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view graindart bio page
graindart - Saturday Jan 05, 2013
(drink water, eat 3 meals a day)
Weight: 264.0

Yesterday went pretty much as planned.

Breakfast a Slimfast shake.

Lunch we went out and I had a gyro and some cheese fries.

Dinner ate at home and had chicken corden-bleu, canned corn, and spaghetti with butter & parmesan.  A nice ripe banana was just staring at me at the end of dinner, so I decided to polish that off for dinner also.

Water intake was a little down for the day.


For when I'm looking back to see where I started, I'd better list my current state.  
* I'm wearing jeans waist size 44 and they've become snug.  (Mens 44 are the largest size commonly carried at the majority of box stores.)
* My head always seems "foggy", hoping it's mild dehydration and some clarity comes from dropping pop and replacing with water.
* back is getting hurt on occasion just from bending over wrong - hoping that losing some significant weight will cause less pressure to be put on the back 
* last time I went on a waterslide I was going really slow on it which I'm guessing was attributable to the larger amount of surface area of skin touching the slide - I was surprised because I would've thought all of the extra weight would've made me go faster downhill
* I feel lethargic all the time and hope for some more energy with some lost weight
* I wake up multiple times throughout the night and reposition to try to get back to sleep - probably a combination of hurt back and too much weight





Progress as of today: 5.6 lbs lost so far, only 89 lbs to go!

OhioRaven on 01/05/2013:
Keep at it, Pal. We're here for ya.

IndependentEm93 on 01/05/2013:
Have a great day!

graindart - Friday Jan 04, 2013
(drink water, eat 3 meals a day)
Weight: 265.2

Yesterday no pop and I only ate 3 meals.  

Breakfast was a Slimfast shake.  

Lunch was an egg-salad sandwich and a loaded hot dog w/bun.

Dinner was a family get together at an AYCE buffet.  Started with a wedge salad with ranch, blue cheese crumbles, bacon, onion, and dried cranberries.  Main course was a small steak, cheesy potatoes, mac-n-cheese, and a couple shrimp.  I considered going without dessert, but decided on a small scoop of banana pudding and a small slice of blueberry pie.  I justified dessert to myself by saying it was part of my 3 meal plan.

Later at night I was craving some popcorn, but got through the night without giving in.

Water intake was around 64 ounces for the day.

Progress as of today: 4.4 lbs lost so far, only 90.2 lbs to go!

OhioRaven on 01/04/2013:
Hang in there !

graindart - Thursday Jan 03, 2013
(drink water, eat 3 meals a day)
Weight: 265.8

Yesterday was another alright day.  

No pop and I only ate 3 meals.  

Breakfast was a Slimfast shake.  

Lunch was a large can of soup and a hotdog with bun.

Dinner was some Hamburger Helper, canned corn with butter, and 2 slices of bread with butter.  The bread and butter tasted great and I wanted to eat another slice or two, but decided I wasn't hungry.

Water intake was around 64 ounces for the day.

Progress as of today: 3.8 lbs lost so far, only 90.8 lbs to go!

legcramps on 01/03/2013:
Have a good day today :)

OhioRaven on 01/03/2013:
You Can Do It !

graindart - Wednesday Jan 02, 2013
(drink water, eat 3 meals a day)
Weight: 267.6

Yesterday was an alright first day.  No pop and I only ate 3 meals.  Breakfast was a Slimfast shake.  Lunch we ate out at Cafe Rio - had the large salad with pork and an iced tea.  Dinner I ate a hotdog w/bun and a large can of soup.  Water intake was less than optimal.


Progress as of today: 2 lbs lost so far, only 92.6 lbs to go!

graindart - Tuesday Jan 01, 2013
(drink water, eat 3 meals a day)
Weight: 269.6

January 1st.  Still fat.  Going to give up drinking pop and limit food to 3 meals per day.  

Progress as of today: 0 lbs lost so far, only 94.6 lbs to go!

OhioRaven on 01/01/2013:
Hey, Graindart. How bout them seahawks .

hollybelle on 01/03/2013:
Welcome back! Good plan. I gave up my pop this year. I may have 1-2 per week - diet is what I've always drank, but I find that really, I don't miss it as long as I have lemon for my water and put just a teeny tiny bit of splenda or Truvia in it to take the edge off. There is really no nutrition in pop of any kind. Good luck giving it up. It was a gradual process for me-I found I was drinking pop out of habit more than actually enjoying it!

graindart - Tuesday Dec 04, 2012
(drink water, eat 3 meals a day)
Weight: 269.6

 Beginning stats

Progress as of today: 0 lbs lost so far, only 94.6 lbs to go!

