Posts filed under ‘Health’

Update from the CPAP Doc.

Well, I visited the doc for my first checkup after starting CPAP.  I have had only 3 nights without use of the CPAP and I never sleep without it.  I wish I had the miracle that others have, but I am not there yet.  I feel better, but not as good as I should probably feel.

One thing that the nurses and docs do is survey you on do you feel drowsy during meetings or other things like that and the score is a number.  The lower the number, the better.  I improved from a 6 to a 8.

I mentioned to the doc that I still tend to open my mouth EVEN with a chinstrap on.  The chinstrap is supposed to stop your from opening your mouth but it just plain does not work on me.  I asked the doc if I could switch masks to a full face and she said sure and I perked right up and asked for a specific mask.  She wrote up the order for it.  If you want to know, it’s a ResMed Mirage Liberty.  This has the pillows like my first mask, but has a cover that goes over my mouth so that if I open it, the air goes down the throat instead of rushing out of it ruining the therapy.

Losing weight will also help my Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  I hope to be off the machine as I continue to lose more weight.  I have lost 70 lbs thus far.

It is possible that I may not ever be able to get off of it without surgery.  Being overweight can cause OSA, but so can a whole slew of other things.

Another good thing…my BP was 118/78 which is NORMAL!  That doesn’t mean I can come off the meds, but it does mean I am heading the right direction.    I have to have low blood pressure before they change the meds.


August 23, 2007 at 9:36 am

ISG and Ardour GTK

I have started a new podcast called The Incredible Shrinking Geek  on podshow.  This show will kind of chronicle my weight loss program of sorts as well as provide people with hints on how I got around things like eating out and more.  It’s located at:

Anyway, as I want to always have the ability to record this show, I decided to use Ardour as the editor.  Ardour runs on Linux and is a full Digital Audio Workstation.  It can also record multi tracks as well.  It’s a bit complicated but it does work.  It uses another program called JackD which is a audio server on steroids.  It can handle working in realtime if your kernel supports it.  Anyway, take a listen to the show and try Ardour if you want something better then Audacity.

June 26, 2007 at 8:40 pm

I’m Normal

For those who didn’t know, I was scheduled, and had my MRI Friday.  The MRI was to look at a suspected hemangioma on my liver.  A hemangioma is essentially a birthmark, but it’s on my liver.  It’s typically not cancerous and they typically will leave them on the liver if they are found.  They spotted this on my Ultrasound and wanted the MRI to confirm what it was or if it was an anomaly on the ultrasound.

Well, the  Doctor called yesterday, and the MRI came back normal so there’s nothing wrong with me at this point.

Now, the MRI was one of the most weird/interesting things  I have ever had to go through.   The machine they put me in was essentially 2 round slabs that had some substantial machinery connecting the two.  One slab was above me and the other is what I laid on.  They put me in there in scrubs (can’t have any metal on you or in the room) and I went in between the slabs.   Before each image, the tech asked me to take a deep breath, blow it all the way out and don’t breath!  By the time she told me to breath I was not feeling great.  I would finally feel better and it was time for the next pic.  Then it repeats.  After all the initial images were done, they had to inject intravenously some contrast that helped them see my liver better.  Then they did all the same images again with the contrast medicine coursing through my veins.  After an hour, I was done and onthe way out, they gave me a card for a free ice cream at Graters, which was right next door (I smell a HUGE racket!).  Anyway, the folks at Proscan Imaging did a great job to make sure I was comfortable even though they did mess my right arm up a little looking for a vein and eventually had to give the contrast to me in my hand (really weird, and a little painful, but doesn’t hurt once the IV is pulled out).  I highly recommend Proscan Imaging and if you have to get a MRI done and have a choice, they are the best in my opinion.

I have to say that a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulder. Anytime you have a spot on any body part, it’s NOT a good thing and you better get it checked out.  Granted, what they were trying to see is if I really did have a hemangioma which is benign, but it stil gives you the willies because what if the spot is there and it’s NOT a hemangioma??  Only one other thing and cancer sucks….no matter where you get it.

April 17, 2007 at 7:49 am

Quizno’s and Other Restaraunt Nutritional Data.

As many of you who read my blog know, I have been diagnosed with High Blood pressure. In order to combat this and get off of the drugs, I have been attempting to lose weight as well as regulate my sodium intake. This is incredibly hard when restaurants refuse to put their nutritional data on their websites. Namely, Quiznos. Look and search as I may, I can’t find the data. I have found lots of info on the subs, but some estimations on some sites leave out the sodium content. In fact, why should I have to go anywhere but the main Quiznos website at: ? (Sorry, no hyperlink because I am lazy). Anyway, I may try asking them and see if I can find something I can eat for lunch or I just might skip it. GRR.

