurses about how well I’m doing.  I’ve adapted to healthy eating and exercise at least 1hr a day over the course of 5 days a week.  I’m continuing to live a healthy lifestyle which is all the proof I need that I’m living and thriving with PWS.

*Living and Thriving with PWS is a monthly blog column by Derek M., a 25 year-old Latham adult resident with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), who has resided on Cape Cod for over three years in a home managed by Latham Adult Services with fellow residents also diagnosed with PWS.

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