What a difference a year can make…

Posted Feb 8, 2017:

I do believe…that I’ve signed myself up for a whole bunch of pain…

Well…a bunch *more* pain anyway.

What a difference a year makes

A year ago today I signed up for a 6-week fitness challenge at Rowlett Transformation Center…would be a couple days yet before I started…(Feb 9th was my first workout) but it’s been a life-changing thing.

Six weeks went by and I just kept going.

Learned a lot. Done a lot. Got new habits. Worked my ass off (literally and figuratively). Lost 95 pounds. Made some friends.

I’m having a bit of an enforced setback due to the shoulder surgeries, but I’m not anywhere near done yet.

Blaine Callaway and Travis Merritt…thank you.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

Posted in Weight Management | Leave a comment

A large?

…annnd today I put on a size Large button-down shirt…and it fit…not squeezed in…it actually fits.

This is remarkable to me simply because as an adult, I’ve never worn a size Large shirt…ever…and as recently as a couple years ago 6X was a “squeeze in” size…

I *still* see the fat guy in the mirror…but I am able to see the fit guy in the photographs anyway.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

Posted in Weight Management | Leave a comment

On developing new habits…

I rolled out of bed to the 4:30am alarm. Well…”rolled” might be exaggerating just a bit…first I had to dislodge my right arm from it’s prop/pillow/support required at the moment while sleeping due to my rotator cuff surgery.

Even THAT required a preliminary step…as “Blossom” the dainty little Siamese girl cat, has determined that the “nest” for my arm also suits her just fine and she tends to curl up there. Works for me. Keeps the arm warm. It’s sort of weird that she’ll park her butt on the ice-pack…but hey, cool buns. Apparently a good thing. Cats are weird.

Oh…and Geronimo…the big orange cat…seems to have decided he’s a fully functional leg warmer so HE had to be dislodged as well.

So…”rolled” was more like, “Ack! Ugh! Ow! Alright, you…move your big orange butt, and,” *shrugs shoulder* “you little girl, move before you get squished!”

Then, since the arm won’t work that way at the moment…slowly sit up, swing my feet around…and use the OTHER arm to shut off the damn alarm.

Ugh. So. Yeah. Rolled out of bed to the 4:30am alarm. Managed to shut it off at 4:32am.

I stagger into the kitchen, mix up my workout shake (protein shake) and set it to chilling in the fridge. That stuff REALLY tastes a lot better if you give it a few minutes to “age” and chill it.

Then it’s off to the shower to do that deed.

I grab shorts and socks and watch a bit of news while “assembling” that end of myself…the news seems to indicate the world is still out there and doing its thing so…

…back to the dresser for a black t-shirt. Those that know me, know these comprise the vast majority of my wardrobe. I, in fact, tend to purchase them in a case-lot.

My dress code is something like:
Black jeans and…
White or graphic t-shirt, possibly ripped/stained — about to get dirty and/or bloody and work my ass off on some project.
Black t-shirt — workout, work (at work, my concession to corporate dress code is that they are “pocket” tees), and pretty much everything else.
Button down shirt (usually black) — Formal wear.
Suit — You should run. Somebody’s dead…or about to be.

Anyway, grabbed the t-shirt and the arm sling…since due to the surgery/recovery I am prohibited from raising the right arm at the moment beyond about 40 degrees…and I can’t step out of the house without the sling…I was standing there trying to figure out JUST HOW I was going to don the durn t-shirt.

Bluntly…it’s not possible. A button down shirt or nothing.

“But,” says I to the cats, “I can’t work out in formal wear!”

THIS is the point where I remembered/realized that I was NOT working out today…as I am prohibited (doc’s orders) from doing that until out of the sling (about 5 more weeks) as the tendons are healing to the bone and we can’t risk tearing them off again.

Not even hard cardio. Nothing that might jostle the arm. Also supposed to be favoring the OTHER shoulder as it needs surgery too and and any further damage I do to it makes the surgery more difficult/severe. Plus, I sort of need it functional at the moment.

So, yeah. No workout. Not news and not new. You’d think even in my sleepy-headed “O-stupid-thirty” in the morning state I’d have realized this sooner since I’d spent fully half my efforts this morning dealing with and being careful with the arm…

Habits. Sigh.

But wait…WHY did I set the alarm? I was at least awake then…

Oh, yeah. Gotta work early today.

