Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trading One Problem For Another / 10k a Day / The Fight For 170

Alright, so I've got a 3-in-1 deal for you today. Plenty of things have happened since my last post, so it's about time I update you, the reader.

Trading One Problem For Another

The good news: My kidney functions are improving. My creatinine levels have dropped noticeably, from 1.9 last month to 1.5. This new level is still abnormal by about .2, but I haven't seen a number this low unless I go back about 2 years when this whole problem started. My creatinine clearance test came back with positive results; an improvement in overall kidney function. I also will begin tapering down on the damn prednisone by 10mg a week starting tomorrow (I'll be completely off it by May!).

The bad news: I have high cholesterol. This is genetic, so the least I can do is cut back on my dairy intake (cheeses) because I'm sure that's not helping the problem at all. I've started Lipitor (for the cholesterol) and a small doseage of Lisinopril (to prevent hypertension, a leading cause of renal failure, which could be a cause for this entire mess in the first place).

So, I'm doing a trade-in: FSGS for high cholesterol and hypertension. Not too bad. The latter problems are very treatable.

10k a Day

I'm recently coming off a two-day high of 10k steps walked. This is in preparation to walk an average of 10,000 in the month of April. That's at least 300,000 in total for that month. My legs are already feeling the increase in activity (usual muscle soreness and a slight increase in muscle cramps), but I'll be taking it as it comes.

The Fight for 170

Now that I'm going to begin coming of the Prednisone, this is a good time for me to reboot my fitness. The first step is to regain control of my diet. While my calorie intake has been much more tolerable compared to past, it's still not acceptable. That is, I still go over 2,000 calories a day (not by much, maybe 200 to 400 more than needed).

I call the above chart: The Prednisone Rollercoaster.

Thankfully, it fits into a tread that occurs with my weight. I follow a jump-and-drop pattern. My weight goes up after a steep decline and drops after a steep rise (and so on and so forth). In the next month, I can hope for a drop in total weight should this tread prove true.

My short-term goal, which begins April 1st and lasts until June 1st, is to bring my total weight back under 180 (150 pounds of muscle; 30 pounds of fat [~16.6% body fat] OR 145 pounds of muscle and 35 pounds of fat [~19.4% body fat]). The latter being more realistic, the former being the ultimate short-term goal.

My long-term goal, which I'm hoping to reach by the end of July, is to have a body weight of 170. That would consist of a muscle mass of 150 pounds and 20 pounds of body fat (~11.7% body fat). This goal will be tough to reach since an 11% body fat percentage is considered athletic by some standards.

My limits: I MUST not go under 140 pounds of muscle. I MUST not have more than 40 pounds of fat on me.

I'll be formulating a plan of action in the coming days. I'll post it here so if anybody wants to join me, feel free to do so.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Trouble Ahead

The MTA has approved their so-called doomsday budget plan.

The straphangers of New York better be collectively sharpening their pitchforks... or at least oiling their bike chains.

MTA Hike/Service Cut Proposals (link)

Proposal 1 is the one they voted for.

It's a damn shame really. We New Yorkers can't really blame the MTA 100%. The goons up in Albany have time and time again screwed the MTA out of fair funding.

For example:
"The MTA also assumes that Albany will begin sending it more money. For years, state tax dollars that were supposed to go directly to the MTA were absorbed into the state's general budget."

Assumptions are bad, but not getting tax dollars intended for the MTA is worse.

If you're a New Yorker who is tired of seeing public transportation becoming more of financial hassle, contact your Senator and Assembly person. These hikes won't go into effect until June. There's still time for a... you guessed it, bailout... right? RIGHT?!

Daily News Source

Friday, March 13, 2009

Renal Wars: "Screw it, I'm out of Star Wars titles."

So after a 5-hour wait to see my kidney doctor, I've got another bunch of tests to do. One of which is a creatinine clearance test. A urine test in which my kidney function is somewhat more accurately estimated versus a normal 24-hour protein count. This will be followed by the usual blood work, a fasting blood work, which is a pain in the ass because you cannot eat AT ALL. Oh well.

My creatinine level is up to 1.9 (from 1.6 in January). This is not good, but nothing to be too alarmed about. Also, depending on the results from the CC, I'll be starting to come off the prednisone. Finally!

I'll know for sure in 2 weeks.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Renal Wars: The Doctor Menace

Late February? No? March 5th? NO?! How about March 12th? Yeah, March 12th, three damn weeks later than I expected.

To all you doctors out there, don't let the nurses do the dirty work when it comes to canceling on a patient who is on a medication that needs either, a) close observation, b) a strict period of treatment and then a "weening" period, or c) both.

At least give a REASON...

Anyway, I fall under category (c). I'm also lucky my pharmacist is a helpful person or I'd be in the ER with adrenal shock.

Prednisone is a hell of a drug.

Tomorrow I, hopefully - since Jamaica Hospital hasn't called today to screw me over yet again, see my Nephorologist and get the results of a 24-hour urine test that I did almost a month ago. This would be a biggie as this test was done during the peak of my prednisone treatment. If a certain doctor didn't cancel twice on me, I would probably be of this horrible drug by now. Don't get me wrong, I haven't had one allergy related problem since December. It's awesome to know hay fever has nothing on me when this drug is in my system. Though, it's a damn shame when you gain a double chin and a really bad temper (as if I didn't have one already...).

More news tomorrow. Same bat time, same bat channel!
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Sunday, March 1, 2009

In Like A Lion...

I haven't seen a foot of snow in NYC since the Storm of 2006. It's about damn time that I can go over to Upton's (that's NYC's NWS station) winter weather section and see this beauty:

Yes, Upton is forecasting 13.5" of snow for Queens.

Of course this amount can change before all is said and done by Monday night.

NYC schools probably won't close (you'd need the end of times for that to happen), but there is a good thing about the freedom of being in a college not controlled by the BoE:

You're not forced to go to class.
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