Big Fat Queer

August 31, 2011

Two Weeks Post Op – Two and a Quarter Miles

Last night I got a pretty solid six hours of sleep and after being up for a while I had another hour “recliner nap” so today my energy was pretty good. I felt better than I have since the surgery and took advantage of it with a nice long walk. I took some pictures along the way.

I went east to York Avenue and walked down towards the hospital where I had my surgery. It was my home away from home for a week and I haven’t been in that area since I got out. Along the way I passed by Sotheby’s auction house, which is one of the larger buildings on that path (it’s at 72nd Street and York Avenue).

Sotheby's Auction House.

Once you get further south on York you enter the hospital zone. The largest is New York Presbyterian where I had my surgery and lived for a week. It is the teaching hospital of Cornell Medical School and also affiliated with Columbia Medical School. It is a huge complex of buildings and divisions. According to US News and World Report’s hospital issue this year, NYP is rated No. 1 in New York and No. 6 nationally. They are in the top two or three in several categories. From my experience, they deserve the ranking.

New York Presbyterian Hospital Main Building

This is the main building. I have tried to find out who the architect is without much luck. If anyone knows please educate me.

Across York Avenue from NYP is Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital which is ranked as the second best cancer hospital in the United States. I hope I never need their services, but it is good to know that such good quality care is walking distance from home.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital

Across from Sloan Kettering and next door to NYPH is The Rockefeller University, which is a small research institution. There is no undergraduate school there. The only students are doctoral candidates and post doctoral fellows.

Entrance to The Rockefeller University

Close up of Rockefeller U Entrance

For a small university The Rockefeller University has large accomplishments.

Past The Rockefeller University there is a footbridge to a promenade along the East River. I walked over than and took a rest on a bench by the river.

The 59th Street Bridge over the East River and Roosevelt Island.

East River Tug and Barge

On the 71st Street foot bridge back from the river you can see the Hospital for Special Surgery which is ranked as the No. 1 hospital nationally for orthopedics and No. 2 for Rheumatology.

The Hospital for Special Surgery

With these top ranked hospitals and Rockefeller University in just a few blocks the amount of brainpower and healing concentrated in such a small area is almost palpable. I have walked this walk many times over the years and I am still impressed by the amount of groundbreaking science that goes on here.

My ankles are skinnier than they have been in a decade.

July 11, 2011

I’m Pleepy

A friend of mind teaches pre-school and one of her students once told her he was pleepy. Me too. I had a long day. I got up earlier than normal because I am training a new staff person who started today. Days where I work closely with one person without my usual breaks and diversions really wear me out. Aside from going in early I stayed about an hour and a half later than normal. I will not do any exercise tonight because I am about to fall over from exhaustion, but I will report on my day.

I took the new person to lunch at a really nice place in the work neighborhood. It is upscale Italian and I managed to stay pretty healthy in spite of the many temptations. I had an appetizer of prosciutto and figs, only about 2 oz of meat and three very fresh and delicious figs. My entree was grilled talapia with about two tablespoons of soft polenta. As it is an upscale restaurant the portions were small (at twice the price!), so I managed to eat pretty healthy.

When I came home a made a turkey burger on rye bread with a side dish of cucumber slices, red bell pepper and tomatoes with just a bit of salt and red wine vinegar.

I will have a Chobani non-fat peach yogurt after I post this then plotz in front of the TV. Anthony Bourdain’s series started a new season tonight (first episode set in Havana). I will watch that then go to bed.

The MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone totals my calories at 1330 for the day with 111 grams of protein. In looking at my food analysis for the last few days I am probably getting too much carbs, despite the low calories. I need to watch that. I will weigh in at the nutritionist appointment Thursday. I expect to have dropped a few pounds.

You can click the picture below if you want to know more about Chobani yogurt.

July 10, 2011

Back on Track

Poached eggs, rye toast and Sriracha.

Today I did well. For breakfast I had two perfectly poached eggs (using the steamer) with rye toast. Breakfast was late so I didn’t eat lunch. I had a half cup of apple sauce (no sugar added) for a snack. For dinner I had 6 ounces of grilled chicken with some pureed peas, pureed yellow squash, pureed green beans and pureed carrots (1/4 cup each). I will have a 6 oz Chobani Lemon Greek yogurt for a late snack. That brings me to 1100 calories for the day. I did 20 minutes on the Upper Body Exerciser. It said it burned 194 calories, though I think that is an overstatement. Maybe 100.

