Category Archives: The Doctor

Doctor’s Update

So, the nurse practitioner I saw yesterday was saying that what I experienced was just low blood sugar fainting. She asked me all about my diet and even said that I should start eating breads and peanut butter. They said I might need more protein (which I don’t think I do because I eat a TON of protein) and that I need to eat foods that have a low glycemic index (which I already do in the form of berries and vegetables).

I’m not entirely pleased with the answer I got as after looking at what I eat, my blood sugar should NOT have been that low that day. I’m thinking about getting a blood sugar monitor to check myself.

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Passing out sucks.

Ow

Ow

I was hoping to have a post about my trip to Disney World, but this is a bit more important. Friday night was interesting… I fainted. After running for my train (and missing it) I suddenly felt very light headed and hot. I opened my jacket and made my way to the cold platform to get some fresh air. Suddenly I started feeling very woozy and took a few steps to head for a bench. I didn’t make it. I collapsed. I smashed my head and knees on the ground, broke my glasses and gashed my brow. I was bleeding profusely. An ambulance was called. I was carted to the ER on a stretcher.

After some checks with the doctor, my neck was found to be ok. More of a whiplash effect from smashing my head on the ground, but the cut over my brow required stitches. The EMTs and doctors all asked me if I was drunk, high or on medication. I said no, the only thing is that I’ve lost 100lbs over the past year and have been having some low blood pressure issues like this in the past few months. I’ve never had a fainting spell like this before. They asked if I had surgery for it or if it was lost naturally. I told them it was diet and some exercise.

The ER doctors were all very nice. They treated my wound, pumped me full of fluids and asked me all the relevant questions. Luckily, I never once lost my memory of the event. Even when I fainted, I remember seeing the ground rushing up to kiss my head. The worst bit was having my knees so badly scraped. Skinning your knee sucks. My head never hurt, surprisingly.

My head required 6 stitches. Interestingly, during my application of lidocaine I had no sensitivity to it. This confused the doctors quite a bit. They had me bracing for the worst pain being the application of the lidocaine. I felt NOTHING. I had a CT scan which came back negative (except that I seem to have chronic sinusitis.) My diagnosis: syncope (unknown reason).

Off to see my doctor and find out what’s wrong with me. After looking up Lidocaine, I found that people insensitive to it have this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypokalemic_sensory_overstimulation

and I’m wondering if I suffered from this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypokalemic_periodic_paralysis

Today’s weigh-in 219lbs

Broke my glasses... that sucked the most.

Broke my glasses… that sucked the most.

less bandages

less bandages

Removing these tabs sucked

Removing these tabs sucked

Here's my 6 stitches

Here’s my 6 stitches

knee scrapes

knee scrapes

more bastard tabs

more bastard tabs

 

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Butthurt.

Thank god for memes and google imagesearch.

Today I’m going to talk about something that a few of you might be experiencing and some of you may not: hemorrhoids (which I will henceforth refer to as ‘butthurt’ because I hate typing that god-awful word). It’s a reasonably personal subject, but what the hell. I go through it and I might as well discuss it so that maybe I can get some suggestions.

This was something I experienced with regularity when I was REALLY overweight. I found that eating more bran tended to curb this. When I started my primal journey, I was really worried about the recurrence of butthurt because I wouldn’t be able to dose with my regular fibre supplements. An increase in protein and a decrease in fibre is a good recipe for butthurt. So, I’ve still been experiencing it. In fact, I’m experiencing it right now as I write this. I’ve found that two things are good for it. 1) Sitting with my butt slightly above or level to my knees. 2) Ibuprofen. I take a LOT of Ibuprofen when suffering from butthurt. I’d estimate 400-800mg a day until it subsides. Sometimes it goes away after a few hours sometimes not. Having a bowel movement normally starts the process all over again. I’m adverse to the surgery because it’s not 100% successful (in fact it has a very LOW success rate) and the possible side effects are MORE BUTTHURT and even worse, loss of sphincter control! BLEH!

Other things cause it too. Exerting myself and exercising bring it on. I did an 1/8 mile run with my wife last night and after finishing it, I could feel the pressure. It eventually subsided without any intervention, but it was there. Another thing that causes it, strangely, is STANDING ON A TRAIN! I cannot explain this one. When I get on the subway (Boston Green Line) and I have to stand, it aggravates it! What the fuck is this shit!?

