Tuesday, 4 February 2014

John Milne, 6 March 1974 - 2 October 2011

John Milne

I have been putting off writing this for so long, but it has to be done. I was right to be worried about John. He died in October 2011, two months after the previous post was written, following an infection. I could not face writing this at the time, it was too painful. But John deserves this closure, for this blog not to be left hanging. And so do the readers of this blog, because there are still around a hundred of those a month, after all this time, and a couple of days ago I had a message from someone wanting to know how we are doing.

I felt (and still do) feel a failure because despite early success, we did not manage to achieve lasting weight loss and most importantly, John did not beat his illness.

Maybe it's best if I leave on this information: the funeral director told us that at the time John died a third of his body weight was excess fluid, caused by his illness.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Fat tax...again? Yawn.

This old chestnut is on the bbc news. AGAIN. Somebody apparently wants this to happen, very much, cos it keeps on coming back. Who I wonder? Anyway, long time no post, but lots of news. I'm still losing, but John isn't. I'm worried about him.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Monday, 25 April 2011

Weigh-in progress

Just a quick update on our progress - we weighed ourselves again first thing. My weight is still the same as it was last time I tracked it on Myfitnesspal.com, that is 14 st 2lb. So I lost four pounds from evening to morning. It makes sense that I wouldn't have put any weight on, as my clothes don't feel any tighter. Always weigh yourself at the same time of day! John's weight was 27 stone. He's put on six pounds in one month, since before his last trip to hospital. I can hear him getting up from his lunchtime sleep (because the heart failure causes fatigue, he sleeps for up to four hours in the middle of the day). Then we're off to start walking it off. Lets see how far we get and how many rests John needs to take.

Lost and found

Well, John said we might be off-radar for a while and I certainly have been. For me, the last four months have been spent either working on the house, working at my day job, or sleeping. I weighed myself tonight, and I'm four pounds heavier than I was in January - I'll weigh myself again tomorrow morning for a more accurate reading, but as we're normally up to 3lb lighter in the mornings, I reckon I've got off lightly, as it were. I can't say the same for John. He's not been tracking regularly, and the weight seems to have crept on. Maybe up to 12 pounds of it has just crept on. That's just a phrase we use, isn't it? 'Just crept on'. When I weigh myself properly tomorrow I might find some weight has 'just crept on' me as well. That's what happens when we don't log everything we eat, when we estimate that portion of cereal, eat six slices of toast but log four, and so the list goes on. It's not helped at all that he's been ill in hospital again twice. Six months ago he could walk 200 yards - just - before having to stop for a rest. Now he can't walk across the room. How is he going to get any exercise in this state? And if he doesn't exercise, how is he going to lose weight? And if he doesn't lose weight, his heart will get even worse. Forgive me if I'm feeling a bit down about all this.

John's been nagging me to blog more. Warning - whine coming up (with a more optomistic bit at the end!). I'll let you into a secret. Over the last few months, I have occasionally felt - gasp- RESENTFUL! of John, sitting on his backside at my Mum's with nothing much to do but write and go to his creative writing class. I've been working particularly long hours the last few months, finding my day job particularly stressful, and the rest of the time has been spent sanding, painting, cleaning, lugging boxes out of the garage, and so on. But obviously, John's situation is not one he would have wished for. And not one I'd wish on myself. Time to snap myself out of that one.

Because now the end is in sight! I'm sitting in my lovely new living room with lime green and white walls (thanks to my friends who came and helped paint), and the rug we bought months ago is now on the floor, and we have a massive new kitchen/diner ready to cook lovely healthy meals in. And I've started writing again! I've decided I really must start earning some money from writing - that's been my ambition since I was a child and I owe it to my six year old self to try. So after looking at a lot of options, some of which pay peanuts, I'm trying out Hubpages. Remember a few months ago I said I was going to post a review of the Weight Watchers iPhone app? I've written it, but decided to post it on Hubpages and link to it from here, rather posting it directly here. Hubpages has millions of readers and scores very well on Google searches, so I can get my writing seen by more people. Please go and have a look!

