Friday, 7 July 2017

No Mirrors, Please

As my upper body continues to lose muscle strength, it is also changing shape. My arms are getting skinnier, but upper and lower. My shoulders seem slighter as well, but that might just be how I feel versus what is really happening. It sounds strange, but even my hands feel skinnier, more gangly than they were in the past.

There is no doubt that I am losing muscle mass. The folks at the ALS clinic are worried about my weight. I am fairly sure I am not losing a lot of weight. My belly is getting bigger. I've had to go up a size in underwear and four inches in jeans, just to keep things loose and comfortable. It's not my waistline that's big, it's the belly on top of it.

There are a couple of truly unfortunate things happening here. First of all, muscle mass is the first thing to go when you don't eat properly. It gets burned before fat. Secondly, muscle mass is substantially heavier than fat, so losing muscle mass will be more significant to my body, but will not help at all with my belly. No matter what happens, without aerobic and cardio exercise, my belly will remain and most likely get bigger.

My gut will get bigger because that's where the calories will go. My body is not using calories to maintain muscle mass, let alone build new muscles. The only way to build muscles is to exercise them. Alas, exercise of almost any type is out of the question for me. I wish I could exercise, at least my upper body. However that exercise will not build new muscles. All it will do is exhaust my remaining muscles and accelerate my progression. Of course it does create a situation where I could exercise myself to death. That would be different.

So my legs and arms will continue to shrink. My belly will continue to grow. Eventually I will look like a blob on a chair. I kind of look like that already. ALS is so much more than a muscle wasting disease. It is a full body destructive force, destroying who you once were in body, in mind, and even in spirit. I've stopped looking in the mirror. I don't want to see it anymore.

1 comment:

  1. I come from a family of spider physiques; that is, we all have thin arms and legs and round bellies. I noticed the other day that I look like Jabba the Hut (or in my case, Huttress, being a girl and all). I am quite content to not look in the mirror as well, and I have decided to completely ignore it. xo