My Triglycerides Are Super High

My triglycerides have been an issue for a long time. I gained weight when I quit smoking in 1996 because I was tasting food for the first time, or at least it seemed that way because I was actually getting the full flavor of the food for the first time. I guess I had just forgotten what food was supposed to taste like and I went a little overboard. I was 150lbs and gained 50lbs in the first 2 months when I quit smoking. Over the years I gradually gained so much weight until I was my highest at 262lbs in 2013. I lost 70lbs, but I stopped losing weight, and nearly all of the weight came back.

Last month the doctor told me to get my blood tests done a week before our appointment. I was supposed to go in last week on Friday, and we did come in, but the guy just left for lunch and we didn’t want to wait an hour for him to come back, so we just went home and decided to come back on Monday morning. When we went to our appointment today, the doctor told me that my triglycerides were extremely high. He said they should be 150, but they are 332 or so. That’s more than double what they should be.

He told me it’s from eating too many fatty foods, but the problem isn’t the foods that I eat, because I don’t eat fatty foods that often. In fact, it’s very rare. We had Burger King twice this month, and that’s the first time we’ve had Burger King in years. We don’t eat fast food, like ever. When we go to the mall and we get hungry, I always get Subway. That’s about that only fast food I will eat because it’s supposed to be good for you. We don’t eat Subway that often, but when we do eat at a fast food restaurant, it’s usually Subway. At home, I am usually always eating skinless boneless chicken breast and I cut out all the fat. I don’t eat red meat, chicken is the only meat I will eat.

Here’s my issue, I’ve been going to Planet Fitness for 5 weeks. I don’t eat fatty foods. I think the blood report he was looking at wasn’t the new report from Monday, but from my last report from several months ago. He had me do more blood work today, so next month I will find out the results.

Fish OilI asked him what I can do to fix this and he told me fish oil. So, I went to Albertson’s when we came home and bought some fish oil. I read the directions and it says to take 3 pills with a meal every day, so that’s exactly what I will do for the next month. It’s a 30 day supply, so it looks like I will be taking 3 pills a day for the next several months until my next blood report. Hopefully that will lower my triglycerides enough to bring them back down to normal.

The doctor told me that there is fat on my liver and that’s why the numbers are high. The bottle says that fish oil may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. I Googled triglycerides to see what it is, and this is what I found.

wpid-2015-10-23-00.35.14.png.pngStroke??? Holy cow! Yeah, I don’t want to have a stroke, so this fish oil better do what it is supposed to so I don’t have a stroke. That’s a scary thought.

So we will see how things go. My next blood test will probably be in 3 months, and I will find out the results in probably 4 months from now. I will definitely keep this blog updated on the results. Wish me luck.

Sleep Apnea

bipap machine

My aunt in Simi Valley and my other aunt who lived in Palmdale at the time (2002 – 2004) both told me when I visited them that I gasped for air in my sleep and that I snored REALLY loud. I never took the snoring issue seriously because I’ve always snored loud, at least that’s what people always tell me. I remember when I was 19 and lived with my sister and her husband in Tujunga and I fell asleep on the floor while watching TV and my snoring actually woke me up lol.

When we lived in the little house next door in 2004, I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air. Not like a little gasp and being able to breathe like normal, I mean I was choking and I could not get any air at all. It was frightening, to put it mildly. Just imagine not being able to breathe for several minutes and feeling like you’re going to die soon. What happened was, when I was sleeping, my airway would close, causing me to not be able to breathe. Try as I might, I could not get any air. I would even vomit during this. Vomit was able to leave my mouth, but then my airway would close up again. Eventually the airway would open and I could breathe, and then I would have really bad acid reflux. My doctor gave me a inhaler, and that would help until I could get a sleep study referral, which took a long time to get.

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2005. They told me at the sleep study that I would stop breathing for 25 seconds, then breathe for 35 seconds (or maybe it was the other way around) and this went on every minute. I don’t recall if they told me that I gasped for air or not during the sleep study, but I’m sure I did. Thankfully I didn’t vomit lol.

I received my BiPap machine in September 2005 and I used it faithfully every night until 2013 when I lost 70lbs. I was told that if I lost enough weight, I wouldn’t have sleep apnea anymore, and for the last 18 months I didn’t. The last week I’ve had to start using my machine again because I would wake up in the middle of the night with really bad acid reflux, which is always an indication that I need to use my BiPap machine.

One of the concerns I have is that if I don’t use my machine, I could die of a heart attack or stroke in my sleep. My mother was overweight and she died of a heart attack in her sleep. I don’t know if she had sleep apnea, but I do remember that she snored really loud, so I am only assuming that she did, and that was how she died. I was told that sleep apnea is genetic, and that the reason I got it was because a family member had it. My aunt in Palmdale moved to Texas and was also diagnosed with sleep apnea. She and my mother have the same father, but different mothers, so perhaps this was bestowed upon us by my grandfather, who also gave me the gift of male pattern baldness lol. I’m not complaining, I wouldn’t have it any other way, and every time I look at it in the mirror, I see him and it makes me smile because I loved him.

