Chapter 2: Lynda and I Get Hooked on Fitness
The strength and vitality we were experiencing was remarkable. I was finding it easier to not only do manual chores around the house, but I could work 10 to 12 hour days without tiring both physically and mentally.
Lynda was also gaining strength, had abandoned the days of yo-yo dieting, and was starting to totally reshape her body. Around that same time she also gave up a stressful career in nursing, so we could not only work together but also be more available to be part of our growing children’s lives. It was ironic, that as a nurse,Lynda was a supervisor at a nursing home, and our service business supplied and installed blinds and draperies for nursing as well as residential homes.
Why was this relevant?
We were both exposed to the horrors of advanced age and declining health. If this was our sole experience, one would’ve thought that this was the inevitable result of getting old. However with our exposure to such a wide variety of families and lifestyles, it was clear that there were just as many possible outcomes as we age.
As Lynda and I approached our 40s, we looked and felt better than we did at 30 by a long shot. I became a voracious reader learning as much as I could about nutrition, the mechanics of how the body worked,grew stronger and healed. My theory was the stronger your system the more resistant one would be to injury and illness. We developed specific protocols that worked well for both of us.
Our focus during exercise was always
1: Pay attention to form as this was the key to preventing injury.
2: always challenge yourself
3: do a little more today than you did yesterday
Things were really progressing well for both of us, but I would soon get a wake up call. My next aha moment! Fueled by my transformation, I was 100% committed, training 5 to 6 days a week and consuming 2 to 300 g a day of protein, along with plenty of rice pasta and veggies. However, I wasn’t paying attention to one very important detail. Hydration !
This was a recipe for disaster. I was awakened one Monday morning around 430 5 o’clock doubled over in pain, so much so, that it caused me to vomit. To this day, Linda still kids me about the day I was so sick I let her drive me to the hospital LOL. And ultrasound would confirm the diagnosis of kidney stones. I was about to get my first experience to the shortcomings of our healthcare system.
The standard protocol was an IV of some sort with the drug to help the stones dissolve and hopefully pass. I was admitted to the hospital and all my urine was monitored and strained to look for the elusive stones. As the day passed, so did my pain. I was certain the stone has passed as I saw some specs in the strainer, but the nurses bought some marker had flaked off, and collected in the bottom. So I was scheduled for a ureteroscopy the next morning. That didn’t sound very good, so I tried to talk my way out of that one. I was anxious to get back to work and the gym. But the nurses and doctors convinced me that it was a safety precaution, I would be under sedation, and should be able to go home the next morning. So I agreed.
The procedure was done on Tuesday morning, I wouldn’t go home until that Friday afternoon. Evidently the urologist couldn’t find any stones, but kept looking really really hard. I ended up on a morphine drip for two days due to the kidney spasms I was having from all the poking.
Once home and took another 2 to 3 days of rest before he felt comfortable enough to move around. It would take another four days for me to feel good enough to get back to work and the gym again. One thing for sure, I have to make certain that never happened again. It was time to do some reading and research. I combed through some of my fitness books (this was pre-Internet) and picked up a book on herbal healing from a local health food store.
The doctor had already given us a clue,as he said the stone was most likely caused by uric acid. Between what I had read, and asking questions at the health food store, our best guess was that a combination of the high protein diet and insufficient water intake was causing the high uric acid level.
I also discovered that a simple tea made of rose hips could help break down and expel the stones. I would have a chance to prove that remedy a few months down the road when I felt new stones forming. I immediately went out and bought a box of The rose hips teabags, which I consumed the entire box over the course of the weekend. By Monday morning, any symptoms of the stones had passed.
In my quest to always bring it to the next level I learned to keep meticulous notes for both fitness and nutrition. This gave me feedback so I could see what adjustments need to be made on either aspect to maximize results. During this time, I had also become a big believer in nutritional supplements.
I was learning more about the depletion of the health of our soils and felt that anyone wanting a higher level of health needed at the very least, a good multivitamin mineral complex. Anyone involved in sports or seeking a higher level of fitness could benefit from something more targeted.
I was now also monitoring my water intake, as I didn’t want him you repeat trips to the ER with more kidney stones. Then a funny thing happened about a month or so after my hospital experience. I ran into the urologist in the parking lot of our local grocery store looking a little confused. As I approached him I said “Hi Doc”, how’s things? He looked at me and said, I’d be fine if I could find my car. Then I thought to myself, if you can’t find a 4,000 lb car, how in the world that I expect you to find a tiny speck of a kidney stone. That experience didn’t leave me with a whole lot of faith in doctors.
In our next chapter, we’ll continue looking at our education about health and healing.