First off my name is Mike and as you are going to get to know me fairly well in the next several months we might as well start off with some basics. I was born in 1961 which makes me 59 years old but closer to 60. I have gone up and down with my weight all my life. I’ve tried and been successful with Slim-Fast, Noom, Fit for Life, and back to Slim Fast. The trouble is if you don’t make those diets a lifestyle the weight comes right back on and then some. Currently, I weigh 425 pounds.
Beyond my weight, I have several other physical issues. I suffer from both depression and anxiety in these areas under control as they can get. I have high blood pressure, neuropathy in both of my legs, and severe arthritis in my right knee. A few of the discs in my lower spine are disintegrating sometimes leaving me with severe back pain. My ear has a regular discharge of fluid and that’s where this gets interesting.
My ear has been discharging fluid for around 3 years. I have been through all kinds of treatments for the discharge. I have a tube in my ear. I have been on several doses of different antibiotics and spent a month in a nursing home getting IV antibiotics all to no avail. I recently saw a specialist who believes what is coming out of my ear is not from an infection at all. It seems that the original infection weakened the skull behind the ear and the pressure of my weight of the area that surrounds my brain is forcing spinal fluid out and into my ear.
Now, I have two choices. The first is to do exploratory surgery which would involve a highly specialized ENT and a Neurosurgeon, they would make a window above my ear into my skull and work their way down patching the weakened parts and then putting me back together. Then there is a five-day stay in the hospital. The second is to lose weight and see if that takes off the pressure from my skull allowing it to heal naturally and causing the drainage to stop.
Afterthought and after further consultations with the ENT I have opted for weight loss. I have 6 months to take off as much weight as possible and then I will be reevaluated to decide what will come next.
I have been able to put together a team to help me reach my goals. My primary care physician, known as my PCP, my psychiatrist, a dietician, and a health coach. These four will help keep me in line as well as make suggestions on what I can do and what better choices I can make when it comes to food. The only one I haven’t spent time with yet is the dietician. I see him for the first time on the 13th of this month.
My PCP is having me keep a food diary and I weigh in with him once a week. This will keep me accountable and aware of what and when I eat. It has already helped. I eat a lot of the time because of depression or anxiety. It gives me false comfort to put baked goods or fast food in my mouth. I think I also get a sense of control out eating what I want when I want. With all the things that are wrong with me, it’s hard to feel like I am deciding my fate, it feels like the doctors or the medications are. Eating makes me feel like I have some control left. The problem is I never choose what would be good for me. It’s always unhealthy food.
So here I am. This is not Mike on a diet. This is not Mike exercising. This is not Mike getting his ear to stop draining. This is Mike taking control of his life in a completely different way than he has ever done in the past. This is Mike changing his lifestyle because the lie is that I have no control and the truth is that I have all the control. I am inviting you to go on this adventure with me. Check-in here every week especially on Wednesday and see how I’m doing and what I’ve learned. Leave comments and suggestions in the area provided for those. If you need to shed some weight let me know, we can do this together. Adventure doesn’t just happen in books, adventure happens every time I decide to become a better me. The same is true for you.