We’re not 100% sure what the hell the problem was, but it appears to have gone away.
My doctor seems pretty confident that it was esophageal muscle spasms and I’m inclined to agree, but at the time I wrote the last blog entry they felt a lot like heart palpitations. I continued to experience whatever the hell they were for the next week and a half. They only stopped recurring a day or so ago. I was due to have a heart stress test today just to be on the safe side, but the place she originally recommended was out of my network so we’ve postponed it until I can find out from my insurance company of an in-network place I can go.
That said, the results from the blood work I had done show I’m in terrible shape. All the bad things are too high and the good things are too low. For example, my glucose level was 254 when it should have been (after a 12 hour fast) below 140. Bad cholesterol is too high, good cholesterol is too low along with vitamin D. It’s not all bad news as my electrolytes, liver, and kidneys all seem to be in good shape. Still, the whole experience scared me enough to motivate me to make some changes.
So a week ago Thursday I dusted off the elliptical and hauled my fat ass up onto it and did 15 minutes of exercise, which is about all I could handle before my legs gave out. I managed to crawl back on it last Friday and do another 15. I also installed the MyFitnessPal app on my phone and started trying to track calories. I put in my stats to the app (weight, height, amount of moving around I do at work) and it calculated out how many calories I could eat a day and still lose a pound a week before taking into account any exercise I did. Then the weekend hit and I fell off the wagon. Didn’t track calories. Didn’t get on the elliptical.
This week I’ve managed to do 15 minutes of exercise every day except Tuesday when I only managed 5 minutes due to some other events taking place that morning. Tracking calories hasn’t fully recovered. It’s a stunning pain in the ass to do and the app has been having trouble connecting to the servers and any of a number of other excuses I can make up, but I am still paying closer attention to the calorie count of the things I’m eating and trying to make better choices.
My legs are ready to mutiny and I’m starting to tire of all the folks telling me it’ll get easier as time goes on because it’s not getting any easier fast enough. It’s also somewhat disheartening to look down at the display on the elliptical just before my legs give out and see that after 15 minutes of vigorous exercise that has left me a panting, sweaty mess (which is why I’m doing it in the morning before my shower) that I’ve only managed to burn a pathetic 113 calories. My enthusiasm isn’t helped any further by the fact that last week when I stepped on the scale we have here at work (good for upwards of 2500 pounds) I came in at 298 and maybe a half pounds — the scale couldn’t settle on whether that .5 was legit or not and kept flopping back and forth — and today, a week later, when I stepped on the scale it read a solid 299.5. Which means I’ve gained one to one and a half pounds since I started trying to control my calorie intake and exercise.
Needless to say I’m feeling pretty fucking pessimistic about my success at the diet and exercise thing, but at least my heart isn’t about to fail. I will trudge on and attempt to expand my daily exercise to 20 minutes a session by the end of next week and I’ll redouble my efforts to track my calories, but I’m going to be an a piss-poor mood for some time to come. And, yes, I realize it took me a long time to get myself into this situation and it’ll take a long time to get myself out of it, but it would help if the initial attempts to start doing the right things didn’t seem to make the situation worse. I would’ve been thrilled if I’d managed to lose .2 pounds, but nooooooo.