I’ve gone to a proctologist and was prescribed a topical medicine that’s basically a high blood pressure medicine you put on your butthole. It’s pretty gross and I don’t use it very often. It’s a ‘last resort’ kinda thing for the reasons of it simply being gross and also for it being excruciatingly expensive to buy as it’s CUSTOM MEDICINE!

The proctologist told me it would go away if I lost a significant amount of weight. That hasn’t happened yet. I’m going to need to start finding an adequate way to get some serious fibre into my diet. I eat a lot of strawberries right now, but that’s not cutting it. I need a LOT more fibre to have a healthy butt.

So, this begs the ultimate question: are you on Primal/Paleo and suffer from butthurt? What do you do to combat it? What would you suggest eating more of and eating less of to keep this in order?

Monday weigh in – 247lbs (Doctor prescribed goal completed 1 month ahead of schedule)

Being sick and giving up.

Last Monday I developed a cough. This cough became worse and worse over the week until I finally broke down and went against the plan… just to take some medicine to get some much needed sleep. It was unfortunate, but needed to be done and did actually work.

On Tuesday, I learned that nearly all cough syrup has high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in it. So, I made it my point not to take them. Of course, had I known it was going to develop into what it became, I might have tried combating it with something more potent. I stuck mainly with pills. Aleve-D did a good job for the most part, but my cough was still pretty bad. It kept me (and my wife) up at night for a solid week. I tried everything. I bought a bunch of different things to try which worked in various ways but last night it came to a head. I developed a nasty canker on the roof of my mouth and my cough was turning into something I couldn’t contain. So I broke down and grabbed the Tussin and downed a dose. A few minutes later, my coughing fits died down and I slept.

I called in sick on Monday so I can get to see my doctor and make sure it’s not turning into bronchitis (which I tend to get) or a smoldering sinus infection (which I’ve also had recently). While I was lucky not to have bronchitis, my sinus infection has returned again. On the bright side, my blood pressure at the doc’s office was 116/74 so I’m now officially off my HBP pill. On another bright side is my weight loss is ahead of the game. While I’m not supposed to weigh myself on the Whole30, my doctor needed to do it for his records and I’m happy to say that I’m down another 11lbs to 254lbs.

Luckily, Whole30 doesn’t rate cough syrup as a ‘reset’ point, so that’s good. I’m on another round of antibiotics and I purchased some sugar free tussin. Back to work today.

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The Rollercoaster of High Blood Pressure seems at an end already

Blood Pressure has always been at odds with me, at least since 1996. 16 years of living with high blood pressure has suddenly come to an abrupt halt, much to the chagrin of my entire circulatory system. It doesn’t seem to understand how to compensate for the new normal… which is just that: NORMAL.

I’ve been taking my blood pressure with my new cuff since May 10th, just a few weeks before we started this paleo journey. My average BP with medication while on my old diet was 129/86. In the beginning of my paleo journey that number went down to about 123/76. In the past month I’d been experiencing dizziness, so I removed myself from my meds. After a solid week without meds I’ve been seeing an average of 116/74. This is apparently the normal BP for the average person. My resting heart rate has come down from the 80-90 range to a solid mid to high 60s as well.

Now, blood pressure is a bit of a fickle thing and sometimes I get bad readings from either taking it too soon after doing something that gets my heart pumping, eating, drinking or imbibing in some caffeine. Case in point: yesterday I took my blood pressure 6 times. Twice, the reading was “High normal” and the other 4 times it was normal. This morning it was normal, but with a high pulse as I had just run across the street before taking it. It’s definitely one of those things that is both scary to see when monitoring, but normal in every day life. I called my doctor for advice and he said I did the right thing taking myself off the meds and suggested that I take my BP 2-3 times a day instead of 6-8 (which I was only doing because I didn’t believe that my BP would naturally fall off so quickly).

So, below is my chart. There’s a lot of May dates, not a lot of June dates and a bunch from the past weekend. I’m pretty happy with it. Now to eat my eggs and have a cup of coffee and take my BP to see just how much it affects my BP.

