Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Hell of A Week

     For those of you following along on my journey, you may have gotten the impression that everything about this has been horrible and I am hating it. Well that's really not true. I have to say i LOVE my doctors and the support staff there. As of right now I am out on disability. Yes for being too fat! Can you believe it? Well it was interfering with my job, falling asleep at my desk, disheveled appearance from sweating on the walk into the office, etc. It was being brought up to me by my supervisors and they didn't want to see me being written up or worse. My doctors agreed and off on disability I went.
    My full time job now has been weight loss. The doctors were extremely concerned about my health. The stress i was living with everyday about worrying about losing my job and being sick was too much and pushed my normally not too bad blood pressure into the HOLY CRAP zone. I went from 140/82 to 185/105 in a few short weeks. Before I left the doctors office they  wanted me to speak to the nutritionist in their office to put me on their pre-op diet. I need to lose a significant amount of weight before they will even schedule the surgery. She was out that day but they made her call me on her day off to get this ball rolling.
     That evening i got a phone call from her and she was going over the new diet for me. I am sorry WHAT ?? I must have heard her wrong. You want me to replace two meals with protein shakes? I can only eat one meal a day and absolutely no starch with it? This was a nightmare for me. She said we needed to be very aggressive with the approach to help safe my life. Well how can I argue with that, I mean I am very important. So hear was how things were going to go. I had to go out and get a high protein low calorie protein shake mix and replace two meals a day with it. The third meal should be large salad and about 5 ounces of lean protein, turkey, chicken or fish(yeah right). No fish for me thank you. No snacks unless i absolutely need them. Well it turns out I absolutely needed them. However they were just that 2 small snacks a day like a handful of nuts or a fiber one bar.
       How was I going to do this? Doesn't she know I am addicted to food? But I had to try this and give it my all. I finally understood that this was my last chance. If i failed this i would slowly become someone  not ambulatory and eventually become bed ridden like the people i couldn't understand just a short time ago. The first couple of days were not that bad at all. I chalk that up to the excitement of trying something new. The shakes are pretty damn tasty too, chocolate of course. Everyone at home made it easier too. My partner Gus was doing it with me and my mom was not cooking and tried not to eat much in front of me. I told them both they did not have to restrict themselves because of me but they insisted. I must say this kind of support is more that anyone could ask for. It turns out what would bother me the most is the craving for food. Not being hungry, but just wanting to eat. I guess after a lifetime of eating whatever you wanted your mind gets use to the idea. I have found that chewing gum helps some. Not much but a little anyway and any tool i can use I will. Little did I know my biggest temptation was to come in the form of something small. My eight year old nephew!!!
      The other day, I was watching my 8 yo nephew and asked if he wanted me to make him lunch. He decided on Mac & Cheese, you know from the famous blue box. I made it for him and thought my God this smells good. I haven't had pasta or cheese in a few days and DAMN IT i want some. I held strong put half of it in his bowl and he had about 3 spoonfuls of it and was done. Now i had the task of throwing everything away and cleaning up. I sat in the chair in the living room afraid to even enter the kitchen. I knew i would lose control and there would be nothing to throw away anymore. I sent a 911 text to Gus, HELP FOOD EMERGENCY ..!! Well after some encouraging words from him i gathered all my strength and went into the kitchen. Now here is where i should tell you i was amazing and threw it all away with strength and poise. Mmmm weeellll thats not exactly how it happened. I knew i could not eat it all but i did want a taste. So I took one spoonful just to taste it and then threw it away. I proved to myself i could eat some and control myself from devouring everything in the kitchen like some sci-fi horror villain.
     So now my first week on the restrictive diet is coming to a close I am feeling a little better and moving more. So i decided to take a drive and get some exercise in my brother and sister in laws pool. My knee's tend to hurt when I to do much so i figured water would be the best place for me. It was a pretty chilly way to start the morning but after a while it was great and got a good workout in.

