Posted in Diet, Health

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.

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Posted in Health

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.

 

Posted in Diet

Discouraged

When I woke up today my right arm was almost completely asleep, and it hurt. No, I didn’t sleep on it. I sleep on my back. My neck and back are in such a condition that if I remain in one position for too long nerves are pinched and maybe even blood circulation diminished.

For the past several weeks I have been receiving injections in my lower back to help with pain. I don’t think I am going to continue. They have not helped. In some ways, it seems to have made things worse. I think stretching, exercise (whatever I can do) are the best courses to take.

I have posted any new pictures of my progress for a while. That is because I am not progressing, but regressing. My diet is suffering. I don’t know why I am having so much trouble staying on. Last year when I began it seemed so easy. Now I can’t seem to last more than a couple of weeks.

I still have a mind to keep fighting but is seems so hard now. I am somewhat discouraged by my pain. Sometimes I can’t rid my mind of thoughts that I may be in a wheelchair at some point before I’m old enough to be thinking about it. Quite frankly, it scares me. I don’t know how to go forward.

I would appreciate any ideas, prayers, or whatever.

Posted in Diet

248.5 Week 43

It is week 43. My starting weight was 267 pounds. I have lost weight, but, I have also gained weight. As of this morning, I weigh 248.5, a loss of 18.5 pounds. In the last 43 weeks, I have had a weight loss of up to 39 pounds. I ultimately failed to stick to my diet for nearly 8 weeks beginning around November. And when Thanksgiving rolled around I was completely off my program.

I didn’t give up. I was just struggling. And I’m still struggling, but I haven’t given up. I am in a nearly 2-1/2 month slump but I am still fighting. The keto diet is still the easiest way of eating I have come across so far. However, like probably everyone in this day and time, I am truly addicted to sugar & carbohydrates.

With some discipline, I am sure I can overcome the carb thing. I have already taken measures to rid the house of things I should not be eating. I find that my temptation comes when I get bored. I have to find something to do.

I still have not found a way to practice my saxophone without hurting my neck or back. I can’t really go to the gym, but I don’t really have to. There are lots of exercises I can do without going to the gym, but going there gets me out of the house for a while. Boredom. It is my enemy. I need to have something to do during the day to keep me busy. Television is not doing the trick:)

Not sure what this post is really about except to say, I’m still moving forward. I have the right stuff to eat on hand and I know foods to avoid. There are plenty of things, and even exercises, that can get me out of the house. I just have to do them.

Posted in pain

Doctors Visit

I had a doctors appointment today to talk about my increasing pain. As I suspected, there is really nothing more they can do for my lower back.  He did say he’d schedule another MRI. He thinks that maybe the vertebra below my lumbar fusion may be wearing out sooner than expected. I don’t want another surgery though. In the meantime, I will be receiving a shot for the pain.

I can still go to the gym if I want, but I’m not allowed, or rather, shouldn’t perform any exercises that compress my spine in any way. So military press is out. Squats are out. Bent over rows for my back are out. That leaves me mostly isolation exercises, which aren’t necessarily able to help me burn fat.

My goal was to do exercises that used large muscle groups because it is great for stimulating hormone production and burning fat. Squats was a big part of what makes that happen.  Now I will have to find other ways to stimulate the body to produce growth hormones (testosterone).

So, anyway, it seems I will be in pain for a while. The pain is so bad sometimes I can’t sleep. And sometimes I go for days without sleep. Hopefully, the shot will help, but my back is completely whacked out.

On a good note, my motorcycle has been repaired, and I went for a ride today. On the downside, it made my shoulders and neck hurt. So I don’t think I will keep it if I can’t ride it. I love riding but I can’t stand the pain.

Oh yea, My diet is holding fast. I haven’t gained any weight resulting from not going to the gym.

Posted in Diet, Health, pain

Still More Pain

The pain in my neck is increasing still. I made another appointment with the surgeon who performed my surgery. The medication I am taking does n0t stop my pain, but, makes me pretty dizzy; hydrocodone.

The surgery was supposed to  relieve neck pain but it seems to have made it worse. It was the same with my lower back. I don’t know why I keep listening to these doctors. I can promise you though, I have had my last spinal surgery.

If this pain ever goes away I will not complain about any other pain that may come, at least not to a doctor. I don’t think I can take another pain increase.

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.