W143 or W314 D1

So how does this go?

Myfitnesspal I’ve logged in over a year consistently – 372 days to be exact. I really have logged in over 2 years, but I logged food one day and somehow missed opening the app, which I don’t think I did, it says I missed a login… soooo it says 372 days.

I started this blog in 2012. I have restarted counts a few times… the last one stopped in December 2016 at week 75 when I started getting sick and I’ve not logged in at all since I’ve been sick.

So, again, how does this go? Am I on Week 1 again? Week 143 continuing from the last time? or Week 314 starting from 6 years ago at 2012?

I think, in the past, I’ve restarted weeks just to track where I began in this cycle or to give me motivation – I’m not entirely sure. However, we’re going to start with a recap of what I do know and go from there. I have virtually 6 years of tracking data here and in MFP to figure out what I’ve been doing plus 10 years before that of workout and food logs… I know I’m missing something. If I can work for a year with doctors to figure out what’s going on with my body then FFS I can surely figure out how to “stay on target” and deflate this Death Star.

Let’s start with the most recent year+ in recap:
December 2016 – I started a PSMF – a protein modified fast – consisting of mostly water, protein, and as many veggies as I wanted as long as they fit a certain category (not sugary, starchy, etc). And that seemed to be ok. I hadn’t had a Coke in more than a year and was quite proud of that. I was slipping into iced tea though
Mid-to-late-Jan-2017 – I started getting sick to my stomach – I kept going with the PSMF and felt great except my stomach. I was crampy, but it didn’t feel like food related, it was different. Like an ulcer, but not as bad. I wasn’t perfect on the PSMF and wasn’t losing weight – was just kind of hovering like always. My brain wasn’t keeping up though. I’d quit coke more than a year earlier but was drinking iced tea a lot to replace the Coke… so not much better now. My mental status was declining rapidly. I was not able to think clearly. My brain was in a severe fog and I ended up eating “normal” but that didn’t help at all. What should’ve been helping my brain in either way (PSMF or normal) wasn’t and I was starting to get stressed about work.
February 21 – my mental status had declined to the point that I could work, but I woke up and didn’t know who I was. I was aware enough to grab essentials and even grab my medical records and put them in a backpack. I drove to the hospital urgent care and checked in. I wasn’t even aware enough to look on my drivers license to think of my name. Yet I filled out the forms. I’ll tell you it was the weirdest moment in my life. I wrote everything down in a notepad so I could remember what I was told. Today, I can remember the entire day in great detail. That day, I couldn’t remember from one moment to the next what had just happened. They ran every test they could think of. full body xrays, brain ct, drug tests, blood tests, and they ruled out a bunch of stuff. When I was lucid enough to tell them the information they let me go home. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor for the next day
February 22 – Dr appointment with FNP – started Vitamin D – upped prozac dose – prozac was only for anxiety and repetitive thoughts not depression, but she thought i was depressed based on the mini questionaire. She noticed on exam that I might have carpal tunnel and referred me to a neurologist for a EMG to test nerve function.

The next dates are going to be a little sketchy as I don’t remember exactly and will come back after I look them up.

The next week I went for an EMG. While the neurologist was examining me he noticed a weird exam presentation of radiating pain in my left arm from my neck and thought I needed an MRI. We conducted the EMG and I have mild carpal tunnel both hands. I think the right one was worse.

I went back to my doctors office and had an xray of my neck and it showed weirdness so I was scheduled for an mri. Had an mri and went back to the neurologist.

Neurologist said I had Cervical Radiculopathy in my neck C3-C7 that was causing the arm pain and numbness and tingling.  All these years I thought I had “programmers neck” from sitting in the same position staring at my screen – I also had some issues with the nerves getting pinched in weird ways. So he recommended some decompression devices and physical therapy. I started gabapentin 100 to 200 mg for pain… that helped a lot

I went to physical therapy for a month and it helped.

my stomach pain didn’t go away – my neck didn’t hurt all of the time – Ii took gabapentin as directed and things were getting better. my memory was still not good at all. I was functioning at work and doing well. I still had to write everything down or I would forget completely.

