Doc says watch my diet

Aug 05, 2011

I received a mailing from my health insurer saying that past medical information indicates that I may have issues with my liver and should see my doctor. I made an immediate appointment. My doc had a more detailed letter from my the insurance company. During my gastric bypass surgery, I volunteered to be part of a test group that allowed liver biopsies to investigate the incidence of fatty livers in people who have been obese for a long time. I never heard the results, so assumed everything was okay. But my doctor says there was apparently indications of cirrhosis.

I went to the lab the next morning for an ultrasound and blood test. The next day, the doctor's nurse told me that the liver, and aorta were all "within tolerances".  I still have those pesky gallstones.

But the doctor told me to avoid fatty foods and lose more weight, because I could still develop cirrhosis... not to mention the gall stone issue.  I guess I was assuming that my gastric bypass would let me eat more fatty foods like steak and hot dogs and such but I am wrong.

I admit, i was kind of bummed out. But my doctor has never been one to mince words. He's always been concerned with my health and tells it like it is. It's a wake up call.

Do I feel healthy?

Jun 20, 2011

Healthy? HELL YEAH!  I feel so good that it makes it tougher to motivate myself reach my goal weight..... you know the goal weight.. the one on the charts that seem ridiculously low?

My sleep apnea has lessened
My blood pressure is under control
I haven't had any gall bladder attacks lately
I don't have the pain in my arthritic knees  (unless i go overboard on exercise)
I haven't had a repeat episode of a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis (nearly died)
I have ridden my bicycle more than 900 miles so far this year.
I hit the gym for circuit training three times a week.

I also try to make more health improvements.
I had a eyesight problem corrected with laser surgery.
I just had surgery to hopefully repair a chronic sinus problem.

And I OBEY my doctor.  (Even if I can't ride a bike for TWO WEEKS after my sinus surgery)

Sure.. I'd get a second opinion if I had serious questions about a physician's instruction. But in general, my doctors have had pretty solid advice.

I used to dread holidays @ 500 plus pounds.

Jun 19, 2011

I guess the best way to describe my old attitude toward holidays and special occasions like birthdays would be "avoidance". I hated it when my wife would pressure me to celebrate.  Celebrate? Celebrate what? 

Celebrate that I had to drag myself out of  my Lazy Boy chair and feel the pain in my arthritic knees as I got the house ready for guests?

And I definitely hated "celebrating" when I would assume that friends and relatives who hadn't seen me in a while would be wondering how I had "let myself go", and were probably taking bets on how much more weight I had gained.

I suppose I could have been a better person by embracing "fat acceptance".  There were times in my life where I went to the shore knowing people would be saying.. "Look! A beached whale!"  I only did that because I wanted to grab some parts of life that I couldn't get back. Taking my kids to the beach was something I couldn't put off doing.  They grow up  too fast.

But there are many other special times that my family and I missed because of my morbid obesity.

Thanks mostly to my weight loss surgery, I'm at a weight were I can fit into just about any seat.. Including stadium seats.

So I spent father's day with my eldest son, daughter and her fiancee (my wife snapped the pic) a Progressive field watching a rain delayed, extra innings ball game.  The Tribe beat the Pirates 2 to 5 with a home run on the last play of the game.
I ate a hot dog (some of the bun) and I didn't have the urge to sneak away and get more food. I enjoyed the company of family.  What a great day!


Back home from surgery.

Jun 13, 2011

I'm home from outpatient sinus surgery this morning.  They gave me 325 mg percocet pills.. Take two tablets every four hours as needed.  I had my surgery this morning and it is now about 6:30PM. I really don't feel a lot of pain. The area around my nostrils are tender to the touch and I feel as if I have a dull sinus headache. They gave me Fentanyl for pain at the hospital.

I'm one of those people who don't like to take a lot of pills. (Pretty funny, considering how many vitamins and minerals we RNY patients take). But I also was sent home with Percocet after my RNY and never took one of them.

I guess I'm looking for feedback from people (especially with sinus surgery experience) if they experienced more pain the night of surgery.. the day after... or days after.

I don't know if I should take one or two just as a precaution before bedtime or just wait for signs of pain. I don't know how long the effects of Percocet takes to kick in.


WLS.. still the best decision of my life.

