Showing posts with label TNTBD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TNTBD. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Trying Not To Be Dead: I Had a Colonoscopy

If you remember the League of Melbotis blog that was the original blog before The Signal Watch, you've watched me age from a bright-eyed young man in his twenties (we are looking down the barrel of our 20th anniversary blogging in 2023, people), to the part where I'm now going in for the routine maintenance of a man in middle-age.

I don't talk about health too much, I think, but I believe in preventative maintenance as much as possible in the form of basic heart health and annual check-ups.  I also am extremely quick to call a doctor to get some pills as soon as I think I have whatever is going around.  I am not one to tough it out - I want to get back on the road to health as soon as possible.  

So - put all of that together, and I am 47, and it was time for me to make sure I was good when it came to colon cancer, a highly treatable form of cancer if you're able to catch it early enough.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trying Not To Be Dead: I have been sick a lot this year

Well, I am sick again.

It's been a strange year.  It used to be that I'd get one bug for two or three days per year, then be back up on my feet.  The past twelve months, if I haven't been sick, I've been injured or had some other issue.  This go-round the symptoms appeared at a particularly bad time as I was about to get on a plane to Lubbock, then drive 100 miles to Canyon, TX, do a major presentation, then turn around and drive back to Lubbock, then present again this morning.

I pulled it off.  I have no idea what I said for the three hours I presented yesterday or during the meeting with Texas Tech today, but I think I kept it together.

Mostly I feel bad for the hotel staff who will walk into the Hot Zones I've left behind in two hotels I stayed in, and a bit for whomever gets the rental car I had.  Those things are germy time bombs.  That's not to mention the two airplane rides where I have no doubt I was patient zero.  Who knows when I was first contagious?  Maybe leaving Tallahassee.

Anyway, I will set a new rule for myself:  if I think I might be coming down with something like that, I'm rescheduling.  Sitting in a hotel room with no meds but NyQuil and Afrin and watching syndicated reruns on TBS is no way to be.

I do feel marginally better this evening.  I'm hoping a night of solid sleep that I'm hoping for will help.

I had already taken a few weeks off from working out with all this travel, etc...  and I was really looking forward to getting back into it.  But now I get to wait a few days again.  And then Thanksgiving...

Here's to figuring out how to stay healthier in 2013.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Trying Not To Be Dead: An Update

2012 has not exactly been the year I finally obtained that lean, Terry Crews physique that I was aiming for.  I screwed up my wrist after Christmas, and that kept me from doing much for several weeks (certainly not lifting weights).  Then I worked out a bit.  Then I got sick, then I had to travel.  Anyway, its been such a stutter-step of a year, I'm finally back to where I wanted to be at the gym, but my weight is yo-yoing.*

Today I was at the gym and two things happened.

1.  It failed to be the promised "judgement free zone" as promised on the walls.  A middle-aged gentleman, not an employee, came by and corrected my form on a machine.  Thereby JUDGEING ME.  Not really.  Its good to know these things.

2.  I realized the homunculus behind the counter was the star of the Planet Fitness commercials that run incessantly on our local 24-hour news station.  She's, like, 4 feet tall and has a voice like Minnie Mouse.  Its creepy.

You have no idea how tiny this girl is.

Oh, did I not tell you that place is purple, yellow and black?  It is.  It is VERY purple, yellow and black.

Its kind of funny to go online, and do any reading about Planet Fitness.  You get the usual "oh, I got ripped off" complaints tied to any gym that you'll ever try to quit, but there's also this vocal group of guys very offended by the fact that Planet Fitness is not aimed at the gym-culture folks, and, in fact, sort of makes fun of them.  But a lot of people get turned off by gym culture, including myself, and as hard as it is to get Americans to get off their butts, put down the Bugles and get on the elliptical, you know, you've got Gold's or wherever...  go be happy there.  The rest of us want to go to the gym without mostly working out the muscle that enables the exasperated sideways glance.

Its true.  My gym is not the pricey upscale amusement park of Lifetime Fitness that's clearly aiming at upper-middle-class folks with kids.  But its also not Gold's (I've belonged to both).  Its $10 a month, and its just not the same as a lot of other places you could go with towel service, etc...  But.  $10 a month.

Anyhow, the next step is to work on the diet, which has, admittedly, slipped a bit since the holidays.  I'm about where I was, mass-wise, prior to the holidays, but its time to start working on losing weight again.  No more pretzels or anything but fruit after dinner.

*oh, to be sick again and watching the pounds melt away as all I wanted to eat was soup.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lazy post for the end of the weekend

Wow.  That was one full weekend.

I won't rehash, but its left me feeling a wee on the worn-out side.

