Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Lost Year

While many people are celebrate 2014 and look forward to 2015, I'm only looking at the latter, for 2015 to be a decent year, but then anything is better than 2014, after a good 2013 from the health issues of 2012.

I'm glad this is the last day of 2014, and while the year started off good with the continuation of 2013, it quickly went south in February after January where I walked the second most miles and passed the 2,000 mile mark in the last half of the month.

But then in February I aggrevating my Sciatic nerve (first in June 2011 and then worst in July 2012) and kept walking with it for a week to find I needed to take 2 weeks off. Then resuming walking in March I aggrevating it again and kept walking on it again only to also blow out both shins where I couldn't walk at all.

That prompted a 6-8 week rest with just a few short walks but things got worse when I got a bacterial infection in my digestive tract they couldn't diagnose and only said to give it time. I went from 155 lbs to 163 lbs in two months.

I managed to resume walking in June to get down to 161 lbs but it was July when things changed. Over a week period I lost over 5 lbs from the body fighting the bacterial infection, which reduced it but didn't eliminate it, and I got back to 155 lbs.

Then in August I got an ear infection, and the irony is that the Amoxicillin they prescribed didn't cure the ear infection, which turned out to be "swimmer's ear" and required a very painful cleaning and removing earwax which was stuck to the eardrums, it did cure the digestive infection.

You see Amoxicillin is a universal anti-biotic which kills all the bacteria in your intestinal system, both good and bad, which killed the infection but also all the good bacteria used to digest food, which meant the system worked again but then didn't function right.

Then they prescribed a more powerful anti-biotic for the ear infection which I took twice and stopped because it completely shut down my digestive system for days. Really, and it took a week to get it back to functioning where it had to rebuild the good bacteria.

That didn't quite happen until late October but then I got the seasonal flu for 3 weeks, followed by a few days of feeling good before coming down with the intestinal flu for 3 weeks which is a common followup reaction to the seasonal flu.

So by early November I was over all that and the digestive system began working again, this time with help from some probiotics (didn't work before), and I was still at 155 lbs when all was said and done with the body.

But to be on the safe side I reduced the walks to 6 miles, and while they felt too short and too easy, the goal was to give the body and the back time to recover for the new year when I plan to return to 8 mile walks in January.

The difference this time is that my digestive system has changed significantly where I have to remap the foods I can eat and lose the food I can't eat anymore, some which I liked (canned/fresh Salmon), but I've found a new list of foods which the body likes.

This has required going through a list of food and meal experiments to find what the body accepts and digests and what it doesn't, meaning it's been a trial and error period since the middle of November with foods, from meats to vegetables, but many are still on the list of off-limits, eg. wheat and many grains.

And through all that I managed to get to 153 lbs to start the new year with a goal to reach 150 lbs or less by March 1st or thereabouts. It looks promising as long as I don't get sick or I hurt or break some body parts.

The real goal is to get down to 145 lbs where I have the least fat on my body and find peace where my Sciatic nerve doesn't go south on me again. The specialist said in takes 2-3 years to recover from a pinched Sciatic nerve where it will be for the rest of your life.

They said it will never fully heal, only get to a point I can manage it. This is because once past about 40, the back won't fully heal to where you were, only to where you can function in life with little or no pain, but you will always be susceptible to reinjuring it from then on, as I learned.

So that's where I'm at to start the new year. Lots of positive signs with lots of potential pitfalls, and the best I can do is just keep going and keep walking, and give my digestive system time to find balance and function near normally for me.

That said, I have no New Year's resolutions other than keep going with my life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Walking 2014

This is a summary of the walking for 2014.

January was the continuation of 2013 walking 200+ miles for the month, normally 8 miles round trip. I carried a backpack with 12-15 lbs depending on normal stuff and any groceries and often carried a grocery bag for larger stuff for the walk home.

February was more of the same until mid-month when I aggrevated my Sciatic nerve and kept walking on it for a week which only required occasional stops for about a week when it hurt too much to walk, which necessitated a 2 week rest period.

After 2 weeks of rest into March I resumed walking to aggrevate the nerve again but kept walking for a week when I blew out both shins with severe shin splints from the knee to the ankle and could barely walk at all. The diagnosis was 4-6 weeks of rest for the back and shins, meaning from late March to early May.

In May-June I got a bacterial infection in my digestive system which wasn't treatable except with time, or so they said. The infection lasted until September when I had an ear infection for which they prescribed Amoxicillin, which cured both the ear and the digestive infections.

Amoxicillin as a general, or universal, antibiotic which kills all the bacteria in the body including the natural bacteria in the digestive tract, the ones you need for digesting and processing food. After the usual 10 days your digestive tract is pretty much gone for bacteria and needs time to restore itself.

For me that last until late October I when got the seasonal flu (forgot to get a flu shot) which lasted about 3 weeks, and after a few days of feeling good I came down with an intestinal infection which they said is a common occurrence after the flu due to a weakened immune system. That last 3 weeks.

These two flus lasted until early December where the body and digestive system finally came back to some sense of normal, but a different one that before, especially the digestive system where the food sensitivities are almost totally different now as are the reactions to foods.

That said, I decided to keep the walks at 6 miles for November and December to allow the Sciatic nerve to heal, if it does, where I can get back to 8 miles walks in January 2015. This is just an idea as the Sciatic nerve pain seems to be persistent most days.

As for as weight goes, I got down to 155 in February, increased to 163 in May from the digestive infection, then dropped back to 155 by the end of July from recovering from it, almost all of the weight loss occurring in one week.

Since then I've been from 151 lbs (August) to 155 lbs (October-November) and recently I'm consistently at 153-154 now. It takes 80 miles to lose a pound, so miles was the difference to losing weight last year than this year along with the health issues adding weight to lose it again.

The goal is to get to consistently be under 150 lbs which is my goal for the New Year by March or sooner. Then I see what I can achieve with running if the body, namely the back, is willing and able. The goal there is to run 2-3 miles and walk 6 miles.

But then this year my goals and plans have been more letters in the alphabet than agent Maxwell Smart had plans to thwart his enemy. So as they say, I'll keep you posted, hopefully more current in 2015 than this year.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Since taking a general antibiotic for 10 days which oblierated my intestinal bacteria, taking another second generation, more powerful antibiotic which brought my digestive system to a halt, having the seasonal flu for nearly 3 weeks, followed by the intestinal flu for another 3 weeks, all in the last 3 months, eating is the biggest gamble in my life every day now since I have no idea what foods to eat or not eat and how my digestive system will react to any food, let alone consistently.

It's the old adage, everything changed and nothing is the same.