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Making Progress in Losing Weight, Knowing the Reward Will Be Feeling Better Overall

By Tim Hinkhouse

April 28, 2017

This morning I had a doctor's appointment at 8:00 a.m. to find out the results of my ultrasound. About 7:50 a.m., I leave my unit to get to medical on time for my appointment. I get down there, and the place is full of people waiting to see health professionals. I'm thinking that I'll be there all morning waiting around to be seen.

At this point, I am already filled with anxiety about the results; now I have to wait even longer? About 8:30 a.m., the doctor calls out my name, and I go back into his office. He asks me what I am there for at this time, and I wasn't surprised that he didn't know. Seems as if one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing, causing confusion that could be an easy fix, I would think.

I tell the doctor that I am there for test results. He looks in my ever-growing medical chart for a report that isn't there. He asks me to go back to the waiting room while he tracks down the results. I am getting frustrated by this scenario, so I go out and wait again till he calls me. Five or so minutes pass, and he calls me back into his office. He tells me that the results are being faxed over, so it'll be awhile.

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In the meantime, he tells me to lie back on the exam table and lift my shirt. He begins to press hard on my abdomen on the right side first, which is painful. Then he presses on the left side where there is pain. He tells me I am constipated and orders me some docusate sodium (stool softener) and tells me to drink more water. After a few minutes of talking, he tells me that when he gets my test results, and if there is something to be concerned about, he will contact me. I shake my head in disbelief. In my head, I'm like: "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? I WANT TO KNOW NOW!"

Calmly I say "OK." I then ask if I can get on the scale, which he says it's OK to do. I climb up on the scale hoping for some results to show me that my discipline has been paying off. I flip the bottom weight over to 250 lbs. Then I started sliding the top weight over from 0 to 10 lbs. and so on till the lever balances out when it stops on 20 lbs. In my mind, it registers that I am now down to 270 lbs. I stand a little taller and am very proud of myself. It's a good distraction from why I was in medical to begin with.

When I step off the scale, the doctor comes over telling me that he's found my test results. I take a big breath and hold it while he reads it to me. My ultrasound says that I have an enlarged liver, and it is fatty too. Duh! I am overweight. He then goes on, telling me that my suspicion of gallstones is correct. I do have those. The doctor tells me that I need to be on a low fat diet. I tell him that I have been trying to stay on that path anyway, hence the weight loss from the last time I was there. My mind is racing now about having surgery, so I ask him about that. He tells me that this can resolve itself with diet and exercise. I am going to trust that what he says is true and have faith that this will self resolve.

I am not one who fears surgery. I don't want to be prone to an infection if I don't have to be carved open. The recovery time and going through the pain isn't a favorable thing for me either. If going through that eliminates the daily pain in my abdomen, then by all means you can schedule me to see a surgeon. Hopefully, that this is the worst thing that I'll have to face before I am 50 years old?

The one silver lining in all of this is that I see I am getting thinner and so do those around me. I very well could meet my goal of getting down to 235 lbs. to 240 lbs. by January 1, 2018. This is something that I can focus my efforts on because the reward will be feeling better overall! I am not going lie to you; it has been difficult in so many ways.

A friend of mine works in our prison bakery who was a professional baker on the streets. He makes the most amazing desserts for our dinners! He makes the breads, rolls, biscuits and pastries, which are so fresh and amazing. I have such a difficult time saying no when I go through the chow line. Fortunately, I eat with people that are supportive of my goals. They'll eat those things for me and then tell me how great they were! Such nice guys, I tell ya.

One thing that I am truly grateful for is that my HIV viral load is still undetectable after all these years. My CD4's are up high enough where I don't have to worry about being sick, having colds and not being able to fight them off. I am lucky after having HIV for 27 years this month to still be as healthy as I am!

We all need to stay healthy and stay safe! I ask that you keep me in your thoughts and prayers so I can get through this. As always, I think about all of you and keep you in my prayers, as well. Everyone take care of yourselves the best way you can!

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See Also
With Nutrition and Exercise, Harm Reduction Practices Help Me Live Well With HIV
Calming the Flames: How Diet Can Help Cool Chronic Inflammation
More Personal Accounts and Profiles of Prisoners With HIV/AIDS

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Tim Hinkhouse

Tim Hinkhouse

I have been HIV-positive for over 25 years and have been in prison in Oregon for almost as long because of my health status and non-disclosure. I'll talk to you about the issues faced by a person in my position along with the discrimination and stigmas attached to it behind these prison walls. I'll tell you about the strength and courage I found inside myself to NOT hang up and let this illness or my circumstances finish me off.

Tim Hinkhouse #7632447
Two Rivers Correctional Inst.
82911 Beach Access Rd.
Umatilla, OR 97882

You can also email me at hi.timothy7019
@gmail.com
.


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