Health Update: 5 Months Later

I’ve posted on Twitter & Facebook as I’ve progressed over the past few months, but I haven’t really put all the information together in a “greater than 140 character” post. So here’s the update for all those folks who are curious.

My Kidneys Are No Better
This is depressing. I ate as healthy as a human being can eat, never cheated, and lost 40+ pounds. I also drank enough water to support several small lakes. Unfortunately, when my blood was rechecked after 4 months, it hadn’t improved even slightly. BUT. My kidneys also didn’t get any worse, which made the doctor quite happy. It made me happy too, but I was hoping for some drastic, never before seen improvement.

I Still Have 20 Pounds To Lose
I’m to the point where everyone says, “Oh, you look amazing, you don’t need to lose any more weight!” That’s really kind, but I’m still a tad into the “overweight” section of the BMI scale, and I’d like to be in the middle of the “healthy” area. So 20 more pounds.

My Cholesterol Is Oddly High
Mind you, I ate broccoli, beans, and fruit for 4 months. My cholesterol should be comically low. But it’s actually high. I’m guessing that before I lost the weight, my cholesterol was freakishly high and I just didn’t know it. So along with the 20 pounds to lose, I need to exercise daily in order to get my cholesterol numbers down. Due to my diligence concerning my health, the doctor didn’t put me on cholesterol medicine — just assigned me daily exercise. I plan to “take my medicine” so to speak. (I actually need to raise HDL or something like that, cholesterol confuses me)

I Have To Monitor My Blood Pressure Like A Crazy Man
Keeping my blood pressure low is one of the biggest keys to staying alive for a long time. I’ve had my medicine adjusted a couple times already, and as I continue to lose weight and exercise, it will probably have to be adjusted more in the future. My part in the equation is to monitor my blood pressure VERY closely. Because I know myself, and know that I’d be bad at recording such things — I just ordered a Withings blood pressure cuff. It automatically uploads the readings and keeps a record of times/pressure/pulse that I can send off to the doctor in an email. Pretty slick actually. It’s also a cool technology toy, so I look forward to the monitoring more than I did before. 🙂

My Diet Isn’t Crazy. Just Reasonable.
I’m no longer on a super strict, low sodium, low protein, low grain, low carb, vegan diet. Due to kidney problems, I have to try for low protein and low sodium, but I can once again eat human food. This is a nice change, but will likely slow down the weight loss. 🙂

I. Can. Have. Caffeine. Again.
I asked the doctor on a whim, because winter is coming, and I can’t imagine the winter season without tea. Decaf coffee is bad enough, in that it doesn’t really taste bad, it’s just that the best decaf pales in comparison with really good coffee. If you think I’m wrong, you’ve never had really good coffee. Just sayin. Decaf tea, on the other hand, is vile. The only tolerable decaf tea I’ve ever had is PG Tips Decaf. But it gets old quick, and is just plain grocery store tea — not something to depend on for the long, cold winter. I’m allowed a moderate amount of caffeine (2-3 cups), and I immediately asked about drinking more than that. My only stipulation for consuming more is that I drink lots of water too. I’m TOTALLY OK with that arrangement. So, the caffeine fast is over!!!

All in all, I’m doing pretty well. I think this health crisis has been good in that it has forced me to be more aware of my general health. I’ll be thinner, healthier, and most likely happier thanks to the forced lifestyle that is keeping me alive. Now if you’ll excuse me, my Breville One Touch Tea Maker just beeped…

4 thoughts on “Health Update: 5 Months Later”

  1. Sorry to hear about the kidneys. But at least it’s not getting worse.

    I quit caffeine about 20 years ago. Nowadays I find that I can only do about a quarter cup of coffee, and it has to be before about noon, or I will be awake all night and crash the next day. I still binge drink caffeinated sodas (especially during Nanowrimo), but for the most part have found that it’s usually better to stay away from it. So you might notice that you’re more sensitive to the effects now that you’ve been off of it for a while.

    Cholesterol is a fun part of my life too. My main problem is high LDL while all the other numbers are within normal. Exercise is supposed to raise HDL and reduce LDL though, and fiber supposedly reduces LDL also. Ten years ago when I first started paying attention (or more accurately, my doctor did), it turned out all I had to do was put in exercise 1-2 times a week to fix the HDL problem. The older I get, the more exercise I seem to need though…

  2. I’ve found that exercise forgives a multitude of sins. As irksome as it sometimes is to find time for it, it will surely help fix what ails you.

    P.S. I’ll be keeping an eye on you over on MFP, so log those laps, dude. Don’t MAKE me break out my SNCO face.

  3. hehhee — MFP lost some of its charm when my FitBit died. I have the iPhone steps thing activated, but it doesn’t seem as accurate (or fun) as the FitBit. I’m just tired of buying them though, I think I’ve purchased at least a half dozen!


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