Today’s weight: 144.2, up 0.2 of Pizza Madness. Ken wanted to try a new coal-oven pizza joint. The crusts were ultra-ultra thin, but still, we both immediately felt bloated afterward; it was the biggest jolt of White Devils we’d had in a while, and we decided that pizza shall remain a rare treat. It’s no fun to feel lousy.
Today I am grateful for: 1) A jubilant phone call from my daughter last night, who’s having an awesome adventure out west. 2) Getting to be all goofy and cheery and teary when the US Women’s Soccer Team got the gold medal! And yay for Claressa Shields, the 17-year-old gold medalist in boxing! 3) Going late-night biking with Ken and Sam; the world is very magical when you pedal in the dark.
Today’s gym monitor gleanings:
* A tribute: As I began this blog entry, I discovered that the incomparable David Rakoff died yesterday. I absolutely adored his mordant wit and graceful writing. I’ve listened to his very moving piece here over and over. What a loss. It’s hard to pick a favorite among all his books, but I do love Don’t Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never- Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems.
* “I want something bad”: Olympians plan their post-training pig-outs. Interesting that Olympic gymnast John Orozco said his diet of lean meat, salad and veggies might have left him “too weak” to compete.
* “But my Parisian doctor says it’s good for me!”: In Europe, they’re allowed to say chocolate is a health food!
* “Went to the gym for the first day!”: The 200-pound 12-year-old in that Nike commercial says making it inspired him to start getting fit. Cool! Go, Nathan!
* Sharpen your stick: Because it’s National S’Mores Day.
* Wait, WHAT?: So, um, nothing to get panicky about, but, ZOMG YOUR MOVIE POPCORN IS GIVING YOU ALZHEIMER’S!!!!!! Allegedly.
* Dead ringers: Buzzfeed has Olympians separated at birth.
David Rakoff. What a loss. I’m feeling very sad and weepy. How can you NOT love a man who says this when contemplating the amputation of his left shoulder and arm due to the return of cancer:
“There are other extrafunctional and noncosmetic realities I have to consider,” Mr. Rakoff wrote in “Another Shoe,” his essay about the tumor. “How does someone without a left arm know he’s having a heart attack, for example?”
Rest in peace, Mr. Rakoff.
I did weigh today: 181.5, up 2 and a half pounds since last weigh in. I think I’ll weigh again tomorrow–I suspect this uptick may be due to eating both lunch and dinner after 4pm.
I spent most of yesterday in the Medical World, seeing a cardiologist PA and having a coronary CT scan. I saw pictures of my heart, which was very cool! But even more cool? I have learned to control my heart rate!
The nurse, Julie, who was assigned to me during the procedure, told me that I’d receive three injections. One would be beta-blockers to reduce my heart rate. The scan goes better if the patient’s heart rate is below 60. I’d also get contrast (ick) and nitro (also ick). The nitro is to open up the coronary arteries so the image shows them as large as possible.
Julie laid me out on the slab that goes through the scanner. My heart rate was about 60-62. I closed my eyes and started some square breathing as she was fiddling around with medical detritus. She glanced back at the monitor and said, “WHOA! Your heart rate just dropped way down, to like, 55!”
I gleefully opened my eyes, and said, “I did that! I meditated because I hate beta blockers and don’t want to take them if I can keep my heart rate low.” Of course, the instant I opened my eyes, the rate jumped up to 62.
“Try it again,” Julie said. “Maybe we won’t have to dose you.”
I dutifully slipped into meditation again and she watched the monitor. I was trying really hard to keep my breathing slow and even and to not get too excited about what I was attempting.
“Wow,” Julie said. “That’s really amazing. You’re keeping your heart rate around 55, but when you move, it jumps back up to 62. I’m going to give you one injection of the beta blockers and see if that keeps it low enough.”
So she did, and it did. After one injection, I was able to keep my heart rate around 50-53 for the duration of the study.
I am so proud of myself! Julie told me that the guy who immediately preceded me for this test was so anxious, he needed 5 injections. Because I needed so few, I was able to bounce up out of the test without feeling massively dizzy. I even drove myself home.