This is the Upper Body Exerciser, which is basically a tabletop stationary bicycle that I pedal with my hands. Actually “pedal” is not the right word since it is from the Latin for foot. What would the manual equivalent of pedal be?

Upper Body Exerciser

February 17, 2011

Pork Products and Veg

Tonight’s dinner was boneless spare ribs and steamed vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, choy sum and snow peas. About 700 calories, totalling about 1400 for today. I will have some pineapple chunks and lychees (as pictured yesterday) after this post.

I walked about a mile today. I wanted to walk more after work because it was such a mild day, pleasant for walking, but It was a hard day at work and I did a lot more physical movement, including lifting and moving things, than usual. I was exhausted and dehydrated. After dinner and a bit of rest, I did do some house cleaning, so in addition to the walking this morning I had a more than normally active day.

As is often the case, I’m too tired to be interesting or insightful, but I think blogging what I eat helps, even if I have nothing witty to say. I hope I have something more to offer soon.

February 16, 2011

Asian Salad For Lunch

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 1:29 pm
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Romaine, spinach, edamame craisins, avocado, carrots, grilled chicken, mandarin orange sections, sundried tomatoes.

October 16, 2010

Going “Off The Grid”, Sort Of



Carribean Princess, originally uploaded by FantasticBabblings.

I went to Staten Island today to shoot some footage of the departure of the Carribnean Princess cruise ship. Winds were gusting up to 50 mph, probably more on the harbor, so only about 20% of what I shot is usable due to camera vibration. But some of it is good and I didn’t need a lot. I did get the still shot above.

I have a bit of a cold. I almost didn’t go out today. From now until the end of the year I will probably be working nights and several weekends. I don’t expect to be blogging much or making videos or anything much other than working and trying to get some rest in between. So if you don’t see much of me online, don’t be surprised. Everything is okay.

I had a follow up visit with my doctor this week to review all of the tests I have had over the last couple of months. It seems in spite of everything I am in pretty good healthy. The weight is a problem, but the things it engenders (apnea, diabetes and hypertension) are all under control. My heart is healthy. I have been checked for the major cancers and at this time there is no indication of anything. So I feel pretty good about that.

This week I have eaten relatively well with one off day (cheeseburger and milkshake). I have walked an average of a mile and a half each day. This morning I had a piece of rye toast with cream cheese. This afternoon I had a large bowl of Cantonese vegetable noodle soup, but I discarded the noodles and had vegetables and broth. I don’t know what I am having for dinner, but I will figure it out soon.

I will blog from time to time, but if I am missing, it means I’m just working hard. See you soon.

September 24, 2010

The Isotopes Have It!

I heard from my doctor’s office this afternoon and the results of my stress test show a normal, healthy heart and coronary arteries. The last test I had showed what might have been early ischemia (restriction of blood supply) in one artery, or it might have been a flaw in the test result. I went on imdur, a nitrate, for a while, but it gave me a severe headache so I stopped. My doctor has been after me for a year to have another test and this past Monday and Tuesday I finally had a very thorough nuclear stress test at Columbia University Hospital with state of the art procedures and equipment. The image above shows the type of scan results they get and I don’t have a damn idea whether this shows a healthy heart or not. I’m going to see if I can get a copy of mine.

Because of the last results and my doctor’s concern I was a anxious for the last week or so, but now I can heave a great sigh of relief. The last couple of days I have taken it easy, though my food intake has not been too bad. I did have a couple of Pinkberrys (love that stuff), but meals have been fairly healthy. I think for the first couple of days I overdid the activity considering the stress of testing and the various things injected in my bloodstream. Sometimes I deal with anxiety by being very active (or eating). By Wednesday I was exhausted.

Tonight I am going to celebrate by eating some good animal fat. Tomorrow back to healthy food and I plan to get out and walk. It should be a nice weekend.

Oh, and I want to thank my parents for giving me good genes. For a fat guy I have really low cholesterol (113 about a month ago). That’s probably the main reason the results were good.

September 20, 2010

The Anxiety Chronicles: Take Two

I had my nuclear stress test today. My attitude had gone from fear of having to be “cracked open” on the spot to the cocky idea that I had perfect arteries with no problems whatsoever. Intellectually I think I am a moderate; emotionally obviously I’m an extremist. I should pay more attention to my head and not my heart (pardon the pun).

