Sunday, July 13, 2014

Good News From Every Front

Nobody wants to hear someone else's good news. I get it. It's not compelling. If it were, the evening news would be overstuffed with rainbows and unicorn farts. But the thing is,  I got good news coming out of every pore of my body and I have to share it with someone. And I thought, I spent four solid years crying to you all when the good news was in short supply, and all you did was express quiet sympathy and tell me what I couldn't possibly see at the time - that things would get better.

And they did. And with all the blackness that I exposed to you, you deserve a little bit of the light.

So, medical stuff first. As of Friday I'm down to 223.8 pounds, precisely 10 pounds from my last weigh-in in April. As near as I can figure I weighed around 305 at my heaviest (I figure around 280-285 at the time of the stroke but I can't be sure) so that would put my total weight loss at just over 80 pounds.

This has finally started paying some real dividends. My A1c, a long-term marker of blood sugar, was at 9.0 in January. It was down to 6.6 in April, which is great for a diabetic. Friday it was 5.9, which is almost normal for a non-diabetic person and not even in the range of what diabetics usually have.

As a result my daily insulin requirement has been reduced from 25 units of Lantus (the long-acting once-a-day type) down to 20. Woo-hoo! That's a 20% reduction!

Diabetes is funny. What ends up killing you if you're diabetic is the long-term impact of high blood sugar on your body. It frays and destroys capillaries, which causes circulation problems, which in turn is what makes your feet fall off. It can cut off alternate routes to get oxygenated blood to the heart, or the brain, and make it orders of magnitude more likely that you have a heart attack or a stroke. It causes nerve pain, or perhaps numbness. It can destroy your vision - literally render you blind. It's not a good thing to have.

Which is why I'm so stoked that my A1c is so low. It's like a rolling 90-day average of your blood sugar, and 5.9 means that my diabetes is not causing any damage to my body. And that is a big part of the plan to have a healthy old age.

So that's the diabetes end.  On the blood pressure side of it, my doc took my blood pressure and it was about 90/70, which is at the very bottom of the normal scale. I had been getting light-headed upon standing recently (orthostatic hypotension, for the medical professionals among you) in fact. So the doctor discontinued one of my meds entirely and now I'm "only" taking two different pills for my bp.  I'll call that progress too.

So - less insulin, fewer meds, more weight loss. A VERY good day medically. But no! Wait! There's more!

Because while I was at the doctor's office, I received a phone call that notified me that after four years, six months, one day, one hour and about 20 minutes, my standing as unemployed American is officially over. I got a job - the one I wanted - and couldn't be happier.

These people are basically going to train me to become what they need me to be. I'll start off working the help-desk but will eventually become either of a network architect or network engineer, depending on what I'm good at and what they need more.

They interviewed me basically as a favor to a mutual friend, and apparently I did so well in the interview that they thought it would be better long-term for the company to have me on the payroll, even though my current skill set wasn't a fit for them.

They think they're getting a good man for below market value, and I suppose that's true, but I think what they're doing is taking a chance on a guy who could use a break, and I won't forget that. They're also going to pay me to learn a whole new set of skills - and the accompanying certifications - and I would be a fool to not take advantage of that.

So I will work like a man possessed for them, and show them that they made the right decision, and learn all I can on their nickel, and in a year we'll have another conversation about money, and it will either be made right or it won't - but let's not borrow trouble.

It's an unusual feeling. Everything is breaking my way. Everything! I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never does. Things just keep getting better and better. It's a good feeling to have.

And with that I will close this already-overlong post. Because, as my pal Rob would tell you, there is value in brevity.

Thanks for listening. Go see a doctor if you haven't recently.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Very Josie Guestie Postie

Words fall from Josie's mouth, 'tis said, like flower petals alighting gently on the surface of a pond. As much as I know better, it is still my pleasure to bring those words to you. I will pass along every message, no matter how off-topic, off-color, or off-its-rocker. Please to enjoy. 

Hello All,

I’m in the midst of one of life’s frustrations and since nothing else seems to motivate me, I thought why not the interwebz?

But let me back up and get you up to speed.  Let’s go back to last summer.  I was doing my thang, exercising, eating right and though I’ll never be skinny, I was feeling good and looking hot (what else is new?).  Winter came and so did the pounds.  They started creeping back up, and me?  I avoided the scale.  Until March, that is.  Lo and behold, I’d gained 20 lbs.  Yes TWENTY pounds.  I had to do SOMETHING, but what?

I was looking for something to motivate me, and I thought I’d found the answer.  If you know me at all, you know I am incredibly competitive and I never made a bet  that I didn’t use all my resources to win.  Soooooo…..  I placed a bet at They’re motto is “Get paid to lose weight!”

I had to give them entirely too much information about me, like my habits, how I was planning to lose the weight, if I was using a tracking device like a fitbit, or weight watchers, my height, weight, age, etc etc etc.  You give them all this information, then you tell them how many pounds you are betting you will lose.  In my case I am betting that I will lose 25 lbs.  Based on all that, they offered me a couple of bets.  They’re obviously betting I WON’T lose the weight.  The bet I chose is that I would lose $25 lbs by September 9th.  I am betting $300 that I will do this.  If I actually do it, they will pay me $1,000.  That’s a net of $700 for all you math geniuses out there.  The time frame was 6 months, March to September, which is entirely too long.

So thinking I had plenty of time, I started, then stopped then started again.  Thus far I have lost a whopping 2 lbs and now I’m starting to panic.  I’ve never in my life felt less motivated to lose weight.  WTF?  I have no idea why but the bottom line is, I pay them $50 a month for 6 months and in September they either will or will not send me a check for $1,000.  It’s all up to me.  And you. 

I need your help.  I need accountability, cuz shit, September 9 is TWO FREAKING MONTHS AWAY. 


It’s like I’ve just awakened from a daze.  But the thing is, I can soooooo do this.  I mean it’s a thousand fucking dollars!

So I’m going to post my weight loss here every week and hopefully that number will hit 25 lbs by September 9th.  Ugh.

And not for nothing but my hirsute buddy Gary here has lost like 500 lbs which is very inspiring so why cannot I get out of my funk and do this?  One excuse, erm reason,  is the extreme pain from my knees when I do anything that involves bending them.  (insert dirty joke) I have zero cartilage in both knees but I can still do yoga, walk, do the stationary bike, free weights, etc, so it’s no excuse really.  Plus Gary lost all this weight without exercising. At. All.  Fucking men!  He’s on the “I have diabetes” diet and I’m starting to think I may have to follow suit and just pretend I have diabetes.  (Not really – there will be no insulin shootings to be sure)

So there you have it.  Help Very Josie win her weight loss bet –or- Watch as Very Josie loses her bet and goes postal at  Either way it should be entertaining.  Any tips, thoughts, insight and inspiration would be gladly accepted.

July 10, 2014:  2 lbs lost, 23 to go.

Diet smart.


Something's Coming...

...something you're not going to want to miss. I don't want to give too much away, but the phrase "Sweetheart of the Internets" may safely be invoked here.

Go see a doctor if you haven't lately.