Visceral Odds and Ends

An afternoon sky from the train ride home...

I am listening to my .mp3 player as I write this - 30 gigs of music in the palm of my hand, baby! I'm not an iPOD man. At the time of my purchase I went with the Creative Nomad Zen. The name was way cooler (I am Nomad...I am ZEN!), the battery was replaceable, and the price was cheaper. Right now I'm listening to track #2470 - The Idiot Kings by Soul Coughing and I am totally groovin' on it.

It's been a while since I've updated the blog with anything regarding the whole kidney donation. Checking back to the last entry I said I got a call from my transplant coordinator Kim telling me they needed to run a few more tests. The doctors were concerned with my liver functions being too high - something I was told before by my family practitioner, but he had chalked it up to being a normal, though slightly elevated level for my body. Apparently this is not the case.

So last Wednesday, the day before the Opeth show, Gerri and I hustled over to the Upper East Side and the Friendly Neighborhood Mount Sinai Center to have a Glucose tolerance Test as well as a sonogram of my liver, kidneys, pancreas, and spleen. The Glucose test consisted of some drawn blood, followed by the consumption of a bottle of orange Dextrose. It tastes how it sounds. There then followed an hour of waiting followed by another blood draw, then another hour of waiting culminating in a final tube of blood being drawn. Results came back a few days later as "fine."

The song just changed to Weak and Powerless from A Perfect Circle, which kind of describes how I felt during my sonogram. Lasting about 45 minutes, all I will say is the gel was warm and the nurse laughed at my nervous attempts at humor. We went home (Gerri and I, not the nurse, cheeky monkey), confident that everything would come back normal.

Three Friends by Gentle Giant, circa 1972. I think of these guys as a mix of King Crimson (Belew on vocals), Jethro Tull and Yes with a dash of old Genesis (Gabriel on vocals) to boot. I received a call this past Tuesday; they found I had what's called a "fatty liver." They wanted me back in for more tests and to see a Hepatologist, who specializes in liver disease. The word "biopsy" was tossed around a couple of times, so I was a little queasy as I made my appointment. While it could just be from lack of exercise and weight gain (I make no excuses for the fact that, since I got a cushy office job and married a wonderful Italian cook, my weight has jumped about 35 pounds in 4-5 years), it could also be indicative of early liver disease. My face froze into an expression vaguely resembling the one I had in the examination room this morning:

Yeah, well the sight of all those rubber gloves behind me made me a little anxious, okay? Truth is on by guitarist/singer/awesome dude Yogi. Anyway, the doctor came in and basically informed me I needed to get my shit together. I was overweight and didn't exercise, and if I thought I was going to be able to donate a kidney to my in this condition then I was mistaken. Prescription? I have to go on either the South Beach Diet or Sugar Busters and see him again in 4 weeks. If I show some improvement - good for me. If not - then I'm in trouble, medically and physically. I think this guy was ready to beat the crap out of me.

So, wake-up call. I have to get my ass in gear and get in shape. Tomorrow morning I'm heading out to the bookstore to pick up one of these books, then to the grocery store to pick up a shitload of food, and then back home to weigh myself and see where this thing goes. Sean, ever the brother in Solidarity, is going to go along with me, as is Gerri (who doesn't need to lose any weight, but will work out with me). So I'll not be shy and enter the weight in here and continue to update how I'm doing over the next couple of weeks until my next appointment, which is March 30th. Fittingly, the song on now is Future Breed Machine from Meshuggah off their 1995 Destroy Erase Improve album. Which is what I'm going to do: destroy the old way of eating, erase the extra pounds I'm carrying, and improve the overall machine/temple/slab of flesh, whatever you want to call it. Of course, having Swedish death/math metal pounding in your ears screaming God-knows-what certainly is a help.