And please cross your fingers for our proper weigh-in tomorrow. I think a small gain for each of us would probably be the best result - it would show us that we can't get away with letting things slip!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

I Fell Off My Bike (Again)

I was back in hospital on Friday night, suffering from atrial fibrillation. Looks like I'll be taking it easy for a while - but I'll still be keeping an eye on my weight!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

I Fell Off My Bike ...!

Or at least, that's what it felt like.

Many, many apologies for not having being on the blog for seven weeks.

As of late January I started to suffer from strange heart rhythms and palpatations and began to feel truly awful. By mid-February, I took my unpleasantly thumping chest to my local A&E for examination. It turns out I had (or rather have) pneumonia. For the last month I have been battling with the two main symptoms - bouts of palpatations (including entire days of atrial fibrillation) and bouts of breathlessness. The heart rhythms are particularly difficult to deal with - imagine the feelings of an hungry stomach, the gurgling and the emptiness, but transposed twelve inches further north.

As I write, on March 17th (happy Guinness day, by the way!) I am feeling better than I have done since I first became ill, and I'm hoping this will continue. But I'm taking it one day at a time.

I haven't been to Weightwatchers for a month, but was thankful when I last went there to see that my initial bout of illness helped me lose four pounds in a week. I really do have a different relationship with food when I'm feverish like that. In my semi-lucid state, it was even mildly entertaining to see how my interest in food diminished. I suspect at such times, though, it doesn't go below normal levels - it just returns to normal levels!
But there is something wonderfully unshackled about suddenly not having to think quite so much about food, and to get by on a yoghurt or a bowl of soup or half a normal plateful ... it felt like a little bit of freedom, despite the fever.

So ... now I'm back, what now? Well, I start tracking my food again, rejoin Weightwatchers, get fitter, and get back on the bike. Deirdre has been marvellous this month, slowly preparing our new home for habitation with paintbrush in hand, and many of my friends and family have gone far above and beyond the call of duty to help me get fit, and help our house get fit for purpose. Thank you all.
Also, and finally, a thank you to member of staff at my local hospital who took me aside a few weeks ago and asked "Do you right a blog?" (she recognised the Frankie-Boyle-but-happy fizog from the top of this page). Her encouragement and kind words were genuinely affecting - as she said herself, you don't often get feedback in "the real world".

Anyway, I'd better go. I think this is me back for good. I shall poke Deirdre with sticks and try to get her to write something soon.

Friday, 28 January 2011

In the Gripper Lunchtime

I've slipped back into bad habits in the last couple of weeks. No, not two-kebabs-a-night-and-a-crate-of-Coke habits, thankfully – but things are beginning to worry me nontheless.

In short: it's lunchtime. How do YOU cope with it? I have breakfast (Special K and toast) at around 8AM, to coincide with taking my heart pills, but by the time 1PM comes (or even worse 2PM) my body is rebelling. Little lights are going off inside my head. And I start behaving like John Mills in “Ice Cold in Alex”. I know some of this can be blamed on my diabetes, but the urge to gorge is overpowering some lunchtimes. So … I have started eating “diet” ready meals again. Three for a fiver, so that's three lunches with tweleve collective minutes cooking time – result!

Of course, there's the worry about the salt content, the fats and the sat fat. We all know supermarkets can parade words like “DIET” in huge letter on a packet that – on investigation – are actually nothing of the sort. But a nice hot microwaveable plastic tray keeps my cravings for sweets and crisps at bay all afternoon. Now, that's got to be a good thing. Hasn't it? Being bullied by your belly at lunchtime is a discomfiting experience - like having Gripper Stebson in your colon.

I really wish I'd kept a food diary back in 2004 (when I was 128kg, 40 kilos less than I am now) to check what I was eating then, particularly at lunchtime. Was it a sandwich and crisps? Soup and pudding? A biscuit and a ten mile hike … I honestly can't remember. But whatever it was, seemed to work – even if only for a short time.

Above is a photo of Deirdre and me at the Glasgow Transport Museum in January 2004, seven years ago. The change in me is quite remarkable in that time: especially when it seems like all my other friends have physically stayed pretty much the same in the last half-decade or so. Maybe a few more grey hairs, but no more pounds or kilos.

I feel a lot of sympathy for Tommy Sheridan at the moment. He too must be looking back at early 2004 and thinking … if only I'd done things different afterwards …