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Health leaders who don't follow their own advice, I spit on thee

People who promote something, like politicians or health advocates, and then don't practice what they preach get my goat.


Here is a mug shot of the most recent example of someone whose message and advice I've followed but I've learned he hasn't followed his own plan.


Yes, that's me.  I'm very upset with myself for not listening to me. I puke at my behavior. I talk with people all the time about how important exercise is for liver patients, but I sadly have to report that I failed myself recently and am paying the price.

I'm not proud of myself but perhaps my story can help others who struggle with exercise.

From my diagnosis in 2015 I became more active. I walked/jogged most days. I could run a mile even at 78.  It worked for me and along with my diet I got my health under control.  When Covid hit and we shut down I stopped.  As an immune compromised patient avoiding infection became important and exercise somehow slipped away.  Foolishly I didn't adjust to find ways to  continue. The rhythm of my life didn't  include that exercise and somehow, even as we opened up I didn't restart. I became that sedentary person that we all know is tempting fate.

My journey of pain isn't uncommon but it was not something I'd ever encountered before.  It started with a catch under my right shoulder blade. Not a big deal until it reached over to my spine and I began to get muscle spasms in the muscles that manage the spine. In trying to compensate for the right side, the left side also got triggered and was seizing up.  Over the next two days it worked its way all the way down my spine.and the muscles around my ribs also became sore. Ive never had back problems and had no idea how debilitating it could be. I was almost immobilized for a while as any movement caused something to jump into charlie horse mode which felt like walnuts growing out of my spine.

I went to the doc and he noted "that's probably pretty painful". Yeah, very observant. Then the challenge we always face as liver patients. Is there anything  we can take. Pain pills, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, oh my.  I've avoided medication since my diagnosis.  I'm doing well,  but I know that I don't have a lot of extra good liver cells to take risks with.  In the end I couldn't go down the drug path.  I've gone the most conservative path and I'm am relying on stretches and being kind to myself.

I couldn't have managed this without my wife.  There were days I was unable to put my socks on. When the entire spinal column got annoyed I couldn't get up to go to the bathroom without help. At this point I have calmed most of the spots but am still dealing with some sciatica in my lower back but I appear to be on the mend.

When I wonder about causes, I had run out of my olive oil a week or so earlier but it was so hot I didn't want to have it shipped so my diet had changed.  I had been taking a B complex vitamin but ran out and hadn't gotten around to that, and I had reduced my fish oil as it was running low and because of the heat again I was waiting to reorder.  Whether any of these could be the cause of my sudden muscle spasms I can't say other than to note that in addition to having ignored my body for a few years, elements of my routine diet had changed in the weeks leading to this.

So why this admission of personal failure. I want to emphasize that I don't believe this would have happened had I maintained some kind of exercise program.  I became another physically idle person and lost the healthy tone in my main core muscles.  In the end that bit me. I'm getting back to basics in my life but my message to you is what it has always been. Exercise matters. I know it is hard but start.  If all you can do is one thing, do one. Tomorrow try to do two. None of it is wasted and if you persist you will feel the better for it.

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