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When is a Plateau not a Plateau?

How do you lose 8 pounds in 4 days?

I know of one way, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

If you have been keeping up with my progress you probably know that I spent the last six weeks dealing with a nasty infection in my leg called cellulitis. As a brief recap for those who don’t know, I spent 2 days in Tift Regional Medical Center and was sent home with a 2 week supply of antibiotics. At the end of the 2 weeks I was actually worse off and in much greater pain. I went back to the ER and they immediately put me back in TRMC. After a week of heavy duty IV antibiotics and a surgery to cut out two pockets of infection I was allowed to go home with another week of heavy duty antibiotics.

The leg was healing just fine and all the pain was gone. What a blessed relief that was. That is where our story takes another turn. Antibiotics kill bacteria and they kill indiscriminately.

You have good bacteria in your gut. They help break down certain foods, but they also do many other beneficial jobs. The point is, you need them. After being on antibiotics for almost a month solid my gut bacteria were pretty much decimated. That leads to BIG trouble.

Diarrhea.

There. I said it. It is now out in the open. I hear a collective, “EWWWW!” go up. I agree completely.

And that is the reason I lost 8 pounds in 4 days. As I said, I don’t recommend it.

I finally stemmed the tide there, but this was the gift that kept on giving. Don’t worry. I will not favor you with any of the other details. Details. Details. There is a pun in there somewhere.

So, I was pretty weak after that but still struggling to keep up with everyday tasks. Life goes on, you know. The next phase of my torture, and that is exactly the right term, was sleep deprivation.

For a good length of time, and I sort of lost track there, I averaged about 2-3 hours of fitful sleep a night. You can do that for a couple of days and still function. I was into a second week of it. Again, without getting into specifics, I had to sleep sitting up in a hard-bottomed chair. To rest horizontally on the bed brought fiery agony that would only subside when standing, or sitting up in that hard-bottomed chair.

Why didn’t I use a recliner? It didn’t work. After toppling out of the chair a couple of times I got creative. I put on my winter coat, which is now very big on me and but the back side over the back of the chair. This kept me from falling forward on my face as I took short catnaps. I was miserable.

My new solution is not optimal but it has been working for a couple of days. I take 3 Tylenol PM’s about 2 hours before bed and crawl in as I zonk out.

Yeah, but what about this plateau stuff?

Right. Back to the subject of weight loss and plateau.

I told you I lost 8 pounds in 4 days to bring my total to 84 pounds lost. I posted my weight loss and kept on doing the best that I could, considering the circumstances. I weighed last Friday and had gained 8 pounds. Well, I was ashamed because I wasn’t eating badly and had no reason to GAIN 8 pounds in that short period of time.

It turns out that I was retaining fluid in great quantities. I accidentally scratched my leg and after the initial blood drops it became clear fluids. This fluid “leaked” out of the wound for several days. It finally stopped yesterday.

I went this morning to weigh in and guess what the reading was? You guessed it. 453 pounds. So basically, I haven’t lost any weight in 2 weeks – on the scale. But in truth, I didn’t really lose that original 8 pounds (diarrhea). And I didn’t really gain the last 8 pounds (fluid retention). So in my opinion, in the last 2 weeks, I have lost those same 8 pounds. That is an average of 4 pounds a week and is wholly acceptable in my mind.

One of the surgical wounds on my leg has closed up nicely and the other has gone from the size of a quarter to smaller than a dime and is healing as intended. The diarrhea is a distant bad memory and the other issue is hopefully working itself out and I do what I have to do to get much needed rest.

Wow. This was a lot longer than anticipated but I wanted to give a complete accounting to my friends who follow me on Facebook and MyFitnessPal and on my blog. Your encouragement and prayers have helped me through what I would have to say was the worst time of my life. Thank you, my dear friends.

The fight continues.

10 votes + -

9 comments:

annwyatt69 wrote about 2 years:
You have been through so much! I commend your perseverance and dedication through all of this! I hope for your sake that the health problems are nearing an end. Weight loss is very hard when you have health obstacles to overcome. This part I understand more than you could know. I am very glad that you are still with us on MFP. Each day is an accomplishment for all of our lives even if we don't always see weight loss. Just know that your friends are here for you always!
hunter624 wrote about 2 years:
You take care Tom thanks for the update. regards Bob H
KittenKittyKitteh wrote about 2 years:
That's quite the journey! I have to say I'm impressed that you haven't used your injury as an excuse to give up. VERY IMPRESSED! That said, regarding the loss and gain. I lose and gain the same 5 to 10 pounds sporadically throughout the week. It will go up five one day, down two the next, up, down up, you get it, I'm sure. Then when I least expect it I'll go down two. I count that and I keep it. This is what keeps me going! If I weighed once a week like everyone rants and raves about I would rarely get to see my losses. I'm sure it has to do with being such a heavy person, weight distribution on the scale, and how much water, poo, spit, whatever we are full of at the time. I'm pretty sure I had a point here somewhere. Anyway, you're doing so great and I am always glad to see your activity on here. Keep it up!
IowaKate wrote about 2 years:
I love this blog post! Not that you have had a trying time, mind you, but that you persevered! My hats off to you!
mamaward64 wrote about 2 years:
I've been right where you are, minus the surgery. I understand and am amazed at your dedication. I would have crawled up somewhere and died.
thistimeismytime wrote about 2 years:
You are one tough cookie Tom! I'm so sorry you're going through so much, but your great attitude and continuing dedication are amazing and inspiring. I said it before and I still believe it--you're going to do great things here!! When you reach your goals, I'm going to be able to say "Hey, I knew that guy when he was struggling and going through hell, and look at him now!!" Stay strong Tom!!
fatatackash wrote about 2 years:
hi, congrats on the quick weight loss ;-), not a healthy way but hey.. my brother also suffers from cellulitus, i am so clueless, i just know he is always in pain, and has fevers.. weird..
wannabehotmomma wrote about 2 years:
Keep up the good fight Tom!!
tnmyers23 wrote about 2 years:
Sounds like... well I know from the cellulitus and C-diff you have been to hell and back. So glad you came out of it with such a positive attitude. Be very careful with your wounds as you don't want to reinfect them. story shows how never giving up brings you out on top and more people need to see this. It is great.

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