One morning, early in February of 2017, I stepped out of the shower and, as I gracefully walked by the mirror in the bathroom, I realized I was horribly out of shape. Of course, I had been horribly out of shape prior to this particular day, but the level of shame I experienced on this day was elevated to a point of grave concern. So much, that I made a decision that day to finally do something about it. I began telling myself daily to make a move to counteract the disgust and shame I felt with myself, and after some discussion with my wife, we decided to join a program to get us moving and hopefully get us (mostly me) pointed in the right direction. My wife was, and is currently, my biggest supporter. I knew we were doing something positive, and I was even more inspired when she decided to do the program with me.
About a week prior to this class starting, I started to experience a swollen throat, which made it difficult to swallow. I had felt this before, and in the past it was determined to be an allergic reaction to a medication I had been taking. Armed with this knowledge, I managed to squeeze in an appointment with my Rheumatologist, who had prescribed me a drug called Cosentyx a few months prior. The Cosentyx was one of the reasons I had gained some of the excess weight I was carrying, and coupled with a total lack of responsible eating and no exercise (NONE), I walked into the doctor’s office at a totally disgraceful 273 lbs! Prior to the meds, My walking-around weight was between 225 and 245 lbs.
After explaining the weight gain and the swollen throat concerns to my doctor, the decision was made to temporarily discontinue using the Cosentyx. The drug was injected on a monthly basis, so it was going to take some time to notice a difference in both side-effects. I set a follow-up appointment and left, ready to begin a journey toward a healthier, more active, me.
On Feb 13th, the wife and I headed over to the gym for our first workout. This was a class designed for people who needed some help getting moving, as well as for beginners. I most likely fell into both categories, and I was willing to embrace that fact going into the class. After some short introductory type stuff, we wheeled out some rowing machines, turned on some tunes, and followed a simple program…
Row for 30 seconds, rest for a minute. repeat until you had rowed for 10 minutes total.
That’s it. That was my first workout.
It was also my last workout.
Our next class was scheduled the following evening. We went home, ate from our meal plan, and I was in bed relatively early. My wife woke up the next morning and headed to work. I was on disability, so as usual, I stayed home. I felt like something was wrong immediately after I woke up, but not so wrong that it caused any alarms to go off. My plan was simple enough, eat, do some chores, nap away the discomfort and meet my lovely wife at the gym for workout #2. I did most of the list, but I wasn’t able to nap and I continued to feel odd enough that I didn’t make it to the 2nd workout. If I’m being totally honest, and I am, I felt like I was just being a fat lazy old man. There was nothing in particular that I could attribute as a cause, no specific pain, nothing like that. I just didn’t feel right.
My wife did go to the workout, and she called me on the way home to ask me if I could help her get in the house. She had a bad migraine and it was affecting her vision. When she got home, she went upstairs, showered and slept in the darkness until sometime the next day. When she woke up, she wasn’t any better. In fact, she was worse off than the night before, prompting us to make a trip to the E.R. It was 2 days after my one and only workout, and I had gotten extremely dizzy and lightheaded earlier in the day while standing up from the couch. On the way to the E.R., I decided that I would get checked out as well. Once we arrived, we were both taken to separate rooms and checked over by the staff at the local hospital.
Read part 2 of “How it Happened” tomorrow!