Somewhere in here things get a little fuzzy and may be out of order slightly

I went to Urgent Care because the stomach pain had gotten so bad that I couldn’t take it. Urgent Care Nixa told me that it was because of the antibiotics and took me off them. I went home… didn’t get better. went to the doctor the next day because it didn’t get better… also saw neurologist. doctor said cdiff… didn’t get better and was getting worse and worse. Went to ER that night because I couldn’t take it. the pain was a 20 out of 10 and I was ready to cut it out.

I had duodenitis. Endoscopy showed no ulcer. I had a bacterial infection that caused my duodenum to get infected and swell and that was the cause of the pain. I was in the hospital for four days mostly drugged on Morphine. It was really a good time despite not getting anything done… morphine makes a good friend… a good short term friend – long term I can see how people get hooked.

After the hospital i went for my follow up with my doctor and was referred to MU for neurology because they’re near the Columbia VA which I’m told is one of the top hospitals for TBI work.

I was still eating quite well… but I gained 50 pounds after leaving the hospital in 6 weeks… why? stress? I wasn’t eating more. I wasn’t eating candy, carbs, etc. I was eating normal food. what the hell? So not only did I leave the hospital at 275ish but now I was over 315 pounds and I didn’t do anything different.

I would see my neurologist a resident at the Neuro Clinic – and we would start a treatment plan through the year.

My memory was still crap. I was getting by with lots of notepads but not great. I was forgetting more than remembering. My neck was still hurting a lot. I’d have to stop at the end of the day and go into the dark and quiet now – earplugs and eyemask.  Eventually, I’d get to where I’d take naps 2x a day for a couple hours to rest my eyes and brain so they wouldn’t hurt. I was working longer because of those naps. But somehow managing things.

We’d do an EEG – negative for seizures.

Neuropsych testing – they said I was normal intelligence — they were wrong, i’m a genius – I was clearly having an off day.  I mean they asked me who wrote Hamlet and I thought they said Hamilton and I had no idea… Shakespeare wrote Hamlet – who cares who wrote Hamilton? In any case, they noted there may be some deficit in my right frontal lobe that may need some testing or MRI imaging. My neural imaging from 2007 was negative for TBI from Iraq… so maybe 2009 car accident?

I was so angry at neuropsych testing I started drinking coke and eating sugary stuff because fuck that! I gained 50 pounds! I didn’t know about the results yet, but I was pissed that I’d gained weight and hadn’t changed anything.

I kept drinking coke, eating normal foods (meat, veggies, and an occasional donut – i mean one or two every couple weeks) – and nothing changed – weight = same. I also added caffeine tablets twice a day and a nicotine patch – hadn’t smoked in 10 years but my memory was fine when I smoked and drank coke… so why not?

The next steps I saw my resident neurologist again and he called in his attending. The attending asked me a few questions about my neck, the sleep, the headaches, and the work… then suggested topamax for migraines. I started topamax for migraines. They also wanted me to get a sleep study performed. my memory issues could also be related to lack of sleep and oxygenation thereof… you know, b/c I’ve been fat. they didn’t say that, but i am. They were also going to talk with a TBI doc at the VA.

I had an appointment – PA thought could be apneic – sleep study from 2002 said was not apneic which is why I had a rhinoplasty and turbinate reduction in 2005 after Iraq… but he also said there’s a chance that I might be type 2 narcoleptic so I’d get an mslt as well to test daytime sleepiness.

The pain for my headaches went away. No neck pain, no headaches for the first time in more than 10 years. I hadn’t noticed the pain because it was always there – now it was gone… so I noticed that it wasn’t there. My memory was still bad, but not as bad as it was before july so I could do my job and remember basic stuff.

Finally some answers. I scheduled an appointment for a psychologist just in case some memory issues were psychosomatic (another suggestion of the neurologist).

I had discovered some items about me that people said were normal but Aspergers-like. As I read book after book about love lives and Aspergers they were all idential to my two marriages. I read more… all identical to my life – i mean minor changes, but pretty much my life. At this point, I’m fair sure I am Aspergers (High Functioning Autistc – or Autistic Level 1). Talking with several psychologists they concurred unofficially.

