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April 2011 Health and Training Update

By Gary F. Zeolla

It's been a year since I posted the message Motorcycles, Barking Dogs, and Sleep Deprivation, and I wanted to update what has happened since then. As I feared last year, my health continued to deteriorate until in August I ended up in the ER with a severe flare-up of my stiff person syndrome. I was almost completely paralyzed head to toe. The stupid doctors ran some tests, which came back negative, and thus could offer no suggestions. All they did was give me a prescription for Klonopin and sent me home, with the suggestion that I see a psychiatrist.

I followed up with the psychiatrist. She has been operating on the assumption that my stiffness and my multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) are psychosomatic and has been prescribing one drug after another. But almost every one has caused negative side effects, so I was not able to continue to take them. Right now I am taking just two drugs, the Klonopin I was prescribed at the ER, but at a higher dosage, and Risperidol. The only benefit I am seeing from these is they help me to sleep at night, but not soundly. As a result, I spend up to nine hours in bed, but still wake up feeling tired and hazy. It takes a couple of hours for the drug haze to wear off.

Meanwhile, over the winter when the motorcycles had stopped, I slowly began to feel a little better. Fortunately, the salt truck only woke me up a couple of times, and the drugs enable me to sleep through the barking dogs most of the time. As a result, I was able to finish my Scripture Workbook: Volume II; Second Edition. I also wrote a short book on The Bible and Sexual Relationship Issues. And I have been able to keep up with my newsletters, but only barely.

As for my training, for most of the winter, my leg injuries (right hamstring and adductor) kept me from doing anything heavy, and the various drugs the doctor was giving me were leaving me dragging and tired all day, so my training did not go well. But by March, with only taking the above two drugs, by the afternoons when I work out I began feeling pretty good, and my leg injuries are improving, through still not fully healed. Also, thanks to very poor weather all of March, the motorcycles did not start up yet. As a result, I was able to put in some half-decent workouts in March and the beginning of April.

Due to my fibromyalgia fatigue, I have to keep my workouts as short as possible, just the powerlifts or variations thereof, and very little else. Specifically, for bench days, I do a benching movement followed by an upper back exercise. On squat and deadlift days, I do a squat or deadlift movement, followed by an ab exercise. Add in some stretching, and that's it. But with the slow pace I have to work at, it still takes me over an hour, and leaves me rather exhausted. All of my lifting is done completely raw as the use of any kind of gear only adds to the exhaustion. But still, it felt good that I was able to get in somewhat hard workouts, though still no where near at the intensity that I used to train at.

But with my training going somewhat better, I began thinking of the possibility of entering a contest. I haven't entered a contest in almost two years, my last contest being in June of 2009. I've had several dreams at night about competing, so I obviously miss it greatly. However, the morning problems would make entering a contest very difficult. Most start as early as 9:00 am, when I am still trying to fully wake up and shake off the drug haze. No way I could be doing heavy squats at that hour.

Also, I am still only handling a fraction of the weights that I used. to. And the contest itself would be difficult for me to get through. In addition, the traveling, staying at a hotel, etc. that a contest involves would be too much of a problem. My health is such now that I rarely leave my home, mainly due to the MCS. If I didn’t have a home gym, I doubt very much I’d even be able to work out. But I still think about competing. I  even checked some fed schedules recently just to see what is coming up. But as I think through everything involved, I just don’t think it would be possible.

Meanwhile, on April 7, I was woken up by a motorcycle for the first of what I am sure will be many, many times this year. That's over a month later than they started last year, and, as I said, that extra month gave my workouts a chance to start to improve. But I dragged through my first workout after being woken up early. And the motorcycles will continue to mess my life up now through November. As such, my training and my health will probably deteriorate over the next few months, just like has happened for the last several years.

To make matters worse, my next-door neighbor is planning on a major remodeling project, basically doubling the size of his house. He is planning on doing most of the work himself, so it will probably take him months to finish, and I am sure he will be out there bright and early. So it will be constant noise from morning till night probably all summer long. and I am sure that will cause me even more problems.

As for my writing, just writing this short message left me rather exhausted, so I doubt I will start on a new book anytime soon. The best I will be able to do is continue with my newsletters. But what I really need is a new PC given that mine is five years old. But when I think of all of the work involved in getting and setting up a new computer, getting and installing new programs, learning how to use all of the new stuff and setting up everything the way I like it, I just don't think I can handle it. I got my current PC set up just as I like it, so I am putting off on the new PC.

Meanwhile, personally, as I said, I rarely leave my home now as being around people causes problems due to my MCS. I'm thankful that I have a home office and a home gym so that I can get some work done and am able to work out, but life is getting very lonely. If I wasn't a Christian with a relationship with the LORD, I doubt I could handle all of this.

April 2011 Health and Training Update. Copyright 2011 By Gary F. Zeolla.

Starting and Progressing in Powerlifting:
A Comprehensive Guide to the World’s Strongest Sport

350 page book by Gary F. Zeolla

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