My oldest son, Chris, is 26 years old. He is mentally retarded. He functions pretty well, but the things he can do are limited by his disability. On one of my other websites I have written about Chris before, and I did say that he was mentally retarded, a statement for which I was chastised and criticized. I was told that I should just say that he has special needs. In most cases, that is what I say. However, in order to get the point across you have to let people know what the special need is. This article, in my view, requires that my son’s special needs should be identified. I certainly do not write this in a way to criticize my son, in fact, I’m writing this to praise him. Right now my wife, Feyma, is in the United States. She works in the USA, in the state of Alaska, and this is her work season. She will be away for about six months, and two of our other sons have gone with her this year because they are also working. During their absence, Chris and I are still living here in the Philippines. Chris and I are buddies, spending time together alone like this reinforces that. Before my wife left to go to the United States, we were watching a movie/documentary about the ketogenic diet. They had a number of case studies, and one of the people they were studying was an autistic child. Now, remember, Chris is not autistic, he is mentally retarded. However, in watching the development of this autistic child as he began to eat a ketogenic diet, the differences that happened to him over time were amazing. My wife and I looked at each other and we already knew what the other one was thinking. We need to try this ketogenic diet with Chris. There is really no downside, and who knows what kind of improvements we may see. Chris is not obese, but he is a little bit overweight. He tends to be fairly active, but he sure does enjoy his carbs a lot. Being half Asian, Chris, of course, loves his rice. He also enjoys eating bread a lot. And candy, and chips, and just about any other carbs that you can think of. With my wife in Alaska, we try to talk on the phone daily when possible, although that is not always possible. She has a rather long work day, and sometimes she is too tired to make that phone call. At other times, communications to the remote place where she has are just not possible. But, a while back we were talking, and we decided that I would try to cut Chris’s carb intake as much as possible. Both of us were interested to see what Chris’s reaction would be. I talked with Chris about this and asked him what he thought about cutting down his rice intake, and his bread as well. I was surprised, he was excited about it. He said that he saw what I had done with my diet, and he wanted to do it as well. I was really surprised to hear that. And happy. Last week I finished off a 28 day fast on Wednesday evening. Since Wednesday evening until Sunday night (the time that I am writing this article), I have been eating one or two meals each day. A couple of days ago Chris asked me when I was going to start fasting again, and I told him that I would start again with fasting on Sunday night, after dinner. Chris told me that he wanted to fast with me, this kind of blew me away, because I had not suggested to him that he should fast. He kept talking to me about it and said he could do it, and he was excited about it. I just agreed with him and figured we would see what happened. This morning, Sunday morning, I, as usual, skipped breakfast. When I saw Chris I asked him if he wanted something for breakfast, and he said no because he was fasting. I told him we would not start fasting until after dinner, to which he replied that he decided to start fasting early. I really had a chuckle inside and wondered when he would decide to eat. When it came time for lunch, I prepared myself a salad and asked Chris if he would also like to have a salad with me (lately he has come to love to eat salad, because he sees me eat it). Chris replied, in a somewhat annoyed manner, “I told you I was fasting today”. I was amazed, but he did fast through lunch, and as I said, breakfast as well. When dinner came around last night, I told him that I would have another salad with some roasted chicken in the salad, and he said that he would also have that because he was ready to stop fasting. I explained to him that this was called intermittent fasting if he would just eat once a day or so. I told him that there was really no reason why he needed to do long-term fasting like I would be doing this week, but if he would do intermittent fasting every day it would really help him. He told me that he thought he would do that. I asked him if he was hungry since he had not eaten since yesterday, and he said just a little. So, this will begin a new journey of fasting. Although it is not me that is fasting (although I am also fasting), it will be interesting for me to watch Chris as he develops in doing fasting, and also ketogenic eating. It shocks me that he came up with these ideas seemingly on his own. I’m so proud of him and looking forward to seeing his progress. I think I am more excited about him doing intermittent fasting than I am about my own journey, at least at this point. Good luck, my son, Godspeed.
