Saturday, July 30, 2011

The lower body ROM workout is now a doddle.

A moment of silence please... I just kicked the Lower-Body ROM exercise squarely in the nuts. I blasted all four minutes at 210 pounds of resistance and scored 121% on the meter.

What is the significance of this moment?

The last time I rode that horse, the year was 2009. On that occasion, it ripped a chunk of cartilage out of my right knee that set me flat on my back on the surgery table. This is how I was introduced to Dr. Evan Bachner. Favoring the right knee blew out the left knee, which put me back on the surgical table less than 4 weeks later. Bachner pulled chunks of bone out of my left knee.

My last ROM ride was the beginning of sorrows for me. My body weight spiraled up due to immobility and post surgical pain. Higher weight made it hard to exercise, exercise made the pain worse, which made me more immobile, which made me gain more weight. I was caught in a vicious negative feedback loop.

As you know, this vicious cycle was only broken by a visit to Providence St. Joseph Hospital and full Roux en Y gastric bypass. This was my most dangerous surgery every. Understand that this is nowhere near as simple as pulling a chunk of torn cartilage out of a knee. They open your torso and repipe your guts. Not everybody survives this surgery. I am a member of the good and lucky majority.

As you might imagine, getting back on that horse and doing that Lower-Body ROM exercise has represented one of my greatest fears in life. There have been many times in the past two years when I wondered why I ever spent $6,000 on a $16,000 machine that cost me more than $10,000 in flesh, blood & tears.

Of course, the vicious scorpion at work has chided me about this subject...

Well guess what? I just got up on that horse and rode it again. It was a doddle. I wasn't even breathing hard until 3:15 had already expired. I didn't sweat profusely until a minute or two afterward. For some 10 minutes afterward, I kept checking and rechecking my range of motion for any signs of inflammation in my right knee. There is no inflammation in my right knee, and it is now an hour later.

You can see the exercise here. This constitutes a major, major victory. This is almost like killing Osama.

Compared to the upper body workout, the lower body workout is trivial. This was never the case in the past. I could never do 4 whole minutes, period. I had to break it into 2 minute segments. Now it is easy. I guess losing something like 100 pounds makes a difference.

If there is a greater lesson in this story, I guess it this: You never know where providence will take you. I probably would never have conquered my weight problems without Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Given my good blood chemistry and my heart health, my insurance never would have approved this surgery. It was only a series of letters from Bachner, my GP and Dr. Quilici regarding my orthopedic problems that caused United Health Care to approve the surgery.

Now I have reversed the aging process by 15 years at the very least, and still counting. I am stronger and healthier now than I was at 30... not to mention better looking. I'm not into cosmetics, though.

Lately, I have been wondering how much longer I may live as a result of this surgery. Of course, you can die in a car wreck at any moment, but presuming I don't, how much longer will I live? The starving mouse studies suggest I should double my lifespan. That's no joke folks. Google Roy Walford and CRON.

Popular Science magazine just published a piece called "Why you will live to be 150". They are talking about everybody, not just us starving mice who have had Roux-en-Y. Google search for Dr. Bill Andrews, Geron, and Telomerase. He is working on the cure for aging.

The men and women in my Dad's family live a very long time. Grandpa kick off at 93. Grandma kicked the bucket at 95. My dad is 69, has kicked prostate cancer in the ass twice, and doesn't quite look 60. Nobody believes I am going to turn 45.

God, I have no clue how long I will live, but I can see no reason why I shouldn't make it to 90. Frankly, I should reach 100.

Just to close the loop for you, I would not be thinking these thoughts if the ROM hadn't ripped a chunk of cartilage out of my right knee one dark day in early October of 2009. Isn't strange how this event became the next best thing to a guarantee that I will make it to 100 years of age?