Noah's Arkive

Cosmic Musings and ColdFusion

Noah's Arkive

Sick and Tired

August 6, 2019 · No Comments

January 2018

I was sick. Sick and tired. My contract with USDA was at an end. I was 69 years old. I wanted to work 'til 72, max out the Social Security. But I was tired. Tired when I woke, when I trod off to work, tired at work, on the way home. At home too tired to do much beside watch TV and some chores. 

And sick. Diabetes, you see, and cardiac artery disease (CAD) and periphial artery disease (PAD) and a thyroid on vacation.

The pain from the blood pooling in my legs was such that I could walk no more than a few hundred feet, if that, before I had to stop and wait until it susbided, then continue. My feet were on fire from neuropathy. (A neighbor remarked that I "looked so angry" walking home. It wasn't anger, it was pain.)

There's short hill on the way to the bus; really just an incline of 20 feet or so. I paused at the bottom contemplating it, I rested in the middle, and at it's end I often stopped completely. My heart pounding in my ears, my chest heaving, gasping, my legs knotted. I dared not move. And the, angina: the pressure eminating from the center of my chest, upwards into my face, laterally into my arms. I knew that one day it was going to force me to the pavement, and there was no getting up.

The were three times I remember (perhaps more that I don't want to remember) when I turned about, crawled back home and called in sick. Unable to make it work. As it was, I was sicker than I even knew at the time.

I looked online for one of those "mobilty scooters". I thought about having groceries delivered, maybe make arrangements for an accessible van to get me to the metro. 

And so I began assembling my resume, updating my laptop demo, took some online courses to brush up some coding skills (I am a programmer) and started to look for work. But my efforts soon languished. I had no energy, no focus, no particular goal. I could not see past my circumstance or condition. I had accepted my inevitable and quickening decline.

I wrote in a notebook that "diabetes is death by millimeters: every day you feel a tiny bit worse and it never gets any better." And so I sat in my lounger watching cable news, yelling at the talking heads, eating bags of the "healthy - faux - potato chips." I waited for disease to cripple me, destroy my kidneys, my arteries, render me helpless and finally kill me. I had given up.

So I retired. And retirement meant Medicare. And Medicare meant a new doctor. And a new doctor meant a complete workup. The results were worse than lousy across the board: out of control blood sugar, triglycerides way too high, indications that my kidneys were in trouble, and a host of very dangerous symptoms.

My doctor said "What happened Noah, what happened to you?!" And then, holding up the printout for me to see, said "You cannot hope for a good outcome with numbers like these." I was a bit shocked; no physician ever spoke so directly to me. He pointed to my weight - 223lbs. at the time - and said that it was critical to get my weight down. He pointed out that if I can do that, a lot of things might take care of themselves.

He woke me up. He scared the hell out of me. I realized at that moment, at that very moment, I had a decision to make: I could face a problem that plagued me my entire life - that I was obese - or I could accept it.

I chose to fight.

Tags: Diabetes · Pilates · THWN · Transformation · Weight Loss · Yoga

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