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Yesterday I went to the hospital for an Electrocardiogram (ECG) in preparation for my Lithotripsy today.  Basically, I need to have a kidney stone reduced in size so I can (less) painfully pass it / them.  The following is a description of the today’s procedure and is taken from the John Muir Hospital web site…

Shock Wave Lithotripsy

Passing a kidney stone can be very painful.  Shock wave lithotripsy is a treatment that helps by breaking the kidney stone into smaller pieces that are easier to pass.  This treatment is also called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).  Lithotripsy takes about an hour.  It’s done in a hospital, lithotripsy center, or mobile lithotripsy van.  You will likely go home the same day.  This treatment is not used for all types of kidney stones.  Your healthcare provider will discuss whether this is the right treatment for the type of stone you have.
Image of Kidney during Lithotripsy
Energy waves strike the stone, which begins to crack.
The stone crumbles into tiny pieces.

During the procedure

• You get medicine to prevent pain and help you relax or sleep during lithotripsy.  Once this takes effect, the procedure will start.
• A flexible tube (stent) with holes in it may be placed into your ureter, the tube that connects the kidney and the bladder.  This helps keep urine flowing from the kidney.
• Your healthcare provider then uses X-ray or ultrasound to find the exact location of the kidney stone.
• Sound waves are aimed at the stone and sent at high speed.  If you’re awake, you may feel a tapping as they pass through your body.

After the procedure

• You’ll be closely watched in a recovery room for about 1 to 3 hours.  Antibiotics and pain medicine may be prescribed before you leave.
• You’ll have a follow-up visit in a few weeks.  If you received a stent, it will be removed.  Your healthcare provider will also check for pieces of stone.  If large pieces remain, you may need a second lithotripsy or another procedure.

Possible risks and complications

• Infection
• Bleeding in the kidney
• Bruising of the kidney or skin
• Blockage (obstruction) of the ureter
• Failure to break up the stone (other procedures may be needed)

Passing the stone

It can take a day to several weeks for the pieces of stone to leave your body.  Drink plenty of liquids to help flush your system.  During this time:
• Your urine may be cloudy or slightly bloody.  You may even see small pieces of stone.
• You may have a slight fever and some pain.  Take prescribed or over-the-counter pain medicine as instructed by your healthcare provider.
• You may be asked to strain your urine to collect some stone particles.  These will be studied in the lab.
I had the procedure done twice before back in the 1990’s while I was living in Liverpool, England.  Hopefully, I’m good for another 20 – 25 years.  (LOL)
A big shout-out to the office staff, nurses and doctors at John Muir Hospital – Concord, CA, campus!  You were all terrific and I felt VERY well cared for!
I am home and resting comfortably.  And, another shout-out to my lovely wife (Hil) for driving me back and forth and looking after me in my recovery at home!   💖
Just a side note:  my weight at the hospital yesterday was 332lbs.  My weight today (at the hospital) was 330lbs.  2lbs difference.  My weight at home yesterday was: 325lbs.  Today it was 324lbs.  A 1lb difference.  I was wearing virtually the same clothes (shoes, shorts and underwear).  I was wearing a change of underwear, but they were the same types of briefs and V-neck T-shirts.  I just thought this was “interesting”.
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On This Day In:
2017 Never Forget
2016 It’s All Greek To Me (Well, Latin Actually)
2015 Truism
2014 Thank You
2013 Really
2012 Ordinary Five Minutes Longer
2011 The Wealth Of Sons (And Daughters)
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The end of day thirty-six and the start of day thirty-seven…
Morning weight:  311lbs.
I am now down “62/69”.  As in, 62lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs, and 69lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started the fast): 380lbs.  Today’s loss is a 2lbs loss, down from 313lbs yesterday.

Image of Scale from 18_8_31 showing 313lbs

Scale: 313lbs (Yesterday)

