Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Long time since last update

I don't really want to go into a lot of details, but let's just say that we (the doctors had some help from me) finally figured out why I felt so sick all spring and summer and why I had developed anemia.

Shortly after my last post in late August, I made a trip to the emergency room late on a Saturday night.  This led to some tests, including a CT scan, and that led to some major surgery.  I spent 5 nights in the hospital after the surgery, and today, it's been 4 weeks since that surgery.

The surgery was fairly invasive, and I'm still taking pain medications due to issues from the surgery.  But, at 4 weeks, I'm also back to trying to get myself back into shape.

By the time I left the hospital, due to the anemia, the surgery, and the horrible food in the hospital, I had dropped 58 pounds from the middle of April until I got home.  For the first time in my life that I can remember, I found myself in a situation where I wanted to gain some weight.  Luckily, the issues with my sense of taste and my appetite have been resolved, and I'm able to eat what I want right now.

I have stayed away from alcohol, especially considering the pain medications, but I am back to drinking coffee and eating foods that simply didn't appeal to me over the summer.  But, I'm guessing that I lost close to 40 pounds of fat and 20 pounds of muscle, and while I don't mind losing that fat, I had worked very hard to gain that muscle.

As of now, I'm still a month or more away from lifting weights.  Right now, I can go for a walk, ride the exercise bike, ride my own bike (crashing would be very painful), use the rowing machine, and shortly, I should be able to do some easy jogging.

In another month or so, I should be able to start lifting again, but I've got a lot of work to do to regain what I've lost.

Late last week, I had some blood tests done - a complete blood count, in particular.  My anemia isn't fully resolved, but I left the hospital with my hemoglobin level at 8.4 and I'm up to 11.4.  The bottom end of the normal range is 13.5 and I am guessing I'll be there within a month.  Hopefully, I'll get back up to the 17 range in another month or two after that.

So, the surgery is behind me.  I'm on the mend.  I did a 5K row at the gym last night after a 2 mile walk at lunch.  I'm tired today, but I think I can do some exercise every other day or so right now.  I've been able to walk the dogs on the weekends and I've even been out fishing twice.  Because I'm not as strong as a few months ago, I've been using my wading staff for safety, especially while fishing alone.

Ski season is rapidly approaching.  My goal right now is to improve my conditioning (aerobic and strength) as much as possible by the time we are supposed to start work for the season, which is mid-December.  That might seem like a lot of time - 9 weeks or so - but I lost a lot of hard-earned conditioning over the past 5 months or so.  I've got a lot of work to do, but I'm really looking forward to training harder as my body continues to heal.

I'm very glad to have this incident behind me as well.  I don't have time to complain about the past.  It's time to move forward.

1 comment:

Harriet said...

My goodness Damon. I am sorry you had something major wrong but glad you are on the mend.