28 Down

28 Down

dubw9s6psfyfb8hxm5wjfq.jpgWell, I can’t believe there was not more interest in the last post. Anywho, I’m down 28 pounds as of today! That’s another 18 pounds since the last time I reported. But it is definitely not because of medication now. I did it on purpose.

Intermittent fasting has been helping a lot. I am still doing the ketogenic diet for the most part. I have found that if I deviate from that with higher carbs or add sugar to my diet, I don’t feel so well. I don’t know if this happens because of fasting or not.

I have been fasting for 20 hours and eating during a 4-hour window. Sometimes if I eat too many carbs or add sugars during that time, the next fast is more difficult. And sometimes it is just difficult. Most of the time though, the fast is fine. I don’t feel hungry and I have plenty of energy.

Why is this not the same as calorie restriction? The way I understand it calorie restriction means to restrict calories at every meal, eating less all day. Eating in this way the body releases insulin every time you eat. However, insulin is a hormone that tells the body to store energy. So restricting calories doesn’t work after a while because it signals the brain that there is a lack of food and the body adjusts by using fewer calories for energy. The result is that the insulin being release all day is storing everything you eat in your fat cells.

With fasting, the longer time without food lowers the levels of insulin in your body after it has done its work of dealing with your blood glucose levels. Once the glucose is gone and insulin levels are back where they belong, the body can then begin to use your fat stores as energy. That’s the way the body is supposed to work. There is very little hunger being felt during this time.

During the fast, I have to be careful not to do anything that will signal the brain to release insulin. The book (Delay, Don’t Deny) refers to it as clean fasting. Water and black coffee are your only beverages. You can’t use diet sodas or anything with artificial sweeteners. When something sweet touches your taste buds, whether it has calories or not, triggers the brain to release insulin in response. Artificial sweeteners trick the brain into thinking that calories are being consumed. This ruins your fast because of the presence of insulin in the blood. This stops the process of fat being used for energy. Then, of course, you get hungry and eat at the wrong time.

Sometimes this happens. So, I just have a meal and then begin a new fast. And sometimes I only fast for 16 hours leaving myself an 8-hour window of eating time. Sixteen hours is plenty of time for the body to clear itself of blood glucose and lower insulin levels and burn some fat for energy. However, being a type 2 diabetic, I want to give my body more time without higher levels of insulin. Apparently, lowering levels of insulin give the body a chance to reverse insulin resistance by giving the receptors a break from the bombardment of insulin release.

So, I am very excited. I am losing weight. I feel better. I’m pretty sure my inflammation is decreasing. I have less back pain; less pain in general. And in general, I feel pretty damned good. Unless I eat too many carbs or sugar. I suspect that will change once my body is able to heal itself a bit more.

Down 10 Pounds

Down 10 Pounds

10-poundsI am down about 10 pounds this week. As I said before, my new medications are suppressing my appetite somewhat. Some of that is nausea but that is slowly subsiding. I am also researching foods and nutrition again to see if I can do better.

I have been working to eat the right stuff. And with the meds helping me it has been easier to stay on track. I even have plenty of the right foods in the house for now. I have said in other posts that it pays to be prepared. I am trying to be more prepared by having in the house what I need. It is much easier to stay on track when everything you need is available at your fingertips.

One of the things I have come across in my readings is lectins, which is a protein in several plant-based foods with the ability to wreck your gut health. I am talking about something called leaky gut syndrome. Some doctors (Dr. Gundry in particular) believe that leaky gut leads to a whole other host of health issues.

Hey, I need all the help I can get.  Dr. Gundry’s research offers some hope that I could get a lot of my health back, eliminate some physical pain, and even get off some of the medications I’m on.

So, I’m 10 pounds. I would like to continue losing weight. That in itself can improve a lot of my issues. It is not even about the looks anymore, or the clothes, or how attractive I may or may not feel. At this point, I would settle for feeling better and being healthier.

I’ve bought a couple of new books: The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease And Weight Gainand,

The Plant Paradox Cook Book: 100 Delicious Recipes To Help You Lose Weight, Heal Your Gut, And Live Lectin Free.

I hope to learn much more about the effects of lectins on my health and how to deal with it. I long to feel better, be healthier, and actually feel like I would like to live longer. If aging continues in the way it has gone so far, I am not so sure I would like to live longer. In the grand scheme of things, I would like to be around for my kids, meet my grandkids, and enjoy my life. At the moment, getting there and feeling good at the same time is a challenge.

Aging is not for cowards!

Losing Weight

Losing Weight

I’m losing weight but mostly because my new medications make me nauseous. So I don’t feel like eating most of the time. Seems like an awful price to pay, but at the moment, I guess its worth it to be able to keep my blood glucose levels within the normal range.

Normally, I am not eating things I should not be. However, it does happen. And that usually does not go well with the medications I am on. Add bloating and stomach pain to the already present nausea and you have a very unhappy Tony T.