I started my recent fast on May 16 and it was scheduled to end this Friday at 6 PM. However, things took a turn yesterday. Actually, perhaps I should say things started taking a turn about three days ago.
Here is What HappenedA few days ago I started feeling different. At times I would get very sleepy during the day. This happened multiple times per day and I would usually go take a nap for a while and I would feel fine after that. I didn’t feel weak or anything like that, which is what most people would suspect while fasting (although I find that to be a myth). No, I didn’t feel weak, just sleepy.
Sleep PatternsOne very common problem while fasting is that it is difficult to sleep. This has always been a problem for me since I started fasting. Generally, during my fasting, I will only get around two hours of sleep per night. If I am doing a five or 10 day fast, I find that to be fine. However, while doing a 30 day fast, I think that my body just ran out of steam because it was not getting enough rest. I believe that the reason that I was feeling poorly and had to quit my fast because I had gone so long with so little sleep. Of course, I cannot be sure, but I feel rather certain about this.
Medical MonitoringWhen I do a long-term fast, I am in contact with my doctor and talk to him about any kind of problems and I’m experiencing. I am always free to go into his office for him to check things out. In this case, over the last few days of the fast, before I quit, I was having things checked regularly. There were some bad signs, and that is really what caused me to decide to stop the fast.
Heart RateStarting about three or four days ago my heart began beating very fast. My normal pulse rate is between 70 and 80 per minute. However, as I got well into this fast, probably around day 23 and onward, my pulse was up to a low of 95, and sometimes over 100. Since I just had bypass surgery about 20 months ago, you can imagine that my doctor was watching this very closely.
Blood PressureDuring the same period, starting around day 23, my blood pressure shot up as well. During fasting, my blood pressure usually goes down to a very low level, around 110/70 or so. That happened up until about day 23, when my blood pressure went as high as 145/85, which is very high for me.
Doctor’s AdviceBased on these two things alone, my doctor recommended that I should stop fasting for a few days. I thought about it, and I decided that since I only had two days left, why take the risk. The reason that I do fasting is for my health, why put my health in danger just to go after some mythical number? I mean it is only a number of days, which is really meaningless. So, last night, Wednesday night, I ate a nice salad topped with roasted chicken. It really did taste good, I must say.
Unexpected ExperienceOn my salad last night, I was using a vinegar and oil based Italian dressing. This is a salad dressing that I really like, it is my most frequent choice when it comes to salad dressing. I have never had any problems with this salad dressing. However, last night, when I started eating it, it really burned inside my mouth, I felt like my mouth was on fire. I can only imagine that this is because it had been so long since I had eaten anything. In fact, it was so bad that when I was halfway through the salad I asked my niece to save the rest for me, and I ate the other half a few hours later. I just could not eat anymore as my mouth was so painful.
Weight LossOver the term of my 28 days of fasting, I dropped 27 pounds, just about 1 pound per day. Funny thing is, at the time that I started feeling poorly, the same time that my heart rate increased as well as my blood pressure, I stopped losing weight. So for the last several days in the fast, I lost nothing. I can’t really say how that is related to the health issues, but I find it interesting. 27 pounds down in 28 days? I find that to be quite a success.
Future PlansI will be eating for the next few days. Of course, when I eat I eat a ketogenic diet – low-carb, high-fat. After dinner on Sunday night, I will begin fasting again. However, I don’t really see any big reason to go for a super extended fast again, at least not right away. Starting on Sunday night, it is my thinking right now that I will go for a five day fast, which means that I will eat again at dinnertime on Friday. That is a good fast, and last year when I did an extended period of five-day fasts, I lost a lot of weight. I think five days will be fine again. Well, the things that happened toward the end of my fast surprised me greatly. I never would’ve expected my pulse and my blood pressure to increase like that while fasting, normally those things move in the other direction while fasting. I did some research on the Internet, though, and found several web pages where people doing long-term fasts described the exact same things that I experienced. In most cases that I found, they were advised that they had an issue with electrolytes, and perhaps that was my problem as well. I may try another long-term fast, as long as 30 days, in the future, but that will be down the road. I hope that this report was beneficial to others doing fasting. If you are fasting, to the best of luck.