“Well dammit!”

What the heck was I supposed to do with a perfectly good protein shake?

“And,” my body was screaming, “You have GOT to do SOMETHING physical!!!”

Mmmm…slow, delay, body weight squats in the kitchen…those won’t jostle the arms.

They DO amuse the cats though. They stared wide-eyed for a few minutes…but they both went back to bed before I hit 50 reps.

Wimps.

I drank the shake in the car on the way to work. That’s a neat trick…with the right arm/hand useless and jammed in a sling.

Had you told me this time last year that I would be jonesing for my morning workout, I’d have laughed in your face.

Heck of a difference a year can make…

…and I like it.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

Posted in Weight Management | Leave a comment

For the wife’s birthday…

Got my wife a canvas print for her birthday…

She likes!

Support independent art and artists!

It’s a print titled “Corgi and Fairy by Sandara on Deviant Art.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

Posted in Artwork, Blog | Leave a comment

Ideal…

Surgical followup Friday on my massive “irreparable” right shoulder rotator cuff. Two top muscles (they have fancy names I can’t pronounce, remember OR spell) were torn completely off and retracted. Doesn’t get very much more severe.

Excellent results. Surgeon is skilled, passionate, and proud…he was to attempt to recover the muscles but if he couldn’t (no longer viable), he was prepared to do a Arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction, which is not ideal, but the best available option for mobility.

The expectation going in was some combination of the two was most likely…and that I would be “better” than current mobility (which, not only sucked…was damaging the joint to cause much more serious problems down the line).

He worked to achieve much more than we expected. He recovered both muscles that were torn off. Difficult surgery. Long recovery for me because the ligaments were totally separated and will be slow to heal.

TWO other surgeons had told me my only option was a reverse shoulder replacement…and that is totally unacceptable, last-ditch, compromised mobility (bordering on disability) sort of thing.

Anyway…follow up yesterday. Discussion. Ultrasound to check on the work. All ideal…as in…could not have wished for a better outcome.

Five more weeks in the sling…6 months of rehab (and somewhere in there…a surgery on the other shoulder, which is not as severe).

I expect to get 95% or better capability back…I’ll be shooting for the better.

It occurs to me that I have a rather disturbingly large number of pictures of the INSIDE of my body collected over the years…

Also saw my GP…
A1C = 5.1 (excellent)
All blood-work dead-normal.
232 pounds.
That’s -195 (-95 since last February)

It didn’t kill me. And what does not kill me…well…you know the drill.

This enforced convalescence stuff is for the birds though 🙂

A note:
I wanted this result…I asked for this result…I worked for this result (and WILL work further)…I *expected* this result. Anything less spelled the end to several key and important parts of my life and was nigh on unthinkable…

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

Posted in Blog, Weight Management | Leave a comment

Mis-firings…

The dude was saying something about general anesthesia…but first a nerve block…digging around in my shoulder with a big-ass needle…they were already feeding me some happy juice in the IV so his voice was sounding quite a bit like the teacher’s voice in Charlie Brown.

“Wha wa wahh wahh wu.”

I got the gist of it though…nerve block. Big needle. Ultrasound. THEN general. I’d have much preferred a different order to those things but apparently they were gonna need to talk to me after the nerve block to make sure it “took”.

Well crap. This is gonna hurt.

*** DISCONTINUITY ***

“Mr. Meyer, I need you to breathe for me…”

I’d rather not. Go away. Sleeping. I decided I hadn’t actually said that out loud and took a breath to do so.

“Good. But Mr. Meyer! I need you to breathe deep.”

Damn. I wish that voice would go away. But I kept having to breathe to tell it that, and I never seemed to actually get the words out. Durn thing kept interrupting.

*** DISCONTINUITY ***

“Saltines or animal crackers?”

Dunno. What’s the macros and calories on those? Again I couldn’t tell if I said it out loud.

“Saltines or animal crackers?”

It spoke with some authority. I decided that for some reason it was going to force me to cheat on my diet. The gravity of the situation became clear as I was suddenly aware that my right arm was strapped down and I wasn’t wearing any clothes. There was more than one voice too.

Whoever the fuck they were…they were SERIOUS.

Probably my trainer. Some sort of test. Yeah. Made perfect sense.

