Thursday, 26 January 2017

Twenty Pounds

I went to the ALS Clinic yesterday. It was the usual things. The neurologist met with me to test me, then tell me that, yes, my arms are getting weaker. This is something I already knew. The respirolgist met with me to tell me that, yes, my breathing was down slightly, not enough to be problematic, but slightly lowered lung capacity. This is something I already knew. We also discussed how my weakened core muscles would make it easier for me to run out of breath. This is something I already knew.

Then they weighed me, and told me something I did not already know. I have lost 20 pounds since last April. This is not a problem they assured me, as I had plenty of reserve left. I was not wasting away to a shadow. There was, however, a false confidence in this. We all know that weight loss for someone with ALS is indicative of decline. I am declining. This is something I already know. They also did not tell me to put on more weight. Apparently 240 pounds is still adequate.

To be honest, I have felt like I am losing weight since about last September, especially muscle mass in my arms and legs. I've had to go down a size in compression socks, and this was in July already, so I have been losing muscle mass in my legs for a while, I just happened to really start seeing and feeling it in the fall.

My belly is still big, but even there I am down a few pounds. There are a few indicators I have for this, not the least of which is that my "outie" is a lot less out than it was this time last year. It's almost back to an "innie". My navel herniated some years back, so it can be either one, as it wishes, depending on the shape of my belly.

Given that muscle weighs substantially more than fat, it would make sense that this twenty pound loss is mostly muscle. Visual indicators say that it is mostly out of my legs. This whole thing, however, is a reminder of why I was told to pack on some pounds at the beginning. Imagine if I had been fit and trim, no extra fat. The loss of twenty pounds would have been more than dramatic. For me, however, it is just an indicator, not a real problem.

Still, I wonder if I should try eating more. I just don't feel like it. The work of cooking has become more than the enjoyment of eating. I have a terrific recipe in my head right now for Eggs Benedict with Avocado. I have all the right stuff. It would provide me with calories. But maybe I really don't need them that much. After all, I have lots of weight on my belly yet to lose.

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