Yesterday I asked you how many scars you think I was left with after my 2016 heart surgery. Today I will tell you!
Where are the scars?Of course, there are scars on my chest, because that is where the “heart” of the operation took place… on my heart. There are also scars in other places from this surgery, though.
- Both legs
ChestI was left with one large scar on my chest. During this type of surgery, they make an opening in your skin about 12 to 14 inches long. After opening your skin and muscle they cut through your sternum (breastbone). They then use a tool to spread the two pieces of the breastbone apart to expose the heart. This procedure left one very large scar on my chest.
LegsMany people might not believe or understand why you would have scars on your legs from having surgery on your heart, but I do have the scars to prove it! In fact, I have two rather large scars on each leg, for a total of 4 scars on my legs. The reason that you have scars on your legs from a heart bypass is that they harvest veins from your legs to replace your coronary arteries. The arteries going to your heart are clogged with plaque, so they go elsewhere to get “replacement arteries”. This is why I have 4 scars on my legs, from harvesting veins there. Each of my leg scars is 5 to 6 inches long.
NeckNeck? Why? Well, I have one small scar on my neck. You end up with a scar on your neck because they open that up so they can insert a tube in your neck. This tube is a line directly into your artery. The reason for this is in case of emergency if they need to get some type of medication quickly directly into your heart muscle, they can inject the medication into this tube and it will enter your heart almost immediately. So, I have one small scar on my neck.
AbdomenYep, more scars in your abdomen. Typically, most heart bypass patients would have 4 scars in their upper abdomen, just below the rib cage. I have more than that, though. I have 5 scars in my upper abdomen. The reason for these scars is for drainage tubes to help the sounds drain liquid, and also for some monitoring equipment leads. The reason I have 5 scars instead of 4 is because of a few days after the surgery when they were removing the tubes, a small piece of one of the tubes came off inside of my body. So, the next day they opened me up again to “fish it out”. That was a very quick second operation, but it did leave me with an additional scar.
All in allSo, all in all, I have a total of 11 scars on my body from having a quadruple heart bypass. Thankfully, many of the scars are barely visible now. My leg scars and chest and abdomen scars are the worse and still very visible, though.
This website really is a great resource. You can find entertainment here about the Philippines, and life here, and you can also find a lot of useful resources and information that will help you in your life here. Information about visas, drivers licenses, immigration issues, dealing with government offices, learning the language, interacting with other ex-pats, there really is information about just about any topic that an ex-pat would need to learn about. But, the question is, are you taking advantage of the information that is freely available here? Think about it. On almost a daily basis, I have people start chats with me on Facebook asking me a lot of questions about how to do this, where to get that, that sort of thing. To be honest, every one of these topics has been covered here on LiP. Just yesterday, a fellow that has been my friend on Facebook for many years, and I consider him a good friend, was having trouble about a drivers license here in the Philippines, he was also having trouble about getting married here. Frankly, when he had gone to government offices to seek assistance, he was not getting good information. In fact, the information that they were giving him was completely wrong! I helped this fellow for more than an hour. I don’t have enough hours in my day to help every person who needs that kind of assistance. But, the thing is, every single thing that I told my friend is already available here on this website for free! In most cases, when people need assistance like this, I tell them about my consulting packages, and offer to help them, but not for free. I just don’t have enough time to do that. What happens often is that they will say that I am trying to rip them off, or take their money. I am money hungry. No, I am just hungry to have some free time that I can spend with my family. Like I said, every bit of information that I would give these people is already freely available here on this website. If they don’t care to search that information out and read it for free, why should I spend an hour or more giving them personal service? I have Artie given the same service for free. I would really like to see people start taking advantage of the resources available here on LiP. It’s all free! I try to keep it as current as possible, up-to-date, and always accurate. Next time you find yourself in a bind just do a search here on LiP! You just might be surprised how easily you can find exactly what you’re looking for. If it is not here, contact me, and will see how I can help you! But, I am betting that you will find it right here free for the asking.