Thursday, October 18, 2012

Post 56 - Just How Fat Is This Guy Gonna Get?

When I started this humble blog in August of 2009, I weighed somewhere around 150 pounds, the same weight I carried for many years, especially since replacing my highly caloric lunches with a cup of yogurt and an apple. Of course, I was always on the go somewhere, in particular since landing a training consultant’s job which involved lots of travel and prep work.      

 At the beginning of 2012, after about five years or more of dealing with the effects of this damned disease, I noticed a continual weight gain until today I tip the scales at a robust 175 pounds, the heaviest I’ve ever been.

 Some of this excessive poundage I can attribute to a loss of mobility which has caused me to spend more of my time in a wheelchair BUT, when the gain began to worry me, about 10 pounds ago, I watched my diet more closely and found that my intake was still quite moderate.  Fran, my resident nutritionist, who, while using the techniques of Weight Watchers, has shed about 25-30 pounds, which is suspiciously exactly what I’ve gained, can attest to my portion control and other dietary restraints.  Yet, still I keep on gaining!

 My “girth enhancement” is becoming more problematic in a number of ways. First, Financial – Fran has bought me a bunch of “big boy” clothes based around size 36 pants and XL tee shirts to accommodate my increasing waist size and expanding pot belly.  Second, Physical – extra pounds, in particular around the middle, are very uncomfortable, especially when trying to get comfortable in a wheelchair or other piece of standard furniture – the “’belly” always seems in the way. And third, Psychological – simply put, I dislike this extra weight, don’t like how it looks, and am anxious to lose it.

 I took a look at the side-effects of the medications I’m taking and found that one, Florinef, (fludrocortisone) which is prescribed for low blood pressure, helps raise one’s pressure thru the retention of salt and water – in fact, some people mention the Florinef ”fluff” which describes unwanted weight gain.  I’ll discuss this with my GP, but I already know what he’ll say.  “You’ll need the extra pounds in case you’re hospitalized from a fall or with aspiration pneumonia and are likely to lose weight.” A big help, he is.

So maybe I’m stuck with these extra 25-30 pounds or maybe I can shed some or all of them.  I’ll keep you posted. If any other MSA’ers would like to comment, I’d appreciate hearing from you – either comment here or e-mail me privately at



  1. My heart goes out to you and your wife sister Marlene has MSA she is so young 62 and was a go getter.and still trying ..loved to dance she was in a trial study and got a call from her Dr. this week to stop taking the drug because it is not working.i can't imagine how all those who were in the study heart hurts so bad that they can slow down aides but can't help w/this...MAY GOD KEEP YOU STRONG AND GIVE YOU COURAGE....Terry

    1. Terry - One of the worst things about this disease is how it turns active,energetic people - like your sister - into people who can just barely stand up. Let' hope they find the answer to MSA soon! Best of luck to Marlene.