Ray Romano is revealing some scary health news he recently received.
“I just had to have a stent put in,” he told Marc Maron on Maron’s “WTF” podcast. “I had 90% blockage.
“I got kinda lucky that we found it. I had 90% blockage in the main artery, what they call the ‘widowmaker.’ I had a stent put in.”
The conversation started because Maron was discussing how he’d started a vegan diet to see if his health improved or if he felt better. He said he had been taking a medication to lower his cholesterol but stopped taking it to try the vegan diet on its own.
“Be careful with that,” Romano told him.
“I had high cholesterol, you know, 20 years ago, and my guy always told me, ‘Why don’t we go on the statin?'” Romano said, referring to a class of medications used to treat the condition.
“Every time, I said, ‘Let me do it myself, let me do it myself,’” he recalled. “I would go home, and I would eat right, not vegan, but I would eat a little healthier and get it down a couple ticks. …
“I go back, and it was 280. Now it’s 220. I go, ‘Ah!’ And he’d go, ‘OK, now you gotta get it down more,’ and I’d go home and think I was hot s—. I got it down already, so I’d start cheating, cheating. And that was the start of the cycle.”
Romano said his doctor would tell him that even though he did have high cholesterol, it didn’t necessarily mean that he was “in danger,” especially because everything else “checked out” and he was otherwise healthy.
That went on for “15, 16 years,” and then he had to have the stent placed.
Joking with Maron, Romano pulled out his phone and showed him “the alarm to take my pills,” saying, “That’s where I’m at right now.”
On a more serious note, the “Everybody Loves Raymond” star said, “If I could go back 20 years ago, I would have gotten on the meds, you know?”
During the podcast, Romano also revealed that, in addition to having issues with his heart health, he’s also at risk for developing diabetes.
“Here’s the kicker,” he said. “So, I’m on the meds, and it’s got me all down, you know. So,I figure, ‘Well, now I can go eat the food.’ My sugar level’s up now.”
He’s been told he’s prediabetic, another health issue to watch out for along with his cholesterol.