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  1. #1

    Question The term 'Break-in period'...

    Hi all, (first time post)

    I have a bit of a health problem, and any input to ease the first few weeks of adjusting to the trail would be appreciated.

    About three years ago, I was diagnosed with 'Syndrome X', although I think Metabolic Disorder is the more common-used term nowadays. Anyways, I went from 80+ hour a week workaholic, to a guy who has to rest after pull starting his lawn mower. Bah. The docs had a field day testing and trying all sorts of meds; only thing is they almost freaking killed me; so I told them all to 'take a hike' (no offense), and went completely off the meds the first of the year. The first week or so was pretty rough, but for the first time in three years I actually feel like getting out and doing stuff - being able to do so is still pretty much off the table, doh. I lost ten pounds the first week I went off the meds, and another ten pounds since then (fluid retention). So now I'm back to where I was when I was first diagnosed; except now my kidneys are not particularly happy with me.

    Well, new insurance this year - one that works - and the Cardiologist gleefully did his Catheter thing - expecting heart or angio work. (They've been unable to lower my triglycerides... supposed to be @100, mine originally was 2000, and the best they've gotten it to is @1200).

    The heart was still good to go, but my LAD (pipe) was so extensively restricted that the doc bailed and said drugs was the best option. Great :>0

    So... was planning on doing the AT when the kids were out of the house and life was beautiful, etc. but it looks like it's this year, or THIS YEAR for me. The wife has been real understanding; going to let me go as many weeks as I want. I figure I can control my sleep, diet, activity/exercise; in the doc's words: "As long as you don't do something stupid and overexert yourself, it would be good for you... take your meds, and carry the nitro pills just in case..." LoL.

    I'm shooting for a pack weight of about 25 lbs. - 30 at the heaviest (I have a four pound sleeping bag I've had for 25 years, can't seem to part with it).

    My biggest concern is maintaining my glucose levels. (Diabetic, part of the whole metabolic disorder thingy). I'm intolerant to high carb foods (Bagels, Mac and cheese, Ramen, etc. Potatoes are right out.) So I would really appreciate advice on that aspect.

    Thanks,

    BTW, Can't believe these docs have gotten me to the point where I have to carry freaking nitro tabs.... I'm 42. Five years ago, with the exception of some Reflux stuff, I was in as good or better shape than I was in the service.
    (Fairly extensive physical for a new job.)

  2. #2
    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    05-20-2003
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    Default I'm no doctor...

    ...and I don't play one on the Internet.

    But, in general, for anyone that has health issues:

    See your doctor again. Make sure Doc understands exactly what you're going to be doing. Doc might think you're just hiking around a local park on weekends. Then get a second opinion. If Doc2 also green lights your idea, then go back to Doc1 and have a long chat:

    Do you have a Medical Alert Bracelet? You and doc should decide what needs to be on one. Also decide what meds you should be carrying, if any, and how you're going to get refills if needed. How can someone get your medical records in a hurry if needed? Where will you keep the nitro pills so someone else can find them in an emergency? Is iodine ok for treating water for you? How about daily use of Ibuprofen?

    You're going to have to lose that sleeping bag. Doctor's orders.

    You listed what you can't eat. So what can you eat?

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    12-18-2003
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    Mount Airy, NC
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    Default Break-in Period

    Just to alert you to something I experienced as an "older" hiker, that, I suspect, might apply to you as well: You might be tempted to try to keep up with the young guys and gals who stride up the mountains almost as if they were in the flatlands. The concept of hiking your own hike is particularly important for someone who has built-in challenges. You might want to plan on going into towns more that some of your hiking buddies. If you do that, your community will pull on ahead of you, and you'll be hiking with the next wave of hikers. Then they will pull ahead also. If you keep going, chances are you'll seem some of your original friends up the trail somewhere, after they have been off the trail for a while due to changing circumstances in their own lives. Anticipating all that in advance will help you keep up your spirits when you get to feeling lonely.

  4. #4

    Smile Wowsers! Quick and useful responses :>)

    Thanks for the food site, I lost quite a bit of time looking around there, :>) I hope to try some before I head out; if they're a 'hit', I'll have my wife add some to my mail drops.

    And thanks Brushy Sage for the advice on watching/letting groups walk away. Heh, I'm going to have to reign in my competitive urge to stay with the young bucks. That's been the hardest part of this disorder thing. When I resigned my job, the company wound up hiring three young guys to carry my workload. It's way annoying not to be able to work/walk these kids into the ground. lol.

    As for the meds questions (Dances with Mice): I didn't even think about that. I'd sort of planned to jam the pills in a fanny pack and call it close enough. Guess I should rethink that, doh. As for asking another doc... Heck no! Do you know how hard it was convincing the wife and first doc?

    Regarding what I can and can't eat.... High starch items will send my blood sugar skyrocketing; pretty amazing actually, before I figured out what was going on, I would eat one small baked potato at lunch and my sugar would jump from @150 to @400+. Pastas/pizza/breads all do the same thing, just not to such a great extent. Candy will spike and come right back down, whereas the starches might take several hours to come back down. Daily Insulin injections do help clip the upper ends, but if I pay attention, I can manage without it. (I'll probably carry some Insulin and a couple spare needles just in case.) I definitely have to carry my glucose tester. I plan on putting spare batteries, strips and 'pokers' in a bounce box.

    This disorder affects people differently according to their genetic makeup; so each person sort of has to find their 'optimal' diet. A high protein diet ala Atkins is too extreme; it puts too much strain on my already overworked kidneys. However, a high carb/low fat diet drives my sugar through the roof. For me, I shoot somewhere in the middle: 40% protein, 30%carb, 30%fat seems about right.

    A lunch of one - ONE! - bagel and a tuna pouch would be an acceptable lunch. I've found some non-sugar Gatorade powder to replace electrolytes and minerals. I'm looking at soy based additives to increase my protein intake for breakfast, and they even make fake dehydrated jerky out of the stuff for snacks.

    I'd planned on ordering bulgar wheat from www.bulkfoods.com this weekend. As a breakfast meal, it will drive my sugar up, but not as much as some of the others. After I drop another ten pounds or so, I may try oatmeal; less weight makes controlling the sugar easier. Again, I may try the protein additives. I'd think it would be easier than carrying eggs, aye? They also sell alot of nut/fruit snack mixes that looks like it would help me keep the protein levels up; just need to watch the fruit intake.

    Dinner... that's a problem. After the second day or so my body is going to be craving high calories, and I don't know of anything other than the macaroni/rice/ramen... type meals; especially at light weights.

    I'd prefer to avoid the expensive freeze dried packaged specialty meals if I can...

    Well, I'll quit before I write another book - too late.

    Thanks again...
    Last edited by Alligator; 06-16-2009 at 20:07.

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