Some items:

  • Nashville people - I hope all is well.  Holy smokes.  Why do you keep living in the path of horrible weather?  That's Galveston's job.
  • I'm slowly making my way through Archer in order on Netflix.
  • I am watching Giant in chunks.  I DVR'd it off TCM in February and I'm finally watching it.  My history of trying to watch Giant and failing is as lengthy as Giant itself.  I'll most definitely be writing the movie up when I'm done.  But, boy howdy, Elizabeth Taylor.  Amirite?
  • We have entered into the period in Austin where it is just ridiculously gorgeous out.  I usually miss it thanks to work and various obligations.  But, trust me.  75 degrees.  Blue skies.  The grackles aren't even hanging out with their beaks open because its too damn hot yet.  That'll be May.  
  • Austin's 6th Street is now just kind of embarrassing.  As are most of the dudes I see down there.  And the return of the microskirt in the age of KFC Food Bowl.
  • My gym was sort of 24 hours, but only M-F.  It just went 24-7.  This changes everything for Sundays.  Sweaty, hang-over workouts, you will be happening later.
  • Last night, I was hilarious.  But, anyway, its good to catch up with friend you haven't seen in a while.  Even if it leads to sweaty, hang-over workouts.  Actually, not so much hung-over as really ashamed about what I did to that enormous piece of carrot cake intended for two around 12:00AM.
  • How awesome would it be to just go ahead and name your kid "Maud'dib Usul Kwisatz Haderach Jones" or whatever your last name is?  Man, see, this is why its best we'll never have children.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Trying Not To Be Dead: Thanks for the support, team!

I wanted to add a quick post and say thanks for all the positive feedback/ reinforcement on my post about Trying Not to Be Dead.

I am pretty sure I'm, like, five weeks away from achieving Ferrigno-ness
Bob, I'm not sure I'm quite ready for a triathlon, but you will be the first to know when I am.

As per the calendar thing - its a terrific idea!  I think I know where I'll put it, and everything.  However, I will likely wait until August when the 16 month calendars debut.  Who knows?  They might be out now.

And, I already eat some cottage cheese.  Its a delicious treat.  But... how about a Wagon Wheel?

Mostly, I swapped out my other snack foods for carrot sticks.  That seems to have helped.  Jason knows I will power through a bag of apples, but they're not always in season (especially Red Delicious), etc...  And I get really grossed out by oranges that are out of season.  Also: trying not to eat chips at Tex-Mex places (or skipping Tex-Mex).  Stuff like that.  And I've been trying to avoid guacamole, which I think is pretty much awesome, so that hurts.

But just not having junk around the house is helpful.  Of course, after our 4th of July party SOMEBODY (and I'm not naming names) left some delicious fudge at our house that calls to me in the wee hours.

Oh, and diet soda.  The problem is:  diet soda is like carbonated environmental catastrophe, and studies keep coming out saying that its going to make you fat, anyway (which, honestly I totally do not comprehend) so I try to drink those canned, carbonated waters from HEB (ie: generic La Croix).  Secret hint:  of everything at my 4th of July fiesta, that stuff went fastest.  Who knew?

Things I need to do better in the short-term:

  • If I know I'll be out in the evening, work out in the morning.  That's how I wind up missing days.
  • Get that calendar system going.
  • Try not to abuse the "you get to eat whatever you feel like 1 day per week" rule.  
  • Probably put down the computer now and go work out.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trying Not To Be Dead: The League joined a gym

I have started and stopped writing this post about ten times.  It seems oddly self-serving and possibly a bit self-congratulatory for something that I haven't done much of yet, but...  basically: I joined a gym.  This isn't a "how-to" or "secret of my success" post because I'm frankly doing a fairly mediocre job.  But I am trying to do better.  

I was reading AllisonType's blog post "How Walking on a Treadmill Can Get You Squarely on the Path to World Domination" and decided: I think I'm going to go ahead and finish that post.  I think a lot of us who decided to live in our own heads a long time ago rather than actually dealing with our bodies or getting shape are getting to a point where we'd actually like to be healthier, and the years are not going to be kind if we do not do something now.

So I salute AllisonType, and thank she and her guest-bloggers for inspiration.

Like a lot of comic fans, and people who spend too much time online and at the movies, I'm not in good shape.  In fact, I am in very bad physical shape.  But I am trying to do something about it, and it does not really involve any of the usual topics we discuss around here, aside from discussing me.

As a kid, I got pudgy around 4th and 5th grade.  Then I started growing again, and being a teen-ager with teen-ager metabolism, etc... I got fairly skinny again.  To be fair, I also played sports in middle and high school.  Some football.  Some basketball.  A bit of lacrosse.  And, don't you know it, the drama thing is actually pretty active, especially if you're also building sets, hanging lights, etc...  

In college I played one year of intramural basketball before giving up on that (I was told it would be outside and it wasn't, and for some reason I had a problem with that).  But I took archery and fencing for PE credits (until I got injured fencing.  Big, dumb and slow are not great traits for a fencer).  And I rarely had time to eat (or money to do so), so it wasn't really until the end of college where I put on weight.

