Sunday, December 27, 2015

Easy to Learn / Difficult to Master - Part 2 of 2

Following up on the Contrave hopes, they ended up being dashed. Not long after starting Contrave, three primary symptoms showed up, constipation, headaches, and ringing in the ears. I was ramping up the dose at the rate suggested by my doctor but it turned out to be too difficult. I called him and he told me to ramp up the dosage at an even slower rate. After a month of very little sleep, an increased temper, and only a minor change in eating habits, I saw my doctor for a follow-up. I did manage to lose somewhere between 3 and 5 pounds in those 4 weeks. He said that I needed to see the silver lining in these symptoms. By being so sensitive to the medication that I was having intense symptoms, it was quite likely that the Contrave would be a successful recourse for my weight loss.

After two more weeks, MBWM and I discussed things. She encouraged me to stop the Contrave. I reversed the ramp up to a ramp down and pulled myself off of it over the course of three weeks. After 2 weeks of being completed off of it, the constipation went away. The headaches have diminished but not gone away. The tintinnabulation has not diminished. It has me worried that it may have become a permanent part of my life.

I have to admit that I am completely disappointed in the Contrave. I didn't realize it until I was ramping down that I had put so much faith in the medication. I fear that I am down to only one choice, surgery. That is a discussion for another time, however.

What is going to happen is that the whole family is getting into making changes to our collective eating habits. Over the last couple weeks, I have been teaching the kids about using a stop light to describe foods. There are red light foods (only once a week, if that). Yellow light foods (once every day or two). Green light foods (As often as possible). MBWM has added the idea of changing the base of our meal plan from carbohydrates to salad. I am definitely looking forward to that. I am also going to start grading my efforts. I am an instructor, after all. I am used to develping a rubric and grading assignments.

With the future firmly in sight,


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Finding the Joy in the Little Things

First of all, my apologies for not starting Easy to Learn / Difficult to Master - Part 2 of 2. Details will follow. Instead, this tangential entry is being offered.

I consider myself truly blessed in so many way. A simple one this morning was seeing Quail shakily coming down the stairs rubbing his eyes. While I was sitting at the dinning room table, he crossed the hallway from the bottom of the stairs to the bathroom. He pushed open the door and informed my that he had to go potty.  A few minutes later, he comes out, still walking unsteadily and rubbing his eyes. But all signs of lesser-wakefulness disappear as he spins on a dime and dashes back into the bathroom. He then comes out of the bathroom clutching his new Hot Wheel airplane before dashing back upstairs with his treasure.
Two other simple joys to share:

I have not been very good at long-term committing to much in the form of health-improving efforts. Success needs perpetual attention. I am quite low on energy but I am going to commit to a few items of improvement and track it on here. If nothing else, I will have a record of where improvements are needed and what events have taken place. Since I am still deciding what form those improvements are going to take, I will have to report later on what efforts I am taking.

Yours in the joys of the season of hope,