This is post #31 for the month

Once again I have ended a month in proverbial post crunch mode, having to write half a dozen or more posts in one evening to meet my goal of having at least one post per day for the month.

And again I’ve done it, because once a random thought gets into my head, others tend to follow and I write about them here and presto, goal met!

I am going to celebrate this achievement with NyQuill and sleep.

Good night.

July 2018 weight loss report: Up 0.6 pounds

In what basically comes down to a rounding error, I was up 0.6 pounds for the month, missing actual weight loss due to probably nothing more than a single trip to the loo. Still, up is bad and I feel bad.

It was also a weird month, with two weeks of vacation/travel and irregular eating habits, including the consumption of more fudge than I’ve had since, well, ever. Mmm, fudge. Fortunately the fudge is in Barkerville, which is not exactly an easy day trip.

I remain donut-free, though I indulged in a few cookies.

More positively, my body fat is still modestly down for the year and I’m making a bold prediction: I will finally dip under 160 pounds again before the end of August, provided I do not have any donuts.

July 1: 162.2 pounds
July 31: 162.8 pounds (up 0.6 pounds for the month)

Year to date: From 162.3 to 162.8 pounds (up 0.5 pounds)

And the body fat:

January 1: 18.5% (30.2 pounds of fat)
July 31:
17.9% (29.2 pounds of fat (down 0.8 pounds)

June 2018 weight loss report: Down 1.4 pounds

Although I had no infections or other maladies to assist me, I maintained my losing streak and was down for the month, shedding another 1.4 pounds. I benefited from a massive 2.1 pound drop on the last day of the month (today) but would have still been down regardless, so yay for me. I now stand 11.6 pounds from my official™ goal of 150 pounds. With a week and a bit of travel up north to Barkerville, I would expect the hiking and whatnot will at least let me hold the line, even as we indulge in hot dogs and other yummy but perhaps not calorie-wise camping foods.

For the year to date my weight loss is actually, for the first time, an actual loss, down 0.7 pounds. With the body fat also down, it appears I am finally starting to lose weight for real and getting back to the ultra-sexy form of a few years ago.

I will, as always, resist having a donut to celebrate.

June 1: 163 pounds
June 30: 161.6 pounds (-1.4 pounds for the month)

Year to date: From 162.3 to 161.6 pounds (down 0.7 pounds)

And the body fat:

January 1: 18.5% (30.2 pounds of fat)
June 30:
17.5% (28.4 pounds of fat (down 1.8 pounds)

Kidney and stones

Last Friday, June 15, I finally went in and got my blood work done, including the world famous poop on a stick test (which you have to pay for, because people don’t like handling poop or something).

By Monday the results were in and I got a phone call from the doctor’s office. This was disconcerting because I had previously agreed that they would only call me if there was something up, that a negative report would be treated as “no news is good news” in terms of letting me know. The person told me it was “non urgent” but wanted me to come by in two days to discuss these non-urgent results.

And so I made the many-days excursion to the office in Steveston, but I only arrived just in time, so I couldn’t sight-see, despite the spiffy nice weather.

As it turned out, the doctor was behind schedule by a million years. I sat in the waiting area, plinking away on my phone, using the clinic’s spotty but free Wi-Fi for about half an hour before being let into exam room #6, where I sat for about another half hour. With little else to do, I examined the soles of my shoes and discovered they were embedded with thousands of tiny bits of gravel. I plucked them all out, as shown here:

When boredom strikes in the exam room.

I need better shoes. It’s on my agenda for the week.

When the doctor finally arrived, he confirmed all tests were good–except one. My kidney was apparently not quite up to snuff. When I had the kidney infection the clinic that I went to didn’t seem to update my file, as this was news to him. He admitted the infection could be responsible for the current results, though enough time had elapsed to still raise a flag. I am going to take the kidney test again in mid-July to see if things look normal or wacky. Disturbingly, the affected area has been acting up the last few days, making me wonder if the infection may have simply gone dormant. With a vacation to the north in a week and a half, the timing is awkward, to say the least.

