Tuesday, January 08, 2013

My health update for the new year - A.K.A. Woo Hoo... I actually LOST 26lbs over Christmas and New Years

So... in late November of 2010, after years of "ideopathic endocrine disorders" (which we now know to have been caused by endocrine cancer); I reached the peak weight of my life, 497lbs.

This was after having gained almost 60 pounds in less than 4 weeks, and more than 40lbs in less than two weeks; all in excess dependent fluid retention (edema), mostly in the central trunk.

This led to my experiencing a great deal of pain, being unable to put shoes, rings, or a watch on because of it; and finally, having a hypertensive crisis (under more normal health conditions, I actually have LOW blood pressure, and normal cholesterol. This was a question of acute hypervolemia).

I was immediately put on a high dose of diuretics (which took a couple months of experimenting to get right). THAT led me to losing 24 pounds in 48 hours, and over 40 pounds over the next four weeks.

Soon after that we discovered my cancer; but my care team didn't want to operate at the weight I was then at, due to the risk of respiratory arrest, seizure etc... presented by a weight over 350lbs.

Over the next 12 months, I managed to lose as much as 150lbs; getting down to 345lbs briefly... But my weight volatility remained EXTREMELY high; losing or gaining as much as 28lbs in a single day, and as much as 68lbs in a week.

Obviously, mostly due to the fluid retention issue, but I also started regaining real weight over time.

As time went on, I gained more and more weight back, as my endocrine problems worsened. Finally, in the month before my surgery, I had to go off all the medications that were controlling my weight, and I went back up to 468lbs.

We hoped that my weight would start heading back down after my surgery, but it didn't. Then we hoped that it would head back down after my radiation treatment. It didn't.

Or rather it did, but only a little bit, still with very high volatility, and very slowly. Also, my fluid retention decreased, but is still very high.

And guys, I'm barely eating. On a typical day, I might have one meal, 800 calories or so... maybe a snack or two, some cream in my coffee (but generally no sugar)... Most days I'm eating 1200 calories or so. On a heavy day I might eat 1500, and even on thansgiving and christmas I haven't gone over about 2000 calories.

Honestly, with my medications and whatnot, I just can't eat very much anymore, without getting nauseous. I have to take a bunch of vitamin and mineral supplements to make up for it.

So, you'd think I'd be losing lots of weight.

... and I'm just not.

It's been almost five months since the surgery at this point. I had my end of year followup December 21st; and the great news, is that I have no more identifiable masses of cancerous tissue. I'm not entirely recovered of course, but I'm mostly out of the woods on the cancer for now (we're going to followup with additional testing every six months to make sure I stay that way).

... but not on the endocrine problems. There's still a lot of long term damage from the last 7 or 8 years of illness, and of course I'm going to need hormone supplementation for the rest of my life.

In my end of year labs, we found that my hormone levels (particularly my testosterone and thyroid levels) were still very much out of whack.

So, we adjusted my testosterone and levothyroxine dosages; going up to 400mg injectable testosterone every week (2ml injection, 200mg per ml. A very high theraputic dose, but below what weightlifters and athletes would use for "performance enhancement". I had been on the same dosage every two weeks), and 600mcg of levothyroxine per day (a "normal" dose is between 25mcg and 100mcg per  day. 200mcg is the highest dosage pill they sell. 600mcg is actually double the normal "dangerous" dose).

As of Saturday, I'd lost 26lbs in the 12 days since I started the new dosage regime.

It seems to be working.

And that's without going back on my diuretics; which I'm starting back on this week.

Let's see how it goes from here.

I'm sure I can't sustain this level of weight loss of course; but I'd love to lose another 50lbs by the time our son arrives in mid April... Maybe even get back down under 300lbs by next Christmas.

My goal is to get down under 295lbs, and under 18pct bodyfat; with a stretch goal of between 265 and 285lbs, and 12-14% bodyfat.