So I called Monitor Medical today and told them that I was using my machine again, and they made a note in my chart. I would really hate to leave this world and leave my partner because I was dumb enough to stop using my BiPap machine. It’s very irresponsible of me! I hate that I have to use it, but it keeps me alive. I would love to go back to losing weight, but it will happen if it is meant to be. In the meantime, I was continue to use my machine until I don’t have to use it again, but honestly, this is probably going to be with me until the day I die.

If you or someone you know has really bad snoring issues and they might gasp for air, tell them to get to their doctor for a referral for a sleep study. Sleep apnea is a matter of life and death, so when you see someone snoring, don’t laugh at them or ignore the problem, tell them to get to a doctor stat! You will thank me later.

Oh and by the way, the machine at the top, that is a stock photo, but it is the machine that I have. And in case you are wondering about CPAP vs BIPAP, the CPAP uses one pressure and the BiPAP uses two. These two pressures are called inhalation pressure (IPAP) and the exhalation pressure (EPAP). Everyone I have spoken to who has sleep apnea uses a CPAP and they tell me they’ve never even heard of BiPap before. So now you know.

Ascent Fluid Trainer

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My Ascent Fluid Trainer from Nashbar arrived via UPS on October 29. Setting it up was a breeze and my bicycle looks really nice on it, but there is a huge downside, and that’s the noise it makes. Holy crap that thing is loud. It’s not really that bad if I have music playing in my ears, but everyone else can hear it. You get used to it after a while.

I installed my bicycle computer on the back wheel and reset my computer so it can start over from scratch. I rode on it for a few minutes and burned a total of 19 calories lol. But let me tell you that this trainer is so good that my thighs were on fire. I had to stop and start again, again and again and OMG.

It was definitely worth the money that I paid. I was hoping this could be something that I could do in 30 to 60 minute intervals throughout the day, like after every meal or something. I was hoping to clear a space in the dining room for it, but that’s totally out of the question because of how loud this thing is. I wanted to put it in my bedroom because I can watch TV in there while I’m on it, but I don’t think that will happen any time soon. If I had a 10 speed then that would be one thing, but I’m not bringing my mountain bike in the bedroom because I still need to use it to go to the grocery store every now and then, and it’s too much of a hassle to walk it through the kitchen and hallway and through 4 doorways. If it’s not a permanent fixture, then it’s not going to work out. If by chance I do find one, then that would be awesome and I will try it.

One thing that I didn’t realize about this thing is that when I switch gears, my back wheel moves and hits the right side of the resistance unit roller. I did that and found it was especially difficult to ride, so I got off and looked and saw a bunch of black dust on the ground. I was grinding the rubber off my wheel. Oops! Well, so much for changing gears. I read that you are supposed to position the wheel on the back of the trainer so it provides you with the resistance you need, then switch gears on the bicycle to make it easy or hard. Well, that’s not going to work with my bicycle lol.

IMAG0728The next time I rode my bike on the trainer, I noticed that as I was riding, the bike would move and the wheel would slide on the roller and it would grind the end of the roller as if I had switched gears, but I hadn’t. I would get off and move it back into position, but it would do it again and I didn’t know why. I then thought that perhaps it was because where it screws onto the axle, it didn’t have anything to hold on to. There is an Axle Support Cup that wasn’t able to grip onto anything. The right side has the nut in the Axle Support Cup, but it wasn’t able to grip the nut on the left side. I was having a difficult time thinking of how I was going to fix this if I didn’t have a 2nd nut to screw on to the left axle. My partner suggested that since my front wheel doesn’t move, why not take one of the nuts from the front, and use it on the back, so that’s what I did and it worked. Maybe I can switch gears now.

I’m glad he suggested that, because I could have continued to ride the bike without that nut on there and with my luck, I could have broken either the axle, or the trainer itself, and perhaps I would end up having an accident and end up breaking a bone. Wouldn’t that be just my luck? That’s all I need lol.

Anyway, I hope to get a lot of use out of this thing because I need a lot of exercise. If anything new happens or I get new information I will blog about it.

Nashbar.com / Fluid Trainers / Ascent Fluid Trainer

Parotidectomy Surgery Complications

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It has been 3 weeks since I had my surgery and everything seems to be healing well.  My scar isn’t red and it isn’t too noticeable, except for the scar from the hole from where the tube was draining the fluid for 2 weeks which is quite visible, but disappears with a Band-Aid.

My face and ear are still numb, although the feeling is coming back slowly, but it is coming back.  But it still feels very strange.