TinaAnn on 03/11/2012:
Welcome back!

graindart - Friday Aug 26, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 258.0

Update on the open back surgery (double discectomy). The short story is that it was a success and I can no longer ever consider becoming a back model.  There's about a 6" scar held together right now with staples.  I'm a guy, so scars don't really matter to me, especially on a part of my body that I'll rarely ever be able to see.  After getting home from the surgery we showed the scar to our 2 daughters (6&8 years old).  I asked if it looked nasty or if it looked alright.  My 8 year old daughter had a big grin on her face and said it looked "cool".  My 6 year old didn't say a word and just kept staring at it with kind of a worried look.  I reassured her that it felt fine and that the surgery made me feel a lot better, but you could tell she wasn't impressed.

That was the short version, read on if you're still interested.

Had to be there by 6:30am then just kind of laid around answering questions and having vitals taken.  They put me on an IV with just fluids to make sure I was hydrated, that was around 7am.  

Around 7:45am the nurse was going to inject a sedative into the IV.  I asked how long that was going to take to kick in.  She kind of laughed and said I'd be gone in 10 or 15 seconds.  15 seconds and I felt nothing different.  30 seconds and I felt nothing different.  They then started wheeling my bed through a couple halls and into the operating room, still felt nothing different.  I looked around the room, saw the 4 or 5 doctors / nurses and numerous machines.  It was now at about the 2 minute mark and I'm thinking something may be wrong if the drugs were supposed to kick in at 10 or 15 seconds and I felt nothing as of yet.  I decided I'd wait another minute or so before letting someone know that we might have a problem.........    Then I woke up with some fuzzy vision and was told the surgery went well.  I was amazed.  (I've never been under anesthesia / knocked out before.)  I thought it was going to be like the movies where they stick a thing over your mouth / nose and tell you to start counting backwards from 100.  Nope, for me it went immediately from me feeling completely normal to waking up after it was done.  That was great!

Operation actually started around 8am.  It was open back surgery to remove 2 disc herniations on my lower back.  I regained consciousness around 9:15am.  Laid there for another hour or so while they charted my vitals and asked me questions.  Then they transferred me to a kind of reclining chair thing so that I could situp more and moved me to the recovery area and allowed my wife and sister to come visit with me.  At 11:30am the nurse brought a wheel chair and said that it looked like I was doing good enough to go home.

The herniated discs didn't cause all that much pain in my back, but they tweaked my spinal nerves so much that my left leg has been in extreme pain for the past 5 months.  For the past 3 or 4 months I've had to use a crutch to walk and haven't been able to stand up straight or sit up straight.  Even using a crutch I was only able to walk about 30 or 40 feet at a time before needing to stop and reposition or lean against something.

Immediately after the surgery, the extreme leg pain was gone.  I was able to stand up and sit up straight again for the first time in several months.  I do have a little bit of numbness or loss of feeling in the foot of the leg that previously had the pain.  The whole foot isn't numb and I can feel all parts of it.  It's hard to explain, but it just feels different than my other foot (maybe less sensitive or something).  My back feels very weak, like a strong wind could snap me in half.  I'm able to walk around and don't feel any leg pain, but my walking is kind of slow baby steps.  I'm able to get where I want to go, it just takes me about 3 times longer to actually get there.  My 6 year old daughter keeps letting me know that she'd love to play "tag" with me right now (because of my slow speed).  I do have some mild back pain from the surgery site and am taking a little pain medication, but not much.

It's pretty amazing what can be done nowadays.  It seems like 15 or 20 years ago if you had back surgery it was a major thing that they'd keep you in the hospital for several days, the risks were higher, and the success rates much lower.  Spring forward to today and a double-discectomy operation starting at 8am and being sent home at 11:30am the same day.  

I think my only regret about the operation was that I didn't have it sooner.