I had an appointment with the anxiety specialist psychologist. I was given homework to write down life history items best and worst things… I didn’t know them. I mean everything before 1993 was gone or minor items here and there, before 1995 except for military stuff was a blur if I remembered at all. He doesn’t deal with Aspergers at all so I have to find someone for that.

I sat down to write down the couple of traumatic items in my life: car accidents, beat up in a public restroom… then I remembered all of my childhood… in great detail, not just a little detail, but details others wouldn’t remember.  My memory was back. A further appointment I would be told by my neurologist that my brain may have been actively suppressing pain and didn’t have time for memories. Now it didn’t need to do that work. It was a great flood of memories and they still come flooding in. My brain is also much faster than it was and it was already fast.

For an upcoming sleep study they removed me from my SSRI.

I went to NC to give a presentation and had some swelling in my legs, jaw tightness, chest and shoulder pain and decided to go to the hospital where I was hospitalized. I thought CHF or Mild MI – they did too. turns out my heart was 100% ok, my arteries were perfect – no concerns. my leg swelling was because I’m fat and the edema is because i’m too fat for my heart to pump efficiently… they didn’t say it like that, but i mean come on let’s be real. I’m now 330 and a year ago I was 270. Since I’ve been eating and drinking whatever I want I’ve gained 10 pounds?! that doesn’t seem right to me… when I did what I was supposed to I gained 50 in 6 weeks…. come on something is happening. In any case, the chest and shoulder pain were from seatbelt and driving with left arm for 9 hours. edema was from seated position 9 hours and being fat. jaw tightness could be from sleep but also nerves.

While in NC I had the opportunity to talk with three other Aspergers – it was like sitting in a place with three other me. it was fantastic. three people that understood what I said and I understood what they said. they acted like I did. they all studied the same things I did to fit in to society because they didn’t understand. they were diagnosed at a young age while I had not been. They were in their 20s while when i was young there wasn’t a diagnosis. My mom socialized me and taught me etiquette so I’d know how to behave in public and not say things like “what’s wrong with that fat lady?”

Things were coming together.

Sleep study – I was apneic. My mslt was cancelled in favor of another test coming up to fit for mask and see if that helped.

In the meantime, I’ve been sleeping on the couch in a semi-reclined position – when in the hospital in NC I slept in a semi-upright-reclined position and didn’t snore so I’ve been trying it out… less sleep, more rested, no snoring and much much much more energy and better memory and brain function it’s like I feel much much more normal than ever before.

So — now we’re up-to-date

Now what?

Well, I know I have one more appointment for a CPAP and some other minor stuff related to psychologists and Aspie stuff. What I want to focus on is losing weight – shape is ok… but weight is more important at this point… I’ll call it functional weight loss.

The idea is that I will lose weight, but balance it, as it should be, with functional exercises – not lifting and running, but biking, walking, etc. In just over a month I’ll be going to Disney with the family and I want to have some exercise to be able to walk around there with the family. I know in BCT we were able to go long distances in a very short amount of time. I think it can be done and we had 8 weeks to get to a goal weight and 2 miles in a specific run time. I think that’s possible – I’m not going to run 2 miles.

Today is the first day of that plan. My goal is to eat how I normally do. I’ve got a day filled with exercises that will happen off and on during the workday. I will be maximizing my days from now until the trip cardiovascularly. So even if I don’t lose weight, I’ll have the cardio to be able to walk distances.

So how will I track my progress? Well, on the 26/27 of March I was able to go 6 mins at 156 bpm heart rate WITH nitro and no propranolol – i’m on propranolol and the nitro is not in my system which it dropped my pressure quite a bit more – so I’m thinking I can do something similar… judge distance and time achieved by rate. how far can i go at what rate and for how long – since I’ll be working out on my bike it’s already at the highest setting for resistance so now it’s just a matter of getting my rate up – i have an SpO2 monitor for that – then I can measure time – so get the rate up, and go… then stay on for a duration even if the pulse drops down.  When I was running 5 min miles 15 years ago I would do sprints, same thing applies. I know HOW to do this – the question is in my shape can i do it and I believe that I can.

Day 1 begins now.

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