*** DISCONTINUITY ***

“Mr. Meyer. We want to get a little something in your stomach. You haven’t eaten in 18 hours or so. Saltines or animal crackers?” I caught a glimpse of the speaker this time…she was distinctly blurry.

My trainer is not usually blurry…even at the ungodly hour I tend to work out. He’s a HE too…come to think about it…probably not him then. He’s generally pretty straight-forward anyway. Perhaps a nightmare? Could be that.

*** DISCONTINUITY ***

“Mr. Meyer!”

Fuck it. If I’m gonna cheat on my diet in a Machiavellian nightmare I may as well go big.

It felt good…empowering even…to make a choice, “Animal Crackers.”

Gawd Damn I’m a rebel!

“You want water or soda or juice to drink?”

Great. Another choice to make. They were coming easier though.

Cheat big! I managed to croak, “Chocolate milkshake.”

That got a laugh. “Just what’s on the menu kid.”

*** DISCONTINUITY ***

Suddenly I was sitting up and there were a few animal crackers scattered on the table near my chest. I was casually holding a can of Diet Coke in my left hand. It had a bendy straw in it.

“Bendy straw!” I know I said that out loud. I’m also pretty sure I laughed like cheerleader on helium. Bendy straws are friggen COOL!

My right arm was distinctly missing. That sobered my mood.

When in Rome…

I stopped trying to make sense of it all. I was obviously missing a key piece of data. Well…that AND my right arm. I set the Coke down and reached for an animal cracker.

I was distinctly disappointed that the animal crackers didn’t have any of that pink-sugar icing on them. What kind of sick fuck makes animal crackers with no icing?

Definitely a nightmare.

Zip. Pop.

*** DISCONTINUITY ***

Fizzle. Zork.

I looked around in confusion. Why was I holding an animal cracker? I stared at it incredulously. Especially one with no icing.

Yep. Clearly I was missing something.

Yeah, you’re missing your brain you twit. I’m still not sure if I said that or not.

*** DISCONTINUITY ***

Reboot!

…and I had it. 100% in fact. Clarity, vision, memory. Yep. Shoulder surgery. Right arm strapped down to my chest. Still naked. Still holding an animal cracker with no icing.

Fuck.

I croaked out a laborious “Owwwww!”

Hey, at least I had animal crackers.

I stared incredulously. But they had NO icing. WTF?

Turned out not to matter though. One of the drugs they give you under general stops all your various “secretions”…saliva being a key one…and as soon as I decided that an animal cracker with no icing was better than…well…the OTHER animal crackers with no icing that I had to hand, I tried to chew it.

It simply turned to dirt in my totally dry mouth.

A sip of Diet Coke washed it down as a flavorless grit.

Great. Cheating on my diet, naked, with no icing and no flavor.

Maybe back in the nightmare then?

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

Posted in Humor, Ramblings, Weight Management | Leave a comment

I…live!

Shoulder surgery (the 1st one anyway) is done. I’m uncomfortable but will survive this and come out the other side better for it.

Follow up with the surgeon in a few days to get a handle on exactly how successful it was, but the indications at this time are quite positive that I will regain full function. He was apparently able to salvage BOTH the large muscles (that were torn completely off and retracted).

I’m…encouraged, but will know more in a few days.

Still quite uncomfortable, but can get in the car and fasten the seatbelt…so I’m working today.

If I’m gonna be miserable and in pain, I may as well be getting paid for it.

It’s amazing…and scary…that they’ll do this sort of major surgery under full anesthesia, then chuck you out the door a couple hours afterward with very basic instructions…and not need a follow up for 8 days.

I also now understand why they truss me up in a sling at all times…it’s not the voluntary movements that’ll get you in trouble…it’s the involuntary ones…especially if you’re normally the active type…lunging after something dropped…that sort of thing…

Pretty sure I tried to punch somebody in a dream last night…that hurt…but would have been seriously bad for this surgery had I not been constrained in the sling…

And of course…we’re having IDEAL riding weather today.

Sigh. Gonna be a long recovery…

I’ll see you on the road.

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

Posted in Weight Management | Leave a comment

Sobering…

A sobering thought…

I have health insurance. By *somebody’s* measure, it’s supposedly *good* health insurance. A “Cadillac plan” in fact (which means it’s gets heavily taxed, which of course, gets rolled into my premiums).

