Achalasia, my daily struggle

The journey begins?

Age: 32

Weight: 385+lbs (Could have been over 400, I didn’t really track at this time)

So back in 2012 I started having issues swallowing. I remember it as clear as a bell. A Tuesday in February I was eating dinner, ribs actually and everything was normal. Wednesday morning I skipped breakfast and had coffee (This was the norm for me in 2012). I had lunch and all was well. Dinner time! I eat, well sorta… I’m chewing my food but things seem to be getting stuck as I try to swallow… Am I not chewing enough? Why does it feel like everything is getting stuck? Um, that’s a good feeling… (Runs to the bathroom and then ejects all the food I tried to eat).

Yeah that blew… chucks… literally. That was my life for the next several months. It got so bad that I basically went on a liquid diet. I started to read about nutrition shakes because I was beginning to worry that I was not getting enough nutrients. I set up an appointment for my E.N.T. doctor in May. By this time I was also getting what felt like heart attacks, but they were quick, I had no hand numbness, and for some reason when I would drink water and pop my neck (don’t try that) they would stop.  He tells me that he thinks I have GERD. But I really don’t have any heartburn, I just can’t swallow. He gives me pills and sends me on my way. After 2 months the pills weren’t doing squat so I stopped taking them, it was hard enough to swallow water let alone a horse pill for something I didn’t have.

July 2012

Age: Still 32… Till November

Weight: 340lbs (Woohoo! Getting thinner! But at what cost?)

I was tracking my weight pretty well at this point. Everything I ate made me sick so I decided I was going to figure out how to solve the problem. Being an engineer at heart, I started to experiment. Different food types, different eating styles, and anything that I could think of that would help. I noticed that I had the hardest time with breads. So I started looking up low carb diets and found the Slow-Carb diet published by Tim Ferriss and his book, The Four Hour Body.

Around this time, I also had a co-worker that noticed the struggle I was having eating. He had something called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE). Which is an allergy that causes a similar issue with swallowing. Success! I can be cured… or so I thought.

I went to the doctor and had them test me for EOE, the test came back negative. The doctor then mentioned that I might have something called Achalasia… WTF is that? So as it turns out, this is when one of the muscles that controls food entering your stomach just stops working. for no reason. Eating really sucked. I realized the breads were really hard to eat as well as a few other foods. I also went under a procedure to help “fix” this issue.

August 2012

Weight: 310lbs

Yeah you read that right, 30lbs in a month… I really cut back on eating at all. I was dropping weight like it was my job. The problem was that I was still trying to eat crap so when I did get food, it was not really that good for me.

2012 – September 2015

Age: 34

Weight: 230lbs

Yup, nearly another hundred pounds gone… I stopped with the 4hr Body plan and was just eating anything, but in really small amounts. Mentally, I shift back to thinking I could eat whatever I want… that was wrong.

November 2015

So some shit went down in November where me and 5 other co-workers were laid off. That was pretty depressing. In fact I started force feeding myself a lot. Ugg this sucks.

February 2016

Age: 35

Weight: 303lbs!

Yeah I gained 80lbs in about 3 months… WTF… I felt awful… I had been listening to Podcasts for sometime. One of which is The Angriest Trainer Podcast with Vinnie Tortorich (http://vinnietortorich.com/) This man is so awesome. He reached out to me because we had a mutual podcast friend and he knew I loved BBQ. He also loves it, turns out I think that he is me in 20 years…  We talked on two different occasions for 4 hours each time. About everything, music, food, life, the whole shabang… I came to learn about how he works with people and that the real problem with weight and other issues are directly related to processed grains and processed sugars. His fans call it NSNG which stands for No Sugar No Grains. It’s hard to do if you are not used to it but once you kick the first 2 weeks without sugar you start to really feel awesome.

April 2016

Weight: 282lbs

I have been mostly NSNG for the past two months (no one is perfect.. I ate some shit here and there) and I am down 20lbs! I have a lot more to go and as this blog continues, I will post about my journey and host things go.  Wish me luck! Feel free to join me as well!

2 thoughts on “Achalasia, my daily struggle

  1. Ash

    Hi..does the nsng approach help your Achalasia? I had the poem surgery, and it did not help. I can swallow foods but have constant chest pain very single day. . Thanks!

    Reply
    1. wrenbjor Post author

      Hey Ash,

      Yes I think it helps, I noticed that most of my issues are when food just stays in my esophagus. Bread/carbs tend to do that a lot. I personally have a problem ditching sugar… It’s like a damn addiction… Once I break that habit I’ll be set… What seems to give you the most trouble?

      Reply

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