The image (above) shows me standing on the scale as described in a previous post with my heels and big toes together at “0” on the scale.   This is how I measured the 380lbs when I began the juice fast.  It does have a different weight than with my toes at other positions, but I felt it allowed me to more accurately repeat the weigh-in process to get a consistent measurement.  This differs from the earlier photo which showed my big toes at the “8” and “4” positions (at the forward edge of the black pads) due to a change in the scale getting moved.  I started at “0” and now am back to placement at “0”.
I got a fairly good night’s sleep, but I have been very tired and sore most of the day (back, shoulders and chest).  I’m not sure why.  Maybe I pushed too hard yesterday – only one day after the colonoscopy.  I feel like I’ve been in a boxing match and got pounded on.  I passed two grains (kidney stones) this afternoon, so the soreness might also be from them.  Otherwise, I am back to having a daily “BM”, so that’s a good thing, too.
I had a discussion with my wife about breaking the fast.  She says if I want to go on, she will support me, but she doesn’t want me to go indefinitely.  She’d prefer if I would stop after one more week.  I said I would prefer to try for two more weeks as that would make an even fifty day fast.  She says she feels that would be pushing it too far and she is concerned about my health.  I said I have a doctor’s appointment at the end of this month and we can get a opinion from her (my primary care physician), then.  In the mean time, I’ll be seeing my urologist for my kidney stones and getting a blood workup for my cardiologist.  Hil asked me how I feel “in myself”.  I said except for today’s tiredness, I feel like I’m ten years younger.  I then admitted I am thinking about food a LOT more the last few days.  She replied she knows because I’m talking about food a lot more, too.  (Me thinks the final curtain draws near folks…)
So, Hil went to the market and bought me another batch of veggies to make more juice.  Tomorrow, I will be busy with that:  veggie juice prep and ginger / mint tea prep.  Day by day and see how I feel next Thursday / Friday…  This will be our first Labor Day without a BBQ in many years…  😦
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On This Day In:
2017 Imagining Humor
2016 So Go On And Deal With It
2015 From A Letter To A Friend
2014 Your Part (Here)
2013 Complements
2012 Sound And Light
2011 Two Politicians Visit A Farm…
2010 Labor Day And Honorable Men

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The end of day twenty-two and the start of day twenty-three…
Morning weight:  339lbs.
I am now down “34/41”.  As in, 34lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs, and 41lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started the fast): 380lbs.  Today’s loss is a 2lb loss, down from 341lbs yesterday.
My son (James) moved out of the house about seven years ago.  I “inherited” his bedroom.  Over the course of time I’ve turned it into another library storage room for my book collection and I’ve (slowly, slowly) added bits and pieces of workout equipment to make it into a mini-gym.  My wife has been in constant battle with me over this as she believes the room is her personal rent-a-space.  I routinely go in and find she’s moved something into “storage”.  I then have to find some way to organize the new items so I can still walk around and use the room as I want to.  LOL.  It’s a constant battle which I slowly win as she doesn’t care what I do with the things as long as she doesn’t have to see or dust them anymore.
Today I moved a bunch of my weights and barbells around in the room.  I laid down some more rubber floor pads.  (Almost the whole floor covered now.)  And, I (re-)setup my inversion table.  Because our housing association community pool was extremely busy today, I decided to pack in the swim and do some step-ups instead.  I cleared a bit of floor space, and did my 30 minutes.  (That was more than enough to raise a sweat and to remind me how old I am.)  I started using step-ups to workout way back in the 1990’s while we were living in Liverpool.  Step-ups are one of those routine exercises that benefit you by giving you a workout without taking you anywhere.  So you have ready access to as much water as you want and to a toilet if needed.  Just my cup of tea…
After the step-ups, I hopped up on “the rack” and gave it a flip for about five minutes.  I got “into” inversion therapy (“hanging”) back in the early 1980’s.  I had a partially slipped disc in my lower back when I was in high school and I spent a good deal of time in pain, which got substantially worse (severe, chronic and constant) when I left the Army and started getting out of shape.  I heard about hanging on TV one evening and I felt desperate enough to try anything (but surgery).  I went to a store which offered them.  I tried one.  Within five minutes my back “popped” and it felt like an exploding nova in the base of my spine.  And then, nothing…  Absolutely, no pain for the first time in close to four or five years.  I got off the demo machine, handed the man my plastic and I’ve owned and used an inversion table ever since.  Sometimes frequently.  Most times only occasionally (once or twice a year).  Either way, I’ve carried my tables to Europe and back again when we returned.  And, yes, I am a avid proponent, advocate, champion (etc.) for inversion / hanging.
Epiphany:  I just re-read the last paragraph and it just hit me how I’ve spent most of my late twenties and most of my fifties and early 60’s in pain.  Chronic and sometimes debilitating pain.  Between my pinched nerve in my lower back and my kidney and gall stones, I’ve been a mess!  LOL.  It’s amazing to me how adaptable the human mind is.  When you are in pain, it is all-consuming.  When you are not in pain, you can take time to smell the roses (forget about the thorns) and look forward to meeting the challenges of day to day living.  We really are strange creatures.  (Or at least I am.)
Apologies to anyone who came expecting to read about my fast.  Sometimes my thoughts wander…  To tell the truth, other than being a bit tired, it’s been an easy (boring) day – fast wise.  And I think that’s a good thing!
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On This Day In:
2017 Adrift In The Oval Office
Regrets – The Donald Failed The Test
2016 Just Ask “The Donald”
2015 Did You Pass On It?
2014 Even When It Ain’t, It Is
2013 Still Happens
2012 Possessing Eternity
2011 I Thought We Were Talking About Afghanistan

