Let me first say that the reason I want to attempt to run at the triathlon level is personal. January 2008 my doctor told me that I was on the border of becoming a diabetic. This was something that was scaring me as I was unable to lose the extra weight I had put on over the years with all of the medications I was taking. There was the fear that I may not live out the year and that was also scaring the daylights out of me. This caused me to look in to my insurance and I found that they updated our benefits and gastric bypass surgery was an option for me. My doctors agreed it would be good for me to look in to the procedure and find a provider that would take my insurance. After extensive research I found that the obesity clinic from GBMC took my insurance and was highly recommended.
With the team at GBMC I began my process to have the gastric bypass surgery performed. This time in my life I could not walk a flight of stairs without sweating up a storm and being totally out of breath. After going through all of the post operative tests I was given my surgery date and on July 2, 2008 I underwent gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki, performed the surgery laparoscopy method which helps speed the recovery process. The post surgery diet is very strict and I followed it 100% and it paid off for me. By August 2008 I was being removed from all of my medications and was no longer using the CPAP machine that I had to use prior to surgery.
What medications was I on and why? March 2004, I had 3 discs removed from my neck with multilevel fusion. This was done to prevent the use of my arms and hands. The Virginia Spine Institute and Dr Hasz took very good care of me and I recovered and had full use of my arms and hands. The recovery from this I was not allowed to left anything over my head and I was not allowed run. This was the beginning of my weight gain and other health problems. December 2004, I had a heart attack and was sent to the Washington Heart Hospital in Washington, DC were the doctors put 4 stents in my right coronary artery. Under the care of Dr. Hall from Chesapeake Cardiology in Annapolis, MD I was on several heart medications and also cholesterol medicines as my cholesterol was 7 – 1 to the bad. The following March and April 2005 I was in the hospital for additional heart issues that was controlled by adjusting the medications. My lower back started to give me more problems in 2005 and by 2006 Dr. Hasz was telling me that I needed to lose weight to relieve the pressure on my back. This was not something I wanted to hear as I couldn't exercise with the other medical issues. By 2007 I was being diagnosed with sleep apnea and was getting pain blockers every other month in my lower back so that I could make it through day to day.
Today I am taking no medications and have completed the B & A Trail Half Marathon in March 2009 and recently completed the Marine Corps Marathon (October 2009). While I am wanting to focus on my first Sprint Triathlon in June 2010 and maybe a full triathlon in September 2010, I will continue to run some 5K & 10K runs to keep the edge of competing if only against myself.