Jun 08, 2011

I was riding my bicycle this morning. It was just after the sun came up and was lighting up the farm land along the bike trail. The air smelled so nice. It wasn't too warm yet.  I was wishing I could just stay home today and ride my bike more.
But then I thought how lucky I am to be able to go out for a ride before going to work.  I know what it's like to be out of work. When I lost my job a decade a go and was morbidly obese, I felt really hopeless. Out of work and so fat that no one would hire me. But I eventually found work.

And now that I'm half the man I used to be (weight wise that is).. I find time to indulge my favorite past time (bicycling) and still go to a job that I love.

So on this summer like day, I decided to dress like people used to back in the early part of the last century.
I put on a straw hat and suspenders and went to work. A coworker snapped a photo.


282 hrs, 29 mins, 19 seconds of bliss

May 17, 2011

That's how much time I have spent riding my bicycle since early last year.

I have a gps that keeps track of my distance, time, heart rate, calories burned and other factors when I ride my bike.

I began using the gps back in February of last year.. five months after my RNY surgery.

My 11 mile ride this morning put me at more than the 3,005 mile mark.

If someone told me a couple years ago that I would be hopping on a bike whenever the weather permits, and riding the equivalent distance from New York City to Vancouver, British Columbia .. I would have told them they were crazy.

But there are other day to day changes in my life that still amaze me.

On Mothers Day. I got up early and made my wife an egg, cheese and sausage strata.
I made a tasty fruit salad with fresh cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes, kiwi, pineapples and mango.
I stood at the sink and cut up the fruit.  No longer were my arthritic knees achy trying to hold up my formerly 500+ pound body.

My kids came over and we had a nice breakfast.

We didn't do a lot of things, or buy a lot of expensive gifts. But my wife said it was one of the best Mother's Day she ever experienced.

Taking time to smell the roses (or cow manure)

May 04, 2011

The wet, cold weather has prevented  me from doing as much bike riding as I would like, so when I left work today under sunny skies and dry conditions, I headed right to the bicycle trail.

I was making real good time and felt good with lots of energy. I  made the turn for home as the sun was setting. I could hardly wait to see what my total time would be.  But when I passed the local farm, I saw the cattle grazing in the field with the sun behind them.. I had to stop and take out my phone and take this picture.

I love having goals like faster times on my bike. But sometimes I have to step back and take a moment to remember why I am on this weight loss journey. It is to become healthier, hopefully live longer,  and enjoy the life I had deprived myself of all of those morbidly obese years.

I am not here to trade one obsession for another.

I finished my ride of sixteen miles tonight in about an hour.  And hey... if I can increase my riding speed by about ten miles an hour... I'll be as fast as Lance Armstrong!

(I can dream, cant I?)


Maybe it's a guy thing?

Apr 27, 2011

Is it just a guy thing?  One thing that really brings me down is having car problems that cause me NOT to have a set of wheels.

Not only do I dislike not being able to get around as much.. I think it also bothers me if I can't make the repairs myself and have to PAY someone else to fix the car.

My car has been in the shop since Monday night to repair the front end.

To get to work Tuesday morning, my wife had to drop me off on the way to her job.  That means I had to start work about  three hours early.. It was a long eleven hour day.

I decided this morning that I didn't want to be at work that long.. so I rode my bicycle to work.

I completed the seven and a half mile trip in a half hour. The sun was out and it was warm.

It was better than driving.. but I still want my car back soon.


The simple joys of life.

Apr 26, 2011

We finally got enough of a break from the rain that I could cut my lawn tonight. Well.. okay.. The ground was really too wet and the mower's wheels left some muddy ruts.

But the sun was out and the temperature was warm enough to allow me to wear a sleeveless tee shirt.

And I actually enjoyed mowing my lawn. 

It wasn't a chore like it was a couple of years ago when every step brought pain in my feet, my ankles and my knees.

I didn't break out into a sweat.

I finished the job in less than an hour, instead of taking two hours like it did when I weighed more than 500 pounds.

And when I was done.. my wife had me take out the trash. 

Life is pretty good, wouldn't you say?

Something didn't feel quite right today

Apr 23, 2011

All day today.. something just didn't seem right.  I couldn't even put the feeling into words.

Then I discovered later in the day that my underwear was on backwards!

But that's about all that was wrong.

The temperatures outside finally got near 70 degrees and the sun came out.

Even though it was a bit windy, I went for a 26 mile bike ride for a couple of hours.

It was great.

It was especially great when I think back two years ago at this time when I weighed 413 pounds.

My three grown children are home and I look forward to spending Easter with them.