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I had my one-week-into-the-purge appointment with the Doc yesterday afternoon. It was another round of blood sample, blood pressure, pee-in-a-cup goodness. I also got the test results from last week: no thyroid problems, no kidney problems, no liver problems, no problems with various other multicoloured internal bits and — most importantly — no diabetes. I’m in excellent health for an overweight 34-year-old with heart damage.

The Doc is very happy about how I’m doing on this purge: I’m down four pounds, my blood pressure is getting closer to where it ought to be, and ketogenesis is clearly underway. The absence of headaches, muscle pain, and reduced appetite mean that my metabolism has adjusted to the lack of carbs and is now cheerfully plundering my internal fat cells for energy. All this seems fairly matter-of-fact to me, since it was the goal of this whole torture-trip, but from the Doc’s reaction I get the impression that a lot of people don’t have the fortitude make it through the start of the addiction-breaking process. Once again, I find that odd: when the choices are between breaking the addiction to sugar and carbs and dying of congestive heart failure, the answer strikes me as a bit of a no-brainer… but then I suppose that for some people long-term perspective is difficult to maintain while curled up in a ball in a darkened room mentally calculating how many scoops of ice cream one can cram into the human mouth before one’s fiancée gets them into a headlock. Theoretically.

In any case, have another week on the strict no-sugar, no-carb diet, then I meet with the Doc again and we go over how I’m going to be eating for the rest of my life. It’s not going to be a “diet” in the sense of “a food plan designed to lose weight”, it’s going to be a “diet” in the sense of “things an omnivore eats.” I’ll be allowed to eat when in I want and more or less what I want: I won’t be counting calories, but I will be counting carbs, pretty much constantly. I suppose it’ll just be a matter of developing good habits.

In another bit of news, I meet with the sleep apnea specialist in a couple of weeks, and we’ll determine what I have to do in order to either get a properly-adjusted CPAP machine or (and I’m hoping for this option) minor surgery to alleviate the problem. The Doc is of the opinion that six months from now, with or without surgery, my sleep apnea is going to be much abated if we can hold to the goal of losing two pounds per week. I’ll bounce that assessment off the specialist, but I’m hoping for a permanent solution to the problem, regardless of how much I weigh.