Dying in My Sleep and Other Weight-related Concerns - Mercy Medical Center

Dying in My Sleep and Other Weight-related Concerns

Posted on: July 30, 2013

I see you staring at me with those lifeless black eyes – you smug, self-satisfied jerk. You think I care? Well, I don’t. Eyeball me all you want. I’m not going to give you what you want.

What’s that? I dare you to come get me! No? Then quit eyeballing me!

I cannot believe I just had this conversation with these two. And just to say a word in my own defense… I dare you to set a can of Pringles on the counter and move around the room. Doesn’t it seem like the eyes of the guy on the can follow you? Creepy.

Why, you may ask, am I arguing with two cans of Pringles? My wife and daughter left for the week to visit relatives, and I am at home with my almost-15-year-old son. As you can imagine, he is moody most of the time and spends the majority of the day in his room with the door closed. Where does that leave me? Alone and essentially unsupervised with these two insidious usurpers for the duration.

Cheating with Tomato Soup

In keeping with past blogs, I might as well disclose how I cheated this week. (Maybe there will be a week without cheating eventually.) I was out with the kids for the day and planned on being home by 6 p.m. I took enough supplements with me to handle the day until then.

We ended up being out until almost 9 p.m. The kids were starving, so I took them to Bob Evans. I sat there as they were ordering hearty dinners after swimming all day, and realized I had no supplements. My tummy was doing the angry version of the “Truffle Shuffle” from Goonies. (Google it if you are too young to know what that is. Trust me, it’s funny.) In a moment of weakness, the waitress asked me what I wanted to order. I scanned the menu for the least offensive thing there and ordered a bowl of their garden tomato soup – hold the croutons and cheese – and a diet soda. I know, I know. Weakness, right? I ate the soup (and it was goooooood), drank my soda and skipped my last two supplements for the day.

I consoled myself in that I was at Bob Evans and “cheated” with a bowl of tomato soup. I could have lost it, channeled my inner Elvis and gone straight for potato pancakes topped with waffles, topped with fried chicken, topped with gravy and stuffing, topped with chocolate sauce, topped with bananas and peanut butter. (Okay, I don’t think even Bob Evans would let me get away with that. Well, at least not without suggesting gravy and biscuits on the side.) So, ’nuff said.

On to some good news. I weighed in and am happy to report I made my goal this week. I lost 5.1 pounds! For those keeping track, that’s about 23 pounds in three weeks! Hi-five for me!

Weight Loss Means Swimming at Home with My Family

I did get some physical activity in this week. I have been officially cleared by the doctor I see at Mercy Weight Management to begin exercise.  I hope to have some interesting things to say about that in next week’s blog. In the meantime, I did lots of swimming with the kids this week. I know it wasn’t “official” exercise, but if you have ever had to swim next to an overly energetic 8-year-old child committed to drowning herself in the deep end, you know I burned some serious calories.

We managed to get our little 16-foot backyard pool up this weekend, too. That was exercise in itself. We had help, but I had lots of trips related to chemicals, the pump, 110 pounds of salt, and plenty of sand to hold down the new pool stairs. It has been a ton of work, but I can feel myself having an easier time with it as the weight comes off. I was proudly able to check the water today, do some tweaking and not have to sit down because my back hurt.

The water is still a bit cloudy, but it is getting there. Even though this is the second year for our pool, it will be my first time getting in! You see, I was too heavy for the old ladder. I put up the pool, cared for the pool and treated the pool, but I couldn’t actually swim in the pool.  Now, with a new ladder and my continued weight loss, I will be able to swim with my family! (Thank you, OPTIFAST team, for helping me swim at home!)

“How Do You Feel About Dying in Your Sleep?”

In other news, I was fitted for my Darth Vader mask today, and I owe it all to Mike Valentino at Mercy, whom I see on a weekly basis.

When I had my initial screening for the program, he went over all the details and cleared me to start. Then, as I got up to leave, he said, “So, now that the OPTIFAST stuff is done, I want to talk to you about your severe sleep apnea.”

He ran down a list of questions (all of which I answered yes to), and then told me to contact my physician and get a sleep study done. I won’t say I’m obstinate, but I was not immediately sold on the idea of having a laptop-sized device sitting next to the bed pumping me full of air while I sleep. I explained this to Mike. I assured him I would take his advice and place it somewhere on my to-do list between self-removing my wisdom teeth and sandpapering the claws of an angry feral cat in a phone booth.

To which Mike replied, “So, how do you feel about dying in your sleep?” Really? He was going to play that card? Well, poop! He then explained how it could happen and recently had happened to several football players. While I was not happy about this, I had no choice but to acquiesce.

In doing some research into severe obstructive sleep apnea, guess what one of the causes is? Yes, you are correct – obesity! Thanks again, Pringles!

Now to really blow your mind. Guess what one of the symptoms can be? Yes – excessive weight gain. Ha! Pringles is vindicated! So, who knows? Maybe a good night’s sleep will actually help me lose more weight. I am looking forward to waking up feeling rested like I used to when I was thinner. If there is added weight loss, that is just icing on the cake. (Bad analogy. You get what I mean.)

In the end, though, a big thanks to Mercy Weight Management and my fellow OPTIFAST participants for the great support and ideas. And thanks to Mike for wanting me to stick around for awhile. This weight loss is just a part of what is beginning to be a newer, much healthier me, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

One concern, though. Now that I will be sleeping better, I may remember my dreams more often. Not sure about you, but I think my dreams look like this…

Baby steps, people, baby steps. Until next week, remember – fat people are harder to kidnap!

Read Eric’s continuing weightloss journey by visiting our blog archives. If you live in Canton, Massillon or elsewhere in Stark County and would like to join Eric in losing weight, contact Mercy Weight Management.

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