The reason it’s important to me is where I am at this week has a Quiznos right downstairs and it’s really convenient to get there. Anyway, I will probably screw my sodium content for today.

The things in their veggie that are totally unknown to me are the bread, the vinaigrette and any cheese they put on it. Yes the bread has sodium…there’s a ton of hidden sodium in that tasty roll. That’s why it’s TASTY! 😀

April 2, 2007 at 10:07 am 1 comment

This Weekend Officially Sucks…

The weekend started off rough on Friday. Things went wel a day and I was sticking to my panned scale down in my diet and I even put 45 minutes on the treadmill. Then, it all started to go down hill…

The wife calls in tears as I am leaving. My son is being a total terror and is being belligerent and hitting her and not listening to her and more. So I stew on the bus while I listen to the tech show. Good show guys. Anyway, I finally get home and I start talking to my son. Meanwhile, while my wife was getting ready to go to work Friday, she trips and falls on her knee over a pair of my son’s pants that he left in the hallway when he stripped. She can’t get up. Finally she pulls her self up and can’t put any weight on her one leg. We manage to get her dressed and back and forth to work. She lays down and hopes it gets better over night. It doesn’t, so we call the Dr. in the morning and they can’t get her in til Monday (why is that???). So we pack everyone in the van and drive down to Urgent Care where she gets X-Rays (nothing’s broke…thank god) and she gets scripts for good pain killers and gets told she needs to see a orthopedist in a week. It’s at this point, I realize my training trip is canceled. There’s no way I can go to Chicago with a wife who can only get around, somewhat, on crutches and a son. So I call the boss, tell him what to do and we get things canceled. Hopefully the college loses no money. Airline gives me credit on my ticket which id all is well I use in June.

Also, Saturday, I get another health whammie. My LDL is high (122) and my Dr. says if I can’t get it any lower, I need to go on Zocor. There’s also a diet I need to follow. It had 2 pages. One page with everything I like to eat and another with only some things I like to eat. Well, it seemed that way. So I have to curtail almost everything and I HAVE to exercise.

Needless to say, I am very depressed at the moment. I only hope that the depression is relieved a little when I go see my son get his Tiger Badge later today.

As I leave this post off, I want to remind everyone if you don’t get a yearly physical, make sure you do! If you don’t, your first visit to a doctor may be to the one in the emergency room as you just had your first heart attack. Also, don’t eat at McDonalds, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Jack in The Box, White Castle, Taco Bell or pretty much ANY fast food place and watch what you eat at other, nicer restaurants. Sodium content is VERY high in these types of foods. To give you an idea, a Chipotle Burrito with Rice, Black Bean, Barbacoa, Cheese, and Red tomatillo salsa has the following nutritional content:

Chipotle Nutrition Facts
Serving Size:
1 Burrito

Amount Per Serving

Calories 1243 Calories from Fat 469
% DV*
Total Fat 53g
Saturated Fat 20g
Cholesterol 144mg
Sodium 3171mg
Total Carbohydrate 124g
Dietary Fiber 9.5g
Sugars 3g
Protein 66g
Vitamin A 106%
Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 50%
Iron 22%

Chipotle Nutrition Results provided by:

This is almost TWICE the Sodium most people should eat in a day. It also has 1200 calories. Restaurants should be shutdown for serving poison like this.

Fat content is usually not great either. Stick to chicken, turkey, pork the most and have beef only in lean cuts. Lunchmeat is also out as it’s way to salty.

So what can you eat? Well, follow the DASH diet. It’s good for most people with HBP (check) and high cholesterol (check). Even with recipes on these diets, you have to watch how much you eat. Keep your calories down and exercise. This isn’t just coming from me and it’s something that is going to be pretty hard for me to combat. The thing I need is encouragement and prayer. I am going to lick this thing and I want to live until I am 80 or 90 if I can. All I need is to be dedicated to the fact that I don’t want to have a heart attack in 10 years.

March 4, 2007 at 8:25 am

Just had my Physical….when was yours??

Just for the people who read this blog (all two of you) I wanted to share my experience at the Doctor’s office this week.

I have to say right now, I am a large guy. I have battled with weight all my life and I have tried going to the gym multiple times. Well, now I have to finally kick my weight in the proverbial ass. During the physical, my BP was 150/90 and they prescribed blood pressure medicine. This kind of freaked me the hell out, but I knew something like this was coming.

My goal now is to get off of these meds this year if at all possible and to lose weight.

Another goal of mine is to let my readers, and listeners know that if you have not gotten into the habit of getting a yearly physical that you should do this. These things usually affect you the rest for your life, but with careful diet and weight loss, you can get rid of it or at least the requirement that you take medicine.

March 2, 2007 at 3:20 pm

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