But I’ll have some answers soon enough. Also, my poop is fine.

Here’s to the second half of 2018 being pretty please oh pretty pretty please better health-wise than the first half.

Poopmonsters: 1, Me: 0

Today saw the return of a high pressure ridge and much warmer, summer-like temperatures, just in time for the actual start of summer (in five days).

I had planned on doing some shopping but didn’t want to stay cooped up inside during our first day of truly glorious sunshine in weeks, so I nixed the shopping and went for a walk around Burnaby Lake.

Here are some stats courtesy of the Activity app of my watch:

Total distance: 19.31 km
Total time: 2:57:51
Total calories burned: 909
Average pace: 9:12/km
Average BPM: 124

My knees started out fine, started to get sore partway through, got a bit bothersome some point after that, then came around to feeling not too bad again for the last few km. They don’t feel bad now, but I’m under no illusions. My knees have turned against me after 4400+ km of running.

When I approached the athletic fields I was presented with a dilemma, as illustrated in the photo below.

You shall not pass (without being pecked).

The choice was to plow through and see how the adult geese would react to me indirectly threatening their goslings, or to cut wide onto the field and avoid them altogether.

I chose the latter because having more than a dozen geese chasing and trying to peck me is a little too close to a scene from The Birds for comfort.

After taking the photo (I approached from the opposite side), I passed a woman who was going to face the same predicament. I watched to see if the feathers would fly. She got closer and closer still, then stopped. She took some pictures. She resumed walking and I actually though she was going to try the ol’ “if I just calmly walk through them nothing bad will happen” trick. But instead, she went wide onto the field like I did. Considering this was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I wonder how many other people were diverted by the goose-stepping blockade.

The rest of the walk was pretty straightforward, though I actually began to sweat a bit toward the end. There was the usual mix of walkers, runners and cyclists pretending they totally didn’t realize they aren’t allowed to ride here. No park workers around to warn/lecture/fine them, however. The cyclists, I mean.

One jogger–who obviously read the forecast–was wearing the legal minimum to stay nice and cool. Or cooler. As I passed through Lower Hume Park another pair of runners went by also wearing the vaguely ridiculous short shorts and nothing else at all. Well, running shoes. And one had a heart strap on, which, when going shirtless, looks like you’ve put your belt on about a foot higher than you meant to. They had perfectly sculpted bodies, of course, just to rub it in.

I’m going to run tomorrow, and will attempt to do so in the morning before it becomes Africa hot. Because I did the mega-walk I am thinking of just a quick run on the river instead of tackling the lake again. We shall see.

My steadily improving vision

Today I got my eyes examined [joke about having head examined here] for the first time in six years.

I didn’t realize it had been that long until the receptionist at the optometrist told me my last visit was in 2012. I felt bad. And lazy. Because I was very lazy.

The good news is my eyes are happy and healthy, and I got to see full color 3D images of them, which was both neat and a little creepy.

I also got the drops that keep your pupils dilated and it was sunny out, so things were a little bright for a few hours after. I should have remembered sunglasses. Except I don’t have any. So what I really need is to remember to buy them first.

The weirdest part of the exam was the doctor confirming something I mentioned at the start of the exam. I told him that I could see distant objects better with the glasses off. He confirmed this–my far distance vision has actually gotten better, defying logic and age. I’m okay with this. The old prescription for the progressive lenses was -75 for distance and is nil for the new prescription.

Near distance is another story, a story that is slightly out of focus. The doctor had me look through a lens mirroring my current prescription and letters were a bit fuzzy. He then switched to the new prescription and they were razor sharp. I actually felt a small thrill of excitement at this. I’m not sure if this makes me nerdy, old or both. But yes, I’m excited about getting new glasses and I’m going to start shopping with my new prescription in hand tomorrow.

And I pinky swear I will not wait six years next time to get my eyes checked.

My knees are amazing

Amazingly sore, that is. So much so that I elected to skip my usual lunch walk today.