So, because of those issues, it is like I am being trained to stay away from foods I should not eat. In a way, it is like being punished when I eat the wrong thing. In order to continue feeling okay, I try more intentionally to eat the right stuff.

My blood glucose levels have been way better I have to admit. I wish I had had the strength to do it without medications. However, I could not. So, here I am, diagnosed with a disease (diabetes) that contributed to my Mom’s death. It is a little scary. Only a little because of the unknown of what happens after death. I have been blessed in life, but I have had enough of a rough time that my last day in this life will be a welcome beginning to rest.

I know. That sounds rather dark. I am not depressed. I am not suicidal. I am just tired. I have great people in my life. My kids, my family, my friends, my girlfriend. With them, I am always having a good time and learning more about love every day.

So, losing weight can’t be too bad.  I could stand to lose about 70 pounds. If I could do that, it may ease some of my physical pain, which is substantial. I could possibly eliminate some of the medications from my life. Maybe I would have more energy. Wouldn’t that be great!

Anyway, that is what I have to report today. I hope you all are blessed in your own lives.

Alas, Diabetes

Alas, Diabetes

So, I had my numbers checked at my last doctor’s visit. Technically, they were so close to the type II diabetes barrier my doctors has gone ahead and taken measures to get things under control. She considers the numbers close enough to diagnose the disease.

So,  the first thing that is different: new medication, a weekly injection of Trulicity. So far, the only side effects are a little bit of nausea and a lack of hunger for most of the day. Oh, and the freaking pain of the needle entering my body.

Already, my blood glucose is lower. I feel about the same. Probably because my main issue is back and neck pain, and that has not changed. I consider those mechanical issues. Other than that I had not felt at all ill before the medication. And I feel no differently now.

My blood pressure had been high. Hopefully, with the new meds (some other stuff specifically for that), the pressure will be coming down.

It’s all about my health at this point. Stand by.

Dizziness & Allergies

Dizziness & Allergies

Lately, I have been light headed and somewhat close to dizziness. I thought maybe my blood pressure was high; it wasn’t. I thought maybe my blood glucose levels were off; they were not. I now believe it is due to a high pollen count. Everything was covered in the stuff this morning.

I stayed outside most of the day. I took it upon myself for the first time since I have had my motorcycle to change my own tires. I watched several videos on YouTube.

I bought tools, tires, and more tools. I started with the front because I had already worked on the front brake in the past. I got the front wheel off easily enough. Getting the tire off of the wheel went as planned, but it was harder than I expected. And it certainly took longer than I expected.

Getting the new tire on the wheel went as planned, except that it was harder than I thought, and of course, took longer than anticipated. I got the tire on, got it inflated, and then balanced it. Balancing was the easiest part of the process. Getting the wheel back on the bike was a little bit of a struggle for one person, but it went fine.

I was covered in oil and greasy dirt. Took the bike for a spin and everything was fine. I will tackle the back tire tomorrow. That should prove quite interesting.

After being outside all day my lightheadedness is almost gone. My ears are ringing very loudly though. My back pain is a little less. Perhaps I just needed some fresh air.

I have a doctors appointment on Thursday. Hopefully she can get to the bottom of the issue. That’s it for now.

New Body Mysteries

New Body Mysteries

Lately, I have been getting these really swollen bumps on my left shoulder, a rash I guess. At first, I thought they were bug bites, but, they are only on my upper left arm and shoulder. They are very itchy.

I don’t know whether to go to the doctor about them or not. As I age it always seems there is some new thing happening with my body. If it is not a new pain it is an ear infection or something happening with my skin. It gets really tiresome.

Sometimes I get a little worried when multiple things are happening at once. Like today, I have the itchy rash on my shoulder, and, a pain in my right armpit. Armpit pains alarm me because it is usually lymph node issues cause by something in whatever deodorant I may be using. I have tried many different ones trying to find one that doesn’t clog my nodes.

Photo on 2-15-19 at 2.44 PM.jpg

While I write this I am considering going to the ER to have the rash checked out. You can’t really see how swollen it is in the picture to left. But my arm is completely lumpy. And it itches insanely.

I hate going to the ER with something like this but my doctor’s office is already closed, and they don’t open on weekends.

Like I said, I don’t think these are bite because it is only happening on my left upper arm and shoulder. Nothing on the rest of my body. It has been happening on and off for the past month or so. I wouldn’t be so concerned if it had only been just the last few days.

If I go this weekend I’ll let you know what I find out. I just don’t want to end up with some flesh-eating bacteria working its way up to what little brain I have left.🤪

Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure

It has been high but I don’t know why. And I mean stroke and heart attack high! My doctor had increased my med dosage an few months back but did not help.

I saw her last week and it was still high:142/100. So, she added another medication and in only 6 days it has come down to near normal numbers. This morning it was 127/83. I was very pleased,and, I feel better.