Click to make really big

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Energy sapping

I think I need to up my activity levels. Lately I’ve been WRECKED. I don’t want to blame the Whole30, but it did coincide. What I am potentially blaming is my blood pressure. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I suffer from hypertension and I take some meds to keep it in check. What I’ve been dealing with lately is more of a ‘low blood pressure’ issue. I stand up and go dim. Every time it happens, it sucks the life out of me. I’m on the smallest dosage of the lightest blood pressure medication they make, so for the week I’ve decided to go off my meds and see if it helps with my energy. This is something I’ve dealt with in the past and it doomed me to a life of lethargy and overeating. My other meds dropped my BP and caused me to be real tired all the time. Once I got off them, I’d get some energy back but I’d normally be up 10-30lbs…

Mine’s probably the one on the right…

So, now I’m going to go back to monitoring my blood pressure and see how my energy is affected by not having my meds. While I don’t think my BP is ‘LOW’ I think it’s ‘normal’ and my body is used to 15 years of hypertension. I’m really hoping I’m reversing the damage I’ve done to my heart over the years.

In other news, I made that Chili. Holy god, that’s some good chili. I made a 2lbs of meat batch and it was simply not enough. Between the amount I brought to work, the amount I ate for dinner last night and the amount my wife ate, it is GONE. I highly recommend it. Cooking is not my forte though and I didn’t screw it up too badly. I do get a bit frantic and I need to remember to measure everything out and have it ready to go. I’m half tempted to have my wife video me making a meal… it’s probably reasonably funny to watch my dumb ass skittering around our tiny kitchen freaking out about what to do next.

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Doctor Feelgood

I have a wonderful doctor that my entire family goes to see. A few weeks ago I was in for another round of “Let’s see if this medication works to control your high blood pressure (HBP)”. He’s reasonably concerned about my HBP, which I find very odd because my previous doctors never even flinched at a 140/90 reading except to say “Keep taking your medicine (Propranalol at the time).”

Now, I don’t like to make excuses, but being on Propranalol (starting in 1996) didn’t help. When I was on it, my energy levels were lowered, but, in no way were they responsible for me sitting down and eating an entire box of Hot and Spicy Cheez-Its (Fat-Self-Conscious: MMmmmmmmmm). That was obviously my parents fault (just kidding). Luckily, I was reasonably active with hockey and biking at that time so I tended to keep the weight between 230 and 245 depending on the season. Now I was still pretty fat at this point but not like I end up becoming. Fast forward to about 1999 and my hockey career is over. At this point I started noticing that I was putting on a ‘summer fat’. While most people tend to lose weight during the summer, I was gaining 10-20 lbs every summer from constant partying, binge drinking and gorging on fattening foods. It was also at this point that I thought that perhaps the medication I was on could be somewhat responsible for the way I was feeling, so I stopped taking it. My energy levels went up. I started working out, I got back down to a good weight and then… I have no idea what happened. Suddenly I gave up and got fat again. My weight tumbled up past 300 and stopped somewhere around 325. My wife was starting to worry and it was at about this time I started the other diets and exercise that luckily pushed my weight to JUST under 300lbs.

At the same time, my wife had started getting fed up with our current doctor for his lack of manners surrounding an issue she was having. She felt he’d given up on her. I’d also gotten tired of his robotic responses as well, so we decided to ask our son’s doctor if he’d see us as a family. Lucky for us, having our son in there already got us right in. His manner is much better than what I’d come to expect. He wanted answers for the questions we had and he was actually concerned about my HBP. He tried me on some HCTZ for a bit, but noticed that under stress, there was not enough control. That brings us to last month where he put me on a very short amount of Lisinopril. It controls my HBP a bit, but he wants to see a LITTLE more of a drop. I told him that I was trying to go Paleo and he said that rather than up my dosage, he gave me 6 weeks on the diet to see how that goes.

My cholesterol numbers came back a bit high in the LDLs and a bit low in the HDLs and he blames that on genetics. I’m hoping that Paleo will help equalize this. I had, at one point been on one of those cholesterol medicines, but I don’t remember which one… the popular one though. He does take a very holistic approach to everything though. He doesn’t immediately medicate and he will suggest natural alternatives.

I’m due back on July 26th, so I’ll have a follow up then. The goal is to be under 125/90.