Friday, June 12, 2015

The other side?

It's been 2 weeks since my last post.  In those 2 weeks, I had a visit with my doctor.  He listened to everything that's been going on, and then said something very unlike his normal comments.  He went to med school at Johns Hopkins.  He's a smart guy.  He knows I'm a very analytical guy as well.  He knows I want a detailed explanation of what he thinks is going on.

He told me that he wanted me to simply trust him, and he wanted to approach this based on instinct after practicing medicine for the past 30 years.  They do call it practicing, right?  Basically, this is what he said, paraphrased:

First, we tried a new medicine last time you were here.  It can cause extreme fatigue.  It likely did for you.  You were correct to stop the medicine.  However, the fatigue should have cleared in a couple days, and it didn't.

He went on to look at the last 2 years of my life.  Stress at work, stress with the kids, financial stress, prostate cancer for me, melanoma for my wife.  Three surgeries and radiation for my wife plus a handful of emergency room visits all in the last 7 months or so.  He didn't even know about the latest issue with one of my children, but we did get to laugh that my life is never boring.

He basically said that he was surprised that I've held up as well as I have, and he thinks the medication just triggered a meltdown of sorts.  His advice was no blood work.  If I want to go for a walk instead of a run, I should do that.  If I want to go for a walk rather than do CrossFit, I should do that.  If I want to nap rather than go for a walk, do that.  If I want to nap just because, do it.  Sleep as much as I want.  If I don't want to drink alcohol or eat food, don't do it.  Just let my body dictate how to proceed.

So, I've been doing that for about 2 weeks.  I'm still going to CrossFit, but I'm also still scaling the workouts.  Two Mondays ago, my front squats and back squats were pathetically light and felt really hard.  This past Monday, they were heavier (but not heavy) and felt easier.  On Monday of this week, two friends working out beside me made a comment about how I flew through the latter part of the workout.  I told them I'd scaled the workout, and I was doing only 2 reps for every 3 reps they did.  That's what's been working for me.

I've been taking naps on Saturdays and Sundays.  Going to bed early.  My appetite is better, but I'm still eating less food than normal.  I'm down 15 pounds in the past 6 weeks or so.

And, I'm feeling a lot better.  I haven't had a day where I felt like I was in a mental fog for a while.  I haven't had a day where I mentally wasn't willing to walk or lift.  Yeah, I went to bed before dark on Wednesday after my wife and I skipped the gym because we were sore.  I got some good sleep that night.

So, maybe my doctor's experience and intuition were correct.

I had complained to him at the visit about my previous Saturday.  I'd gone to the farmer's market in the morning with my wife.  Then, we went out to breakfast.  Then, the supermarket.  After that, I came home and mowed the lawn.  I walked 3 miles with the dogs.  Took a nap.  Went out fly fishing for a couple hours - easy wading.  I was exhausted and went to bed without even eating dinner.  To me, that's a rest day.  My doctor laughed and said it was more than he does most weeks.  He said he'd go to be early as well after a day like that.

Hopefully, the next couple weeks will see continued improvement.  Maybe I'll even be lifting heavy within a month or so.  I wouldn't mind if my appetite stayed away though.  I could still stand to lose another 20 pounds or so.

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