Here it is, already Wednesday, and I am only now putting up my first post for the week. There has been some household stuff to deal with, but mainly I have been running around town dealing with various medical appointments. Let me fill you in.
A little over 10 years ago I was happy with my physical condition. I practiced 2 to 3 hours a day (you better believe that being a musician is aerobic exercise), lifted weights 3 or 4 times a week, and was constantly on the go. Sure, I was overweight thanks to a rich diet and ingesting a couple of cases of beer a week. But I could still load out all our gear, play a 4-hour gig, load everything back in, and still make it to work a few hours later. My 240-pound frame was solid – I looked very much like a fire hydrant. I used to tell people that I was the strongest fat man they knew.
Then, Epilepsy happened. Depression, lack of physical activity, and weight enhancing medications like Depakote ballooned me up to 280 pounds within 6 months of my diagnosis. Over the years I have fought my weight with med changes, failed diets, and attempts at various physical activities that always wound up with me injuring myself, having seizures, or both. Now, at only 45, I have high blood pressure, arthritis in both knees and one hand, and serious respiratory problems.
My “Come to Jesus” moment occurred about a month ago, when I stepped on a scale and weighed in at 302 pounds. I had never been over 300 before. 296, sure, but somehow 300 seemed so much more significant and real. I had to do something. I went in to talk to my regular doc, and she suggested that my BMI of 48.8 (“normal” is 18 – 24) indicated that I look into bariatric surgery. There was one catch, though. As someone with intractable seizures, I was going to also have to get my neurologist to sign off on the idea of bariatric surgery as well before I even consulted with the surgeon.
The appointment with my Neuro is today, a few hours from now. I am incredibly nervous about the whole thing. What if he says yes, and I have to have a big section of my stomach removed? What if he says no, and I am stuck here in Jumbo-size Land? The thoughts chase each other through my head like a demented carousel. I haven’t slept more than 5 hours a night in quite a while.
But, the truth is, I can no longer be passive about this. After Lor had me watch “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” a couple weeks ago I at least have a backup plan if surgery is a no-go. I have to have something that will get enough weight off my frame so that I can actually start exercising again without injuring myself. If it takes surgery to do that, fine. If it takes a short term 100% juice diet, fine. I am just going to have to grit my teeth and push myself through the eruption of seizure activity that occurs whenever I start losing weight. It is a very different mindset for me, as I have spent twelve years trying to avoid seizures. But I do not want the moment to arrive when I step on a scale and see “350”, and am going to have to make avoidance of that my focus.
So, fair warning to everyone, there will be some health and weight loss posts scattered amongst the gaming articles from here on out. If I do end up going through with surgery, I will also start video blogging about that as well, since several video blogs have been so helpful to me in educating myself about this whole process. I am a big believer in “paying it forward” these days. I can’t afford not to be.
Feeling Really Large And Frightened,