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The end of day twenty and the start of day twenty-one…
Morning weight:  343lbs.
I am now down “30/37”.  As in, 30lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs, and 37lbs down from my highest weight ever (two days before I started the fast): 380lbs.  Today’s loss is a 2lb loss, down from 345lbs yesterday.  345lbs was a two-day plateau.  My second of this fast.
The night before last (Tuesday, 14 Aug. 2018), I passed the kidney grain which has been killing me for the last SIX weeks or so.  OMG what a relief!!!  The “stone” was about 3 times the size of a grain of sand, but was it ever painful.  And, the relief was almost instantaneous.  Just like flipping a light switch.  One minute agony.  The next, only a slightly bruised internal ache feeling.  That too was more or less gone by last night.  Today I felt like I was 40 years old again.  Unless you’ve been through it, I don’t think there are adequate words to describe the experience of prolonged pain and then none.
Today I went to the hospital for my CT scan and abdominal X-ray to see if I have stones (in my kidneys) which are large enough to worry about and / or to zap.  (I think POUND is a more accurate description of the lithotripsy procedure.)  If I need it, it will be my third time around that rodeo.  I had it done twice while I was living in Liverpool back in the 1990’s.
And… tomorrow at noon I finish three weeks of fasting!  Twenty-one days seems (now) to have flown by.  I’m feeling terrific (as I said above), so I will probably target 25 days (Tuesday coming) next and if I can make through another whole week, I’ll shoot for the full month (27 August).  For now though, I just want to make it to noon time tomorrow.
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On This Day In:
2017 Try Not To Run Short, Too
2016 I Feel The Same (Thankful)
2015 It Couldn’t Hurt
2014 Sir, I Have Reasoned It Out!
2013 What Are We Becoming?
2012 Miracles
2011 “W” Finds A Nut!
2010 No Strain At All, But I’m Not Sure About Stress…
An Evening at the Pavilion…

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The end of day four and the start of day five…  Today was a strange one…  6:00am.  Get up.  Walk the dog.  1 mile; 25 minutes.  Piece of cake.  And from there the battle was on.
The two things about juice fasting are: you have to have easy access to juice and you have to have easy access to toilet facilities.  If you don’t have the first, you’ll probably cheat and fall off the wagon.  If you don’t have the latter,  you can embarrass yourself.  Access to veggie juice has been easy so far because I made up enough for 3+ days.  Access to facilities is mostly managed by just staying home and going when nature calls.
Today I had two doctor appointments: one at 8am and one at 1:45pm.  This meant getting up earlier than usual to walk the dog and then going without a breakfast juice until after the first appointment.  The problem, of course, is the doctor’s office is 20 minutes away by car and I don’t want to risk getting stuck in traffic listening to nature’s call.  Bottom line: a cheat.  I have a couple of Ricola cough drops for the road.  And use them.  As mentioned yesterday, if my blood sugar level dips too much, I have problems – headaches and shaking.  I also lose the ability to concentrate on normal activities – like driving.  So, I take one while waiting in the office and then a second when I get in the car to drive home.  I try to convince myself a) it’s not “really” eating; and, 2)  they are sort of healthy.  I do this because I want to believe I’m being strict on this fast.  Okay, I’m not (convincing).  I get home and look them up.  First ingredient: SUGAR.  Second ingredient: Glucose syrup (aka: sugar).  Calories: 15 per cough drop.  Still, no point in beating one’s self up too much…  I made it home and had a 24oz bottle of blend (4 heaping tablespoons of roughage mixed with fruit juice).  An hour or so of peace, and then off to the loo (repeatedly).
I made it home from the second appointment and was in between extreme fatigue and getting ready to shake.  So, I treated myself to a large glass (16oz) of Naked Juice Mighty Mango smoothie.  This is “supposed” to be “healthy”, but nothing that tastes this good can be “healthy”.  The juice is 150 calories per 8oz serving (that’s 300 calories I drank) and has the equivalent of a can of soda pop in sugar.  The only significant difference is the sugar is fructose and not HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup).  My initial reaction was perfectly normal for a sugar rush: crash in chair in front of the TV.  And, after a 45 minute (sugar-powered) power nap, I am good to go for the rest of the evening.  Did I mention that Naked is owned by Pepsi?  Yeah, that kind of healthy…
Still, we are all human and I’m making up for it by having my veggie juice for dinner.  Note to self:  just stay home while juice / blend fasting.  Answer to self:  yeah, but sometimes life gets in the way…
And that was sooooo yummy I’m finishing the evening by drinking 30oz of ice water with 2oz of lemon concentrate.  My urologist told me years ago to drink lots of water and add a little lemon as the citric acid is supposed to help break up “some types” of kidney stones.  When I was in Saudi, my Indian co-workers insisted on pomegranate juice for curing kidney stones.  And, most lately, my co-workers at SSA (before I retired) used to tell me to drink cranberry juice (mostly those from the east coast).  So, I do a bit of all three, but mainly water with lemon, as it is the least expensive and requires the fewest trips to the store to replenish.  And, yes, my stones are still playing up.
And the news you’ve all been waiting for:  morning weigh-in 365lbs!  Somehow, I managed to drop 3lbs over a single day.  Actually, I’m cheating again…  I said I dropped only one yesterday, but it was slightly more and I was giving it a conservative rounding up.  This morning the arrow is clearly below the line, but I’m rounding up again – so it’s “really” only 2lbs to 3lbs instead of 3 to 4.  I don’t mind the inaccuracy because I’m using an analog scale and not a digital one.  Which means: 380 – 365 = 15lbs after four days of not chewing.   Minus “assumption” weight (10lbs), and I’ve lost 5 real pounds with three days to go.
It’s evening now and I’m half way through day 5, so I’ll project to finish the week between 8 and 10 real pounds down and then comes the hard part of breaking the fast with a lifestyle change which includes diet AND fitness.  The swimming (three times a week) is fun, but I’m going to have to breakdown and start a daily program of lifting weights, jogging and yoga.  Well, here’s to “eat less and move more”…  Four down, three to go!
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On This Day In:
2017 Outlasting Division
2016 Said The Man Who Trained To Fight For A Living
2015 Tripping On Treasure
2014 The Flower Of Light
2013 Eye Catching
2012 The Holstee Manifesto
2011 Three Crooners For The Shower
The Soldier’s Faith
Vacation, Books And Lots Of Movies

