Over the past few weeks I found out my diagnostic skills, at least on myself, need a little work. An overlooked appendix almost killed me and made me more grateful than ever for becoming fit later in life.
A few weeks ago, after a full day of work, gym and even a date (during which I felt zero pain—hormones are amazing), I decided to admit myself to an emergency room in Midtown Manhattan for what I thought was “food poisoning.” Since about 3 PM I had been having bouts of extreme pain around my abdomen, something that had happened a few times across the past six months. At 10:30 I had had enough and made myself get dressed and head to a local ER. Almost from the start, the intern thought it was my appendix. I told him “no, no, I have ruled out appendicitis.” A few CAT scans and a lot of moaning later, I got the word—I was not going home—I had to have an appendectomy STAT. About 18 hours later I was consulting with a surgeon and a few hours after that awoke to find myself one bloated appendix lighter.
Very few of my clients ever follow my orders for care, and as a result I am an ideal patient. Despite my rigid adherence to all of my recovery rules, the past few weeks afterwords have been up and down. I will have a good day or two, hop back into work and then hit a wall. My recovery is slower than I would like but it sure beats the alternative. So my workouts, with the exception of a few runs and a modified weight routine, are not taking place. So much for a six pack by my birthday.
Happily, my weight has stabilized and actually declined over the past month. I weighed myself the morning of January 8th and was 220 pounds. I had a heavy weight day and running the day before and weight lifting typically increases my body weight the day after a hard workout. That night I was admitted to the ER and missed my 5 am weigh-ins until the 12th, four days later. I had been weighing myself daily for so long I did not know what to expect when I hit the scales that Friday. My weight was up—223.6.
An M.D. friend of mine had told me that I would see a rapid decline in weight as my recovery continued and he was right. For most of the next week I lost at least a pound and sometimes two pounds a day. Not working out, consuming 1900 calories and 200+ grams of protein daily but the weight dropped and dropped even more. I had a few workout days and those are the days you see weight increases. But on the whole the past thirty days has been amazing, with my weight on February 3rd (212.6) being the lightest weight I have ever been.
If you look at the chart, you can see I was actually the
lightest I have ever been as an adult on February 3rd
Thursday morning before I left the hospital, one of the residents was looking at my incisions and was amazed at how well I was doing. He praised me, say that the only reason my recovery was so rapid was that I came to the hospital in “tip-top shape.” Those words have been echoing in my head ever sense—tip-top shape. It’s hard for a former fatty to digest the idea (pun intended) that I am no longer who I have been my entire life. Despite the amazing daily weigh-ins and the slim-fitted suits and the “likes” and “winks” I get on dating apps, a part of me still sees a fat guy where one used to be. That resident’s comment, said in passing as he continued his rounds, gave me one more reason to stay the course.
Being in control of my eating puts me in control of my life.
David Ezell is a life coach and therapist, with clients in Connecticut, New York and around the world via the Internet. If you want to make a change for the best, make an appointment for a consultation by writing him at Info@DavidEzell.com or calling 347.302.2585.