Small Victories and Going Primal

Since I last posted, my health has improved pretty significantly. I've had several small yet very significant victories:

  • Since my absolute lowest weight, I have gained 9 lbs.
  • Although I still use the supplemental oxygen pretty much all the time, I have been off it for a couple hours at a time to work in the garage or in the back.
  • Related to the above, I started cleaning out the garage and sold Dad's Goldwing, which had been sitting and deteriorating.
  • I am planning to go back to work in early May.
  • I have been able to make progress exercising in my room. Right now I do bodyweight exercises a couple times a week and interval sprints on the exercise bike every week or two. Each session yields more exercises per set than the last.
  • Over the weekend, I cleaned my room thoroughly including doing all my laundry and bedding.
  • I've rediscovered how much I love to cook and have been cooking quite a bit.

I'm sure part of my success has been due to following the Primal Blueprint, particularly the dietary aspects. In a nutshell, I avoid all sugars (except for fruit in moderation), grains (even "hearthealthywholegrains"), and industrial vegetable oils. I try to eat meat from grass-fed animals as much as possible and have found that my GI system tolerates fermented and cooked vegetables much better than raw.

I don't know that simply being primal is the entire answer; I have felt a little off the last couple days after completing a 3-week round of antibiotics, so I fear there may be something lingering. I see my new GI doctor at UCLA on Monday of next week. Things really went south when my digestive system was wrecked eight years ago, so I think that if that can be truly and properly addressed, I will eventually make my way back to good health.

Health Update 2-5-10

Things were up and down last month. A couple weeks into the month, it seemed like things took a turn for the worse again. My oxygen requirements increased, my shortness of breath was worse, and I was feeling pretty weak. Last Friday (1-29) I saw my pulmonologist. She had the results from a recent sputum culture and, based on those findings, took me off Tobi (the nebulizer medicine for the pseudomonas) and put me on an oral antibiotic for something else that looked like it was pretty low-level at the time of the specimen collection. She also prescribed me a steroid inhaler to calm things down and digestive enzymes to aid absorption.

Over the weekend I actually felt worse. However, just a week later, it seems things are taking hold. I think it just took my system several days to adjust to everything but lots of little indicators (O2 levels, heart rate, strength, mood, and more) have improved sufficiently to indicate to me that maybe this concoction is what my body needs to do some healing and get back to optimum, what ever that is for me.

I was also able to get referred to several other specialists in the UCLA system and have set up appointments over the next couple months. This is truly an answer to prayer - at the beginning of December I was afraid I was going to have to wait until November of 2010 to switch!

Brief Health Update

The last 2-3 weeks have been good. I finally feel like things might be turning around for the better. While I have been left with little reserves and am, in many respects, worse than I was several months ago, I do finally feel like I can say "this week was better than last" and have been able to for a few. I think there are a few factors going into this: diet, exercise, and state of mind. I have been paying special attention to all three relative to my general health. I also want to bring prayer to attention: I can think of at least five instances in the past month where people have specifically prayed for my health and am sure that's playing a role.

I switched my primary care physician to a doctor with UCLA so [the Western Medicine portion of] my care can be better facilitated among the various and sundry specialists.

I have one goal for 2010 health-wise: take a more active role in the maintenance and management of my own health. Of course, that's one of those poorly-worded vague, immeasurable goals. Thus, I need another one: gain 30 lbs by the end of the year.