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I intend to live forever.  So far, so good.
      —  Steven Wright
[Yesterday I went for a couple of ultrasounds to investigate some pain I’ve been experiencing…  It turns out I have a cyst in my groin area, another one in my left kidney, and a stone to go with it.  Spherical, approximately 1cm.  Fortunately, it’s not currently obstructing the plumbing.  So, it looks like a trip to the urologist in the near future and then an out-patient trip to the hospital for some rock-splitting.  This will be my third go round.  I had it done twice back in the 1990’s.  It’s no fun, but it’s definitely better than the alternative – trying to live with a large kidney stone.
Ah, the joys of aging less than gracefully…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2017 Two Views Of The Starting Line
2016 Never Had It, Never Will (Donald Trump)
2015 20/20
2014 All Of My Best Ideas Come While Walking…
2013 Learn To Learn
2012 I Remind You
2011 Respect And Prestige
2010 Living Legends (Willie Nelson) and the Gettysburg Address

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Despite a multitude of temptations, I’ve made it through another day.  (Does anyone else begin to salivate at the smell of freshly microwaved popcorn in their work environment?)  Today’s morning weight was 332 lbs.  That’s down about 10 lbs from Sunday (the day before I started the blending fast).  That sounds good for just four days of juicing, until you remember a full belly is about 5 to 7 lbs and excess water retention is another 2 or 3 lbs.  So, 10 lbs is about right for four days of no chewing.  More good news:  I’ve also lost an inch on my waist – as judged by my belt.
The hardest part so far has been a severe kidney pain flair up Tuesday at work.  It was so painful I had to leave work mid-day and come home.  I drank lots of extra water (with lemon concentrate) and stayed off on Wednesday.  I was back at work today, but I feel pretty bruised inside on my right side.  Sometimes kidney stones are like a light switch and as soon as it moves from where it’s hurting you, you are suddenly pain free.  Other times, it’s like today, where it aches.  Still, that is much better than excruciating pain.
For whatever reason, this batch of “juice” isn’t nearly as acidic as some of the batches I’ve made in the past.  Sometimes, I almost get the feeling the juice is burning the lining of my mouth.  Then I have to wash it down more frequently with plain water (which I always keep handy).  It works, but it means having to “go” even more frequently.
I’ve not been hungry so far, but I have gone through the caffeine withdrawal headache phase.  The problem is when I do come off the fast I know I’ll be right back on the java.  I’m afraid it’s one of my last personal allowances and I’ll give up chocolate and salt before I give up my hot coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Well, the weekend is fast approaching and so a young man’s fancy turns to “Widow-maker” pizzas and BBQ ribs…  Just kidding.  4 down and 26 to go…  After that, who knows.  My better half is already planning the mostly meatless remainder of my life.  Keep me in your prayers.
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On This Day In:
2015 My Slow Education
2014 Great Service
2013 You Really Should Wear More Sweaters
Here I Am God
2012 The Serenity Prayer
2011 The Victory Of Life

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