From here it was off to the weight watchers office. I wanted to weigh in and see how well this diet was working. I was hoping for a good number but preparing myself for a reality check. i was snacking on the nuts and bars throughout the week and i had that spoonful of processed crap in a box. So whatever happens I was going to be prepared. Well i was not prepared to hear that i had lost 20 pounds in one week! 20 pounds !!!!! Are you kidding me? What was I on the Biggest Loser? I was all smiles. This one little piece of news has made the past few weeks all worth it. The nightmare of the sleep study, the cancer scare even the hoops i have to jump through to get the surgery approved. 20 pounds is a small drop in a big big bucket but its a start.
     So all in all it was a great week. lost some weight and took out 4 tests all in one day at the hospital. Actually i was in and out of there in under 3 hours you cant beat that at all. Blood work, urinalysis, chest x-ray and ultrasound of legs all in 3 hours. P.S. legs are fine no blood clots in them at all. Next obstacle, Family Party 4th of July weekend. Yikes!! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When fat becomes sick

I know i am fat, i have been fat for 25 years. However i am not one of those people who was always fat, if you look back at pictures of me as a kid you wont see a chubby little 7 yo looking for more birthday cake. See ...

My weight came on around puberty. That's a blog for another time. So although not always fat i know i am. But i was always amazed at the people I saw on TV that were bed ridden and wore sheets as haute couture. Didn't they see this coming? They must have... Well I am here to tell you it can happen and it is very very sneaky. Doctors say high blood pressure is the silent killer, wrong its obesity.
    For most of my adult life I have been fat, but quite functional. Yes, there were things i could not do anymore that i wanted to do or really enjoyed but I was still healthy. However last year while i was trying to lose weight the old fashioned way of exercising, I had a hernia ulcerate. One of the worst pains I have ever felt in my entire life. I then had to have emergency surgery to correct. That I did and recovered, however during the recovering process, the weight started to come back on. Slowly, I didn't even notice. Until i started to get tired from washing my own hair. Should I be out of breath from showering???? When did getting dressed cause me to sweat?? Oh my god! When did i go from being fat to being SICK? Walking, even the littlest walk from a car to store, became a challenge. Do you know how embarrassing it is to have your friends want to go shopping with you and you tell them you have to wait in the car because your back starts to hurt before you even get out through the parking lot?
    Well I am not going to take this, No Sir! My job has a gym I will just go back and take some of this weight off like I used to be able to do. No big deal right?? Wrong!. I got to the gym one evening, two work friends were already there. I got on the treadmill and walked about 30 seconds before i knew this was a big mistake. Sweat already forming on my head. Shame starting to form in my soul. I cant get off I JUST got on. What will everyone think? After 3 minutes it didn't matter my body was screaming I had to get off or i would fall off. I would have to think of an excuse, or just hang around and try and sneak out when no one was looking. No such luck. However I have to say my friends at work were great, they pushed me a little to try and get me back on a bike, but when they saw me struggle to even get on it they backed down. So know i just had to leave without looking anyone else in the eyes. That was when I realized just how easy it is to go from fat to sick and not even realize it. in the past few months i have felt my self getting sicker. Falling asleep at work from lack of sleep due to apnea. Giving up on exercise because it is too difficult to move such a large body. So now I understand those people who need to be cut out of the house. What I do not understand is why they let it continue.
      I will not be that person. This is why I decided the weight loss surgery had to happen. My life will not become a made for TV special. But it will be special, that i will guarantee. Come follow along...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Concert

Back in the late 1990's, I want to say '97 or '98, my father and my (maternal) uncle were both diagnosed with Small Cell Carcinoma of the lungs. Lung cancer to you and me. At the time my parents, my brother and his family and I all lived in a big house together. Two of my nephews were born but were still pretty young, 3 & 5. Well they couldnt say cancer but they said that grampa had "the concert". A little over 2 years later and just over 24 hours apart from each other, they passed away. They lost their battle with the concert.

They are still missed to this very day.
          For the past 2 1/2 weeks I have had a little voice in the back of my mind. "Do I have it? Do I have the concert too?"  I didnt think I did. I didnt feel sick. But as i sat in that doctors office waiting for my initial visit I had to ask myself, how many people sat here asking themselves the same question to only to really be sick. Perhaps this was the last doctors office they wold ever have to visit again. I am sure many thought the same thing. "This has got to be a mistake."
      Well for my friends and family that I have not spoken to yet, for me, it WAS a mistake. The doctors dont think its anything to serious. they will continue to watch my blood and white blood cell counts but he has cleared me, at least for his part, for the procedure. One less hurdle and big sigh of relief. As much as I love music, this was once concert I am glad I missed.
                                                 RIP George Walters and Frank Granger