The only thing that seems to have gone wrong is that I still have a saliva gland that seems to still be producing saliva with nowhere to go.  According to the image, there are three glands.  Parotid, which was removed, Submandibular and Sublingual.  The Sublingual gland is under the tongue, no problem.  The gland that is still producing saliva is my Submandibular gland which is below where the Parotid gland used to be.  It is still producing saliva, but it is not releasing into my mouth.  Instead of releasing into my mouth, it stores the saliva.

This is a really big issue because that is what my Parotid gland was doing.  It wasn’t releasing the saliva, so I was having to push (or milk) it out of the gland and into my mouth.  I have been trying to do that with this gland, but it is not releasing into my mouth, instead, I can feel it releasing under my skin.  I can tell because it tingles.  I don’t want it to release saliva inside of my body, but if it doesn’t get milked, it just gets bigger and bigger and next thing you know I will be rushed to the emergency room because of how painful it is.

The surgeon told me when I came back last week to have the tube removed that it was just some saliva that will be absorbed by my body, but I had no idea it was still producing more saliva.  I only know it is producing more saliva because I could feel it getting bigger and under more pressure when I ate some chocolate the other day.  Sweet and tangy are what seem to generate a lot of saliva for me, which over the years has been a major issue for me because when I start generating a lot of saliva after drinking orange juice, my saliva gland would get backed up and it wouldn’t release the saliva into my mouth.  That’s what I was trying to get surgery for, forget the stone, I want my saliva to be able to release into my mouth as it normally would without me having to milk it.

I can live without orange juice, which I have lived without for years because I know that sour causes this issue.  The one thing I don’t think I can live without is sweet, because I have a sweet tooth.  I love sweet flavors, such as sweet tea, or sweet coffee, or sweet oatmeal.  I can live without chocolate and cookies and so on, but I can’t avoid other sweet flavors because there is almost always something sweet.

My next appointment with the surgeon isn’t until March, but my next appointment with my regular doctor is next month and he will advise me on what to do.  I just hope by then it isn’t too painful.

I was hoping that my last post on this issue was my very last post.  I guess I jinxed myself by saying it was my last post.  This seems to be a pattern with me though.  I say I will never have to worry about something again, but then it comes back and I have to worry about it some more.  It’s a “if it can go wrong, it will” type of thing.  Murphy’s Law.  Why does Murphy seem to always be hiding in the shadows cursing me?  Darn you Murphy!

I will certainly update this issue if it becomes too unbearable and I end up in the ER or when I see my doctor in January, whichever comes first.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is a day that most people spend with their families, watching football, having uncomfortable conversations about their love life or gossiping about the black sheep (that’s me) who did or said what to who. Eat great food and open the button on their pants and unzip their zipper to let their stomach expand so they can breathe and it’s perfectly normal. There might be a fight, someone might come out of the closet, but at least you are with the ones you love.

I miss that.

We’re going to Hometown Buffet today with Venda then we’re gonna go see the movie Unstoppable. I have seen a commercial or 2 about it but I think it came out a long time ago so it’s probably in the little tiny theater. It’s not my choice but that’s what we’re going to see.

On Thanksgiving people usually say what they are thankful for. Well, I am thankful for my health (generic I know but it’s true) and my freedom. I am thankful that I have little drama in my life. You know us gays, always with the drama. Well, not this one. I try to keep all the drama out because what’s the point really? I am thankful that we have the cutest dog in the world who loves us. I am also very thankful that we have a home, a roof over our head with food in our pantry and fridge. And most of all I am thankful that I am in a relationship with the most wonderful person and that relationship has lasted over 16.5 years and is still going strong.

Well, it’s time to go. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving day with your families wherever you are. Stay safe and don’t drink and drive!

Bokni Magus

Yay!  I finally defeated this bastard.  And it didn’t even take me 2 weeks like someone posted on a message board that it took them.

As I said in my previous post about Untold Legends (Warriors Code) I was just experimenting to see what would happen if I exited the game, then came back but when I loaded my character instead of clicking continue that I’d click restart chapter.  I thought it would take me back to the beginning of that zone that I was in but instead it took me all the way back to the very beginning of the game.  But my advantage was that I was still level 16 and I still had all my weapons and armor and trinkets.

That sorta helped me and in fact as I went along going back to the Bokni Magus I was being upgraded for my level with equipment.  But when I did get back to the Bokni Magus last night he was just as hard to kill as before.  But, this morning I went back to the monastery and bought some upgrades from the merchant along with some new augments and I was able to beat this Bokni Magus once and for all.  Because the new augments were Petrify for 4 seconds and Charm for 4 seconds.  Along with 3 Health Drain.  So those helped me a bit.  Those effects are on my weapon.

So now I’m finally on chapter 2.