Wednesday, 29 March 2017

From tragedy comes hope

I came across this tragic story on Sunday night when I unwittingly crossed the Facebook timeline of a relative who is an acquaintance of the victim's mother. I find stories like this uncomfortable, it raises my worst fears for my own children, but this case happened on a road I have trodden probably thousands of times. The only positive is that this poor little girl has probably saved the lives of several other people with organ donation, something that her grieving mother must be commended for. At such an incredibly painful time it would have been understandable had she batted the question of donation away, that she didn't showed incredible bravery and is a fitting tribute to her daughter (the recipients also have a big sacrifice to live up to). With all the talk of presumed consent it's a shame the pond life responsible aren't having all their organs forcibly donated to more worthwhile causes. I'm sure there's a utilitarian argument for that somewhere.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Woe is me (aka another of my boring moans about diet and fitness)


There’s been little movement in my weight since I started my Lent fast, minor fluctuations up and down. This week I shaded just under 111kg, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I’m a little over next week. I’ve stuck to the no chocolate commitment but I suspect I don’t eat enough of the stuff anymore for it to make a significant impact on my calorific intake. The focus probably needs to be on ‘extras’ like the cup of peanuts I have on Friday and/or Saturday, or the odd piece of cake. Lately I’ve found myself plugging the gap between lunch and dinner with a few crackers or a piece of bread when I get home from work, an apple would be better, although the calorie reduction is probably marginal.
The occasional days when I consume more calorific food and (alcoholic) drink may be more relevant, such as Saturday 4th March when to watch London Skolars versus Toronto Wolfpack. Great day out, but whilst hardly a binge, the presence of a real ale bar and a mixed grill down the pub afterwards involved significantly more calories than typical. Even then the weekly change in my weight was less than half a kilo which reversed itself without significant effort.
It probably hasn’t helped that I’ve had a few minor, sporadic flare ups of gout over the last couple of weeks, not majorly painful, but enough to cause noticeable discomfort on my daily walks. I treated with Colchicine last week and it seemed to do the trick. Unfortunately, the persistent heel pain I’ve suffered over the last few years is also quite bad, it’s been worse, but is definitely on the upward curve again. I’m not sure if it is plantar fasciitis or something else, either way given my age and weight it’s hardly a surprise. I did raise it with the GP nearly two years ago, the same time as my vasectomy referral, but as it’s small beer compared to the gout attacks I chose not to pursue the issue. With the weather (intermittently) getting better and the days getting longer I really want to be pain free so I can try jogging again, the same old problems of finding time remain, but I’ve got about six weeks to lose another two kilos and something needs to give.
But putting aside my narcissistic whinging about foot pain and weight struggles I have made a couple of attempts at doing something constructive that isn’t all about me. I’ve signed up to the Disability Support Network at work and I’ve also pre-registered for Kidney Research UK’s London bridges fund raising walk in July. The former is something I’ve been considering for a while but have been in two minds about because I don’t consider my CKD to be a disability right now, but I recognise it probably will be one day. The latter will be my first foray into actually raising funds to support treatment for CKD. I’ve added both to the growing list of topics I plan to write more about but may never find the time for!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Diet Update - Lent is here!

I haven’t posted an update on my diet in awhile; mainly because there hasn’t been much to write about. I’m currently tipping the scales at 111.6kg which is pretty much where I have been for the last two months. My activity levels have been pretty good (step counting is good motivation even if step targets are arbitrary), although my diet has slipped slightly, no bingeing or anything that serious, but I’ve slipped in to the habit of having treats like chocolate or cake three or four times a week where previously it was once or twice a week.

My aim is to get down to at least 109kg for my next appointment with the consultant in two months time. Fortunately help is at hand, Lent started yesterday so it's no sweets or chocolate for forty days (I have to admit being extra naughty on Tuesday indulging in an extra large packet of Reece's peanut butter cups). I managed it last year, even after our parish priest shockingly announced that Sunday's don't actually count as fast days in Lent! I was all for writing to the Bishop to find out what was going on!