In the second edition of “Lean Doc Diaries,” I proudly describe the story of a special patient who was on the brink of disaster in the ICU secondary to his obesity related metabolic diseases but survived the initial battle and then really took my education to heart and now is telling his story along with raising money to help others.
His brief history included being overweight with poor eating habits, though dealt with some “yo-yo” low carb dieting in the past. He was told his “sugars were high” and he needed medicine for his cholesterol. He is early middle aged, and otherwise felt well, so he had not been heeding the warnings.
He presented to us in the hospital with very severe abdominal pain, and was admitted to the intensive care unit for treatment of pancreatitis which was secondary to very high triglycerides and complicated by diabetic ketoacidosis (sugars so high that your body cannot metabolize and is very dangerous).
I talked with him and his wife extensively regarding the underlying metabolic process of his diet, exercise, and body habitus in regards to changing drastically and preventing further demise of his health once he was recovered from his severe acute illness. He started off on significant amounts of insulin to keep his sugars within normal limits in addition to multiple other medications, but with outstanding dedication to my dietary recommendations and his exercise regimen, he quickly did not even require any insulin and his other medications were significantly reduced or discontinued.
He wrote to me recently to tell me that he is continuing to do great, eating well, exercising, and staying lean and healthy. He wanted to share his story publicly and help raise awareness of his participation in the 3rd Annual Beach Century Bike Tour sponsored by the We Promise Foundation. His contribution website is http://www.active.com/donate/2011BeachCenturyTour/EriksPage and we hope to help him raise money for helping children’s dreams come true.
“Wow, where do I begin. For years I lived by the cliché, “Work hard, play harder”. Ate whatever I wanted, drank whatever I wanted, smoked whatever I wanted, believing that I would live forever. I would eventually settle down, get married, have kids, etc, etc. Little did I realize that the damage was already done.
January 16, 2011
This day will forever in my mind, be the day I was reborn. It was like any other Sunday, simply relaxing with my wife and daughter. We had a decent sized breakfast (which for me meant four scrabbled eggs, a stack of pancakes and half a pig’s worth of bacon), lunch at diner, which sold sandwiches that could feed a family of four (again, this was just for ME) and finally for dinner, two bags of microwave popcorn (extreme butter version). This was nothing out of the ordinary for me as I’ve always been a large sort of fellow with a rather large appetite. Not fat mind you, just very large (6’4” 310 lbs at the time, think of a lineman playing football). At around 2 a.m., I had a very sharp pain in my upper abdomen region. Being the “tough guy” I am, I took some antacid medicine and dismissed the pain as really bad heartburn. As the minutes went by, the pain intensified 10 fold, so I found myself at the emergency room at a nearby hospital.
I was told my blood sugar as nearing the 500 mark and my triglycerides were over 5,000. Looking back over my medical records, doctors told me I had been living with these numbers for a few years and they didn’t know how I was still alive. I never really took doctors serious, just nodded my head a lot, saying “yeah yeah, ok”. Well, after 21 days in the hospital, 15 of them with no food or water, having a metal tube shoved up my nose going down into my intestines, getting poked every two hours for blood samples, having a tube stuck in my arm reaching toward my heart pumping me full of whatever drugs I needed, and crying seeing my wife and daughter crying in fear of my, at the time, almost certain death, I realized that the nodding and yeah, yeahs had to go and it was time to face my mortality.
Today, I weight 242 lbs, eat a very balanced three meals a day, consisting of lots of vegetables, carefully portioned meats, precisely measured starches and the occasional rewarding dessert. I work out on my elliptical machine daily and am currently training for the 3rd Annual Beach Century Bike Tour. “
Remember if you would like to donate to Erik’s great cause – CLICK HERE