And just for those wondering about the cost......  I don't have health insurance and pay everything out of my own pocket.  The total cost for a few doctors visits, xrays, MRI, surgery, anesthesia, etc was about $13,000.  Since I was pre-paying or paying at each visit, I was able to get all the discounts I could find.  If I had insurance, the total that would've been charged to the insurance company would've been over $20k.  It's amazing the types of discounts you can get if you tell them you're able to write them a check right now.  Most of the things were 25% to 30% discounts for cash / check.  This was done as an "outpatient" procedure at a brand new facility right next to the local hospital.  (joint venture between some doctors and the hospital actually, and physically connected by an enclosed walkway over the separating street)  The doctor that did my surgery said that it was my choice if I wanted it done in the actual hospital operating room or in the adjacent orthopedic operating room that he's a partner in.  Either way it was going to be the same doctor, same equipment, same anesthesioligists, etc.  Both options included up to a 23 hour stay for the price quotes.  The only difference......the operation in the hospital operating room would have cost an additional $5000.  That was an easy choice for me to make.

The immediate leg pain being gone was great.  As for surgery recovery, even with it only being 4 days since the operation, I'm already seeing progress in how I'm feeling, my mobility, returning strength, and my flexibility.  I work for myself so am able to set my own schedule and rest when I need to.  I took the whole day of the surgery off, but have chosen to work since then.  (I'm not a workaholic or anything, but go crazy just sitting around watching tv.)  We've got an Alaskan cruise coming up in 2 weeks that we had scheduled about a year ago before any othis leg / back stuff started.  I'm going to take it quite easy up to and through the cruise.  It will be a little disappointing to not be able to do some of the excursions that interested me (ziplines and some other stuff).  I guess I'll just be the designated camera guy.  Before we were able to get the surgery schedule at the last minute, I was actually thinking that I was going to need to get a wheel chair to be able to just get to dinner and back to the room, so this surgery and quick recovery is a huge blessing.

I've been using an Android tablet to do my daily bible devotions for the past few months.  It's easy and convenient and sits on my bed's headboard.  When I wake up in the morning I just reach up and turn it on and am ready to go.  It's nice since I don't need to get up, turn on any lights, and my wife can continue to sleep.  I don't remember which "app" it is, but to kind of mix things up I'm using a yearly devotional app that has you in 4 different parts of the bible each day (2 old, 2 new).  On Sunday morning (day before surgery) one of the places it had me in was Luke chapter 13 where it talks about a woman that had a bad back for 18 years, was bent over and couldn't straighten up at all.  Jesus healed her.  I've probably read through that section numerous times over the years, but didn't remember that it was even there.  I was amazed and encouraged by that being part of my devotion that day (unplanned by me, since I just read the sections the Android app has for that day).  Of course I was hoping that it was meant to be an encouragement reading about the healing of the back and hopefully not that I should be prepared for 18 years of back trouble before being healed.  Anyways, I was feeling encouraged.

Monday the day of the surgery I had to be up at 5:30am so that we could get to the surgery center by 6:30am.  After such an encouraging devotional the day before I tried to make excuses why I should skip my morning devotional on Monday morning and just do it later in the day.  It was too early, I hadn't slept the greatest, we didn't have a lot of time before we needed to get out the door, etc.  In the end, I decided enough excuses and I won't try to fit God into a box by reading what I want to hear and what I think is the best encouragement to me.  So I fired up the tablet.  Monday mornings devotions had sections on death and the afterlife.  

Just an aside.......I love humor and irony, I find humor in lots of things.  I find humor in the bible, I find humor when I look back at things I've prayed about and outcomes.  As an example from a few years ago I was in need of a good running car with low miles because I needed it for a job that I was going to be putting thousands of highway miles per month on it.  We prayed about it and I found a used car with very low miles that thought might work, but you never know when buying a used car.  I went to test drive it and recognized the seller as someone that I had worked with quite awhile ago and he wasn't exactly someone that I would have called trustworthy back then.  I took the car for a test drive and just happened to turn on the stereo which was set to a christian radio station which surprised me.  The car seemed fine and when I went back just asked him if he was now a christian.  He was and said that the proceeds of the sale of the used car were actually going to the church he attended for some building project thing.  Everything seemed right and I bought the car.  I never had a problem with the car and took it from 30k miles to 140k miles in a matter of 3 years.  Now to the part I find humorous.  After 3 years I started talking to God about the car and just kind of mentioning that I don't mean to seem ungrateful, but I'm kind of getting tired of that car and wouldn't mind getting a different one.  Soon after I was driving home on the freeway in the middle of the night at highway speeds, came up and over a hill to see 3 adult deer standing perpendicular to the direction I was driving.  One in the left lane, one in the right lane, and one right inbetween the two lanes.  (it was a narrow mountain section with metal guard rails on each side and no shoulder areas)  I saw them a split second before swerving a little and nailing the middle one.  That totalled the car.  While it wasn't what I meant when I was praying about being tired of the car, I did enjoy the humor in the answered prayer.  I sat there for a few minutes with a smile imagining God sitting there saying "tired of the car?  no problem, I can fix that.......".  I do love humor and am now more careful how and what I pray about.