Now, I’m not complaining, I’ve come to accept that the combination of age and nine years of jogging has clearly taken their toll on my knees, I’m just surprised that it went from not manifesting in any way while running (or walking) to suddenly doing that on a near-permanent basis. I think I’m also working through the stages of grief at the loss of my old, healthy knees.

Things will no doubt get even more interesting when I reach the bargaining stage, where I’ll start researching kooky, medically unsound fixes and cure-alls. Actually, I think I may be at that stage now, I just haven’t come up with any kooky ideas to pursue yet.

But I will. Oh yes, I will.

May 2018 weight loss report: Down 5.2 pounds

Something weird happened this month.

I lost weight!

True, a large part of it was due to a kidney infection killing my appetite for the better part of a week, which led to an impressive 3.5 pound weight loss over a 24 hour period, but still, I stayed on track even after getting my appetite back. If it wasn’t for a small uptick right in the last two days of the month I would be down even more.

For May I dropped 5.2 pounds. For the year I am still up 0.7 pounds, but that may actually change by the end of June to a negative number. Woo, I say.

I have largely curtailed the snacking and when I do snack, I am sticking to lighter, healthier things like apples and yogurt.

The stats:

May 1: 168.2 pounds
May 31: 163 pounds (-5.2 pounds for the month)

Year to date: From 162.3 to 163 pounds (up 0.7 pounds)

And the body fat:

January 1: 18.5% (30.2 pounds of fat)
May 31:
19% (30.9 pounds of fat–up 0.7 pounds)

Prescription interruptus

That three-day antibiotic treatment for my kidney infection was apparently supposed to be 10 days, but the pharmacy only had three days’ worth of medication on hand (it was a total of six pills). I was expected to come back and get the remaining seven days’ of medication a few days later. They called and left me a message informing me of this.

I never got the message.

I was never told initially that the prescription was incomplete, either.

I’m actually a little ticked, because now I have to pick up the seven days’ of additional antibiotics, start taking them, then let my doctor know in case the lapse in treatment means I need to tack three more days of antibiotics onto thee seven.

And now I’m wondering if I can feel the kidney starting to act up again. Psychosomatic, perhaps. I feel like Al Pacino in The Godfather Part III. “Just when I thought I was out…”

Kidney infection: Now off my bucket list

As you might guess, I never actually had kidney infection on my bucket list. That would be nutty, unless it was an opposite-universe bucket list where every item was something terrible, like “get stung by a swarm of bees” or “get trapped in a landslide” or “be hit by a blimp.” But if I had put kidney infection on my bucket list, I could scratch it off, because I do, right now, have a kidney infection.

In what is shaping up to be my Year of Personal Health Hell™ I experienced the early symptoms on Wednesday (three days ago as I type this). In the morning I suffered an episode of shivering/feeling cold that lasted about ten minutes. Later I felt very warm, but that, too, subsided.

I had been recovering from a sore lower back (see above, YoPHH™) and that was mostly gone at this point, but I did feel one small spot on the right side that was still a bit sore. I was wrong about this. It wasn’t my back.

I went to see my new doctor later that afternoon and since I was feeling fine at the time, said nothing to him. That was mistake #1, as the pain I felt was not in my lower back, but on the other side, in my abdomen. Specifically my kidney. I wasn’t sure so said nothing, which was dumb.

Wednesday evening I spent the night burning up the bed. I felt radioactive. My partner would not cuddle–who wants second degree burns from a hug? This led to mistake #2. I was clearly running a fever at this point, but instead of going to the ER or a walk-in clinic (my doctor is a two hour commute) the next morning I went to work. Later that morning I began feeling the hot/cold thing again, but it was lasting much longer now. By noon it was persistent and I left work early.

Mistake #3 was going straight home to rest instead of going to the ER or walk-in clinic. By this point I knew something was wrong and I’d have to get checked out. But I was weak, and felt terrible and just wanted to shut off.

Thursday night was spent in a weird fugue where sleep came in small snatches as I burned up/froze. By 1 p.m. I summoned the strength to go to a nearby walk-in clinic.