I arrived on time, having had about 18 hours of sleep in the preceeding 36. I had no caffeine for 48 hours, so I was sleepy alot. I had some anxiety, of course, but I kept it together and tried to be funny and charming. Since I am neither rich or good looking that’s all I have. The supervising physician was Dr. Einstein, which was reassuring. I forgot the name of the resident who did the actual test, but he was young, handsome, funny and charming. He probably will eventually be rich, so he has it all.

By the way, the view from the testing room was lovely, the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge. Columbia Presbyterian Hospital is way up on the west side of Manhattan near the bridge. There were two testing bays side by side with a half wall between. The staff from both bays were making jokes back and forth as co-workers will do. They were all excited about a patient earlier this morning who collapsed on the treadmill. They kept talking about “cabbage”, and Dr. Einstein said the patient would be in the O.R. within the hour. My Doctor kidded with them to stop scaring his patient (me). Then he told me they only have about one of these patients a year and since they had met their quota, I was safe. During lunch I looked up cabbage in a cardiology context and it is slang for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (cabg). So the preceding patient did have to be “cracked open” immediately. I hope his surgery went well.

The handsome, funny, charming and soon to be rich Doctor decided that because of my weight it would be better to do a pharmacological stress test rather than on the treadmill. I was injected with adenosine, which increases the heart rate and blood flow and puts stress on the heart similar to exercise. I felt like I was being inflated and it created some tightness and pain in the chest. I was also very flush and my heart was racing. All along, though, the Doctor kept telling me that my electrocardiogram was perfectly normal. So the stress portion of the test was fine. Before I got off the table I was injected with some radiotracer so that my artery walls would show up on a gamma camera.

I then had a 90 minute break to get some lunch, take my meds and get coffee. The restaurant choices near the hospital are not so great. I went to a diner and the food others were having didn’t look so good, so I had eggs and toast. It’s hard to screw up eggs and toast. The coffee was swill, but I was grateful for caffeine so I didn’t complain.

I went back and had the gamma scan. Actually it was a combination CAT scan and gamma camera scan. Afterwards I waited 15 minutes to see if I needed to come back. I had been told by my Doctor’s office that I might have to go back the next day for another scan, depending on what Dr. Einstein saw in the first one. I was hoping not to have to go back for two reasons: one, it’s inconvenient. Two: If I had to have a second scan, then everything must not have been perfect in the first. That is an assumption I am making. In reading material on the web, it is not unusual to have two scans, and I recall in the past having a scan at rest before the stress portion. But still I am thinking in the back of my mind there was some anomaly that needs to be checked out.

The thought of going back and not knowing for what made me suddenly depressed. I hate not knowing anything and nobody will tell you anything. I have to wait to hear from my doctor. I didn’t want to sit and brood and build up anxiety, so I did what I usually do to take my mind off things. I took a camera and went downtown. I shot some more footage for my river project. Also, on Saturday while I was shooting I got some good footage of helicopters taking off and landing across the river from Brooklyn. I decided that I would do an ancillary project about helicopters, so today I went to the helipad and shot some close up action. The heliport is very busy and I’m surprised they don’t have more accidents.

I also got some great river shots. I’m including a rough cut of some raw footage I took. No color correction or sound editing, just raw clips. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have hours of stuff, but I thought I’d give you a taste. Anyway, after shooting I feel better. I still have qualms and want to get all of the information, but in due time. Wish me luck. In addition to my stress test, I walked between 3.5 and 4 miles today. Something must be working right.

On the way home I had a tuna salad sandwich on rye. I bought some Pinkberry yogurt that I’ll have after I post this.

September 18, 2010

Pre-Stress Test



NY Harbor, originally uploaded by FantasticBabblings.

Monday I finally have my stress test at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, who claims to have a scanner that will accommodate a 430 pound body. Since mine is considerably less than that, I should fit – and still be in Manhattan, but just barely. I do wonder though how they come up with a number like 430, when the circumference of a 430 pound human can vary depending on height. In any event, I should fit.

When the test was first scheduled, or at last re-scheduled, I had a nightmare that I would be told after the test that they must crack open my chest immediately and do dastardly things to my innards. I really don’t have time for that foolishness. But it did feed some anxiety about the test. But by the week’s end I was feeling cocky that everything would be fine. At least good enough not to require any immediate surgery. I am a bit scalpel-phobic.