I don't think we ever get over the fact that as teen-agers we're just naturally thin(ner) and have the glow of youth.  Certainly we all walk around with an image of ourselves in our heads that we look how we did when we were 25, and like to find angles in photos and the mirror that lie to us and tell us this is so even when all evidence is to the contrary.  I first noticed my body structure was changing my sophomore year of college when I was mostly watching movies and sitting in class (which often entailed watching movies).  But genetics played a factor here, too.  My rib cage and shoulders decided to go wide (you could store a desktop PC in my ribcage).  I wasn't just tall anymore.  I was now a "big" guy, and I will always be fairly large.

For a couple of years after college, I took classes in Tae Kwon Do.  I liked TKD, but it wasn't going to be my lifestyle, and, sadly, that was the demand.

I did a gym in Arizona, but it was a bad experience and terribly expensive.  After quitting the gym and talking to my doctor, I ran, and that worked, but getting up at 5:30 AM everyday to beat the AZ heat was sort of a deal-breaker.  Plus, I worried about my knees in the longterm.  It was kind of too bad, because, man, running works like crazy.

But moving back:  I did nothing.  I ran a little for a while, and stopped.  It was a lot of sitting around and laying around with occasional dog walks, etc...  In the summer its hot, in the winter its cold.  And I just sort of watched myself falling apart, but I did a lot of rationalizing that if I was working out, I couldn't do other things I wanted to do.

When I hit 33 or 34, I genuinely started feeling awful all the time.  Just sort of logy, and the creepy part was that my joints started to hurt sometimes for no good reason.

In spring of 2010, I got an elliptical machine, and that had the effect of making me feel like I wasn't literally falling apart anymore.  I ate marginally better.  I was only doing 25-30 minutes at a time, but it was something.  I felt like I could get up the stairs at work with no effort.  Stuff like that.

This winter I started taking a core strength class once a week that was fun, but it mostly taught me that I was okay with cardio and endurance, but for my size, I really wasn't as strong as I could be.  Not in the ways I was going to need to be to keep my body parts in alignment longterm.

This spring I joined a gym on my birthday.  A cheap gym (its $10 a month.  I mean, seriously.)  As nice as it was to do with elliptical at home (and I still do it a few days a week), I like the gym.  As I just started, I'm mostly doing weights on machines and trying to remember how this works.  And it seems to be working.

What's @#$%ed me up is that I also suffer from gout, like I'm @#$%ing Henry the VIII or something.  And when that flares up like it did a month ago, it more or less just takes me out of commission.  The last flare up was bad enough that I'm now on medication and I'm trying to deal with it as a real thing in my life, because I don't want it stopping me from working out as well as keeping me from just doing what I need to do.

Its nice to have my heart working mostly properly, but I'm 36.  Things do not work the way they used to, and I want to strengthen now so that my bones, joints, etc...  will play ball with me for the next few decades.  I'm also kind of keen to try to see if I can't replace some of the mass hanging off me with actual normal human shape.

Make no mistake, even when I drop weight, my frame is never going to make it look like I'm the TV version of healthy.  My frame is somewhat panda-bear shaped.  Even when I was in karate and could jump over a fence or kick a Hyundai over (seriously, TKD was an amazing workout, and it fills you with unwarranted self-confidence and the desire to kick everything all the time), I wasn't ever mistaken for "thin".  So I've kind of decided to give up on lean and go for "thuglike".  Or "Ben Grimm-esque".  I can be a big guy, but I can be a big guy who won't give you pause as you wonder if they're going to make it up the stairs.

My eating habits have had to change.  I don't insist on Tex-Mex three nights per week anymore.  I seek out tuna and chicken rather than a large Papa John's pizza.  Jamie has been a total sport and we cook differently now.

I think its important to note: I've also been poor frequently, and like it or not, its easier to eat really badly when you don't have much money.

Anyhow, I do have some fitness goals.  Mostly I'm writing this post so I make a public deal with myself to keep working out.  The goals are modest, and its also very hard to explain to people what it means to be the sheer scale that I am.  Losing five pounds is noticeable on other people.  I've lost considerably more than that and most people don't really notice, and that's okay.  I'm not in it to be told I'm looking svelter.  But I do give myself a smug smile of satisfaction when I have to buy new pants.

The nice thing is that I've got friends who have, in their 30's, really made huge lifestyle changes and its worked for them.  It's do-able (but I'm not going to become a crazy marathon runner like some of you, Simon and JAL).  And that's inspirational.  It really, truly is.  Not the least of these folks is my brother, who was always the bigger of the two of us, but now that jerk has gone and lost a ton of weight.  So screw that guy.

Anyhow, again, this isn't much more about me making a statement so that you guys hold me to it, and I hold me to it, and as this blog also acts as a personal journal, I can look back and remember where I was when I posted this, and hopefully I won't have fallen off the wagon by then.