It was uphill all the way. I’m not even joking. It’s on Columbia Street, just off Keary Street, and the latter is all hill. At least it was all downhill coming back.

At the clinic I gave them my info and the woman at the counter told me it would be about 45 minutes. I did not relish this. I sat down and closed my eyes and pretended to be inside a healthy body.

Surprisingly, about ten minutes later I was taken to an exam room and was attended to shortly after by a sexy red-haired doctor. Even in my horrible state I pick up on certain details.

He applied pressure to my kidney. I confirmed it caused much pain. He took my temperature with an ear probe thinger and said it was 38.7ºC. That’s super high. He made me produce a pee sample. I was sent back out to the waiting area while they did a quick analysis. I was then taken to a different exam room, but with the same doctor, so it was only partly disorienting. He confirmed a kidney infection and prescribed antibiotics (you know, those things I’ve proven allergic to over and over). Fortunately this batch is Cipro, which I’ve taken before without sporting a rash after. It’s only six tablets, two per day, but they are what the old-timers called horse pills, which is to say they are big.

On the way to Save-On to get the prescription filled I had to drop my urine sample off at Life Labs for further analysis–a precaution to make sure they were treating the infection as efficiently as possible. Normally a courier would handle this, but he’s apparently off until Tuesday.

The doctor cautioned me that if I felt worse after a few days of treatment to get to the hospital or clinic ASAP because kidney infections can apparently turn very nasty very quickly (he used the phrase “low tolerance”), leading to toxic shock and other equally fun-sounding side effects.

Fortunately, a few hours after taking the first tablet my fever broke and I am feeling much better (though not great) than before. I’ve actually done a few things today, which is way more than I did yesterday. I no longer feel hot or cold, just mildly awful.

The bigger issue now is why did I get two infections within weeks of each other (the broken tooth being the first)? Is my immune system compromised? If so, by what? Something else even more horrible? Considering this is the YOPHH™ there’s a strong chance the answer is yes.

Once I’m done with the latest antibiotics, I’m getting some bloodwork done. Perhaps more answers will be found there, even if they are un-fun answers.

In the meantime, I may have some ice cream today. But I have a specific window for that. These antibiotics can lose their potency with dairy products and also things like calcium, minerals or anything acidic. My solution is to have a two hour window of no food/drink before and after taking a pill. I’m about 45 minutes away from the next window opening up. I’m pretending water is delicious and satisfying in the way a turkey dinner might be.

The agony of deback

Yesterday I went to Horseshoe Bay and spent some time in downtown Vancouver. While in these locations I did not do the following:

  • Lift anything heavier than a regular sized beverage
  • Push or pull anything of significant girth or weight
  • Twist my body in a pretzel-like shape
  • Indulge in any sort of exercise more vigorous than walking

I mention these things because by dinner I felt a few twinges in my lower back, the kind that raise miniature red flags. In the middle of the night I awoke to considerable stiffness and discomfort in my lower back. Why? I do not know. I am not especially flexible, which makes these sorts of issues more likely to happen, but it’s still a tad frustrating to not have a metaphorical smoking gun to point to.

I initially opted out of work, then foolishly went in late, thinking a T3 would get me through the afternoon. T3s do not really work for sore or spasming muscles, alas. I spent about five hours experiencing a quiet agony, the pain persistent and unyielding no matter how I stood, sat or attempted to hover.

The best relief came in the evening when a soothing bubble bath with bonus Epsom salts allowed my back to temporarily experience pseudo-low gravity, my body bobbing blissfully in the warm, redolent water. So if I could work from a bubble bath my problems would be solved.

Failing that, I’ve opted for taking Robax, avoiding sitting, indulging laying down, and have gone to bed early, all in the hope that tg latest part of my body to declare itself in disrepair will at least somewhat mend itself overnight.

If I win the Lotto 6/49 I am going to seriously look into purchasing a robot body. I’m good with the brain but at this point I’m willing to trade in almost everything else.