I’ve had health insurance since I dragged myself out of the mire of poverty some 30+ years ago. I have, quite literally, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in premiums. This is “I would be a multi-millionaire if I’d invested that money” kind of money.

I’ve also paid hundreds of thousands into Medicare and Social Security over the same period.

I’ve seldom needed serious medical treatment, in the years I had insurance anyway. The most serious injury I’ve had was during my “fight out of poverty” days and was treated “off the books” by a veterinarian…of course…that’s another story.

I’ve only even met my deductible a handful of times all those years.

My shoulder injuries have turned out to be reasonably serious…and quite debilitating. They are painful, impact my ability to work, and will impact basic functionality if left untreated.

But here’s the sobering thought…if I could not come up with, basically $7000 cash IN ADVANCE…I could get NO treatment.

Hundreds of thousands in premiums…and without $7000 cash I could not get ANY treatment.

Think about it.

I don’t know what the fix is…but this shit is beyond broken.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

Big honkin dollars

REALLY big honkin wampum $$$$

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

Posted in Blog, Weight Management | Leave a comment

The Long Burn and the Short Fuse

Pondering my upcoming shoulder surgery…which worries me more than I care to admit. Although the surgery is fairly routine, the injury is significant and outcome is in no way certain. More a “degree” of success rather than a “pass/fail” kind of thing.

The degree of success will determine the degree of ability regained…and the amount of work (and pain) required to get to that.

…and then there’s the other shoulder to attend to…

…and the year of work to recover, along with the disruption and possible setbacks of my goals…in fitness and in the rest of my life as well.

I *knew* this fitness thing was a long burn when I started it. I still know it. It’s a lifetime prospect now.

My intellect knows this. The rational mind can even measure it. I’ve made tremendous progress.

And frankly put…I’ve NEVER had any fear or compunction about hard work OR pain…that’s part of why I’m where I’m at with the shoulders in fact…

A long burn. No question.

But I still see the fat guy in the mirror.

And why…do I so intently feel that I’m running out of time?

Doesn’t matter really…either way I’ve GOT this…and I know it.

Intellectually anyway.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

Posted in Weight Management | Leave a comment

On setbacks and insecurities…

A lifetime of hard work and other abuses, combined with a recent fall, have resulted in what I must call…a setback.

A massive rotator cuff tear…full width, with retraction, likely irreparable, and pretty much any other “Oooo, that sounds bad!” verbiage you’d care to imagine is causing me significant pain and extreme weakness (in certain motions) in my shoulders/arms.

The right shoulder is the worst…

My right shoulder…pretty thoroughly wrecked. The left is nearly as bad.

Next week I’m off to surgery on the right arm…an attempt to repair, and if it turns out to be irreparable…then a superior capsule reconstruction is the backup (or, if I understand it correctly, some combination of both).

In addition, there are other conventionally repairable tears to address at the same time.

If you ever wonder what scares the 240-pound biker dude…the one that rides with impunity (and a certain degree of “enthusiasm”) in the intense metroplex traffic…well…this is it.

When the world’s gone to crap…I’ve always been able to fall back on hard work. I have “skills” that can support me and mine through pretty much anything.

Those that follow my art endeavors and my Old Vic project will also realize how important strength and mobility are to me.

And what’s a rider that can’t ride?

I also can’t help but remember a surprisingly large number of occasions where had it not been for my ability to take punishment…AND deal it out…I or others would no longer be here. A sobering thought…that.

I also worry about this setting back my fitness quest. I will NOT go back to being the fattest guy in the room. That’s an “at all costs” kind of declaration.

It’s still a worry.

It’s ALL a worry. I’m the doer. The protector. The one that can handle anything that’s thrown my way.

…and currently I can’t. That tastes like a failure.

4-6 weeks with the arm immobilized. SIX MONTHS of PT.

…and then I start on the other one.

So…next week. Chop, hack, drill…and so on.

As I said elsewhere…

It’s too bad…that all those early jobs…the hard work and grinding labor and long nights and holidays and weekends kind…didn’t actually pay what they were worth in terms of “life”…wear and tear…pain…and the like.

If they did I’d have been retired a very rich man few decades back methinks.

So…setback. Setbacks actually.

Terrifying.

But bring it on. I’ve got this.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

Related: A little hard work–The Old Victorian Webcomic

You can read more about my fitness journey here.

Posted in Blog, Mood, Weight Management | Leave a comment