I’ve been meaning to post on here again, but this month has been wild. From when I joined here beginning of March, I had the mission to get big and do it right. I was amused by the idea of turning this venture into a medical experiment on my body. I knew the first step was to reduce my body fat, by taking control of my diet. And I was getting into counting macro’s, making recipes, all of which I want to share with y’all in the near future. I’ve learned a lot about nutrition, dieting, and workout plans. It’s been fun so far.
Beginning of January I was up to 218lb, probably up to 21% body fat I never got an exact measurement, I just knew I needed to get the weight down, and started working out more. Posting here at the beginning of March, I was at 208lb 18.4% body fat, this is also around the time I started really tracking my weight every other day. I set my target to be 196lb, and mostly target fat loss. I’m happy to say that I’m now at 198lb at 15.6% body fat after a month. Honestly 10lb in a little over a month, and mostly fat, I can’t be happier, now my next goal is 186lb in another month.
I also had some labs done at the beginning of the month, which revealed a possibility of prediabetes, and high LDL cholesterol. This adjusted my diet to add more fiber into my diet which I then added boxes of granola bars, and oatmeal to snack on between meals. I’ve also started taking supplements to help my cholesterol ratio. For the prediabetes, I wasn’t really sure if the blood work was something to worry about, but I bought a glucose meter, and started testing my blood sugar every morning before eating, and it would be pretty consistent around 72-76mg/dL so I made the judgment that it’s probably not an issue. I will have more labs soon, once my hospital patient records come back. They probably stuck my arm 16 times for the week I was there. More about that below
When I was dieting, and tracking macro’s, I learned with my previous diet, portion sizes were too big, way too much fat, and not enough fiber/complex carbs. Sugar was something I eliminated a long time ago. Kinda sucks cause I do enjoy baking cakes, cookies, pies. I’m a hardcore baker. But in another perspective, it has helped as I can make some really healthy and kickass bread loaves. Whey protein also works as a good filler for things like pancakes, just have to use a little more milk. I have some ideas I want to play with, making low-fat baked goods. I already know Genoise sponge cakes are primarily egg, now to figure out how to substitute the sugar.
Another thing I’ve been getting into is becoming a spreadsheet guy. I’ve been writing up my recipes calculating macros and portion sizes. Currently, I’m on a 2400 calorie diet, 20% fat, 55% carb, 25% protein roughly. I know there are spreadsheets for workouts but haven’t invested enough time in that part yet. I was hoping for some guidance on this when I get back to a normal routine. Once I feel comfortable with how the spreadsheets work for myself, I’d be grateful to share here.
Now here is when everything turns upside down. Thursday the 1st, I was working out hard. Keep in mind, I haven’t taken any steroids, or SERMS, or anything of the sort. I do take Adderall in the morning, and I’ve been smoking a bit more cannabis that night, but I was just feeling good and wanted to work myself till I broke. End of the night took a shower, went to bed with a slight pain in my lower left rib, didn’t think anything of it. Woke up the next morning, Friday the 2nd, with my rib being a lot more painful, reading online I suspected I was suffering from a strained intracostal muscle. But through the day, the pain just got worse and worse. I couldn’t lay down without my side flaring in pain. Standing and moving was difficult. It was getting bad, and I drove myself to the hospital around 1am Saturday morning.
Turns out I had a pulmonary embolism, on my lower left lung. I really didn’t think much of it, I was ready to just get some meds and get out of the hospital. They pumped me up full of morphine, which didn’t do much to the pain, I signed myself out against doctors advice around 7am in the morning, and started taking a blood thinner Eliquis, and Norco that they prescribed. I had two dogs to take care of, and I live alone. I was thinking of them… But you know, the pain wasn’t getting better. It was just getting worse. I was collapsing in pain. And I just had to call a friend, call my mother, to come take care of my dogs. I stacked up a few Norco’s and drove myself back to the hospital around 8pm Saturday.
From here, they started running a bunch of blood tests, I did faint while getting stuck with a needle for the first blood work… I hate needles lol… Sunday morning, I was speaking with the MD, I was very upfront about my drug use, but the MD suspected more drugs were involved and was pressuring me pretty hard about whether I used IV drugs, which I don’t, and always denied. Turns out the reason why is the initial blood tests detected a bacteria associated with heart valve infections, and the most common cause is injecting with dirty needles. Again keep in mind I’m not doing steroids, or anything involving needles. They were giving me a crapload of morphine, a total of 8mg so far, and it wasn’t doing anything for the pain. Until they gave me an iv anti-inflammatory Toradol. Omg what a miracle that stuff was, I could actually lay down on a hospital bed and sleep for once.
At this point I was coughing up chunks of blood, and being treated for pain. Doctors were generally surprised that they didn’t need to give me any oxygen, my lungs were working well, dispite the constant shortness of breath, and my lung capacity being only 20% of what it is normally. I had issues walking long distances, and holding conversations without getting winded. I would hyperventilate in short breaths at some moments trying to catch my breath, and would have to calm myself down cause it hurts.
They did some ultrasounds on my heart over the chest, and detected no inflammation, no infection. So they then wanted to do an Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) again no inflammation detected, and blood cultures came back negative. I say that so nonchalant, basically they put you under, and stick an ultrasound camera down your throat to look at your heart. Also, this would be the first experience I would have with anesthesia. This just confirms that there is no heart valve infection. This is awesome news.
Over time, as I was talking to the doctors, nurses, and they got to know me, they started realizing I’m not a druggy, and I really am doing what I’m doing for self-improvement, they started being more real with me about my health. I have taken their advice and stopped taking Adderall until I meet with a hematologist, and really diagnose the problems. And when my mother was able to fly in, I learned high hemoglobin is actually a genetic issue on her side of the family… This also explained a lot more to the doctors. It’s looking like those previous labs I got a month ago, were already showing a red flag that wasn’t apparent to the inexperienced person. This just shows to myself and hopefully to everyone else… how important it is to consult a doctor, even if it’s uncomfortable, or you choose to go against their advice.
I was in the hospital till Wednesday morning on the 8th. So nearly 4 days. And I was feeling normal again, no pain on Friday the 10th. And this has given me a lot of time to reflect on my life. I’ve read that 1/3rd of people die from this condition before they are able to make it to the hospital. And this kind of stuff can become really debilitating. I’ve kinda fallen deeper into faith, I feel like this was almost a message, of no matter how perfect things may seem, it can be taken away at a moment’s notice. I’m so ready to stop using excuses to hold me back on the things I want to accomplish. I have a true bucket list at this point. I’m so ready to drop stupid mental barriers that are holding me back from accomplishing what I need to. It’s also shifted my perspective on how to approach things. I feel like there is a better filter in evaluating what is important.
Whether I will try doing steroids, I’m on the fence about it now. It will all come down to what the doctors have to say. Might be something I will try 10-20 years from now considering the circumstances. Being that, I start taking it when my testosterone naturally decides to drop. But you know, I still think it’ll be fun to hang around here and share knowledge, so I ain’t going anywhere.