So today I put my heart to a little bit of stress to reassure myself. I walked four miles, most of it at a fairly brisk pace, a good mile or so uphill, and I had no chest pains, no shortness of breath and I do not feel fatigued, but rather invigorated. My poor ankle joints are a bit strained, but if you had to carry that weight you would too.

I did errands this morning and walked about a mile in the neighborhood. During my errands I ate at a diner, having eggs and sausage. I also had potatoes, which I usually eschew, because I knew I was going to be doing a lot of walking. I injected insulin, but I thought I compensated for the exercise. Then I took a subway to Brooklyn Heights to go to the promenade to shoot footage for my river project. I’m including the Harbor as well.

After Brooklyn Heights I intended to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan. You get a much better view walking towards Manhattan rather than from Manhattan to Brooklyn. I got about a quarter mile up the ramp to the bridge and started feeling a little wobbly. I tested my blood sugar and it was 110. I ate my emergency Snickers and walked a bit more, but still didn’t feel too strong. I tested my blood sugar again and it was 98, still going down despite the candy bar. I didn’t think it wise to continue as on the bridge there is no place to get anything sweet to eat or drink and I was also feeling a little dehydrated. So I re-traced my steps back to the entrance to the ramp where there is a diner and I sat for a while and had a grilled cheese sandwich with a Pepsi (a rather flat Pepsi, but it had sugar). After resting and getting some carbs I felt fine to continue on. So I did and completed the trip across with no problems. I got some really good footage and a few still shots as well, including the one in this post taken from the bridge looking toward the harbor with the Verazzano Narrows Bridge in the background.

After I post this I am going to have some Greek yogurt with peach slices and fresh raspberries.

After my transgression earlier in the week, I have been pretty responsible with eating and moving. Thursday I worked in another office from my usual office and ate some Vietnamese spring rolls and salad at a restaurant nearby. When I got home I made a gumbo from the breasts of the rotistterie chicken I had eaten part of (the dark meat) the night before. It was tasty, but later in the night I had stomach cramps and cold sweat. Everything cleared up by Friday, so I don’t know what it was, but I threw the gumbo away just in case. I didn’t want to eat anything I had eaten the day before.

Friday I had lunch with a colleague at a tavern near Madison Square Park. We split an appetizer plate with wings, chicken fingers and sliders (I had one slider). The small bun on the slider and the breading on the chicken finger (not all that much) were the only carbs. My entree was a grilled shrimp salad with avocado and hearts of palm. For dinner last night I had shrimp and walnuts with no rice from a Chinese restaurant.

I have had a lot of salty animal fat today, so I may eat only vegetables tomorrow. I can’t have any caffeine until later Monday and I don’t tolerate caffeine well late in the day, so probably Tuesday. I may have to get up early Tuesday just for a caffeine fix.

I will let you know how the stress test turns out.

September 15, 2010

I’ve Been Good. I’ve Been Bad. I’ve Been Good Again.



Met Life, originally uploaded by FantasticBabblings.

Two of the last three days I have eaten well and moved a lot. Sandwiched in between – not so good. Speaking of sandwich…

Yesterday I worked in our Long Island office. On the train out I had a Kashi GoLean cruncy bar. Not terrible, but I usually don’t eat breakfast and when I do, I usually eat more during the day. Sometimes for lunch I walk to the next building, about half a mile away, and they have a nice cafeteria there with tasty healthy choices. The deli in the basement of our building has some healthy choices, but none are tasty. Instead of walking over, which I could have done since it was a gorgeous day, I ate in the basement. I had a cheeseburger with fries. Tasty, but loaded with carbs, so I was hungry all day. I had some pretzels on the train back, and when I got back in the city, I went to La Caridad, an old favorite Cuban/Chinese dive with good food. I had fried pork chops (the menu says two, but for some reason they gave me three), yellow rice and red beans. Damn good. And when I got home I had ice cream. When I’m bad, I’m bad. The one bright spot is that I did walk a mile and a half.

Monday I did well. I had a salad with chicken and vegetables for lunch, no snacks and some turkey meatballs in broth when I got home. That was it all day, and I walked two miles.

Today I had ginger chicken for lunch, no rice, and for dinner I had half a rotisserie chicken and some steamed veggies quickly sauteed in coconut oil. That’s it for today. I walked over two miles, most of it after work. I went to the Hudson River park to shoot some video of the river for my long term project.

The picture here is the old Metropolitan Life building on Madison Square Park and 23rd Street. I took it on the trip home from the waterfront.

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