I am also feeling better because I am not driving a school bus any longer. I do have to find another job though. You know how when you’re working, and the money is good, and you start spending more and making new bills? Yeah, I did that. I am not completely sunk yet. I can conceivably pay off the debts I’ve created very slowly, or I can get a job and pay them off like I was doing before.

However, I am not worried about it. I will find a job eventually, even if I have to deliver pizzas in my car. And that’s not really a bad gig. I only need so much to get by. Being retired military helped immensely.

The only thing that really disappoints me is that I will not be able to buy that new motorcycle I have been wanting for the last 11 months. I wanted to buy a Harley Davidson. After test riding a few I can’t stop thinking about them. One day I will though.

Anyway, that is about all I have to say on this post. I feel like my health is improving. I am getting better and better reacquainted with my diet. And I am slowly but surly taking measures to improve.

Journey Back

Journey Back

I am trying my best to get back on my diet of choice, the Ketogenic Diet. It is a diet that has worked well for me in the recent past. It seems hard to get started though. And if you haven’t heard or saw on my other blog, I am no longer a school bus driver. I decided to give the job up.

The job itself was not causing my failure on my diet. I just haven’t been disciplined or cared enough. The job was causing a great deal of stress though. All I could do when I got home every day was sleep. I was sore, near physically ill from the stress, and dreading the next day. On weekends, I would go through several bottles of wine. This, I believe, was a result of job stress.

I haven’t worked there now for about 3 weeks. I feel like I’m becoming uncoiled finally. I was wound pretty tightly; tight muscles, joint pain, neck pain, and back pain. I’m starting to feel better. Before I took the job, I had begun to practice the saxophone again and learn some tunes. All that ended slowly when I started driving. Eventually, I could not find the energy to continue. Just this week, I remembered what my musical goals were. I had planned to be in a group by this time, or, at least doing some solo work.

I feel I became really unhealthy while driving the school bus. I don’t think I will ever go back to it. So now, since I’ve started feeling better, I intend to try to go all the way. Not even a weight loss goal, just a goal of eating better. I need to decrease some of the inflammation in my body. I need to send my triglycerides in a downward trend, and, I need to lower my blood pressure. The keto diet was doing all of that.

I am a little scared though. I don’t want to fail. And I know I shouldn’t think about it in those terms, but, its hard not to.

Also, I need to get engaged again in some sort of exercise. I guess I will approach all of this one step at a time. And of course, it was helping to post here on my blog. It sort of kept me honest. Anyway, that’s what it is right now. Wish me luck.

Doctors, Doctors, Doctors

Doctors, Doctors, Doctors

Yesterday I had a CT Scan with a contrasting agent.  Doctors are trying to figure out why I am having pain in my left ear with no infection. The pain has been excruciating. Sometimes I can’t close my teeth together. My ears ring really loudly.

Today however, I am headed to the hospital with my daughter, who is having surgery on her right hand. She got hit with the college level fast pitch of a softball one too many times last season in the same exact spot. Her wrist has been swollen most of summer so far. She has been in pain since the last time she was hit back in April.

The doctors seemed to think it would heal on its own eventually. But Kat wanted it taken care of through surgery. I hope that it is an issue that can be solved surgically.

Personally, I hate surgery. For me it has never worked out the way it should. My lower back surgery, though deemed a success by the surgeon who performed it, has caused me nothing  but pain since 2010. I had surgery on my neck two summer ago but my neck still hurts, though I think the pain I now feel is a new issue. I had carpal tunnel repair this past December on my right hand and my wrist still hurts.

So, I’m not a fan of surgery. Perhaps it will be different for my daughter. She is younger and stronger. And did I mention she is younger and stronger? Yea. Hopefully, she won’t be out of commission too far into the next school year, and will be ready for softball season. That is what she is shooting for.

Time for a Checkup

Time for a Checkup

I am headed to the doctor’s office this morning. I have had somewhat of a relapse with my right hand. I had carpal tunnel corrective surgery in December. It was doing fine until a few weeks ago. I believe pulling the parking brake lever on the school bus re-injured my hand. When pulled out, the lever sends a shock wave through my hand. After three months of that my dominant hand is becoming my weaker hand because of the new pain in my wrist.

So today I am basically going to my doctor to be referred to the doctor who did the surgery. And not only for my right hand, but, my left also, which is showing the symptoms I had in the right before surgery. I also have an ear infection which has been with me since the beginning of April. I have gone through two rounds anti-biotics yet it persists.

Also, the pain in my neck has increased to a level I can’t even describe. Sometimes it feels like there is a knife in my neck (or what I imagine a knife in the neck feels like). And sometimes it feels like really hot water is being poured down my back starting at my neck.

So I’m hoping to see both the surgeons who operated on my hand and my neck. Sometimes I feel like I’m falling apart. I will also be giving some blood for my annual checkup. I’m not looking forward to that.