Posted in Health, surgery

Report on my Dad

daddyI am back home in South Carolina now. For the past two weeks, I had been in Texas visiting my Father, who has been ill. I went there because when I heard about his condition it scared me. I lost my mom in 2013 and I never had the chance to tell her how much she meant to me. I wasn’t about to miss that chance with my dad.

I was there to assess what his health actually was. It was not as dire as it could have been, or as bad as my imagined scenario. And now that he is getting the proper help he will be even better. I left him in good hands with my brother and two sisters and his nieces and nephews; all of whom care about and love him very much.

achalasiaHis issue was related to not being able to eat. His diagnosis is a condition called, Achalasia.

Achalasia is a rare disorder of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. It is characterized by enlargement of the esophagus, impaired ability to push food down toward the stomach (peristalsis), and failure of the ring-shaped muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), to relax. It is the contraction and relaxation of the sphincter that moves food through the tube (http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/achalasia).

For the past two weeks my dad has been on a clear liquids diet; chicken and beef broth, protein shakes, juice, and water. He is very tired of it. He has lost a lot of weight. He is being scheduled for surgery to improve the condition. The goal is to dilate the ring-shaped muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, or lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which will hopefully enable him to eat more solid food again.

Coughing Man - ArrowsNow I was adopted, and I don’t think this condition is one that is hereditary. I think anyone can get it. I have already had problems with a hiatal hernia and GERD. I have taken medications for years to reduce acid reflux. I now control it by not over eating, and not eating certain types of foods. You’re probably thinking I avoid spicy foods, but you’d be wrong. It is high carb foods that are the real problem. My digestive system does not appreciate high carb foods. I get gassy, painful digestive movements, and the worst smelling waste possible in a human. Whereas, when I eat high-fat carb and high fat diet digestion is very easy, less gassy, and therefore painless, and waste is not so smelly.

When I first encountered the problem of gerd/hiatal hernia I was in my 30’s. I ate a lot (I mean a lot) of high carb foods. I was literally stuffing myself beyond my stomach’s capacity. I also ate very fast. Maybe its a military thing. My father was in the military and also eats a lot (more than he should), and he eats very fast. I think the way we eat has a lot to do with digestive conditions we may develop later in life.

I am glad my father is getting the help he needs. I hope he will slow down and eat better foods. I have, and I feel 100% better when I really stick to low carb and high fat, or Keto. This is not where I was intending to go with this post. I guess it was on my mind more so since my dad’s recent stomach issues. Well I guess I will end this here.

Take care yourself and your digestive system. It is very important in the long run.

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Posted in Health, surgery

Follow up with my Surgeon

Since my surgery I have had a really hard time staying on track. I have been eating sugars for a couple of days after dinner; cookies, ice cream, caramel popcorn. I don’t know what has happened.

Maybe I’m bored. I am in recovery from this surgery, which is proving to be quite painful. For the past couple of days I have had a migraine headache.

I thought maybe my high blood pressure was causing the headache, but now I’m beginning to think the pain is cause the rise in blood pressure.

During this initial recovery period I’m supposed to be taking it easy; not supposed to lift anything weighing more than 10 pounds. This whole thing just seems to have knocked me off my game. My mind is back to eating out of Borden.

The total time for the fusion to heal is supposed to be about a year. I won’t be released to exercise or go to the gym until I see the surgeon on July 5th. He’ll x-ray my neck to see if things a re still in place, and healing correctly. I hope the pain starts to decrease soon.

Posted in pain, surgery

Surgery Update

I am in recovery. My surgery went well but I have a really sore throat. It will be that way for a few days I suppose.

They gave me good pain medication when I first woke up, Percocet. They have now switched to Neurontin which is non-addictive, and not as strong. So it takes a little longer to work, but it does.

Dr. Highsmith seems to think the surgery went very well and that I should have some relief from my neck pain. He also said that my grip was very much stronger than it was before, since the nerve is no longer being pinched.

Once I am healed I should be able to go back to lifting heavier weight at the gym.
Overall I think it went much better than my lower back surgery in 2010. And I think it will heal more quickly.

I have not eaten for nearly 33 hours. And though I am not hungry at the moment, I suspect in about an hour or so I will be extremely hungry, because they have stopped my IV, and I am up and about.

If I don’t eat here at the hospital before being discharged this morning, I will most certainly stop and waffle house and have some scrambled eggs and sausage. That is, if I can swallow it.