And The Winner Is….

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 9:10 am


Diabetes, ruptured discs, and now….gout. The Big White Guy Trifecta.

I thought I was suffering from a cellulitis—a painful, non-site-specific infection—in my toe, which I have had a couple of times in the past. I got my doctor to fax a script for some antibiotics to my pharmacy. A couple of days later the problem wasn’t noticably better, so I went to a local podiatrist I’ve visited before, and he pronounced it to be gout. He wrote me a script for some nuclear NSAIDs and gave me a list of foods to avoid.

Near the top of the list of foods to restrict my intake of: meat.

Well, there goes the Atkins Diet, my main method for keeping my diabetic ass under three hundred pounds.

I’ve often said that us Big White Guys are the Chevy K-Blazers of the human race: we’re oversized, noisy, consume too many resources and have shitty repair records. Since my back surgery left me with reduced function in one leg, I have noticed a lot of fellow Big White Guys have a similar limp to mine; kind of a gentle port or starboard list. I imagine that a lot of them are also diabetic. I am tempted to tell the guy with the limp behind the counter at ERI (my favorite electronics place in the Olympia area) that he better lay off the Atkins or he’ll be facing gout like me, just to see his reaction.

I could go on yet another medication, of course; gout is easily treated, and the science of doing so is quite established. After all, gout is the disease of kings, and who eats more like kings than Westerners, particularly Americans? (McDonald’s could probably make a mint in product placement charges by advertising Zyloprim on the side of every Big Mac box.)

But that would mean that, at age thirty-seven, I would be on my sixth regular medication. I’m already teetering on the edge of my second major back surgery, and who knows what’s in store for me a few years down the line if I keep up this dietary orgy of animal products—aside from and in addition to the gout?

Fuck that. I know one way to take care of the gout, the diabetes and possibly even ameliorate the back problems in one fell swoop. I’ve done it before, back when I was first diagnosed with diabetes. Starting tomorrow, I am going back on a 1,600–1,800 calorie-per-day diet.

This will have many benefits: I will lose a lot of weight (after a year of this last time ’round I was at 230 pounds, which would be a 50 pound loss at this point), which will take a lot of strain off my back and hip. The reduced caloric intake will lower my need for insulin and glucose/glycogen blockers. Abandoning the Atkinsy goodness will drop the levels of uric acid in my blood and deal with the gout.

On top of the medical benefits, I will be able to eat like a normal human being again, albeit a hungry one. I’m sick of eating turkey dogs for breakfast; I want a motherfucking bagel, and I’m willing to restrict my caloric intake in order to get one. I’d rather have only a single small portion of stir fry for dinner, and be able to eat it with rice. And as well as the Atkins thing worked for me for a long time, you just know it can’t be good to eat that way for ten, twenty years. Keep it up long enough, and I’ll be on a whole other pack of meds to deal with that. It’s time to move on.

Finally, I need to do this because I need to exercise some form of discipline in my life. At this point, my existence is pretty much defined by a singular lack of self-discipline. I make practically no sacrifices in my daily life, I indulge most every whim I have….it would be nice to point to something in my life—my rumbling, gradually shrinking gut, for instance—and say, “I’m working hard to control this.”

Also, I wouldn’t mind looking trimmer than I do now. For reasons unbeknownst to me, I have a pretty nice set of abdominal muscles; you just can’t see them easily under the current inch of flab.

Anyway, the only real side effect from this lifestyle change for you, Dear Reader, will be a (hopefully) slight change in my personality. The last time I went on a crash diet, Margaret likened the experience to “living with a sore panther”.

So please accept my apologies in advance for any discomfiture you may experience during your future interactions with me; rest assured, it’s just the lack of donuts talking.

7 Responses to “And The Winner Is….”

  1. Scot Says:

    Oh boo hoo. Six medications. BFD. Gout at 37. Fucking whiner. I had gout in my late 20s. I’m down to 18 pils for breakfast, and down to 43 pills a day to remain amoungst the breathing. Plus 4 hours a day, 3 days a week hooked up to a machine. Just take the pill for the gout. And you have a long way to go to match some of my drug induced mood swings. I’m just the model of compassion.

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    You know, Scot, I contemplated adding a mention of you–and how little sympathy you were likely to have for me–in the post. I decided I didn’t want to bring up your condition here, and figured if you didn’t mind it being known, you’d let me–and everyone else–know. 😉

  3. Scot Says:

    And what I have is actually just inconvienient. I’m not on chemo or anything else that is trully nasty. Complaining and self pity serve no constructive purpose. I was in a major funk for a few months going back on, which didn’t help my career longevety. What I really have no pity for is those that do not take care of their condition. I know of two individuals at the unit who didn’t do what they were supposed to and are presently pushing up daisies.

  4. Gavin Says:

    Oddly enough I have come to a similar conclusion myself this weekend. Now you may find it difficult to believe that your pencil-necked-geek Scrawny White Boy friend is 50 pounds overweight, but I am. So, if you don’t mind, I will join you in your quest to remove said 50 pound burden, ( yes that is the equivalent of carrying one of my kids around my waist full time, just a lot harder to remove). So my question to you is: 50 pounds lighter by what date?

  5. Uncle Andrew Says:

    I haven’t set a target date, but the change in diet starts today: a bagel and non-fat cream cheese for breakfast, another bagel, tuna fish with nonfat yogurt, or yogurt with some fruit and nuts for lunch, single small portion of whatever for dinner, lather, rinse repeat. Worked the first time. I expect it will take longer this time, because I spend more time on my widening ass now than I did then, but this comes out to about 1600 calories per day, which is at least 200 calories less than someone my size uses up sitting around playing Half-Life 2. 😉

    Good luck with your diet as well. Keep me posted.

  6. Val Says:

    Jeebus Andrew, you’re falling apart!

  7. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Jeebus Andrew, you’re falling apart!

    Ain’t I, though? I used to say that I would be at the front of the line for the first commercial brain-in-a-jar rig; now, I’d gladly beta-test the sucker.

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