Anyways back to the devotions pre-surgery.  I found great encouragement in reading Sunday's devotions that mentioned the specific healing of a person with a bad back that hadn't been able to straighten up for 18 years.  I then found great humor in reading Monday's devotions that talked about death and the afterlife.  I thought it was great and put me in even better spirits.  Of course my wife didn't see it as humor, but rather that I should always be prepared for either outcome and as long as I was prepared either way it would all be good in the end.  I let her know I was prepared either way and we left for the surgery center.


Progress as of today: 7.2 lbs lost so far, only 83 lbs to go!

liza36 on 08/26/2011:
I'm happy to know that the surgery was successful, and you are feeling better with each day. I chuckled at the car/sense of humor comments. Anyway, I hope for a continued recovery.

KayBee on 08/27/2011:
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I just had a back surgery myself, but it was something bigger than yours. I got pretty much kicked off in seconds, hehe. I remember the nurse telling me: "Sleep well!". The surgery lasted 5 hours, I won some built-in metals (yeah, not medals, hhaha), and they put me on feet 2 days after the surgery. It took place on the 2nd August and I'm still recovering. I have a 40 cms (16 inches) cut on my back, and a "black hole" (numbness) in the middle. I'm KathyBlue anyway and I've been here for years, but I feel so renewed now that I needed to archive my KathyBlue account and open a new one. :) I go back to work on Monday. YAYYY...

Em17 on 08/28/2011:
Have a good recovery! =) Have a great week coming up as well =)

shams on 10/20/2011:
with god will this week will be much better

graindart - Sunday Aug 21, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 258.0

Day 2 of new fast ended. I feel hungry and have a small headache, but don't feel too terribly bad.  I had a few times where I felt very hungry, but they passed fairly quickly.

My back surgery is tomorrow morning and I have to be there by 6:30am.  I can't eat or drink anything for 8+ hours before.  The not eating I can handle fine, but I know I'm going to be plenty thirsty in the morning.

Hopefully the surgery will go well and I'll actually be able to walk upright again for the first time in months.  I'm looking forward to it.

Progress as of today: 7.2 lbs lost so far, only 83 lbs to go!

thinkpositive on 08/22/2011:
Hope your surgery goes well!

rockingrobyn on 08/22/2011:
hope everything goes welll and thast you'll be feeling alot better real soon.

liza36 on 08/26/2011:
How did the surgery go? Hope you are recovering well.

graindart - Saturday Aug 20, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 258.0

Day 1 of new fast ended. I feel hungry and have a small headache, but don't feel to terribly bad.

Progress as of today: 7.2 lbs lost so far, only 83 lbs to go!

graindart - Saturday Aug 20, 2011
(drink mainly water,no snacks,no food after 7pm)
Weight: 258.0

Just journaling for my own records while I wait for back surgery.

A week ago I decided to make an abrupt change for at least a few days.  I started on a fast with no food, but plenty of water.  I also stopped taking any pain killers to see how well I would be able to cope.  

I ended up going 3 days without food and then started eating again.  I was pretty hungry, but the headaches were subsiding by the end of day 3.  I'm guessing the headaches were from caffeine / pop withdrawals.  Since I already went through the headaches and didn't want to have to go through that again, I kept from drinking the pop again.  (When I'm drinking pop, I average about 30oz-50oz per day.)  I was feeling weak, irritable, and hungry so I started eating again after day 3 and felt better.  I've been able to deal with the increase in pain without having to take much pain medication over the past week.  I think I've taken a total of 3 extra strength Tylenol pills over the past 7 days with only minor added discomfort.

Back surgery (double discectomy) is 6:30am on Monday.  If everything goes well, I'm expecting to be able to walk standing upright without a crutch for the first time in several months.

I have to keep from eating for half a day before the surgery, so I'm contemplating starting another no food fast today just to see if I get the large headaches or if they were mostly attributable to the cold turkey on the caffeine / pop.


Progress as of today: 7.2 lbs lost so far, only 83 lbs to go!

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