Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Going flaccid

One of the less attractive aspects of having been a semi-invalid for several months -- limited as to physical activity early on from the PICC line, now because of the incision that is still an open wound (if greatly reduced in size) in my belly -- is seeing my muscles go flaccid. Not that I had anything like huge arm muscles before, but what I had was pretty well defined, even when I was more overweight. Now the flesh hangs loose both in forearm and upper arm. It looks for all the world like the arms of a really old man, which I didn't want to look like for a bit longer. Once the wound is secure I can do a bit more, but then I will be deeply into chemotherapy (we'll get word Thursday as to when we begin) and I don't know just how active I'm going to feel like being during that regimen. People tell me that once reasonably normal activity is resumed -- even stuff like sweeping and doing chores around the yard -- the muscle tone will return. I hope so. The flaccid look is a bit of a drag.

As to weight, here's some context. I played football my freshman year at 165, when I was probably in the best shape of my life. I've been that low a few times since, but mostly have hovered between 170 and 190. Then maybe five-seven years ago I ballooned up to 225. I began losing that weight gradually (and sometimes fitfully) a few years ago and was right around 205 when the jaundice hit in April. Since then I've lost weight steadily and seem to have settled at around 170. I still have flab around my belly, but my waist size is down four inches. I figure to make it more muscle and less flab and stay around this weight once the treatment is complete, which is now looking like October.

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